Headscratchers: The Flash (2014)

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    Knocked off mask 

  • How did Barry's mask get knocked off in the fight with Mardon? It managed to stay on as he ran without problems, and yet suddenly it gets knocked back.
    • Perhaps his own momentum was pressing it against his face and nose so forcefully, when he ran at his absolute maximum speed, that he had to remove it himself to be able to breathe.

    Speed mechanics 

  • This may be long-winded, but I'm confused as to how exactly Flash's super speed actually works in this series. You see, in pretty much every depiction of super speed ever from the original Spider-Man films to Smallville to the recent Days of Future Past film, from the character's point of view the character is shown moving at normal speed while everything else around them either moves in slow motion or stops completely. This makes sense since the normal application of super speed extends to the user's entire body, as they would have to perceive the world on a faster level than everyone else in order to react to the environment around them at that speed. We get a brief glimpse of this in the pilot, but for the rest of it his viewpoint is shown to be pretty much how the average human would see super speed, with everything else moving at super speed as well. So which is it? And if he does see everything that way, how on earth does he react to anything? Would he have to train his body to move millions of seconds before he could even think about it?
    • Rule of Perception. They do slow motion when they need to show what's going on (the coffee shop and when Flash rescues the biker from the cab), but they prefer to show how fast he's moving, which boils down to blurring either him or the environment. When we need to see him, we get the blurred environment.
    • FWIW, the blurring effect when he runs isn't that different from how Real Life tiger beetles, the fastest animals on Earth when adjusted for scale, can't see clearly when they're running full-speed: they move too fast for their eyes and brains to receive and process visual information about whatever's near them before they've already passed it. Barry presumably faces the same problem when he moves in a straight line at maximum speed, so has to slow down somewhat if he's got obstacles to navigate around or people to interact with.
    • In episode 10, Wells mentions that Barry is getting better at reacting to stimuli at superspeed. It seems like while his mind is sped up, it's at a different rate from his body. Which makes sense; otherwise running from Central City to Starling would have taken a couple days from his perspective.

  • So when Multiplex robs the gun store at the beginning of episode two, why is there only one of him seen on the security footage? Barry notes from the multiple sets of footprints that there were six robbers, obviously indicating that he used his clones for the robbery, so why weren't they in the video?
    • He shot the camera a few moments later. The other clones probably came in after he shot it.
    • Or, he budded them off after he shot out the camera to confuse people. The cops only saw one guy until Barry pointed out the multiple foot tracks.

    Magic Pants 

    Central City 
  • Where is Central City? Batman works out of Gotham, Superman out of Metropolis, both New York expys (bad/good respectively).
    • So, is Central city an expy of Chicago, and Starling City (Arrow) St. Louis?
    • Central City is located in Missouri according to most sources.
    • In the context of both shows, Starling City has slowly had its location narrowed down to the West Coast, (Felicity mentioned they're roughly 1,000 miles from Las Vegas, Robert planned to go to China by boat,) and the natural side effects of filming in Vancouver (heavy coats, overcast appearance) narrowed it down to the Pacific Northwest (for what it's worth, the current comics have him operate out of Seattle.) Central City is supposed to be at least 600 miles away from Starling, and they seem to be implying it's further inland (maps of Central don't show any coastline, only a river running through it,) so it's probably in the same general area.

    Prison logistics 
  • So they're going to keep Meta humans in the particle accelerator. Who's going to feed the prisoners? Do they get a bathroom?
    • I'm sure they'll add those to the cells.
    • Considering the very strong implication that Wells saw this eventuality coming, it's quite possible that they'll find that the accelerator is "conveniently" easy to modify for this purpose. The cells themselves are implausible enough (from the perspective of the team, not the audience), finding out that there are coolant pipes or whatever that they can jury-rig into waste plumbing isn't going to surprise them.

