“Lately I’ve been sensing there is something wrong with the Speed Force,” says Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) to Barry (Grant Gustin) on his return to Central City in season six episode 14 of The CW’s The Flash.
Episode 14 begins with an exciting scene of a helicopter crashing over Central City. Kid Flash returns to pick up the mantle and use his speedster powers to not only save the passengers and pilot but to dismantle the helicopter while it’s crashing so that the pieces harmlessly land on the ground. Welcome back, Kid Flash! The reunion happens, of course, at S.T.A.R. Labs where a party’s thrown for Wally by Team Flash.
In the Mirror Dimension, Eva (Efrat Dor) uses her meta powers so Iris (Candice Patton) can watch the party. Iris comments on how happy Wally looks and wishes she could be with all of them. Eva overdoes it with her powers and her hand starts to shake. Mirror Iris’ hands begin to shake as well and she spills champagne all over. At just that moment Cisco (Carlos Valdes) returns from his travels to chronicle and categorize all the new metas and changes since Crisis. Everyone welcomes him home with open arms and warm hugs, and the partying continues.
When the party finally breaks up, everyone heads out and Barry and Wally use their speed powers to clean up. Barry has a “hiccup” with his powers and trips and falls to the ground. Wally asks him about it and Barry claims it’s nothing.
Wally confesses he’s sensing something is wrong with the Speed Force and that’s the real reason he came home – to talk to him about it. He asks when was the last time Barry spoke to the Speed Force and Barry admits he can’t remember. He assures Wally nothing is wrong.
The same meta who attacked the helicopter attacks the woman passenger who was saved by Kid Flash and uses her powers to kill her by aging her up. Later, Barry and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) investigate the killing with the help of Cisco and discover this new meta has the same powers as The Turtle in season two. In fact, Cisco has her in his new metahuman enemies book already. Her name…are you ready?…is Turtle 2. (Not Cisco’s finest nickname work.)
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco’s working on a device that should hopefully neutralize the Turtle’s powers when Nash (Tom Cavanagh) arrives and welcomes him home. Nash quickly begins asking Cisco if he saw anyone on his travels from any other Earths. Cisco, starting to get annoyed, says all the other Earths don’t exist so no he didn’t. Nash pushes the question and they get into a yelling match. Nash storms off, almost walking into Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) who asks if she can help him. He quickly grunts out no as he walks on.
Wally meets up with Mirror Iris and she reveals that last fall before Crisis Barry and the Speed Force had an incident. Kamilla (Victoria Park) snaps a photo of the siblings with a new camera Cisco brought back with him. Mirror Iris demands Kamilla delete the photo right away, lying and saying she shouldn’t be taking photos of the staff of The Citizen. Wally leaves to go confront Barry.
Wally finds Barry in his CSI office and asks what happened between him and the Speed Force before Crisis. Barry confesses he ended up attacking the Speed Force due to Bloodwork’s mindgames and now the Speed Force doesn’t want to talk to him. As they’re talking, lightning begins happening all around them and everything turns green.
Barry and Wally are in the Speed Force which has taken the look of Joe’s old house. Barry goes into his room and finds his mother/the Speed Force (Michelle Harrison) lying on his bed looking dreadful. She reveals the Speed Force is dying because of what he did. Barry and Wally are quickly removed out of the Speed Force and back to Barry’s CSI office. Wally loses it and starts yelling at Barry saying it’s all his fault and now it’s too late to fix the Speed Force.
Nash is about to go into Ralph’s office when he sees two red eyes in the distance that quickly race at him.
Barry uses Gideon to return to the Speed Force to see if he can save it from dying. He sees his mother again and he apologizes for attacking the Speed Force. She tells him that’s not why the Speed Force is dying. It’s because when he took Spectre’s power to become his full potential to help save the universe during Crisis it allowed a substance to enter the Speed Force and contaminated it. Barry apologizes and starts to cry, realizing he truly did kill the Speed Force. The Speed Force forgives him and confirms he did the right thing saving the universe.
Just before it dies, the Speed Force tells Barry choosing him was the best decision it ever made and that it loves him.
