The Flash Season 6 Review

Rating:

Main Cast: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Tom Cavanagh
Created by: Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Geoff Johns

The Flash Season 6 Features a Hero in Crisis

Ramsey:You know, I don’t understand you, Barry. You march towards death without fear, just like Mum. Where is it you get your strength?
Flash: Probably the same place she did: the people I love.

Dead Man Running” (Season 6, Episode 3)

The Flash has been a mixed bag. Season three crashed and burned after a great first two seasons. Season four stumbled, but got back to its feet. Season five might not have soared as high, but it’s closer to the first two seasons than the middle two.

Can season six of The Flash prevail with the double whammy of Crisis on Infinite Earths and COVID-19 bearing down on it? Let’s find out.

The Good

Running Mates

Chester:Are you sure you don’t want some help? ‘Cause, I mean, I’m ready, willing, and caffeinated, sir. Put me in, coach!

“Grodd Friended Me” (Season 6, Episode 13)

New characters joining the cast is expected, but The Flash season six practically adds a new supporting cast.

The first new addition is Chester P. Runk (Brandon McKnight), an excitable scientist and streamer. He accidentally created a black hole that was bound to his body. Flash and his allies neutralized the black hole and invited Chester to join their team after learning that he was smart enough to build advanced technology out of garbage.

Next up is Allegra (Kayla Compton), a teenaged metahuman thief. Allegra has spent her life in and out of juvie for misdemeanors and came to the team’s attention when she was framed for murder. She joins the team after being proven not guilty and offered a chance to make a better life for herself. Allegra can see radiation and fire UV blasts from her hands.

The third addition is Sue Dearbon (Natalie Dreyfuss), a young socialite who had disappeared. Elongated Man was hired to find her. When he finally found Sue, viewers learned that she was a cat burglar and spy who was investigating season six’s Big Bad. Sue and Elongated Man quickly fell into a Batman-and-Catwoman-style relationship.

As always, a new incarnation of Tom Cavagnah’s Harrison Wells debuts in the season. This version is called Nash Wells, a multiversal archaeologist and treasure hunter similar to Indiana Jones. He is introduced seeking revenge on a being called The Monitor who has ties to the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Bloody Business

Ramsey: “I am the world’s salvation. Come to save it from all that ails it. Soon, the entire world will embrace… Bloodwork.”

“The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Part 1” (Season 6, Episode 7)

A variety of villains have menaced The Flash’s heroes. Insane speedsters, malicious masterminds, and crusading serial killers have bedeviled our heroes from the start. But all those threats seem like child’s play compared to this sanguine supervillain.

Doctor Ramsey Rosso (Sendhil Ramamurthy) is a hematologist suffering from HLH cancer. He approaches Flash’s team for help, thinking he can develop a cure with their stockpiled dark matter. They refuse because dark matter is too dangerous to experiment with, but Rosso steals a sample and creates a prototype cure.

Surprising no one, Rosso immediately tried the cure on himself. It did suppress his cancer, but also gave him the power to manipulate blood and created vampiric tendencies. By infecting people with his blood, Rosso can manipulate them and transform them into zombie-like “Blood Brothers.”

Rosso began calling himself Bloodwork and spreading his blood far and wide. Unlike villains who would do so for power or conquest, Bloodwork honestly believes he is helping others by giving them eternal life. It’s nice to see a sympathetic villain after five seasons of psychotic assholes. Throw in cool powers and a macabre horror aesthetic that make up one of The Flash’s best villains.

Reset Button

Killer Frost:Crisis is over. We beat the bad guy and you’re still worried because…?
Cisco:Because… an infinite number of Earths just suffered a cosmic heat death from which only… one Earth was rebuilt. So now, not only do Superman, Supergirl, and Black Lightning live here, but our entire history has been rewritten so they always lived here [rips off his jacket to show a Superman shirt] AND I DON’T REMEMBER OWNING THIS SHIRT!

“Marathon” (Season 6, Episode 10)

The Crisis on Infinite Earths had a major effect on the Arrowverse. Many characters died and entire universes were annihilated in the ruckus. The heroes managed to fix things by condensing the multiverse into one universe, but that has created its own problems and gimmicks.

All of the Arrowverse characters now live in the same universe, removing the need to jump from world to world for crossovers. The fusion was imperfect, leading to countless retcons, changes, and alterations to the past.

The biggest benefit to The Flash is that they now have free reign to recast the villains and introduce new versions of them. The Flash has always been cavalier about killing off characters, but now they can be replaced.

The Bad

Mirror, Mirror

Carver:I had the most brilliant minds in the world study that Mirrorverse. You know what they found? It’s incompatible with the human brain. That place warps the mind until the person is no longer recognizable.”

“Success Is Assured” (Season 6, Episode 21)

The Flash immediately recast some villains. Unfortunately, the circumstances surrounding the new Mirror Master causes her to crash and burn.

Throughout the season, Flash’s wife Iris finds clues about a mysterious organization called Black Hole. She tracks down a lead at McCulloch Tech and sneaks in to investigate. While passing by a mirror, she is dragged into another dimension called The Mirrorverse.

Iris meets a woman named Eva McCulloch, the company’s former CEO, who can now manipulate mirrors. She has been trapped in the Mirrorverse for years. Rather than explain her backstory and ask for help, Eva begins a convoluted scheme to replace Team Flash with mirror duplicates, starting with Iris.

No one picks up that Mirror Iris is an impostor. That is stupid considering the team’s constant interactions with shapeshifters, time duplicates, and doppelgangers. She acts suspicious as hell, and Flash constantly mentions she’s acting strangely, but no one thinks for a second that something is wrong. 

The Mirrorverse plot pales in comparison to the season’s first half. It is over-complicated, drags on far too long, and requires the heroes to be idiots to get past step one.

Real Life Writes The Plot

Ralph:What are you going to do?
Nash:I dunno. I’m making it up as I go.

“Success Is Assured” (Season 6, Episode 21)

You can’t prepare for every eventuality. No matter how many failsafes you have, real life will eventually come up and whack you with the fail bat. Even The Flash can’t outrun that.

Recurring actor Danielle Panabaker took time off during her first pregnancy. The writers had her Killer Frost character seriously wounded by a villain. The team benches Frost and sends her to heal at a hospital specializing in meta humans. The delays caused by the coronavirus may make this subplot pointless.

Elongated Man stepped up as the secondary protagonist of The Flash season six. He was given more screen time, a love interest in Sue, and more prominence. Unfortunately, he was played by Hartley Sawyer, who was fired after many offensive tweets he made in the past were discovered. The writers have announced that the role will be recast for one episode and Elongated Man will be written out of the story.

The biggest bomb to hit The Flash season six was COVID-19. The cast and crew were forced to wrap early as writers retooled an episode into the season finale. This leaves several plot lines and characters unsettled until season seven rolls around. It was the right call and an unforeseeable issue, but it does severely screw with the pacing.

The Verdict

The Flash’s sixth season is an even split. The first half is great, with many new characters, an excellent villain, and build up for The Crisis. The second half trips over a convoluted plot and real world complications. The Flash season six is good, but leaves season seven facing an uphill sprint.

More of The Flash

Season 1 Review ~ Season 2 Review ~ Season 3 Review ~ Season 4 Review ~ Season 5 Review

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