The Flash episode “Back to Normal” saw Barry without his powers and forced to fight another powerful metahuman. Barry barely survived the encounter and that’s why Harrison Wells decided that he needed to help Barry get back his speed. Wells told Barry at the end of the episode that he is going to get his speed back and that means Wells is going to plan another particle accelerator explosion.
Though Harrison Wells is an obviously smart guy and aware of the risks that his plan holds, there is no way this plan isn’t going to go completely to hell. It’s going to be a disaster. Rather than a cause for tragedy though that makes things very exciting for the future of The Flash.
Spoilers May Follow for The Flash Season 2.
Great Power and Greater Responsibility
Harry’s plan won’t be a total failure. It’s more than likely that Barry will get his speed back in “Rupture.” In that way the experiment will be a success and Barry will be up to full power to have a huge race with Zoom in the season finale. It’s just as likely though that Barry’s speed coming back is about the only good thing to happen from Harry’s big gamble, at least for the characters of The Flash. The audience is only going to benefit.
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The last time a particle accelerator exploded on The Flash, the incident created a lot more villains than it did heroes. Out of everyone in Central City, Cisco and Barry are about the only two people (alive) who have used their powers for good. Everyone has taken their brush with power and go straight up evil with it. Week to week on The Flash, the show has been about the heroes trying to contain and imprison metahumans caused by the particle accelerator. The only difference being that season 1 dealt with Earth-1 villains and season 2 has revolved primarily around Earth-2 baddies. There is a pretty clear pattern there and it would make perfect sense of season 3 of The Flash to deal with the after effects of this third explosion.
While it would be a bit repetitive (and hopefully season 3 of The Flash won’t involve yet another super powered explosion) this third particle accelerator could be the most interesting one yet. In season 1 Barry hunted down metahumans because of who he was, he wanted to help people. In season 2, Barry had no choice but to fight metahumans because they were trying to kill him on Zoom’s orders. If the new particle accelerator does create more evil metahumans, the blame for that will be almost entirely on Barry’s shoulders.
It’s true that Barry does need his speed back to protect people from Zoom. If the particle accelerator goes wrong though the blame will be on Barry because he made it happen and brought it into existence. Season 3 could have the most personal metahumans of the week episodes yet as Barry will be forced to confront (over and over) a terrible situation that is responsible for creating, even if it is indirectly.
It’s even incredibly possible that this particle accelerator explosion will make Barry’s Caitlin Snow into Killer Frost. While Caitlin has said over and over on The Flash she won’t become a villain and she is not a metahuman, that doesn’t always have to be the case. It does seem a little bit suspicious that The Flash killed off Killer Frost in “Back to Normal” right before introducing the new particle accelerator and having Caitlin come back to Earth-1.
More Explosions Mean More Heroes
It’s not all doom and gloom though, The Flash still has a few characters that could benefit a bit from a wave of a super powered explosion. Wally West and Jesse Quick are two characters introduced in this season of The Flash that have so far shown no superpowers.
Yet the characters of which they are based in the comics, are definite metahumans. Jesse and Wally eventually suit up in the comics and end up joining Barry as speedsters. Wally even ended up taking over the mantle of The Flash when Barry Allen was presumed dead for a few decades in the comics.
While it might seem rushed to give Jesse powers because The Flash has only just started to use her character, Wally’s entire article seems to be leading to him getting powers at the end of season 2. Wally began in his introduction as a brash, impulsive and unlikable character. Throughout the season though Wally has calmed down considerably, become more responsible and as of the episode “Back to Normal” developed a huge admiration for The Flash.
It would be a perfect conclusion to Wally’s season 2 arc if something happens to him because of the particle accelerator explosion. Wally could end up in a coma like Barry did initially. Or Wally could start showing his own powers at the end of season 2 or the beginning of season 3. It does seem out of the realm of possibility that Wally will start emulating The Flash as soon as he can if he has the Speed Force.
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There’s also the added benefit that Wally being effected by the particle accelator will bring him and Barry closer. One of the weirdest things about Wally’s arc in season 2 is the almost complete lack of interaction between Wally and Barry, despite the fact that they now live in the same house. If Wally starts developing speedster powers Barry is going to be obligated to get involved in Wally’s life both as Barry Allen and The Flash.
Gone Barry Gone
This is not even to mention what The Flash has already spoiled by releasing the episode descriptions for the next few episodes. While episode 20 “Rupture” will see Team Flash wrestle with Harry’s new plan, episode 21 “The Runaway Dinosaur” sounds completely bananas. According to the official episode description, Barry is “gone” and the previously dead villain Girder will be returning. This opens up so many possibilities.
For starters it looks like Wells’ particle accelerator might get Barry back his speed but it will have other negative effects for Barry. It’s absurd to think that The Flash will kill Barry but it could displace him in different ways. Barry could be zapped into another Earth, another time or he could even go inside the Speed Force itself as happens semi-frequently in the comics. (It’s weird, wonderful and very confusing so don’t ask.)
No matter what exactly happens it looks like The Flash is setting up quite a final arc to close out season 2. The particle accelerator looks like it will be the first domino in a set of wacky dominoes that sets off the season finale and season 3.
But what do you think? Will Wells’ plan go terribly wrong?
The Flash season 2 airs Tuesdays at 8pm on The CW.
(Images courtesy of The CW)