THE FLASH Season 7 Episode 1 Review: All's Wells That Ends Wells

Like many shows airing during 2020, The Flash had its last season cut unexpectedly short due to the pandemic. This meant that none of the plot threads surrounding Mirror Master or Iris’s disappearance were wrapped up, which was disappointing and anticlimactic – but also no one’s fault. 

The premiere, on the other hand, I question more. This episode picks up shortly after the last episode of Season Six, without the typical time skip in-between seasons. The audience is right back in the weeds of the Eva plot, but without the “flash and bang” of a usual season premiere to draw in viewers or the weight of having twenty-something episodes giving a sense of forward momentum. It honestly feels like they just took what was planned to be the next episode originally in the planned Season Six and filmed it with little to no changes before plopping it as the season premiere, which is the worst of both worlds in my view. 

For one thing, Barry is barely even present in the episode. Now that's not a bad thing in and of itself – memorably, the premiere of Season Four was quite Barry-lite, and it was one of the best episodes of that season – but there's no attempt to have other characters in the team step up to fill the void. There's barely any action at all. Instead, we get to watch Barry possessed by the Council of Wells after a failed attempt to get back his full speed. Yes, after a year-long hiatus, the thing chosen to draw fans back in was Grant Gustin doing a bad impression of Tom Cavanagh doing a bad impression of French person. Just what we were all waiting for, I'm sure. 

The issue resolves itself when Nash sacrifices himself and fuels the artificial Speed Force the team created. Nash has done little to endear himself to the team or to viewers, so it wasn't much of a heartbreaker, but it was helped by having some of the previous Wells like Harry and HR resurface for his final moments. Harry’s offscreen death last season after years of being one of the leads felt like a cheap shock moment, so I was glad to see that somewhat rectified by allowing him to actually say goodbye to Barry, complete with a “run, Barry, run” nod and everything. 

While Nash gave his final bow, Chester and Allegra are now fully fledged opening credits certified members of the team. With Cisco and Caitlin gone (another odd choice for a premiere), I was hoping we might get to see more of the characters come into their own, but unfortunately Chester never got any lines beyond standard tech geek babble and Allegra, who by my count is person No. 796 to go on an angry rant about a Wells being a liar, was stuck repeating the same beats of a story that's been done to death previously. Even so, I'm still hoping they can make the transition work. I'd much rather see them on the team than another new Wells, but we really need a sense of what sets them apart from previous characters for going forward. 

Back in the Mirrorverse, Iris was visited by a bunch of specters of her past and future selves in Eva’s latest attempt to break Iris. Candice Payton was clearly having fun with the spooky stuff, and it was certainly more compelling than the messy Team Flash shenanigans, but I still found myself wondering what the point of the subplot was. We’ve already seen Iris see through Eva’s illusions several times, and the storyline told us nothing new about Iris or Eva. I’m not completely against filler stories as long as we can get to know the characters better, but this really felt like just treading water. 

Thankfully, there was at least one surprise about Eva we learned through security footage in the real world-- our current Eva is just a mirror copy, while the original died during the particle accelerator explosion. I was genuinely surprised by this (maybe because I'd been away from the story for so long), but it makes sense and adds an interesting layer to the dynamic between Eva and her “children.” 

That said, I'm really hoping we can wrap up this leftover Mirror Master plot sooner rather than later. While I understand wanting to give an actual conclusion to the story, the whole thing dragged endlessly last year, and seeing it continue to take center stage instead of having the show propelled into a new year is tedious. Look, many of us are understandably feeling generous about tv shows trying to figure out how to navigate doing a series during a pandemic, but that goodwill isn't going to cover making all the same mistakes as last year. The sooner we can free Iris and start getting new stories, the better for everyone.

Written by Kaitlin Roberts, THE FLASH Beat Writer