“Family Matters: Part 2” Review of S7 E11 of THE FLASH

The final battle of the forces is here! Nora/Speed Force wants to eliminate all the other avatars of the new forces. And, they want to do the same to her. Barry and Iris want to save them all, which means something has to give. Who lives, who dies, who tells their story? (Ok, enough “Hamilton” references). Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

NOTE: This review is posting prior to this episode of THE FLASH airing in the Pacific Time Zone USA. If you haven’t seen the show yet, STOP HERE and come back after watching. You’ll be glad you did!

Last episode it seemed that all of the new forces, along with Iris, had been killed by Nora/Speed Force. How to get out of that? Thank Bashir/Psych for the save. He tricked Nora and Deon into thinking everyone had died, using an aspect of his Sage Force powers that had not yet been seen. Now the question is whether Barry and Iris can save everyone from Nora in the long run.

Things are getting worse all over Central City. Lightning storms are striking everywhere, with one bolt even hitting Cecile. While Barry searches for Deon, he stashes Iris, Bashir and Alexa into a sliver of the old Speed Force, in that facsimile of the old West house that exists there. That doesn’t work for long, as Bashir and Alexa escape to return to Central City to face down Nora.

Eventually, Deon rejoins the other new forces, with apologies for what he had tried to do before. Now, we see Deon, Alexa and Bashir working together. And that’s a good thing, because they may be the avatars…

…but the actual forces are literally swirling out of control! If Barry can’t stop it, those forces will destroy everything! The battle starts out in the Speed Force itself but quickly returns to an endangered Central City. The forces are getting stronger, taking the shape of a whirlwind.¬†While Barry tries the old “run up the tornado” trick, the showdown between Nora and the other force avatars comes to a turning point.

The new forces distract Nora just long enough for Deon to use his power on her. Not to attack, but to show her the potential future they are headed for. It’s bleak – she’s the only being left in the world, and the loneliness makes her snap back to reality. She is broken down, sobbing, almost inconsolable at what her actions nearly caused. Alexa convinces her to join with them, to make a family of the four forces.

And that’s just in time. They combine powers, giving a significant boost in speed to Barry. He saves the day with their help. After that, they go into the newly revamped and much nicer Speed Force, ready to work together. Barry learns that the combined forces will boost his speed more than even he could imagine (I’m sure that will come into play soon).

This pushes us into several side plots, so lets hit them in turn:

  • CIsco and Kamilla are making Chester and Allegra a little uncomfortable with their PDAs. But, what are those awkward glances between Chester and Allegra?
  • Cisco gets a test from Chip Cooper, asking for a decision – we’ll see that next week as we say goodbye to one of the true breakout characters of this series.
  • Cecile recovers, to find Joe right at her side.
  • Frost is one of dozens of metas who escaped Iron Heights after a lightning strike. Frost goes after the other metas, returning them to custody. That, and a good word from the Flash, gets her out on probation. (Yes, she was sentenced to life without parole, but just like comic book science there is a comic book justice system. Let’s just go with it).
  • Frost has been fighting that bartender from earlier in the season, but finally comes to terms that she has a crush on him. We’ll likely see more of that soon.
  • Barry and Iris decide now is the time to start a family. And yes, that’s to foreshadow some appearances later in the season

NOTES:

  • We have hit an important point in the season, with the wrap up of the Force arc. We’ll likely see them again, but it’s on now to find the big bad of the season. This has been a good arc, but I am looking forward to whatever comes next.
  • This continues the thread of the season, that sometimes talking someone down, saving them from themselves, is the best solution. There was still plenty of action and some outstanding fight scenes in this episode, so there was something for everyone in this episode.
  • There were some slightly hokey moments, particularly after the force storm ended. It wasn’t terrible, but it was still a little on the overly sweet side. Thankfully, there was only a little of that in an otherwise excellent episode.
  • Yes, the explanation for Frost’s probation was a little thin. But, I’m glad to see Frost returning as a character. She has become an integral part of the show, right alongside Caitlin.

SUMMARY:

The Force arc seems to end here, and we are close to saying goodbye to one of our favorite characters. We got spectacular action scenes, some good CGI, and a change to the status quo with Barry gaining even more speed by episode’s end. I’ll give this episode a 9/10. But, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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