    Levitating Liquids 
  • Seems to be an Oh, Crap sign whenever it happens, but why does it happen? Is it the Speed Force? A sudden change in gravity?
    • Since it happened before Prof. Zoom's attack, I'm guessing Speed Force.

    Gas mask 
  • When they were planning to have Barry fight a bad guy whose sole power is to control poison gas, why did nobody suggest using the gas mask he pulled off back in the pilot? It might not have worked, depending on whether the Mist could exert enough force to pull the mask away from his face, but nobody even suggested it.
    • Maybe running at supersonic speeds, Barry's lungs go so fast that the gas mask would run out of air too quickly?
    • Gas masks only filter air. They don't require their own dedicated air supply.
      • Although, Cisco did say that the suit was originally designed for fire fighters and fire fighters wear oxygen masks, not gas masks. The above troper could be right on the money.
    • He didn't seem more out of breath than the exertion merely of running would explain when he removed it in the pilot, though.
    • Here's an idea: When Barry is running super-fast he must also be breathing super-fast. All gas masks restrict breathing to a certain degree, so it's possible that Barry felt like he was being smothered while running at super speed and he couldn't stand wearing it.

     What took them so long? 
  • Barry was in a coma for nine months, why did Multiplex and The Mist wait until he woke up to go after their targets. If they had attacked at any time before Barry woke up they would have gotten away with it.
    • They might have spent all that time getting used to their powers and the somewhat altered lifestyles that likely came with them. Heck, Multiplex could've been plotting his revenge for some of those months in order to get it perfect.
    • It's mentioned that there have been freak weather occurrences for months; apparently the Mist has been active for a while, it's just now someone (Barry) is finally in a position to realize what's actually happening.
    • Given it took Barry, who has a Healing Factor, nine months to recover from becoming a Metahuman, its possible the others didn't develop their powers to a usable degree until some time after the particle accelerator explosion.
    • In the pilot, Barry does some research and finds out that all kinds of strange things have been happening in the nine months he was in a coma. So presumably, there were dozens of crimes committed by metahumans, except, either nobody noticed them, or the people who noticed kept quiet because they thought they were seeing things or they knew nobody would believe them. As off episode 6, the Flash has for the most part kept his existence (and the existence of other metahumans) a secret from the wider world...so it's more than likely the other metahumans have been successfully doing the same.

    Iron Heights 

  • Why are Central City's regular criminals jailed in Iron Heights, a prison located in Starling City, 600 miles away?
    • Its very likely that Iron Heights isn't located in Starling City, but rather, is located in between the two cities in order to serve as a local prison to both places.
    • Local? Central City is in Kansas, Starling City is somewhere in Washington or possibly California. That's like housing Texas inmates in Louisville, Kentucky.
    • Have they specified that in the show? The pilot showed that the two cities were close, given Barry was able to see a sign for Starling City after accidentally running to the edge of the city, so unless its specified that the two towns are several states part, so far it appears they're located not far from one-another.
    • Iris mentions that they're hundreds of miles apart, a few hours by train. Specifically, 600 miles, which, in the grand scheme of things isn't that far apart. Depending on how you drive it, it's roughly the distance between Seattle and Boise, Idaho. They could also be even closer together geographically, and they mean 600 miles in terms of miles traveled, which could mean the cities are closer than that in terms of a straight line, but it ends up being 600 as you travel over miles of long, twisting, winding roads (that area of the US is quite mountainous.) It's entirely possible that Central and Starling are in the same state, and Iron Heights is some kind of state prison where the worst of the worst are sent.

    Armored Truck Guards 

  • Why did the people driving the armored truck immediately leave their vehicle, and thus putting themselves at the mercy of Snart's crew?
    • I'd have to rewatch the episode to be sure, but didn't they get pulled out of it against their will?

