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The meta of the week brought something new to the fold, forcing Team Flash to face their worst nightmares — all while Barry continues to search for the mysterious super-powered monster that attacked him and seemed utterly unstoppable. Oh, and the Speed Force manifests itself and drops in, near-death, at STAR Labs.
Just another Tuesday — right, Cisco?
Spoilers ahead for “Fear Me,” the latest episode of The CW’s Flash, which aired Tuesday, March 30, 2021.
The big reveal is that, as some current readers of The Flash comics likely guessed, this story arc seems to be introducing the other forces that Barry investigated a few years ago in the comic canon: Strength, Speed, Sage and Still.
That superpowered Hulk-esque woman who beat up Flash? Cisco’s nickname for her reveals she’s actually Fuerza, a young woman (at least in the comics) from Corto Maltese who becomes a conduit for the Strength Force, which causes her to go full-on Hulk monster for a while until she eventually learns to control and channel that power for good.
The varying forces arc is confirmed when the week’s new big bad shows up, causing all of Team Flash to have some Thanos-level nightmares. Barry sees the team dead, and a zombie-is Iris telling him that since he failed her, their future children are now dead. A newly-separated Frost sees Caitlin betraying her and turning her in to the police. Basically, it’s their worst nightmares come to life, and it’s virtually debilitating.
They don’t fully get into the story here, but here’s a quick primer: These other forces are ancient and powerful, just like the Speed Force, and we get that set-up in the episode’s final moments when the Speed Force avatar teases these other mystery powers are “just like” her. What we’re seeing here is Fuerza, the Strength Force Avatar; and Psych, a conduit for the Sage Force. Best guess is these powers were awakened or unlocked when Barry restarted the Speed Force (remember that colored, mystery lightning shooting out when he pulled the trigger? Yeah, that was apparently these Forces).
The episode ends with Barry putting himself into a cryopod coma as his powers go haywire, just as the weakened Speed Force avatar stumbles awake. So hopefully she’s able to get Barry balanced and back out of cryo-sleep pretty quickly.
Caitlin and Frost remain separated, and it seems Frost is far more inclined to keep things that way. She sabotages attempts to recombine them, and after a heart to heart with Caitlin, they agree to give this roommates thing a shot. This is them.
Speaking of Frost, she’s also at the top of the Most Wanted list, as a mysterious new agent shows up to consult at CCPD. After Joe does a bit of digging, he realizes she’s way too qualified for the liaison gig she says she’s doing. So she comes clean about her real assignment: Finding and arresting Killer Frost, who is still technically wanted for all those crimes she committed before she went straight.
Cecile’s powers also seem to be growing, and she even uses DeVoe’s old sci-fi brain power chair to project Barry’s confidence and strength to combat the fear being broadcast by Psyche. Something to watch there.
Next week: Oh boy, this looks like a fun one. Cisco and Chester, the dynamic duo, get transported back to the 1990s. Complete with a functioning Blockbuster, just to make it clear. Their disappearance is apparently connected to the Speed Force short circuit, and they must escape the clutches of the VHS era to warn the team about… something.