For a Smart Guy Barry Allen Can Be Pretty Dumb

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Barry thinks too much with his heart…

The Flash has been an enjoyable show over its first two seasons. For the most part, Barry Allen has been the superhero we all want him to be. He’s a guy who loves saving the day and helping people. He’s also a smart scientist but man he can do some dumb stuff.

The Flash -- "Enter Zoom" -- Image FLA206A_0378b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Zoom and Grant Gustin as The Flash -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Last season Barry was obsessed with going back in time and preventing his mother’s death. Yeah, it’s a noble idea. But as any Dr. Who or David Bowie fan will you tell you “you can’t change time.” Trying to do so will just make matters a whole lot worse. Yet Barry plowed forwarded putting the needs of one against the needs of the many. He risked destroying everything to bring his mom back. Not a good superhero move at all. In the end, everything wasn’t destroyed but he did manage to open a rift between his Earth and a parallel Earth. Thus allowing the deadly Zoom into his Earth to wreak havoc.

From there Barry seems to get dumber. He heads to Earth-2 to track down Zoom on his home turf. Instead of keeping his mind on the prize he ends up fascinated by his powerless Earth-2 doppelgänger being married to Iris. Barry knocks out “other Barry” and wastes time playing house with Iris. This ends up getting Earth-2 Joe dead. Sure, that Joe didn’t like Barry, but he certainly didn’t deserve to die.

SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE LAST EPISODES YET

Barry continues the trend of putting the needs of a friend in front of the needs of the many. Zoom has Wally West and demands Barry’s speed in return for Wally’s life. Barry decides to take the deal. He’s not even thinking that “Gee without my speed nobody will be able to stop this crazed superhuman from killing whomever he wishes.” This one is also on Harrison Wells, who against his better judgment helped Barry transfer his speed to Zoom. Really between Barry, Harrison, Caitlin and Cisco they couldn’t come up with a better plan than, “Yep Zooms a crazy mad man but let’s give him the speed.” Zoom for his part doesn’t kill Wally but takes Caitlin.

Next, Wells may have a way for Barry to get his speed back giving him a chance to stop Zoom. Instead of saying, “yes let’s do this!” Barry dilly-dallys and when your suppose to be the Flash that’s not a good thing. On one hand you can sort of see Barry’s logic about being afraid what another particle accelerator accident could do. Kind of weird time for Barry to start thinking of the needs of the many. Plus, there is already a crazed super human killer at large in the city who threatens to kill anybody who opposes him. Yet it still takes the murder of a dozen innocent cops to spring Barry into action.

After that, due to a “mishap” Barry ends up in the Speed Force (It’s best not to think about it).  With a bit of effort from his friends and soul-searching on his part, Barry returns from the Speed Force.  Zoom is still free and crazy and all, but Barry is big eyed and sweetly optimistic that “the force is with us.”   Of course, as pretty much-telegraphed, things don’t work out so well for Barry as Zoom kills his dad.  Zoom does this to show Barry how they are alike.

In the finale, it turns out Zoom’s main goal is to just prove he is the fastest man on any Earth.  He simply wants to race Barry.  Oh, he also wants to use Barry’s speed plus his to power up a doomsday type of device that will destroy all the multiverse Earth’s except this Earth.  Barry’s team realizes it’s pretty foolish of Barry to even consider this.  They knock him out and place him in a holding cell.  Suffice to say, Barry gets out and finally manages to defeat Zoom and save the multiverse.  All appears to be fairly good.  Iris even wants to hook up.  But no, Barry is not content.  He decides once again, the “heck with all of reality” he travels back in time and saves his mom.  He realizes he messed things up big time when he sees his past self disappear.  Good job Barry, good job.

Yes, it appears the writers are setting up Flashpoint from the comics for season 3.  Which if done well should be quite fun.  Still, let’s hope when it’s over Barry (and the writers) learn a lesson and in the future, Barry will act more like the smart dude he is.

John Zakour
John Zakour is a humor / sf/ fantasy writer with a Master's degree in Human Behavior. He has written thousands of gags for syndicated comics, comedians and TV shows (including: Rugrats, The tonight show and, Joan River's old TV show.) John has written seven humorous SF novels for Daw books (the first The Plutonium Blonde was named the funniest SF book of 2001 by The Chronicle of Science Fiction). John has also written three YA books, four humorous self-help books and three books on HTML. John has also optioned two TV shows and three movies. John currently writes his own syndicated comics, Working Daze and Maria’s Day for Universal Press and has a regular following with over 100,000 readers. John currently writes Bart Simpsons comics for Bongo comics. Spacerun, a video game John wrote the story to recently passed 100,000 sales. In the 80s and 90s John was a computer programmer and web guru for Cornell University and was also an EMT and judo instructor.

1 COMMENT

  1. The biggest problem with the Flash TV series is that it has to stretch problems which The Flash should be able to solve, well, super-fast with his speed and intelligence through an entire TV season.

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