    Barry's day job 

  • So I get Hollywood Science and all, but according to Arrow canon, Barry's an assistant, not even a full-fledged CSI tech. Yet he seems to have his own lab/office area. Who is he assisting, anyway? There are no other CSI techs. A city the size that Central City is supposed to be would have CSI techs dedicated to fingerprinting, bloodwork, fibres, et cetera, but the show only shows Barry doing...pretty much everything. Also, Barry doesn't even have a cool CSI windbreaker. Which he probably needs, given how young he looks.
    • It's possible they mean assistant in terms of an internship, meaning he does whatever anybody tells him to. Maybe they gave him his own work space simply to he can stay out of everybody's way as he does the grunt work nobody else wants to do that simply gets dumped in his lap (he was working with a busted centrifuge, so maybe his office is full of other people's castoffs.) Also, it's possible Joe keeps requesting Barry personally (he's already ran interference a couple of times to prevent Barry getting fired when Barry shows up late or shoves his foot in his mouth.)

    Innocent Bystanders 

  • I'm sure it's probably already been explained in the comics, but whenever Barry pulls innocent bystanders out of the way of a bullet/Snart's cold gun/whatever, how is he able to do that without the other person feeling like they just got hit by a speeding train?
    • The Speed Force, presumably, which allows him to rapidly accelerate and decelerate objects that he's in contact with. Really, every time you see wonky physics, just assume that it's the Speed Force.

     Secret. Identity! 
  • Even if he is locked up, why did Barry reveal his secret identity to a psycho thug like Girder? It's called a secret for a reason! If and when these guys get out, they are going to zero in on Barry now.
    • It admittedly does lead to the disturbing implication that Barry and the STAR Labs team have basically sentenced Girder, and all the other metahuman inmates, to life imprisonment, without a trial.
    • Most likely, the idea of them escaping just hasn't crossed Barry's mind; so far, supervillains are still a new thing, and none have proven to be able to escape, so he's just Genre Blind on this issue. There's also the fact that Barry just really wanted to rub in defeating him. Its definitely a What an Idiot moment, but a pretty understandable one for anyone who's ever been bullied and wants to show off their success to a bully years later. Of course, there's also the fact that, now that he knows how to beat Girder, he's probably just over-confident and isn't worried about fighting him again because he thinks he can just do the Megaton Punch again.
    • Whelp, Girder's dead now, so it's a moot point.
    • Wells probably chose him for the distraction (instead of Nimbus) because he knew Barry's identity.

     Just Shoot Clock King! 
  • Okay, he had some good reflexes, fine, but there was an entire police station full of cops there! Why the hell did they only get up one at a time instead of everybody standing up and filling him full of lead? I mean, to quote Jim Gordon: 'There's 50 cops in here. Try something.'.
    • According to Clock King there were more like eight or nine cops. And look what happened to Eddie. They might not have wanted to take another risk.
    • It's relatively late at night when this happened, with only the people on the late shift present, most of whom either had their guns holstered or didn't have them on them while he had the gun on him and was pointing it at them. By the time it would have taken to draw their guns and fire, he'd likely have either shot them, or shot someone else, which they probably didn't want. There's also the fact that, as police officers, they would have wanted to take him down alive and avoid killing him, while he didn't care about who he had to kill, so he'd be OK with just killing any who stood up without a moment's notice.

     Sending a metal man to fight a man with electric powers 
  • Why did Wells think that was ever going to work? Was it just a convenient excuse to get rid of Woodward since he knows Barry's identity?
    • Yes. He told Woodward he wanted him to kill Blackout, but admits to the rest of Team Flash that he was just a distraction.
    • At the time, their only other prisoner was Mist, a death row inmate. Faced with a choice, Wells decided to release the prisoner whose crimes were less severe.
      • Not to mention, Mist can turn himself into...uh, mist. If Wells let him out Mist probably would have just killed him and then gone into the air vents, leaving the team to their grisly deaths.
    • If the metal covered all of Girder's body, then it would form a Faraday Cage, meaning his body is protected.

