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Entertainment Weekly


The Flash recap: The Flash is, but so is Barry Allen

Katie Yu/The CW

Posted on

The Flash

S6 E6
Show Details
TV Show
The CW
S6 E6

The Flash’s impending demise in the upcoming “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover has cast a pall over The Flash season 6 — and rightly so. Finding out that your best friend and leader is supposed to die in the coming weeks is heavy stuff indeed. Thankfully, though, the darkness and gloom temporarily lifts in tonight’s exceedingly fun outing, which was directed by Danielle Panabaker.

In her first effort behind the camera, Panabaker was tasked with introducing the audience to Central City 2049 in last season’s “Godspeed.” This time around, she was handed a script that was very much focused on the actor’s chemistry and filled with several fun James Bond homages, a surprising Nash Wells reveal, and a sentimental ending that served as a good reminder that Barry Allen is just as important as the Flash. Let’s dive in.

All season long, Barry has been focused on preparing each member of Team Flash for life without him. This week, he turns his attention to Ralph, who receives a new lead in the Sue Dearbon case. Hoping to make sure Ralph makes it back to town in time for a surprise press conference in which the Flash names Elongated Man as one of the city’s heroes, Barry decides to tag along on Ralph’s trip to Midway City where Ralph plans on infiltrating a fancy party. Barry assumes it’s business as usual and plans on suiting up as the Flash, but Ralph has something else in mind: They’re going undercover as guests, which requires tuxedos instead of super-suits.

Usually, Barry is in charge and has some handle over whatever situation the team finds themselves in. Hilariously and refreshingly, that’s not the case tonight. Barry is very much out of his element at this swanky event, which requires suaveness and tact. Ralph, who goes full James Bond with his camera bow-tie and other gadgets, has that in spades, but Barry doesn’t. In fact, when Ralph (a.k.a. “Dibny. Ralph Dibny”) and Allen Barry end up playing mahjong with the party’s host, Remington Meister (24’s Carlo Rota), Barry ends up screwing everything up and tipping Remington off that they’re crashers because he comes in too hot and asks about Sue’s whereabouts. It’s a nice change of pace to see our hero struggling. Luckily, Remington doesn’t actually throw them out of the party. Instead, he just alerts Ultraviolet (the meta from episode 2) to keep an eye on them.

Following that failure, Barry thinks the best move is for him to search the building at super-speed, but Ralph dissuades him because the party is actually filled with Midway City’s criminal elite and this mission requires more stealth. Of course, Barry ignores him and does it anyway and ends up setting off the metahuman detectors, which in turns leads to them being captured by Remington and Ultraviolet and tied up to chairs à la Casino Royale. Not only that, but Remington also throws a Goldfinger quote their way for good measure because he’s going for every Bond cliché on the bingo card.

As the boys sit there, the tables turn and it’s time for Ralph to teach Barry a lesson. Ralph explains to Barry that as he faces his imminent death, he can’t forget that Barry is just as important as the Flash. If Barry hadn’t been so focused on being the Flash, they probably wouldn’t be in this situation. Barry takes those words to heart, and once they escape from their bondage (and the super laser pointing their way), he allows Barry to save the day with Ralph’s help instead of the Flash.

As Remington begins to auction off the Ring of Fire (a machine that fires missiles from space), Barry stumbles onto the stage pretending to be drunk, which is one of Grant Gustin’s funniest performances. From there, chaos ensues as Barry and Ralph run around the stage trying to defeat Ultraviolet and stop Remington’s weapon from a firing a missile at Central City. It’s great and I loved every moment of it. In the end, the boys win.

To make sure Barry understood Ralph’s point, Ralph and Joe play a fast one on Barry later on. After the Flash presents Elongated Man to a band of reporters, Elongated Man and Joe call Barry Allen to the stage and award him a medal of honor for all of the good work he’s done as a CSI for the city. Yes, the Flash is the superhero and deserves all of the love, but Barry has changed almost as many lives in his regular-person duties and has earned praise for that. This entire lesson reminded me one of the final lines of Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ Mister Miracle: “Darkseid Is…But so are we.” In this case, the Flash is — he’s inevitable, a hero etc… — but so is Barry Allen.

While Barry and Ralph were busy in Midway City, the rest of the characters were also reminded of their human sides. Cecile helped a newly freed Chester with his love life, which ended up helping her adjust to this big change in her life (from DA to metahuman defense attorney). At the same time, Nash teamed up with Allegra, whose powers helped him figure out how to open up the secret chamber in the Central City tunnels where the Monitor is supposedly hiding. As they’re working together, Nash coaches Allegra and lets her know that her powers don’t define her and won’t make her evil like her cousin. As the episode ends, though, it’s heavily hinted that Allegra and Nash are related, which I didn’t see coming.

Wall of Weird:

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After the success of Arrow, Barry Allen (a.k.a. The Flash) gets his own CW treatment in this comic-themed spin-off.
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