Wally visits his dad and explains what happened with the Speed Force. He again blames Barry and starts bad-mouthing him. Joe explains Barry will blame himself harder than he or anyone else ever could. Wally starts to regret what he said to Barry and Joe reminds him of how he was when he first met Joe, Iris, and Barry – that he was an angry, confused teenager who finally came into his own. Wally thanks Joe and goes to see Barry.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin talks to Cisco about ignoring her and Nash. He admits that now he’s back, he feels like he’s back where he started. Caitlin tells him to go talk to Nash and she’ll take over creating Velocity 9 to stop Turtle 2.
Wally finds Barry and they apologize to each other and agree that Barry made the only call during Crisis that he could. Caitlin alerts them she’s located Turtle 2 and she’s right outside the CCPD.
Cisco visits Nash, starts to apologize, and asks him to help work on Velocity 9. He’s then immediately wary when he notices Nash has closed the door and is looking at him differently. “You’re not Nash,” says Cisco, just before Nash attacks him.
Nash tries to speed vibrate his hand to kill Cisco but can’t. Cisco realizes Eobard Thawne has taken over Nash but can’t use his powers while in Nash’s body. The two fight and Cisco headbutts Thawne while Thawne says he doesn’t need his powers to kill Cisco. Just as Thawne’s starting to win the fight, Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) tasers him and knocks him out. She was right next door at The Citizen and heard the fight.
Caitlin’s unable to wait for Cisco and gives Barry and Wally her concoction of the Velocity 9 to use against Turtle 2. The two speedsters team up and take her on just as she’s about to kill Joe using her time-slowing powers. The Flash is able to distract her and gives Joe the Velocity 9 to inject into her, which he does.
Later that night, Barry tells Mirror Iris about the death of the Speed Force. She says maybe it’s for the best and maybe he wasn’t meant to be The Flash forever. Cisco calls and says Barry needs to come to the pipeline to see something right away.
Wally heads out to leave on his next Peace Corps mission. Before he leaves, he asks Joe to keep an eye on Iris. Something about her seems off.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco and Barry confront Nash who’s now been taken over by Thawne and is locked up in the pipeline. Barry asks Thawne what he wants and Thawne replies, “What I always want, to kill you and I’m being patient. I can’t wait to slit your throat. When I do, when I get out…believe me, I will get out…I’m going to kill you, then I’m going to kill your family and then I’m going to kill your friends, starting with Nash.”
Barry assures Thawne he and his team will stop him, but Thawne says that in a few weeks Barry will be powerless because the Speed Force is dead. Barry’s surprised Thawne’s aware of that development. Thawne taunts Barry for trusting and believing in a pathetic force. “That’s why I built my own,” says the evil speedster. With an intense stare and evil tone, Thawne finishes with a threat. “I’m coming…I’m coming for you!”
A little later in the main cortex Barry brings Cisco and Caitlin up to speed about the Speed Force dying. Cisco and Caitlin suggest studying the Specter energy but Barry tells them he has a different plan. He points out that Thawne created the negative Speed Force so he wants to build an artificial Speed Force with their help.
The final scene of the episode shows Kamilla at The Citizen looking at the camera and finding the photo she took of Wally and Mirror Iris. It shows Mirror Iris as some sort of mirror entity. Mirror Iris surprises her and shoots Kamilla with the mirror gun.
The Flash Season 6 Episode 14 Review:
Emotional, intense, and moving, episode 14 titled “Death of the Speed Force” reveals the true fallout of what Barry and Spectre did during Crisis, saving the universe but destroying the Speed Force in the process. The episode also has an impressive opening action sequence with Kid Flash’s return saving the people on the helicopter and speed dismantling it.
There are many standout performances, but it’s Tom Cavanagh’s performance as Thawne – now in Nash’s body – that elevates the episode to the level of greatness that was the first season. The way he uses his voice and the looks he gives Barry and Cisco as he talks about killing everyone is truly chilling. It has always been the threat of Thawne (the show’s best villain) defeating and killing The Flash that has made the best storyline in the series.
With Wally, Joe, and Barry starting to notice Mirror Iris isn’t acting the way Iris would, it’s only a matter of time before they realize they have a dangerous stranger among them. Barry, Cisco, and Caitlin better work fast on creating the new Speed Force if they hope to stop Thawne from accomplishing his goal.
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