     How did Barry get super-speed? 
  • Now in the comics, the origin is pretty straight-forward. He gets struck by lightning and doused in chemicals, giving him super-speed. MUCH later, he discovers that this incident enabled him to tap into the Speed Force (or, as per Flash: Rebirth, created the Speed Force. At first glance, it appears that its pretty much the same thing on the show (albeit, the storm cloud was seeded by the particle accelerator explosion). However, since then, Barry has encountered a number of metahumans, and a common pattern seems to be that every metahuman develops powers that are in some way related to what he/she was in contact with at the time of being exposed to the fallout of the explosion. For e.g. Danton Black was working on cloning technology at the time, and so developed the power to duplicate himself; Bette Sans Souci had grenade fragments embedded in her and so developed the ability to cause explosions; Farooq was tangled in powers lines and so developed the power to manipulate electricity etc. So, by that logic, shouldn't Barry have developed, say, some kind of electricity-based powers too, since he was struck by lightning? It doesn't entirely make sense that he ended up with speed, going by the 'rules' established by the show...
    • That comes back to the thing about the lightning bolt "choosing" him. Basically, the implication is that the particle accelerator let the Speed Force out into the world, and it started looking for a host, finding one in Barry.
    • To some extent, Barry's powers are electricity based powers; whenever he uses his powers, there's always a crackle of electricity around him and his eyes tend to spark with electricity when he's about to do something particularly awesome. Essentially, while Blackout got the ability to drain and divert electricity, Barry got the ability to super-charge himself.

     Flash: Public Enemy Number 1 
  • Why the hell does Eddie think the Flash is dangerous? Yeah, after getting roughed up by him it makes sense, but at the start of the episode, not so much. Unlike the Arrow, the Flash has never hurt anyone, let alone killed them, and anyone who had contact with him would be a) an unharmed criminal delivered to the hands of b) the cops, or c) innocent civilians whose lives he saved. HE PAINTS MOTELS FOR PEOPLE. WHAT IS THE DANGER HERE?
    • It's Beware the Superman, pure and simple. Barry could do a horrific amount of damage if he ever turned evil, as his brief rage-fest showed. Toss in the fact that every other meta shown has been using their powers for evil, and you can understand his suspicion. Besides, we don't know precisely what he was asking for. He just said "task force." While now that's obviously going to include guns, that could have easily meant a bunch of cops doing research to figure out what this guy wants and whether he's a threat.
    • There's also the obvious reason why Eddie is so quick to push for something to deal with him: He's jealous of Iris' obsession with him. To at least some extent, he feels threatened by this and so doesn't trust/like the Flash; combined that with the above, it makes sense he'd push for this.

     The Masquerade 
  • Why the Masquerade? I get why Barry needs a Secret Identity, but why keep metahumans a secret?
    • A couple of reasons: 1) Letting the public know could easily result in Fantastic Racism happening if they feel threatened by the Metas; 2) This will bring further scrutiny towards Wells and Star Labs as it was them who made them in the first place; 3) It might encourage the villainous Metas to stop hiding/using their powers covertly, which could put innocents at risk; 4) It could alienate the good/neutral metas and push them into joining the bad should the above Fantastic Racism start; and 5) If people know that the Particle Accelerator explosion gave those it hit/effected powers, it could lead to those who know of Barry's accident to figure out he's probably a meta too.
    • In addition to the above you really don't want people looking at the metas and thinking "wow that's cool I want some." Sure not everybody can build a particle accelerator in their garage but Arrow and Flash are in the same universe. Mirakuru was essentially made with WWII tech depending, in many cases kids in their garages have more power than that today. In true comic book fashion they'd probably never manage to recreate the Mirakuru but comics are also filled with tons of examples of people who might not have gotten what they were aiming at when trying to recreate a specific power set but still managed to create something extremely dangerous.
    • This fear is more real when you see both Simon Stagg and Eiling. Both of them learned of the metas and showed the intention to mass produce them, and both of them have the resources to do so and are amoral enough to actually try. Do you want to give the next yahoo on a position of power the same idea?

