The Flash Season 7 Episode 1 Review – An Exploration of Loss
The Season 7 premiere of The Flash on the CW jumps right back into the tensions and questions of Season 6.
What is Eva truly planning? How will Iris get out of the Mirrorverse? What will The Flash do when the Speed Force dies? And how will Nash deal with having every Harrison Wells from the Multiverse trapped inside him?
Let’s speed into a recap of the first episode and find out. So, without further ado: SPOILER ALERT!
Loss of Support System
Iris West-Allen has been stuck in the Mirrorverse for weeks. Maybe months. She doesn’t know how long it’s been, and she doesn’t know how difficult it will be to get out. And while Eva McCulloch, who trapped her there in the first place, is intent on driving her insane with false representations of her shattered mind, Iris is focused and determined to escape. Not only that, but she has hope that her Flash Family will save her, if she can’t find a way herself.
But all of it is so much harder to bear without them there. She has always been able to rely on her father, her mother-in-law, her husband, her friends, the entirety of Team Flash! Now, without them there in the Mirrorverse, she has to face these struggles in solitude.
Still, Iris is not hopeless. Despite the loss of her support system, she has found determination and ingenuity beyond anything we’ve seen before. She has proven time and time again to be committed to being a hero in her own right, first trying to save Eva McCulloch, and then trying to save others in the Mirrorverse. Every action she takes is one step in the direction towards freedom, and she knows it.
Loss of Identity
Last season, we met Eva McCulloch, the supposedly dead wife of Joseph Carver. Carver was running the corrupt McCulloch Technologies company in her absence, and using it as a cover for his much more sinister work for the group Black Hole. He ran a massive criminal web using her brilliant inventions for evil. When Eva finally emerged from the Mirrorverse, she took back the power of the company and the criminal web.
Still, she insists that she’s on the same team and is working towards the same goals as The Flash. But if that were the case, she wouldn’t be keeping Iris trapped inside the Mirrorverse, and she wouldn’t be creating cataclysmic city-wide dangers and performing devious deeds. She is a danger to the city and to The Flash Family, but knowing that doesn’t make it easier to catch her. Since she harnesses the power of the Mirrorverse, she is able to make afterimages and reflections of herself that move as fast as light itself, faster than Barry has ever run.
But the biggest revelation about her character comes at the very end of the episode, where she finally gains the courage to watch a video on one of her husband’s old flash drives. The video reveals conclusively that Eva, the real Eva, actually died the night of the particle accelerator explosion. That means that the Eva we’re seeing now really is a Mirror copy.
Now, she doesn’t know who she really is. She has to grapple with the fact that her entire sense of self is false. Everything that she believed was a lie. Who will she become? For heroes, there is something brave about rising out of the ashes of loss, like a phoenix. With someone this villainous, there’s no telling how unhinged she may become.
Loss of Control
In the last season of The Flash, Barry Allen learned that the Speed Force (the dimension/cosmic force that grants him his powers) is dying. Without the Speed Force, he would lose his speed, his accelerated healing, and more. He’d likely lose the city to the impossible and terrible machinations of Eva McCulloch. And with the Speed Force dying, he only had so much of the Speed Force’s power left within him. 1% of the Speed Force, to be exact. And so to preserve it, he slept in Cryostatis, freezing his entire body so that it could maintain every bit of Speed Force left.
All of this was to buy the team time to make an artificial Speed Force. He wasn’t fast enough to save Iris. He wasn’t fast enough to fight Eva. And he didn’t have enough energy from the Speed Force to even keep trying. They were running out of options, and they were running out quick.
Barry Allen spent years in complete control of his power. Certainly there were villains to face off with, powers and new abilities to learn, and trials and tribulations through and through. But losing the entire connection to the Speed Force promised the end of it all.
In losing control, he found something new within himself: trust. He trusted his team and he trusted them with his life. Their ingenuity was the only thing between him and oblivion, and it was all he could do. So he let go, stepped back, and had faith in them. He had faith that they would make an artificial Speed Force.
Loss of Loved Ones
No one expected Nash to be the answer to this great scientific mystery. While many of the Harrison Wells from across the Multiverse were the smartest minds of their Earths, Nash Wells was more curious than genius. He used gear from other inventors, and science from other geniuses. He was simply an explorer. But the Harrison Wells trapped in his mind offered him solutions.
In fact, each one of them offered themselves up as a solution to Barry Allen’s problem. They, the multiversal particles still zooming about within Nash Wells, could condense themselves into molecular form, setting off an impossibly powerful chain reaction that would effectively and truly power the Artificial Speed Force. But it took sacrifice. It required an organic pathway to the machine. It required Nash Wells sacrificing his life so that The Flash (and all of his powers) could live.
And in one the most heart-wrenching scenes in the show’s history, he, and every other Harrison Wells from the Multiverse, said goodbye to Barry Allen. A few different voices jumped in to offer their advice and offer their goodbyes. And now, from the loss of every Harrison Wells from every Earth, the Flash was at full power once more.
There was never going to be enough time to say goodbye to Wells. There was a city to save. Harrison Wells’ last words were, “Run, Barry, Run.”
The Flash makes it very clear that loss is only a beginning. All of these things have been a sacrifice. A sacrifice that will bring forth the best in each of these characters from here on out. Loss breeds determination and ingenuity. Loss breeds faith and hope. Loss breeds honor and bravery.
What was your favorite moment from Episode 1 of Season 7 of The Flash? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!