The Flash’s midseason finale went from 0 to 100, taking the season’s lighter tone to a darker one — in a flash.
Season 3 of The Flash ended on a tragic note, in which Barry (Grant Gustin) entered the disabled speed force to save Central City. Since then, the producers promised a much lighter Season four, and so far, the promise has been kept. However, Season four’s midseason finale took a turn for the worse. The last ten minutes of the episode may have been the show’s best yet, proving The Flash knows how to tackle both light and dark stories. The cliffhanger opened a huge door for possibilities as to where our heroes will be when the show returns for its second half of the season January 16th.
RELATED | THE FLASH 408 ROUNDTABLE
In this episode, Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton) was subjected to a difficult dilemma involving Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) and her newlywed husband Barry. Katee Sackhoff returns as Amunet Black, kidnapping Caitlin to use her for her medical expertise. As if things couldn’t have gone worse, The Flash revisits its main villain as Clifford Devoe (Neil Sandilands) kidnaps Barry to teach him a lesson.
After all, he is a teacher first and foremost.
The show also introduced a new metahuman, DC Comics’ Brainstorm aka Dominic Lanse (Kendrick Sampson), whose unique abilities include telepathy. Dominic played a key role in the midseason finale as Caitlin’s surgical subject, and also in Devoe’s mastermind plan.
The episode ended with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger, incorporating the famous DC Comics’ The Flash comic book storyline — The Trial of The Flash.
Here to discuss that crazy cliffhanger and much more is our The Flash roundtable!
Holly (@hollyanderson30) – Social Media Addict who runs two fan pages and loves everything CW, especially The Flash
Tay (@candicekps) – High School Senior, Iris West superfan, and TV show enthusiast
Will (@willmpolk) — blerd, producer @SceneNNerd podcast with host @sjbelmont and big Flash fan.
Fowsia (@iriswestallens) – Lover of all things Iris West and Westallen.
Jessica (@newsflash52) – Lover of all things DC, especially The Flash and Iris WestAllen, and podcast host for Ladies w Gumption.
1. Iris said she’s “not bitter” over Oliver and Felicity interrupting their wedding. We aren’t sure we believe her, but are you bitter about it?
Holly (@hollyanderson30): As a WestAllen fan it’s kind of hard not to be bitter about it. Waiting for years for it to actually happen and when it does Olicity interrupts, not that I am unhappy that they are married but they are going to have their own celebration on Arrow. Then to top it off I seen today the amazing Interrupted honeymoon scene that was deleted so yeah I am a little bitter and a little sad.
Tay (@candicekps): I am extremely bitter about them interrupting the WestAllen wedding. Oliver and Felicity did not just interrupt their wedding, but they also made a scene at the rehearsal dinner. I hope that we get a vow renewal or proper wedding ceremony later in the season — that’s what Barry and Iris Deserve.
Will Polk (@willmpolk): I am glad that they addressed the wedding and Iris West-Allen’s reaction was totally reasonable and quite frankly I am glad they had her feeling the way she did. After all, this day is supposed to be a special one, that has been ruined twice now. The first was a possible marriage to Eddie and now the Earth-X Nazi, so she would understandably be bitter. I must admit, I was not a fan at all of the double wedding and have been on record here at @TVAfterDark and our @SceneNNerd podcast that I thought it took away from both couples.
Fowsia (@iriswestallens): I was for sure bitter when Felicity and Oliver made two of Barry and Iris’ moments, about them. First, they didn’t RSVP to a wedding that Felicity is apart of. Then at Barry and Iris’ rehearsal dinner, Oliver proposes to Felicity. After being interrupted by Nazis, all Barry and Iris wanted to do was make it official. But when they are finally given the chance.. It’s interrupted, again. It’s definitely not proper wedding-etiquette, nor is it proper friendship-etiquette. It was tacky and distasteful. Iris’ feelings were completely warranted, and I’m glad the writers didn’t brush over the fact Oliver and Felicity stole their moments. In a way, it was made up by Oliver admitting he couldn’t top Barry and Iris’ vows!
Jessica (@newsflash52): I will say that I’m less bitter, now that Iris was allowed to be upset about the totally inappropriate wedding interruption. I was really apprehensive that the writers wouldn’t address it. It deserves to be noted that Oliver and Felicity weren’t the only people to go through something during the Nazi invasion. Barry and Iris went through so much to make it to their wedding day. They deserved at least one thing (their wedding) going right, and the least Oliver and Felicity could do was be supportive best friends rather than wedding crashers.
