What Are The Writers Doing With Barry This Season? | CW’s The Flash

By Jeremy Carden

Let me start off by saying that I am a fan of CW’s The Flash series. However, Season 4 has gotten a lot of complaints from fans. Season 3 had a knack for stirring up the fanbase because of how long it took for them to reveal to identity of Savitar.

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Season 4 has been a bag of trail mix for most viewers, and that is the nicest way that I could describe this season. From Iris leading Team Flash and using the phrase “WE are The Flash” to their being too many cooks in the kitchen (referring to the number of metas on Team Flash that it seems ridiculous that they couldn’t easily overcome any meta-of-the-week threat that comes their way in a matter of minutes), I have seen a new complaint every Tuesday that a new episodes airs.

The sad part about this routine is that most of the complaints this season are valid. For this post, I want to focus on one character rather than most of the problems littered throughout this season.

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Barry Allen is the victim of my latest “rant” when it comes to The Flash!

True, a lot of fans will often complain about Barry’s speed being highly inconsistent or how he should be beyond any speedster at this point after being trapped in the Speed Force between Seasons 3 and 4.

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However, I am not here to talk about The Flash and his powers. I want to focus on Barry Allen the person.

If you ask me, I am not even sure if the writers even know what to do with Barry this season. In a lot of ways, he seems to be more of an obstacle than a help to Team Flash.

Yes, I have been hard on Iris West-Allen from the start of this season. However, I cannot sit here and not act like Barry hasn’t been causing trouble within the team.

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I think that it was made clear even during the opening episodes of this season that there would be a parallel between the relationships of Barry/Iris and The Thinker/Mechanic.

Each episode we see Devoe and Barry acting very cold, calculating and distant to those around them. However, we see the difference in their lifestyles because Barry has a support system comprised of friends and family that are not afraid to tell him that he is wrong (which has been quite a lot this season). Devoe has his wife to be that support for him, but he does not choose to listen to her even when she is 100% correct about something.

To be honest, I think we saw this side of Barry back in Season 3 after seeing the possible future of Iris being killed by Savitar. Not that I would want anyone to go through this punishment, but I suggest going back and watching a few episodes during the second half of that season.

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There were plenty of times when Barry was a complete asshole (especially to Wally) because his main objective was keeping Iris safe at all cost; even at the expense of his team.

To be honest, he really reminded me of Rip Hunter from Legends of Tomorrow. His mission stands above everything and everyone else. It doesn’t matter who he must throw under the bus to achieve his goal. Heck, Rip almost got Jefferson killed near the end of Legends Season 1 when they were on their way back to the Vanishing Point with Vandal Savage in the holding cell.

What really annoys me about Barry is the fact that the writers have really been driving home the point that he would make a terrible team leader.

Is this being done just to support their reasoning for making Iris the leader in his absence?

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Honestly, we saw that Barry was not the greatest teacher for speedsters back in Season 3. He wasn’t talking his time when teaching Jesse in the early episodes of that season, and he was rushing Wally because he wanted him to be the one to save Iris from Savitar.

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Remember when he froze at the control panel when Iris was trapped under a piece of debris while trying to put out a fire after gaining Barry’s speed? Another example of him being an incompetent teacher to other speedsters.

In Season 4, I feel like he is dumbed down just for the sake of the story. Yes, the comic book version of Barry is very intelligent and can think incredibly fast. I understand that the CW version of Barry is not at that level yet. I am not even sure if he will ever reach that level of skill on the show because any problem that Central City faces would only need Barry and not Team Flash.

However, that does not mean that the writers need to diminish his intelligence so much that he is next to useless.

In previous seasons, we have seen Barry made decisions based on his emotions alone. This has led to some very big mistakes that have cost Barry, Team Flash and the city (sometimes even more than just Central City) a lot. Flashpoint is obviously the biggest consequence of his choices, but there are more that are scattered throughout this series.

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One of the biggest things about Barry that has annoyed me this season is that he has a serious lack of patience for anyone who decides to not go with the plan that he comes up with. This is very relevant to his partnership with Ralph this season.

Yes, I will admit that he was not the nicest hero to ever join Team Flash. The episode with him making nonstop jokes to substitute for his fear was very annoying. For some reason Barry has been written to have a very short fuse this season. Especially when it comes to anyone challenging his authority.

It really rubbed me the wrong way to see Barry like this. In the most recent episode, he is trying to mend the cracks in Cisco’s relationship with Gypsy. Was I the only one that thought about Boy Meets World during this episode?

