The Flash – Impulsive Excessive Disorder review S8 E6

Nothing ages up heroes faster than giving them children. Especially in the case of The Flash where the kids are the same age.

And it’s even weirder having The Flash come back from a long hiatus and the focus of the episode is on Bart and Nora.

Yep, this is an interlude after Armageddon featuring Barry and Iris’ “kids” from a possible time period. This is an unintended repercussion of Superman & Lois. My tolerance for teen superhero drama is drastically reduced. And it’s mainly because their bumbling antics is somehow mistaken for comedy.

Maybe I just miss the old days of The Flash when Barry battled Rogues (before they all got killed) and kept evolving his powers. That was before he became the superhero mentor to a litany of heroes each a little more annoying than the last. The Flash had the right idea with Ronnie Raymond’s Firestorm as a semi-regular partner for Flash. And even Armageddon was on the right track when it started off with Barry and Ray/Atom teaming up.

the flash - armageddon part 1 review - the flash and the atom

After saying bye to their folks, the kids travel back home to Central City 2049 just in time for a green wave to wash over them. Uncle Jay is now alive thanks to a temporal wave, but he’s married to a woman named Rose instead of Joan. Believe it or not Team Flash changed the timeline. I know, absolutely shocking.

It feels like we’re just stuck in a loop — like the last few seasons — where Barry or another speedster has to repeatedly learn that traveling through time is bad. That was a key lesson way back in Season 1. The fact that this is still an issue/plot crutch is disappointing.

Bart and Nora check the timestream to see how much they’ve messed up. There’s an actual Legends of Tomorrow reference with Booster Gold. Nice to see some actual synergy with a CW Verse show.


Their best option to fix their latest mess is to traveling back to 2013 to keep Joe from getting shot. And maybe help him ask Cecile out. Eddie Thawne is back and he and Joe stop a jewelry robber with an assist from Bart. This cues up yet another butterfly effect issue where the Royal Flush Gang forms much sooner than earlier thanks to Queen overhearing the siblings talk about being metahumans.

Bart meets Avery (Piper Curda), a relatively new comic character that operates in China. Avery and Bart hit it off well, which probably makes Nora jealous since she was likely crushing on her too. Avery is a good character although being in 2013 should limit her involvement going forward so it almost felt like a waste to introduce her in this time period.

The Flash - Impulsive Excessive Disorder review - bart and nora watching

With the RFG in action years too soon, it’s up to XS and Impulse to stop them from a heist that kills 30 people.

It’s hard to be too invested in Bart crying over being a failure. That’s the pattern of each of these new heroes and it’s not fresh watching Bart go through it now. Fresh out of ideas on how to stop the RFG and preserve the timeline, they tell Avery about their actual identities. That doesn’t seem like the best solution.

This would be a bigger problem if Curda didn’t make Avery so instantly likable and the meet cute interaction with Bart actually works. While XS speeds around the casino trying to locate the bombs, Bart speeds some of the guests out before the RFG notices some of their hostages are disappearing.

the flash - the royal flush gang

Still, the RFG are fairly incompetent in terms of threatening villains go and XS manages to secure the bombs without further exposing anyone else to speedsters running around (pun intended) in 2013.

Back at CCPD, Iris and Eddie have their first encounter. That came off a little weird since one of the show’s initial missteps was killing off Eddie too quick. It hastened the inevitable Barry/Iris pairing that would have been more rewarding if it was delayed to say Season 3 or 4. Eddie was also a nice character who’s death never resonated through the series the way Tommy did on Arrow.

It’s far less weird seeing Joe and Cecile have a nice moment knowing their future. And Avery and Bart’s moment was kinda cool too.

Back in 2049, Bart and Nora tell Jay that Godspeed did kill him and Bart apologizes for not being a good Flash.

Jay laughs it off and explains his own time traveling adventures had him fighting Nazis in World War II (solid JSA reference!). Then he gets them by joking that Lex Luthor is the President. Would that be the same Luthor from Supergirl? I’m so confused now.

In the present, Iris’ brush vanishes suggesting that the whole time mirror vanishing might not be over. Great.

The timing of this episode was super weird and an odd way to resume the season. Repetitive plot points aside, Jordan Fisher and Jessica Parker Kennedy play off each other well enough to make a one-off focus on Impulse and XS an entertaining distraction.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW

Check out Avery’s comic debut in The Flash: Lightning Strikes Twice on Amazon.

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