Heart of the Matter (The Flash)

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"Heart of the Matter"
The Flash episode
Episode no.Season 7
Episode 17 and 18
Directed by
  • Eric Dean Seaton
  • Marcus Stokes
Written by
  • Eric Wallace
  • Lauren Barnett
  • Kelly Wheeler
Production code
Original air date
  • July 13, 2021 (2021-07-13)
  • July 20, 2021 (2021-07-20)
Guest appearance(s)
  • Jordan Fisher as Bart Allen / Impulse
  • Jessica Parker Kennedy as Nora West-Allen / XS
  • Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon
  • Michelle Harrison as Joan Williams
  • John Wesley Shipp as Jay Garrick / The Flash
  • Carmen Moore as Kristen Kramer
Episode chronology
← Previous
"P.O.W."
Next →
The Flash (season 7)
List of The Flash episodes

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"Heart of the Matter" is the seventeenth and eighteenth episodes and two-part season finale of the seventh season of the American television series The Flash, based on the DC Comics character Barry Allen / Flash, a crime scene investigator who gains superhuman speed, which he uses to fight criminals, including others who have also gained superhuman abilities. The series is set in the Arrowverse, sharing continuity with the other television series of the universe, and is a spin-off of Arrow. The first part, the series' 150th episode, was written by Eric Wallace & Lauren Barnett, and directed by Eric Dean Seaton. Part two was written by Wallace & Kelly Wheeler, and directed by Marcus Stokes.

Grant Gustin stars as Barry, and is joined by principal cast members Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Danielle Nicolet, Kayla Compton, Brandon McKnight and Jesse L. Martin. The episodes revolves around Team Flash's efforts to save Central City from August Heart / Godspeed and his army of clones.

The first part premiered in the United States on The CW on July 13, 2021, followed by the second part on July 20, 2021.

Plot[edit]

Part 1[edit]

Barry allows Bart and Nora to stay in the past and join him in fighting off a squad of Godspeed drones. After they target Bart, he explains that he considers Godspeed "his Thawne" since he witnessed Godspeed murdering Jay Garrick, who had always encouraged Bart's impulsive attitude. While Barry attempts to contact Wally West for help, Iris returns. After several losses against the drones, Barry and Iris decide to bench Nora and Bart. However, rebel drones capture Jay in Keystone City while he was recovering his speed and demand Bart in exchange for his life. Bart leaves to fight them, but he is knocked out and nearly killed by the drones. Barry and Nora rescue Jay and Bart while Cisco arrives and traps the drones. Meanwhile, Chester asks Allegra for help with charging a device to remove the drones' speed and consoles her upon learning of Esperanza's death. As Joe and Kramer return from assisting the FBI investigate Creyke, they witness many of Central City's citizens fleeing to escape the "Godspeed War". Afterwards, Cecile helps Barry enter Heart's mind, where he encounters a version of Heart with his memories.

Part 2[edit]

Godspeed demands "organic speed" in exchange for ending the war. The Speed Force reawakens Bart and grants Iris super-speed, and they fight the Godspeed drones alongside Team Flash. However, the Speed Force is forced to retreat when the drones begin to feed off of her energy, but Allegra arrives with Chester's device and removes the drones' speed. Barry decides to grant Heart's request, restoring his memories. Against Cecile's urging, Heart re-emerges with the drones. Suddenly, Eobard Thawne arrives and incapacitates Heart and makes a failed attempt on Barry's life before escaping. Heart is sent to Iron Heights with his memory of Barry's identity removed. Meanwhile, after using super-speed to rescue Joe from an attack, Kramer learns that she is a metahuman with the ability to mimic others' abilities like she did with Creyke and leaves with a new perspective on law enforcement. Barry and Iris renew their wedding vows in front of their friends and family.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

On January 7, 2020, The CW renewed the series for a seventh season.[1]

Writing[edit]

Casting[edit]