For anyone born in the 90s, you should know this show well just as the younger generation grew up with Girl Meets World.

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Cory Matthews had a knack for sticking his nose in places that it did not belong. He would always try to help put his best friend Shawn back together with his girlfriend Angela whenever they were having relationship troubles.

Yes, it was annoying to see how Cory acted. However, his motives were to help his friends for the sake of helping his friends.

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In Barry’s case, he was only pushing Cisco and Gypsy back together because the team was holding on by a thread. Basically, Barry wanted the relationship to heal as soon as possible just so Cisco could get his head in the game because The Thinker is still out there as a major threat.

How much would you want to bet that if Barry was going through a rough patch with Iris that he would be mopping around like someone shot his puppy? You know he would not want to be pushed back into the lab or his home to talk with Iris in the same fashion that he literally pushed Gypsy from Jitters to S.T.A.R. Labs!

It makes my head spin to see how the writers are making Barry act like such a jerk this season!

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Again, I see that they are trying to demonstrate how Devoe and Barry can act like they are the same person. Both are driven when it comes to accomplishing a goal, and that can make them isolate those around them. What separates them is that Barry (sometimes) listens to the people around him when they call him out for his nonsense.

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Some of my favorites scenes this season were when Ralph would challenge Barry because he had some legitimate points. I remember when he called out Barry for being so fast, but still allowing their target to escape because he was too worried about bystanders getting caught in the crossfire. However, the episode wrote it so Ralph was wrong and realized where Barry was coming from.

The one fight these two had that I really couldn’t stand was Barry refusing to listen to Ralph about how they should improvise in order to stop The Thinker.

If you ask me, thinking outside of the box seems to be the most effective way of countering Devoe because he claims to have thought about every possible outcome that Barry and the others could think of.

Barry did it once and it worked! Remember when Barry was trapped in Devoe’s pocket dimension? He was inside of that cage that no meta abilities could escape from. Did he escape? Not really…

To trick Devoe into thinking he had escaped, The Flash vibrated his body at such a high speed that it appeared as if he was invisible. This made Devoe deactivate the cage and Barry ran out of there!

How did he accomplish this? By thinking outside of the box! If it worked at such a critical moment for him, why was he so against it when it comes to Ralph?

I could continue this post, but I think this is a good stopping point. What do you think about Season 4 Barry Allen? Do you feel the same way I feel about his character?

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Keep in mind that I did not even mention the Speed Force language that he was writing everywhere in Episode 1. It seemed like the story forgot about that plot point as quickly as Barry did by the end of the episode!

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Though we did see “Coffee shop girl” writing similar symbols in her journal…

I hope that the writers can turn things around by the end of this season and improve on the writing in Season 5.

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CW’s The Flash | Why is Iris the Team Leader?

By Jeremy Carden

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Believe it or not, this is NOT I repeat this is NOT a hate post about Iris because we’ve seen enough of that (Even though the show keeps giving us fans fuel to that fire…), and also SPOILERS if you have not seen the mid-season finale.

I really wish the show would add more weight to the whole “Team Leader Iris” thing because I’m still not buying it. I love how Iris makes a “tough call” and get a kiss for it, but Barry makes a tough call (when he isn’t making selfish calls like in previous seasons) and 9 times out of 10 gets crap for it…

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Please give me some reasoning as to how she (the least experienced team member) is the leader. Heck even RALPH is more experienced in terms of detective work! Yes, he’d probably blow up STAR Labs in 5 minutes by accident, but still!

It really appears like the other more experienced members of Team Flash are “dumbed down” to make Iris have a moment of “Hey, I’m useful and I’m going to make the obvious/right choice that everyone is for some reason too blind to see!” 

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If anything, Cisco should have been the one having the moral dilemma of saving both of his best friends when really he should only focus one on problem at a time. Heck, then he and Harry could have a moment and then Ralph as well saying something like; “I think we’re STRETCHING ourselves too thin here…we need to figure out one thing at a time.” THAT would have been a great unity moment in my opinion.

Also, why give Ralph crap about running his mouth and having it be “his fault” Caitlin was captured?

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Remember Iris was the one who told Killer Frost to let “Bucket Lady” walk free instead of killing her a few episodes ago after clearly stating she’d be back for Frost…

I get the whole “no killing” but you could have at least put her in the pipeline…nice call Iris -_

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Then at the end, “I don’t know how long I can do this…making tough calls…” Then DON’T and leave it to someone else who can actually handle it! 

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I feel like the only reason she is leader is for her and Barry to be parallel to Thinker and Mechanic in terms of being “partners.”

