Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The Flash 8x03 Review: "Armageddon, Part 3" (Three Down, Two to Go) [Contributor: Deborah M]

“Armageddon, Part 3”
Original Airdate: November 30, 2021

We’re on the third part of Barry’s five-part spiral into madness and DCTV crossovers! Will Barry end the world? Will Despero continue to speak like a Shakespeare Company reject? Will more DCTV characters show up in a very limited capacity that stretches the definition of “crossover event”? Only time will tell! But my personal predictions are no, yes, and yes, respectively.


You know things got real last episode because the music at the start of this episode is immediately dramatic and we’ve switched to a hand-held camera to properly convey Barry’s panic. We start off in the Hall of Justice, where Barry is trying to get Black Lightning/Jefferson Pierce to help him. Apparently the “injustice” Barry spoke of last week was a code for the contingency plan all the superheroes came up with: the Injustice Protocols, for when one of them goes rogue. Barry tells Jefferson he needs to take away his powers. Poor Jefferson’s got a vibe like, “I don’t know this man well enough to be talking him off this ledge,” but he’s trying his best and that’s all anyone can ask for.

Barry explains how he’s gone off the rails, ending with the fact that he’d forgotten Joe’s death, and implores Jefferson to take away his powers. Jefferson promises he will, but they have to be absolutely certain because the method they use makes power removal permanent. So... use a different method? You can’t adjust metahuman cuffs to Barry’s powers?

At Chester’s house, which is perhaps the most “normal suburban” house I have ever seen on a TV show that wasn’t a sitcom about a working class family, the rest of the team worries over Barry’s fate. Cecile says their goal is to take care of Barry during his mental health crisis the same way Barry took care of her. Iris interrupts any further discussion by raising the possibility that Barry is actually the sanest of all of them. After all, Despero showed up, told Barry he would suffer a crisis that would break him, and that exact thing happened in a big way. Chester says what I was thinking, which is that Despero traveling from the future would make his ability to predict what would happen to Barry fairly precise.

Cecile asks about Barry forgetting Joe’s death, and it turns out Iris has footage of what would have been Joe’s accidental death by train... if not for the fact that Joe completely disappears from the path of the train in said footage. Cecile insists they all saw them bury Joe. You guys had an open casket funeral for a guy who got hit by a high speed train? Cecile tells Iris to stop living in a fantasy world so they can all deal with Barry.

I think Cecile is being bizarrely over the top in her refusal to listen to Iris, especially since the video footage Iris shows her is obviously weird. Joe disappears from the path of the train in a way that’s actually detectable to the human eye, without much slow motion. Iris has a lot of good points and isn’t coming at the death of her father from a neutral angle, but Cecile acts as if Iris is a stranger wanting to dredge up Joe’s death for the heck of it. But, I suppose there has to be some element of personal drama in this part of the story and the best the writers could do was make Cecile the primary opposition.

The team splits up, with Iris and Allegra going off and Caitlin and Chester sticking with Cecile. Makes sense, since Team Cecile is focusing on finding Barry and the science-minded members of Team Flash could come in handy there, while Iris and Allegra are both investigative journalists who could find what happened to Joe.


At the train station, Iris spots something funny about the track Joe “died” on but Allegra doesn’t catch anything and Iris seems to blink it away. Allegra blames Iris’s time sickness, then suggests they look at the security cameras to check if anything could have been doctored in the footage of Joe. After checking with the sympathetic security guard, he blames the station sharing a power grid with Shark Stadium for the glitched footage and shows them the locally-stored copy of Joe’s death where Joe does not disappear before the train hits.

Discouraged by the new footage, Iris wants to give up but Allegra doesn’t. She shows Iris a folder of inconsistencies in the train’s safety inspection and schedule, hinting that things lined up too perfectly to be natural. Allegra gives her a pep talk to keep on hoping, but it’s probably seeing the same sparkly magic dust from the train tracks on the evidence folder that makes Iris want to start investigating again.

Iris has Deon the Still Force meet her at the train station, where she explains the glitter dust and her suspicions about Joe’s death. She thinks someone’s altering reality but Deon insists no one’s messed with the timeline. Iris asks Deon to undo the treatments she’d undergone for time sickness, so that she can better see what someone might be trying to hide. Deon warns her it could mean blipping in and out of timelines again, “or worse,” but Iris insists. With a snap of his fingers, Deon undoes whatever he did to stabilize Iris and suddenly Iris can see what Deon calls “temporal isotopes.” He confirms that Joe wasn’t supposed to die, but someone tapped into the “Negative Still Force” to change the timeline.


Since Despero gets a boost to his power from the “Flame of Py’tar,” Cecile figures she could get a boost to her own powers, and since she knows Barry far better than Despero does, she should be able to find him before he does. Chester is excited by the challenge to build a “Cerebro” out of whatever he has lying around but Cecile still doesn’t have the brain power Despero does. Good thing she knows who to call!

It’s Rosa Dillon, AKA “Top” — a character I barely remember. Not the biggest of reveals, there. Anyway, Top connects her brainwaves to Cecile’s to help find Barry and, in exchange, she gets reduced parole or something criminal-y. The two of them working together with some amplifier science gizmo Chester came up with yields a quick glimpse of Barry before Chester’s gizmo explodes. Cecile orders Chester to fix the amplifier while Despero spies on them with his forehead eyeball, like a creep.

Cecile talks to Caitlin about how hard it is being an empath surrounded by people grieving the same person she’s grieving and Caitlin reminds Cecile that she can’t bury her emotions. Their talk is interrupted by Chester getting an alert saying someone’s turned on the particle accelerator back at the currently-closed STAR Labs. Turns out it was Despero, who mind-whammies all the government officials keeping an eye on STAR Labs so that he can shove his hand into some wires and power himself up. This gives Team Cecile a ticking clock to find Barry before Despero catches up to them. They try the amplifier again and get more of Barry’s location, including a shot of Jefferson, but Despero interrupts before they can get any further. 

Despero puts Top in a coma trying to pry Barry’s location from her mind, then turns on Cecile to get the rest of it. Cecile zaps him away with her mind powers (and the power of love, thanks to her embracing her emotions as Caitlin suggested) and Chester finally pinpoints Barry’s location.


Jefferson is trying to zap the Speed Force out of Barry, which is evidently their best method for removing his powers. Barry lets it slip that he’s hiding from a dude named Despero, then he has to explain everything else. Jefferson is mad because Barry seems like he’s taking the easy way out by getting rid of his powers when there’s a chance they could fight Despero instead. A hero-on-hero fight ensues, with Barry trying to goad Jefferson into blasting his powers away. There is much destruction, including Barry destroying the Green Arrow costume shrine, which inspires Jefferson to give Barry a pep talk about not quitting.

Unfortunately, the pep talk is punctuated by Despero showing up and trying to murder Barry. Iris and Deon stop him, explain about someone fiddling with the timeline, but Despero doesn’t buy it. Jefferson lightning-lassos Despero long enough for Deon to load Barry up with Still Force, which should pull Barry into the future and toward any “weird temporal activity.” Barry heads to the future. Despero dramatically declares that they’ve killed the world and also teleports out of there.

In the future, Barry finds a sign that reads “West Party” and walks in to find Eobard Thawne getting engaged to Iris. When the gathered party sees Barry, they all look at him with disgust.

Other Things:

  • I’m obligated to mention, once again, that it’s weird Eobard Thawne has just like, adopted Harrison Wells’s face forever now.


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