2. Jitters has a Killer Frost themed drink!! What are your thoughts on her newfound status as a hero?
Holly: I thought it was cool that they named a drink after her but I think I consider her a antihero more than a hero.
Tay: It’s a little confusing for me. I feel like the whole separate identity idea absolves Caitlin of a lot of responsibility. Also, I feel like the storyline is still a little messy. I do like that Caitlin recognizes the villainous nature of her alter-ego though.
Will Polk: Caitlin’s feelings are very real and understandable about being the reluctant hero. I appreciate the nod that the Flash writers did here with Killer Frost. That character has a very strong following on social media and was a nice hat tip to that fact. I’ve always liked Caitlin Snow as a character and it really did take for our Earth 1 to become a meta to take her journey to the next level beyond the loss she suffered with Ronnie, and the oh gosh she fell for the wrong guy in Zoom in Season 2. On some level I think Killer Frost is the part of Caitlin that she keeps buried at a sub-conscious level, that could explain the split personality when she changes.
Fowsia: I think that it’s a bit of a stretch to call Killer Frost a hero, mostly because we haven’t seen her in action, fighting along with the good guys a lot. She’s still evil, and still a darker side of Caitlin. She only comes out when Caitlin is angry or afraid, and the one time I rooted for Killer Frost was when she was whopping Nazi ass! If I would were to call her some type of hero, it would be an anti-hero.
Jessica: I really enjoyed Killer Frost during the crossover, I think they made the best use, visually, of her ice powers. I’m not sure how she would feel about all her new found attention because we didn’t get to see her perspective on it. I imagine she would act super put off and annoyed people think she’s a hero, but secretly love the attention. haha. She probably hates that Killer Frost mocha though! lol
3. There’s a common belief that shows get boring once their main couple gets married. What do you think, can Iris and Barry’s relationship stay interesting post-nuptials?
Holly: I have heard that too but this is about the Flash the romance is not the core focus or the show, is it something we enjoy and love yes (well most of us) but that is not all that the show is about.
Tay: Definitely! There’s still so much comic book material for Barry and Iris, as well as Team Flash, to cover. I personally am looking forward to the Tornado Twins and Bart Allen to make an appearance. Honestly, I will always find Barry and Iris’s relationship interesting. I love them so much!
Will Polk: This arc with the upcoming trial, I think will pose a great challenge to #WestAllen and the writers as well. I think that it is an honest portrayal of relationships that things are not always smooth and challenges are always around the corner. The thing that I believe the writers need to avoid is making the marriage a focal point of everything with the show. This is an ensemble cast and each character has a unique voyage. I feel that their relationship should compliment the show and not be the focal point all the time.
Fowsia: Yes! I definitely think it can still be interesting post-nuptials. We’ve seen Barry and Iris be together for over a season now, and the show has provided some good angst and plots between the two. Now that they are married, nothing has changed other than Iris’ last name and adding a couple of legal documents into the mix. I think the show is already giving them some meat, especially now that Barry is headed to jail. Barry and Iris have been separated more than any couple over the course of the show, and now we get to see how the separation affects them. I am ready for some intense angst!
Jessica: Absolutely! I think that’s a common misconception with tv in general. For the Flash in particular, there’s a lot of comic material and classic storylines that happen while Barry and Iris are married. Plus, with time travel being possible, there’s a lot the writers can pull from, including future kids and grandkids traveling to the present. We’re seeing that now this season possibly Dawn showing up at the wedding. This season’s Big Bads are a supervillain married couple. If the Devoes, as a married couple, can be some of the most interesting villains the show has ever had, the writers can also continue to find interesting challenges for Barry and Iris to face together as man and wife.
4. Apparently Team Flash hangs out with Killer Frost semi-regularly. Thoughts?
Holly: That I don’t really get, because Caitlin says she only appears when she is scared or angry and no one is scared or angry regularly. But anyways I think it’s good that they hang out with her, keep her from doing things she shouldn’t and maybe keep her more connected to her Caitlin side.