The episode stars Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash, Candice Patton as Iris West-Allen, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow and Frost, Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton, Kayla Compton as Allegra Garcia, Brandon McKnight as Chester P. Runk, Jesse L. Martin as Joe West,[2] and Tom Cavanagh as Eobard Thawne / Reverse-Fash.[3] Additional characters featured in the episode include a series of returning speedster characters, with Jessica Parker Kennedy as Nora West-Allen / XS, John Wesley Shipp as Jay Garrick / The Flash, and Jordan Fisher as Bart Allen / Impulse. Furthermore, guest appearances feature Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon / Vibe, who had been credited as a series regular until "Good-Bye Vibrations", Michelle Harrison as Joan Williams, and Carmen Moore as Kristen Kramer.[4] Keiynan Lonsdale, who portrayed series regular Wally West in the second season though the fourth season and returned in the fifth and sixth seasons in guest appearances, was offered an invite to appear in the two-part episode. Lonsdale explained that "[We] all tried our best to make it work but I was filming on another show in the [U.S.], and Canadian quarantine at the time meant our dates couldn’t align." Despite being referenced multiple time throughout the season, Lonsdale ultimately did not appear as West in the episode.[5]

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Sarah Little of TV Fanatic was critical of most of the episodes, noting that "The show took way too long to introduce the Godspeed War, which meant that the last few episodes and the finale felt rushed and forced. A storyline this rich had so much potential to be epic and mind-blowing. Instead, it fell flat and didn't pack much of a punch. Even the return of Nora and the introduction of Bart couldn't save the story." However, Little was praiseful of the dynamic between part and Nora, only wishing that it had lasted longer than two episodes in the end.[6]

Alex Gherzo of Geek and Gamers thought that though there were some good parts and exciting moments in the first episode, it "isn’t very good; at times, it’s so bad it would be embarrassing if someone walked in on you watching it." Gherzo was also critical of the characters, especially Bart Allen and the villain, Godspeed, saying "Bart makes it even worse because his goofy voice, movements, and expressions are so bad that they actually complement this radical tonal shift. The Flash was always fun, but it once took itself seriously, especially in the villain department. Now, it’s got a cartoonish bad guy and a new hero that matches him."[7]

Jarrod Jones of The A.V. Club thought that the main struggles of the seventh season came from the COVID-19 pandemic putting a halt on production, the abrupt ending of the sixth season, and the departure of series regulars Hartley Sawyer, Carlos Valdez, and Tom Cavanagh. However, the second part "works overtime to make sure The Flash faithful are left with a smile of their faces. And, cooing Bart Allen on the mic and a schmaltzy renewal of vows between Barry and Iris notwithstanding, the attempt winds up being a mad scramble."[8]

References[edit]

  1. Andreeva, Nellie (January 7, 2020). "The CW Renews 13 Series Including 'Batwoman', 'Nancy Drew', 'The batman', 'Riverdale' & 'All American'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 7, 2020. Retrieved March 4, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. Anderson, Jenna (May 14, 2020). "The Flash Season 7 Synopsis Teases a "Powerful and Devastating" New Threat". Comicbook.com. Archived from the original on May 15, 2020. Retrieved May 15, 2020. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. "The Flash Brings Back a Long-Dead Character in Twist Ending". CBR. March 10, 2021. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  4. "Every Flash Character Returning In The 150th Episode (& How)". ScreenRant. July 7, 2021. Archived from the original on August 23, 2021. Retrieved September 3, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  5. Schaefer, Sandy (July 21, 2021). "The Flash Star Explains Why Wally Wasn't Part of the Family Reunion". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on July 27, 2021. Retrieved July 31, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  6. Little, Sarah (July 20, 2021). "The Flash Season 7 Episode 18 Review: Heart of the Matter, Part 2". TV Fanatic. Archived from the original on July 31, 2021. Retrieved July 31, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  7. Gherzo, Alex (July 15, 2021). "REVIEW: The Flash – Season 7, Episode 17 "Heart of the Matter Part 1"". Geeks + Gamers. Archived from the original on July 31, 2021. Retrieved July 31, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  8. Jones, Jarrod (July 21, 2021). "The Flash wraps up a calamitous season with schmaltz, lightning-sabers". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on July 31, 2021. Retrieved July 31, 2021. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)


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