If you enjoy this post, I hope you subscribe to my Youtube channel where I go into more detail on my thoughts about the Arrowverse.

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Young Justice: Do you think Kaldur and Artemis could ever become a couple?

by Jeremy Carden

Here we have the primary leader of the Team and the first member of the Team suspected to be a traitor. How in the world could they ever be hooked up romantically? images (14) When you look at the facts these two have a lot more in common than most people realize. I’ll be going over their similarities both on and off the Team, family members and issues along with anything else I feel is worthy of note.

Going through some details from both seasons 1 and 2, Artemis and Kaldur may have more similarities with each other than they did with the ones that they loved and lost; Wally and Tula. images (8) images (13) *NOTE: I haven’t read the entire comic book series that goes along with the show, so there are only one or two bits from the comic book entries that I will use in my evaluation meaning most of my evidence will come from the TV series.*

Both of them have daddy issues; ,. Aqualad’s biological father Black Manta was working as an agent of the Light. images (14) In Young Justice: Invasion, he replaced Ocean Master as one of the 7 core members at the Light’s table. images (9) Sportsmaster was also an agent of the Light under the title of the Light’s enforcer. images (8) In Young Justice: Invasion, instead of being “promoted” like Manta, HE was the one who was replaced by Deathstroke. images (5) Ironically enough, it was Aqualad and Artemis’ deception that caused this coup in the Light’s hierarchy considering the animosity between Sportsmaster and the Light (more specifically Black Manta) was due to Manta’s son “killing” his daughter without his permission.

Going even deeper into the psychological impact their fathers had on them; Manta and Sportsmaster wanted nothing more than to “mold” their children into what they wanted them to be. ; Black Manta was willing to do whatever it took even physical persuasion (beating the crap out of his son) to mold Kaldur into the sinister villain that he turned out to be. He even says in “Summit” that he would beat it into his skull if necessary. images (21) Sportsmaster (according to Artemis) made his daughters learn “the hard way” that disobedience would not be tolerated; hinting that he trained them to the extreme even as children to become a part of “the life” that their mother wanted them to avoid at all costs.

One of the most interesting pieces of evidence came in season 2; Black Manta thought that Tigress and his son were romantically involved or at least had strong feelings for each other.

This was mentioned when Tigress volunteered to go to the surface to abduct Miss M. to come and fix the damage she had done to Kaldur’s mind. images (10) Manta even goes on to say that he would send Deathstroke along just in case because he felt that his son would never forgive him if something happened to her. Young-Justice-Invasion-Episode-9-Darkest-Tigress-and-Aqualad-1 I can see how he would get the idea; these two were ALWAYS around each other. tumblr_inline_mg7e5hmlIb1r0ywfa Kaldur had handpicked her as his trusted lieutenant and right-hand on missions. images (12) images (9) Tigress was by his side the entire time Miss M. was fixing his mind (she needed to be in order to help her with the process). Being his father, it is understandable why he feels he could pick up on this kind of thing. tyut Of course it was all for good reason because these two were undercover and had to have each other’s back at all times in order for their mission to succeed but more importantly; for them to survive.

Another piece of evidence of their similar family issues was when the final showdown battling their fathers took place; images (19) After Artemis finally beat Sportsmaster (with help from some of the Apocalyptic weaponry) she was seen by Kid Flash to be staring deeply at her defeated father. It seemed like a look of guilt, pity and regret.

This was the same longing look that Kaldur had after he defeated his father in “Summit” except it was Nightwing who noticed him standing over his defeated father. Artemis seemed to perk up holding her father’s mask as a “souvenir” for the Trophy Room and smiling at Kid Flash. j However in Kaldur’s case, after his friends told him that their mission was a success crippling the Light’s forces Kaldur finally accepted that this was a victory rather than a botched up assignment, he took one last look at his defeated father that made me think he was really feeling bad for beating him. uy Remember before these two even engaged in combat, he told Manta that he was conflicted because he had seen Manta’s noble side. There were many moments while working with his father that allowed Kaldur to see that he not only cared for him but he loved his son deeply. ryt One of the biggest moments of deception that let Kaldur see this was when he faked his recovering being a result of seeing his father in danger. Black Manta even goes on to tell the Light that he felt truly blessed for his son to be made whole again. Young-Justice-Invasion-Depths-8-Aqualad-Black-Manta The thing that hurt Manta the most was that he trusted Kaldur with everything he had. It was a real shame because he was one of the few “loving” parents seen in this show. hjj I mean he was one of the most emotionally challenged characters in Season 2, especially thinking that he son had died right in front of his eyes! Sportsmaster seemed to care more about his reputation as an enforcer than his daughters. o His only hint of caring was helping his daughter keep her true identity contained by destroying Manta’s submarine security equipment.