Tay: I find that entire dynamic incredibly weird. Killer Frost actively plotted against Barry and played a part in Iris’s potential death. It’s crazy that Team Flash forgave her so fast, and didn’t think twice about her hanging out with them.
Will Polk: This again to me is a nice tip by the writers to the fans of the show and particular Killer Frost. I think Caitlin was right to feel like thanks guys you really know how to make a person feel welcome around here. Plus, given that they should know how their friend feels about Killer Frost, they were really not sensitive to that.
Fowsia: I thought this was a complete surprise, especially considering Killer Frost’s track record. I assume that we are supposed to believe that she is a good person now, just a darker side of Caitlin. I do wonder though, how they managed to hang out with her since she only comes out to play when Caitlin is angry or scared. Did they purposely try to get her angry or scare her to hang out with her cooler alter-ego? Hah! After that bit, I did understand where Caitlin’s frustration was coming from.
Jessica: I’d hang out with her (sorry, Caitlin)! I laughed a lot during that scene even though I felt a little bad Caitlin felt left out. Ralph could have been a little less enthusiastic about his preferences. I would like to know the story behind “BAKING Soda!”
5. Harry told Iris that she had to choose between her husband and her maid-of-honor. If you were in Iris’s position, what would you do?
Holly: I honestly don’t know how Iris did what she did. I know I couldn’t choose but I guess having total faith that your man can take care of himself helps in choosing.
Tay: Unlike Iris, I am not team leader in that sense. She made a decision without emotional interference, which I would not be able to do. Therefore, I would pick my husband without a second thought.
Will Polk: I would have made the same choice. I think Iris had to really get beyond the slogan “we are the flash” and learn that if she is going to play this role as team leader she has to trust each members’ ability and as Harry said not allow them all to get stretched too thin. In addition, the “we are the Flash,” between her and Barry diminished in my opinion everyone else on the Team. She made the correct call in that Barry indeed has the skills and abilities to take care of himself in this situation. Iris saw what Amunet was capable of when they first encountered her so it was better to use the resources of Team Flash to help Caitlin.
Fowsia: To start off, I think Iris made the most logical choice — making her best fit as team leader. She thought about the situation from an objective standpoint. She didn’t let her love for Barry, the man she just promised to stick by, get in the way of the logistics. She’s always had the level-head, and I’m sure it couldn’t have been easy at all. In the end, she made the right choice, and I’m glad that Barry reassured her that he was proud of her. As for what I would’ve done, I’d like to think I’d choose the most logical choice, which in this case would be Caitlin. However, I just married the love of my life and we finally got our happy ending — now he’s been abducted and I have a choice to save him. It’s a very difficult dilemma to be subjected to. But again, I’d think I’d choose Caitlin considering the speed force monitor to find Barry wasn’t working anyways!
Jessica: Reading the episode description, I had a lot of theories about what Iris would do. Logically, if Iris thought they would need Killer Frost’s help to free Barry, you save Caitlin first and vice versa if you need Barry to save Caitlin. However, since Cisco couldn’t even vibe Barry to see what his situation was, I think Iris made the right choice. She knew Caitlin couldn’t use her powers. Caitlin was the most in need of help. Iris trusted Barry to be able to save himself, and he did!
6. Holy crap!! The Thinker stole Dominic’s body!! Did you see that coming?!
Holly: I didn’t see that coming at all, if anything I thought DeVoe was going to try and steal Barry’s body or powers but not Dominic’s.
Tay: No! I love that the writers used this approach. This entire arc is so interesting to me.
Will Polk: Did not see that coming as part of how the Thinker was going to save his life using Brainstorm. I thought it was going to involve him trying to tap into Barry’s meta powers to help heal his weakening body.
Fowsia: In a way, I did! I didn’t think he would steal Dominic’s body, and I knew sometime this season that he would have to put his mind and soul into another person’s body because his was deteriorating. My guess was that eventually he would steal Barry’s body! So I did not see stealing the new guys’ body as an option. Dominic, sadly, seems to be the perfect fit — considering he’s telepathic, making the Thinker even harder to outsmart.
Jessica: I had a feeling the Trial of the Flash storyline was coming. I also guessed that from ep 7 when we learned that Devoe’s body was deteriorating quickly, that Clifford was in need of a new one. So I put two and two together that Devoe would try to set Barry up for murder of his old body, but I definitely did not see the twist of Dominic being Devoe’s new body! I was so shook! This season has really benefited from the writers pre-planning. I’m so impressed!
