3:38 pm EST, November 27, 2019

‘The Flash’ season 6, episode 7 review: Mind games

The Flash 6x07 is, quite literally, a fight for Barry's soul.

With “Crisis on Infinite Earths” only 48 hours away, Barry is forced to deal with his feelings over the consequences of the crisis on The Flash season 6, episode 7, in quite an interesting and unusually charged way.

The Flash season 6, episode 7 finally begins to give fans what they’ve been waiting for: Iris and Barry’s reaction to his upcoming death. As only the first part of the mid-season finale, however, there’s still much more to explore, especially after Barry’s not-so-shocking choice.

However, despite only half of the story being told, there’s a lot to unpack, especially after Barry’s mental trip with Ramsey and the Speed Force, Iris’ avoidance and denial, and Frost freezing up.

The Flash season 6 episode 7

‘The Flash’ season 6, episode 7 review

The Flash season 6, episode 7 proved to be a very interesting and unexpected episode. Though I had a few issues, I did genuinely enjoy the episode, even if Barry’s decision to choose Ramsey’s truth was a bit infuriating (which I’ll get into later on). The focus on both Barry and Iris reminded me of their power as a couple, and I’m only disappointed that there weren’t more scenes between the two of them (though I expect they’re coming in the next episode).

The writers made a brave and bold choice by having this Ramsey stuff go down only hours before “Crisis on Infinite Earths” is supposed to begin, on the day Barry is supposed to die, and it’s heartbreaking to see how much Barry is already going through and how he won’t even have a chance to breathe before attempting to save the multi-verse.

As the first half of a two-part episode, I have to say I’m impressed. Usually, the first half is the boring half, but this episode just kept throwing things, one after another, leaving no time to be bored or to really even comprehend what was going on.

The Flash season 6, episode 7

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The fight for Barry’s soul

Watching The Flash season 6, episode 7 was actually pretty hard. Seeing Barry fight off Ramsey’s infection for so long, just to turn on the Speed Force in such a dark way (literally doing the same thing Eobard Thawne did to his mother, yikes), it was emotionally draining. Personally, it took a little while to wrap my head around everything and accept Barry’s choice, even though it was clearly the wrong one.

It’s always wonderful to see the Speed Force in the form of Nora Allen because it makes what the omniscient being “feels” about Barry all the more realistic. It’s beautiful and upsetting that this is the form Barry sees his mother in most, and this episode just reiterated that Barry has yet to find peace with his past, which I hope he is able to do well before the series ends.

Barry Allen, since he was a kid, has dealt with the loss he’s come to know as a result of being a speedster. Literally his entire life has been shifted by the Speed Force, and he lost his mother, his father, and so many others as a result of it. His anger with the Speed Force and fate for forcing the speedster life upon him is understandable. Barry is only human after all.

The Speed Force is, directly or indirectly, the reason he’s lost so much in his life. His parents died because the Speed Force chose him and put him on a certain path as the Flash, leading to Eobard and Zoom murdering his parents right in front of him. Even Nora West-Allen being erased from existence is something Barry blames on the Speed Force, though that’s not as justified as the others.

Like any human, Barry’s afraid to die. As brave and strong as Barry is, it’s impossible to maintain all of the time. Ramsey’s infection seeping into his body only two days before “Crisis on Infinite Earths” is why it worked; Barry’s unresolved feelings over his fated death were stronger than ever, just hidden below the surface.

It’s okay to be a little angry with Barry for making the wrong choice, but only if you can understand why he made said choice. Fear is a terrible thing and can drive you to do things you never expected or imagined you’d do. Ramsey preyed on this fear, and maybe he got a little lucky that he just so happened to infect Barry so close to his predicted date of death.

Iris and Team Citizen

Seeing Iris and the Central City Citizen team finally get some of the spotlight was, for me, the highlight of The Flash season 6, episode 7. For an arc we were promised would be “on fire” during the first half of this season, it was anything but; however, it’s exciting that there’s a big story beginning, clearly about a secret organization, that Iris is getting herself wrapped up in.

While Allegra is quite interesting, I’m confused by all of the focus on her this season. Is it just because her cousin is one of the meta-humans connected to this organization? Even so, I wish the relationship between Iris and Kamila would be explored further since she was Iris’ first employee and they must have developed a decent bond over the last several months. So far, I’m just not all that intrigued by Allegra, though I’m open to that changing.

And, at long last, we see Iris just barely begin to deal with her feelings over “Crisis on Infinite Earths” and Barry’s supposedly inevitable death. Denial is a very human emotion, and like we saw with Oliver Queen on Arrow season 8, episode 6, accepting fate can be difficult. Neither Barry nor Iris have done so, and it’s just going to hurt even more when it comes to pass.

(On another note, it’s very disappointing how it’s only two days before it’s supposed to happen and Barry and Iris have barely spent any time together, nor have they talked about it, clearly. This is a story that should have been explored a little in the beginning, say episode 3, and then further developed later on in the season. Just seeing this now is shameful, in my opinion.)

Frost’s panic attack?

Honestly, I have no idea what was going on with Frost on The Flash season 6, episode 7. Freezing up, in a different way than usual, has never been an issue for her, though I suspect it will play into things later. It’s definitely tied to her finally living her own life. As both Ralph and Barry struggled, it seemed, especially during the latter scene, that she was having an anxiety/panic attack.

The part of the episode that really threw me though was one of the final scenes, where Cisco asked Frost if she was “OK” with Caitlin taking over during the emergencies. Like, what? This story is already so complicated — two separate women, apparently, living in one body — and that’s not being explored, like, at all. Caitlin is being pushed to the side to give Frost a life when it’s her body and that’s absolutely not acceptable.

Despite my love for Frost, this story is starting to feel more and more wrong. I get coming into the spotlight for episodes at a time, and I’ve actually quite enjoyed it, but it’s starting to feel like Frost is more of a person than Caitlin. Her friend is dying soon, her other friend is a villain, and the writers are keeping Caitlin locked up. She should be the only one giving permission to Frost to come out, not the other way around, like is apparently the case with these medical emergency moments.

I feel like this story is going to be used, eventually, to make Frost want to leave Team Flash and live a normal life, whereas Caitlin doesn’t want to do that. It doesn’t seem like Frost finds her powers to be her purpose, but she genuinely wants to live and experience all life has to offer, whereas Caitlin has found purpose with her powers and helping Barry.

All of this said, knowing Danielle Panabaker is pregnant and Frost’s loose wardrobe is easier to hide her body in, it doesn’t look like Caitlin will be returning (much) for the season.

The Flash continues Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW!

Our Score

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