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The Flash: A New World, Part 1: Reunions

“Somebody’s having a bad day. Unfortunately, it’s only going to get worse.”

We’ve been treated to cameos and guest visits galore this season. So much so that it’s often felt like a tribute to the Berlanti-verse as a whole and not just the final season of The Flash. This episode finally lays the groundwork for the fast-approaching conclusion.

If Iris’ belly is a reliable gauge, several months have passed since Barry’s birthday. While they are planning for Nora’s imminent arrival, they learn that another marker on Barry’s roadmap is coming true. Iris’ article has been nominated for a Pulitzer.

Meanwhile, Cecile and Joe have settled into their weekly routine. Chester’s quest to devise the perfect disguise for Allegra continues (he really needs to consult Cisco). Khione’s abilities have gone from non-existent to manifold. The only thing missing is Mark. However, with four episodes to go, that level of contentment was doomed. Sure enough, Barry is dragged to March 18, 2000, the day his mother was murdered.

We will skip right past all the inconsistencies of this version of Nora Sr.’s demise, chalk it up to post Crisis timeline changes, and move along. Even so, this episode works better emotionally than it does thematically.

Nine years and multiple trips through his timeline have at least sanded down the worst of Barry’s impulsiveness. Once he determined he couldn’t get back on his own, his attempts to contact Tina McGee and Martin Stein made sense. Barry also tried to insulate Joe from learning anything about the future when he turned to him for assistance. Just don’t think too long about why Barry visits Joe instead of Mercury Labs where Dr. McGee works.

Yet, despite the last version of Eobard that Barry saw being reformed (and the pesky little concept that killing is WRONG), Barry threatens Eobard’s life. Granted, it was the day his mother died. So, his emotions were running high.

That is, until Barry realizes he’s been given a gift most people would give anything for — one more day with his loved ones. This allows Barry closure. He gets to bask in his parents’ love and tell his mom about her granddaughter.

We’re left with the impression Barry has come full circle. He is no longer the impulsive kid that created Flashpoint. This is why he offers Eobard a final olive branch. Not to protect his mother, but to save Eobard from the misery his choices will cause.

An offer that would have worked much better if Nora’s death hadn’t been a fixed point. While it would have made Eobard’s life infinitely better and saved Barry a mountain of heartache, Barry was painfully aware that her death was necessary to protect the timeline.

Their discussion after Nora died was a better argument for Barry’s growth. He put aside a lifetime of grief and the trauma of watching Nora die for the fourth time in favor of gratitude for the extra time with his parents. Unfortunately, Barry’s serenity only solidifies Eobard’s resolve to destroy him. Giving us the inciting incident that made both Barry and Eobard the men they are today.

As emotionally satisfying as that may be, no new ground is covered beyond the few fanservice moments of hearing Dr. Stein’s curmudgeonly tones or seeing Singh’s dated haircut. More interesting and far more nebulous was our newest Big Bad. The Negative Speed Force.

Please tell me his grand plan consisted of more than dragging Barry into the past and using Joe to sling lightning bolts at him. Why that particular day? Did the Negative Speed Force, like Eobard, want to torture Barry emotionally before his big send off? Did it think the combination of seeing his dead parents and being forced to fight the one still left alive would break Barry’s spirit? If so, the emotional punch they were hoping for never landed. Barry’s willingness to trade lightning bolts made it clear that Joe was never truly in danger. Given that there are others who are supposedly part of the Negative Speed Force’s plan, I remain hopeful. It also helps that this is only the first half of a two-parter.

Finally, there’s Malcolm Gilmore. Given all the blue imagery, it’s hard to believe he’ll be anyone other than Cobalt Blue. In the comics, he was Barry’s twin. While their origin stories may mirror each other, The Powers That Be are obviously going in a different direction. The question we're left with isn't what happened, but when?

This should be interesting.

3.5 out of 5 Fixed Points

Parting Thoughts:

The Chief Surgeon was Rachel Rosso, mother of last week’s villain, Ramsey Rosso.

I’m glad to see Joe, but it makes it harder to believe he wouldn’t have shown up for Barry’s birthday.

Did we know the date Nora Sr. died before?


Allegra: “I feel like Rainbow Bright.”

Barry: “What did I do this time?”

Stein: “I’m hanging up. Have a nice day.”

Barry: “No, no, I can’t be here.”

Henry: “Right now, in this moment, you’re not alone.”

Nora: “No one is fast enough to run away from pain like that.”

Eobard: “Oh, Flash, we are going to have the most wonderful day together.”

Barry: “What do you want?”
Negative Speed Force: “To level the playing field.”

Negative Speed Force: “No matter where you go or how fast you run, I’ll always find you.”

Eobard: “Don’t you know who I am? I’ve always been the hero. You’re the villain, Flash.”

Malcolm: “Who the hell is Eddie Thawne?”

Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, the supernatural, and anything with a cape.


  1. Khione (I believe) mentions "the last nine months" so I would believe it's safe to assume a few have passed yes.

    (Very Light spoiler)

    Four parter, not two.

  2. I did catch Khione's comment but since she was referring to her existence I wasn't sure how much time had past since the previous episode.

    As for the episodes, I stand corrected. I don't remember seeing the titles of the last two episodes when I started my review. Thanks for the catch.


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