7. That cliffhanger!!! Oh my goodness. How the heck is Barry going to get out of this one?
Holly: That is a question I will be wondering all during hiatus, hopefully the team at Starlabs can come up with something to help him.
Tay: I honestly have no idea! I am honestly so anxious for “The Trial of the Flash” arc. My theory is that Barry will confess that he’s The Flash. Also, the when Barry said, “Don’t run”, my heart literally shattered. The next half of the season will definitely put me in emotional turmoil.
Will Polk: I called the framing of Barry for murder a few weeks ago (Nov. 22) on Twitter and again on our @SceneNNerd podcast this week as we were projecting ahead after the crossover. The clues were all set up all the way back to Season 1, when we saw that image of Barry seeing himself in jail as he was traveling through time. Then fast forward to this season’s episode “Therefore, I am,” and the Devoes’ getting the restraining order against Barry. Very good mid-season finale.
Fowsia: In this case, I hate being right. I knew that Devoe would frame Barry for his murder — in a way, even if Barry thinks he defeated Devoe, even in death, Devoe defeats him! So I did speculate this would happen, but I thought it would be Devoe’s last resort! I certainly didn’t expect it to happen so soon — but I’m glad it did. I definitely don’t think Barry is going to reveal his identity, though. Lastly, I have no idea how Barry is going to get out of this one, but I’m excited to see how it plays out! Trial of The Flash, here we come!
Jessica: I feel like fans have been excited for this storyline since we caught a glimpse of it in the Speed Force in Season 1. Trial of the Flash is coming!!! It’s a very stressful situation for Barry, but, with Cecile as his defense attorney, I’m hopeful she can prove his innocence. Also, since we known Dawn (Jessica Parker Kennedy’s character) is making another appearance on the Flash this season, I think it would be a really nice surprise to have her help in her father’s defense!
Final Verdict: It’s safe to say that The Flash’s midseason finale took us all for a spin, ending on a crazy note that most of us did not see coming!
We aren’t going to lie, the episode was a bit slow — that was until the last ten minutes. Let’s just say all our jaws dropped. The Flash may have delivered its best and most shocking mid-season finale yet, leaving Barry and Team Flash in a very interesting predicament. In the preview for its next episode, Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) advises Barry that if he reveals his identity as The Flash to the court and public, he will be absolved from all charges. I mean, Barry revealed his identity to any and everyone, including Linda (Malese Jow), Julian (Tom Felton) and Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) — even to those at the bar in “Girls Night Out.” To be fair, he was drunk then, and Cecile has a pretty good point. The Flash revealing his identity would be a huge game changer for this season and even the characters who are associated with him. Seriously, would Joe get fired for lying and withholding information from Captain Singh (Patrick Sabongui) and the force? Phew!
RELATED | CRISIS ON EARTH X REVIEW
The Flash is really showing off this year with its non-speedster villain, adding a new layer to the show and its depth. It’s safe to say that the writers learned from previous seasons that diving into the villain’s backstory and motives so late into the season wasn’t the best idea. This year feels fresh, as Devoe’s motives and actions are being revealed early on.
The Trial of The Flash has always been a highly anticipated storyline. It’s obviously a bit different in the comics, where Barry kills Reverse Flash for almost-killing his fiancee Fiona, after Reverse Flash killed his wife — Iris West-Allen. Since we don’t want another season of Iris’s impending doom (the woman has gone through too much), fans have been eagerly waiting to see how the show would bring this storyline to life. Now, we know! And it’s nuts.
Lastly, we have to give a shout-out to Judalina Neira and Sam Chalsen for writing this jarring episode, leaving people wondering how Team Flash will get out of this one. They were able to weave in the subplots with the main plot organically! As seen above, most of our roundtable didn’t see Devoe’s body-switching plan coming, so bravo to them for leaving fans shocked!
When The Flash returns for its 10th episode in the new year, Barry will be put to trial in front of his friends and family (which is sure to ruin his reputation as a CSI — before it’s revealed he didn’t murder Devoe, of course). How will Team Flash prove Barry’s innocence? Or will Barry reveal to the city he’s The Flash? Make sure to tune in! We do not want to miss it!