Heart of the Matter Part 1 marked the first half of the conclusion of Flash’s incredibly disjointed seventh season.
This is a good thing as this season has never managed to feel like it had any kind of consistency or lasting coherent ideas. Ending this one and just starting anew without the restrictions of COVID (hopefully) should allow the creative team to get the series back on track because this year wasn’t it.
We start off with some series continuity hurdles as Nora explains to Barry that she remembers Barry’s loss of the other Nora. The one that died in Season 4, not the Speed Force using his mother’s image. This leads to way too many questions.
Bart and Nora don’t want to tell Barry something about Godspeed, but what does that matter? Aren’t this Bart and Nora just two kids from another timeline that potentially might be the one Barry and Iris are on now? Meaning whatever information they share wouldn’t necessarily impact Barry’s present anyway? That’s the problem with introducing time travel in a show that already suffers from major continuity issues anyway.
Maybe in their timeline, Nora and Bart can bring Oliver back so he can restore the Arrowverse as the CW Verse needs some help. Superman and Lois not included of course.
Barry offhandedly mentions that Wally West is off on the psychic plain. Like Ralph/Elongated Man it’s long past time that The Flash recasts Wally so he can actually be a presence on the show again instead of just being a character referenced in passing.
Not to worry as over in Keystone City, Jay Garrick has got his speed back and ready to help Barry and company. Or at least that was the plan until the Godspeeds — Jay’s got his speed back. Godspeeds capture him. I’m quickly hating every scene with Godspeed now.
This war of the Godspeeds makes little sense. They’re content to fight each other unless The Flash shows up and they all quickly align to team up and fight Flash and company. Also why does every Godspeed fight look like they’re fighting in slow motion under water? Lest you think all I do is complain about this show at least they’re shooting the majority of the action in daylight, which helps show off Flash, XS, Impulse and Godspeed’s costumes.
Iris returns after Deon stabilizes something. What’s code for Candice Patton needed a break? Whatever the heck that goofy subplot was, but it’s all good because CP is back.
Also, it’s really weird how the writers make Barry and Iris so kid crazed that any random Nora and Bart from alternate timelines get treated like the kids they’ve raised for 20+ years. Also, Deon, Fuerza, Psyche and Nora Speed Force should be super jealous of the “other siblings” showing up.
Jordan Fisher would have been a really good Wally West. He’s actually young enough to Grant Gustin to more believably be his teen sidekick than his nearly 20-year-old son. It really seems to miss the point of XS and Impulse by aging them up for the sake of more dramatic storylines when the characters would have been more interesting as young teenagers. Did Brian Michael Bendis write this arc? Kidding. Iris would have vanished and not told Barry where she was for an extended period of time…wait a second.
Bart is claiming Godspeed as his Thawne since he killed Uncle Jay right in front of him. Again, Fisher does a really nice job with the material, but it’s way too heavy for Bart. the more fun-loving and lighthearted member of the Flash Family. Quick question: Where did Nora and Bart learn to preserve the time stream from by not spoiling details from their timeline? Certainly not from this Barry, which conclusively proves he is not the father.
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The subplots really don’t feel connected to the show right now. Chester chats with Allegra, who’s in a mood because she ran off from Team Flash in the middle of this “war” only to watch her cousin, Ultraviolet die. It’s too bad the show doesn’t stick to the non-caffeinated Chester as he’s actually a good character. The writers make too much of a cheap copy of Cisco when he’s acting hyper corny, but there’s plenty of space for this chill Chester.
Over in Midway City (where’s Hawkman???) Joe and Kristen continue their investigation while she gets debriefed by the FBI. Kristen neglects to mention Adam saying she’s dead. Joe really needs to have a patented Joe West talk with her to figure out the scoop on that whole superhero origin.
The Godspeeds want Impulse and mention they’ve got Jay so he impulsively rushes off. Somehow, Bart manages to get caught and hemmed up by one of the Godspeeds long before Barry and Nora arrive. Barry can’t quite take care of the main Godspeed, but some backup arrives in the form of Cisco.
This felt like one of those dramatic Wells return moments that got diluted because they kept going back to that storyline crutch. It seems like Cisco just left three weeks ago. And now it feels like he could have just been busy if he was returning so quickly for the big boss showdown. Boy, was it a good thing Cisco took the Rogue cure to lose his powers, huh?
Caitlin and Cecile work with August on his memories. This subplot is asinine. This is loading the bullets and then handing it to a potential archenemy. It’s so bad the writers aren’t even bothering to try to make sense of it.
Barry and August travel into his mind where August is full-on Godspeed and taunting Barry. This could have been soooo much better if the show went with the comic book take on Barry and August’s friendship turned rivalry. Instead, we get a barely developed feud that hasn’t had any time to feel organic or remotely personal.
Clearly that’s next week’s problem. It feels in a lot of ways that this season just got underway, but it’s accomplished so little besides backtracking off of emotional subplots from previous seasons. Hopefully, the season finale can manage to end things on a better note.
Rating: 5 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW