The Flash season 6, episode 14 review: Death of the Speed Force

The Flash -- "Death Of The Speed Force" -- Image Number: FLA614b_0037b2.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as The Flash and Keiynan Lonsdale as Kid Flash -- Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved
The Flash -- "Death Of The Speed Force" -- Image Number: FLA614b_0037b2.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as The Flash and Keiynan Lonsdale as Kid Flash -- Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved /

“You betrayed the Speed Force!” Spoilers for The Flash season 6, episode 14 follow.

Kid Flash has returned to Central City just in time to help The Flash confront a new villain that can control and manipulate time.

The true problems arise though when Barry and Wally’s powers begin to short out.

The speed of dying

After years away from Team Flash, off doing his own thing, Wally West has returned to Central City. He isn’t just back to say hi and catch up though, something is wrong with the Speed Force. This has been a long time coming after everything that Barry has done over the past year. First, “killing” the Speed Force when under the control of Bloodwork and then Crisis happened, remaking the universe. This has been building the entire season, so bringing Wally back into the fold is the smart move to show the ramifications of everything that has happened. Barry’s choices don’t exist in a vacuum and affect more than just himself.

For as much as the death of the Speed Force has been building for the entire season, and even though it’s Barry’s decisions that caused it, it’s easy to not blame him. The character was in a no-win situation when he allowed the Spectre’s essence into the Speed Force, effectively laying the groundwork of killing it. However, without him doing so, there would’ve been no universe left. It’s a classic trolley situation and this episode does a solid job of making that clear.

However, just because Barry was in a no-win situation, it doesn’t make Wally’s anger toward Barry any less valid. And the fact that Wally is basically a Buddhist monk now makes that anger all the more palpable. This allows for some great character work for both Wally and Barry in this episode. Their relationship has been very hit or miss ever since Wally was introduced to the show. Now, by allowing him to grow up off-screen though, it allows for them to no longer be mentor/mentee, but rather peers. It’s nice character work to allow them to be angry, but also show their growth together into dealing with their pain with each other.

The Turtle II

A new person taking the mantle of Turtle has arrived in Central City as well, making for some brutal murders. This is also Cisco’s first meta-crime after returning from his world travels and, as it turns out, he’s been looking to find this new Turtle for weeks now. However, she keeps on slipping from his grasp.

This episode doesn’t really focus on this new Turtle’s crimes though, but rather Cisco’s reaction to being back home. His belief that he was going to truly be changed as a person, much like Wally has been, is massively relatable to anyone who has traveled or has done an extended period of time away from where you call home.

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The problem here is though is how it’s handled. There are only two real scenes of Cisco dealing with his arc in this episode and this causes an incredibly quick change of heart for him in this episode. He’s angry that he didn’t completely change and then suddenly, it’s like he’s okay with it. It’s way too quick for the arc’s own good. It’s a great idea that is completely mishandled and rushed in this episode.

Nash’s demons

Barry, Cisco, and Wally aren’t the only ones dealing with their demons here though, but Nash is actively trying to root out his demons. After being rebuffed by Cisco though, it’s clear that his demons, most likely a carryover from his time as Pariah, will continue to persist. And that’s when Eobard Thawne comes into the picture.

After the tease at the end of last week’s episode, it’s wonderful to see Thawne back in the picture. In so many cases recurring villains that seemingly won’t die are incredibly annoying, but with Thawne, it’s always a treat. And now, he’s even more terrifying somehow that he’s possessed Nash’s body. He doesn’t have his powers, but the fact that he can even possess Nash’s body is unsettling and really treats him as the horror villain he truly is. Here’s hoping next week’s episode once again puts him to great use.

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The Flash does some solid character work with Barry and Wally this week when it came to the death of the Speed Force, but missed the target almost entirely with Cisco’s story.