True, it wasn’t the hugs and verbal compliments that Manta gave his son but Crusher isn’t exactly what most would call the “caring type.”

One could argue that the only reason Sportsmaster helped was because Artemis (as Tigress) and Kaldur were making “chumps” out of Manta and the Light; basically doing his dirty work for him. Another similarity boils down to Artemis and Kaldur’s knowledge of their bloodlines; images (22) images (28) Artemis knew about her father and sister still living as criminals while her mother was an ex-con but decided to keep it that information a secret from the rest of the Team. Green_Arrow_introduces_Artemis Batman, Robin (unknown to Artemis until Usual Suspects) and Green Arrow (and likely Black Canary) knew her true lineage and decided to pass her off as Green Arrow’s niece. e9cd7dca In Kaldur’s case, he did not know that Black Manta was his biological father. From what he had been told, his father was one of Manta’s men who came to love a native of Atlantis and from that romance he was born. It wasn’t until later that he discovered that Aquaman had kept his true heritage a secret. upop We are never informed as to how and when he learned that Manta was his father but it was the perfect façade that would get him in on the Light’s side (along with the love of his life dying). Having him being angry at his mentor for keeping his true lineage a secret and his heart being broken from his love being taken away from him on one of the Team’s mission served as the PERFECT coverup as to why he decided to go rogue. cvxbc This was never seen (maybe it will be in the video game), but I want to see Kaldur when he first approached his father and how he even convinced him to let him join his side. images (20) So, they both came from “bad blood” but were able to break the family chain by joining the side of justice rather than criminal activity.

Another thing to point out is that at some point during their stay on the Team they doubted their abilities, dedication or drive to stay on the Team.

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For Aqualad, it was when he felt torn between being leader and going back to Atlantis to be with Tula.

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For Artemis, it was constantly feeling like she was a traitor (especially due to Red Arrow’s accusations). At the end of “Insecurities” she was confronted by her father and that was when her final choice had to be made.

Alright, so now that we’ve gotten the family similarities taken care of; let’s discuss their interaction and thoughts about each other.

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It is interesting to note that aside from being by his side and taking care of him during his catatonic state in Season 2, she was by his side in Season 1 “Bereft” due to Psimon’s mental powers he had the past 6 months erased from his memory.

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Not to mention Miss M was too preoccupied thinking about Superboy to restore Aqualad’s memories so Artemis was there by his side.

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Artemis saved Kaldur from the molten lava in Dr. Fate’s castle, but didn’t miss a beat in scolding Wally for flirting with Miss M despite being seconds away from falling to their deaths by the lava.

It was also interesting to think about when Artemis first joined the team she had an attraction to Superboy.

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This kind of caused bad blood between her and Miss M (still not open with her feelings about Conner).

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However, they eventually got over that little squabble and became like sisters.

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Then in the next episode, it was kind of like they were trying to pair off with members of the team.

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Artemis was trying to get Miss M to hook up with Aqualad only for her to comment that he was like a big brother to her. That is true since he kind of took a similar role that Robin did for Starfire in Teen Titans; he was teaching the alien about Earth customs.

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He did the same for Superboy and in the process “knew that they were going to become a couple before they did.”

Miss M then mentions that Artemis and Wally would be the perfect couple because she is so full of passion and Wally is full of…it.

Of course in “Revelation” there was no way that I was going to pass up this moment;

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Only for Aqualad to comment that they shall make their own “fun”

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…by using Maneuver 7!! (I’ve always wondered what the first 6 were….)

At one point, Aqualad was suspicious of Artemis in fact being a traitor but as time went on he got over it.

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He told Red Arrow, Red Tornado, Robin and Batman that fighting alongside his Team for so long that he didn’t think ANY of the members would betray them.

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Of course with all of that being said, I don’t think that Artemis would have gotten together with Kaldur BEFORE dating Wally or in Season 2 while they were undercover together for weeks (possibly even months).

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Now, I can’t say that they possibly won’t start dating after the events of the finale with Wally’s passing and Artemis’ hanging up her quiver to begin crime fighting as Tigress in order to give herself space between her life as Wally’s partner.

If there are any other moments in the series/comics that you feel are worthy of note, please feel free to mention them in the comment section below.

Also, your thoughts on this subject are welcome because I’d like to know how you feel about these two if they did start dating.