    I think the lightning chose you. 
  • Does Oliver's belief that the lightning "chose" Barry seem really out of character? Oliver has never been a particularly religious or spiritual person. He doesn't seem like the kind of person who would believe that a bolt of lightning was guided by destiny or some supernatural force.
    • Well there are a few ways we can look at it. The First, Oliver was talking metaphorically, like he thinks it was an accident but it couldn't have happened to the more perfect person for the job so "the lightning bolt chose him". The Second, didn't Barry tell Oliver about what happened to his mom? Maybe Oliver was thinking that the powers Barry gain will allow him to prevent that from happening to anyone else. The Third, Oliver was speaking poetically, after all it seems like he was trying to inspire Barry to inspire people.

     Super Strength? 
  • How is Barry able to carry all those people so easy all the time?
    • He may not be super-strong, but his muscles would probably be more powerful than the average human either from all that running or so he can run.
    • In the recent Arrow episode, "The Brave and the Bold", he was able to do the salmon ladder at Super Speed and they aren't exactly easy, so he's certainly stronger than he looks.

     Really a draw? 
  • Am I the only one to think the fight in "Flash vs Arrow" ended rather decisively in Ollie's favor? Indeed, while both fighters got in good shots, it ended with the Arrow having a good hold on Barry. And do we remember Season 1 Ollie's second favourite method for murdering people?
    • ...Eh. I think you could make an argument that it was a solid tie. Ollie only had him in that hold for the couple of seconds needed for the machine to un-whammy Barry's brain. Had the fight gone on past that I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that Barry could have escaped the hold before he got his neck snapped. And I think Flash fans could reasonably argue that the whammy effect was clouding Barry's thinking to the point where Oliver actually had a slim advantage. All in all it's just one opinion versus another, so it seems prudent to call the fight a draw.

    Sweating out poison 
  • When exactly did Barry learn he could vibrate/sweat out poison. The battle with the Mist would have been a joke if he'd known he could do that and if he hadn't known he could do it he would have lost to Arrow. And not even in a Batman always has kryptonite sort of way. That would have been a clean and legit victory.
    • Who says he knew beforehand? He could have just been grasping at straws and it happened to work.
    • I believe he was actually metabolizing the poison, which Barry knows he can do- it's the same process that keeps him from getting drunk. The gas coming off him was just visual shorthand.

    Bette Sans Soucis 
  • Everything she touches is turned into explosive, and she cannot control her power. So, how can she is able to change clothes ? To eat ? To go to the bathroom ? And so on ...

    Flash disappear because of the Red Sky crisis ? 
  • Why everyone seems think the Flash disappearance in 2024 is linked to the Red Sky Crisis ? It seems to be to complete different articles. For what we can read, 'Red Sky' isn't used in the Flash article and vice versa.
    • The article is titled "Flash Missing Vanishes in Crisis" so it is definitely not two different articles. There is a secind article titled "Red Skies Vanish" and a third titled "Wayne Tech/Queen Inc Merger Complete", but there is no doubt the Flash is missing due to something he did in the Crisis.
    • Because, generally, if there's some kind of 'Crisis' going on, superheroes tend to get involved? If a hero disappears during the time that something big like the sky turning red, there's a good chance its linked.

     The Speed Force on computers? 
  • Okay, it seems to be generally agreed upon that the way Flash can grab people at eight hundred miles an hour and not slam into them like a brick wall and and set them down without them skipping like a stone is an effect of the Speed Force. Does that also effect computers? In 'Revenge of the Rogues' they come upon project F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. which is stated to be over eight hundred pages. Even acknowledging that lots of it is probably references and schematics Barry reading that entire article over a period of five seconds requires the computer to be keeping up with Barry.
    • Eh, it wouldn't be that difficult. Most of it would be text, which loads faster, and this was the same computer they use for all their hacking and crime-fighting, so it would be pretty well built all around.
      • Really, he might cause some strain on the keyboard, but that's probably all.