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What An Idiot / The Flash (2014)

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Season 1

  • "Who is Harrison Wells", Team Flash hunts Everyman who can turn into anyone he touched. Everyman earlier framed Eddie for murder of two cops by turning into him. Later Eddie visits Barry when he was supposed to be in jail.
    You'd Expect: Barry to immediately suspect that "Eddie" might be disguised Everyman and either Bluff the Impostor or straight up ask Something Eddie would know
    Instead: Barry believes a story of Eddie being quickly released and lets "Eddie" enter.
    Result: "Eddie" predictably turns out to be Everyman and knocks out Barry first time he has the chance.
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  • Right after above example Caitlin visits Barry to tell him she made a serum that would stop Everyman from shapeshifting. Unknown to her she meets Everyman disguised as Barry. Since Everyman never met her he calles her "you" instead of her name, then when he follows her to S.T.A.R. labs he acts seriously unnatural for Barry, up to not knowing Iris' name(whom Barry knew since childhood).
    You'd Expect: Caitlin to at some point at least consider that "Barry" might be the shapeshifter they're looking for, do what Barry should have done in example above and beat him with first heavy thing she comes uppon as soon as she confirmed he's Everyman.
    Instead: She demonstrates ridiculous ammount of Genre Blindness and doesn't even consider he's the shapeshifter, until Thawne notices that he has a gun.
  • After Thawne tasered Everyman Iris wants to use him to prove that Eddie was framed. Wells agrees to do this.
    You'd Expect: Seeing how Everyman is dangerous metahuman they would keep him at S.T.A.R. labs where they can keep him under control and call the cops to them where they can demonstrate his abilities.
    Instead: Iris and Caitlin escort Everyman by themselves, which predictably ends with him escaping.
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  • Everyman himself isn't immune to Idiot Ball either. When he tries to escape at the airport, disguised as an old lady he notices Barry, who is looking for him. When he's scanned scanner blinks briefly making Barry suspicious.
    You'd Expect: Everyman would stay calm and walk away. If Barry tries to stop him all he needs is to just scream for help, and everyone would think Barry is assaulting some nice old lady.
    Instead: Everyman turns into a security guard in Barry's full view and makes a run for it, immediately confirming Barry's suspicion.
  • "Rogue Air", Reverse-Flash intends to activate the pipeline used as makeshift metahuman prison. If activated all the metahumans inside will die and Barry doesn't want that to happen. Team flash organize transport to A.R.G.U.S. prison on Lian Yu, where metas can be kept safe. Unfortunately neither the Arrow nor Firestorm are available as an escort.
    You'd Expect: Seeing as A.R.G.U.S. is on the job Team flash would simply ask them to provide escort for metas. They're government agency, they have resources, and they already agreed to use Lian Yu to keep metahumans.
    Or: If A.R.G.U.S. for some reason couldn't help Cisco could make anti-metahuman weapons for Joe, Eddie and maybe Caitlin and himself. He earlier was forced to make three super-guns for the Rogues in what seemed to be few hours at most. Or hire Ray Palmer, Ronnie Raymond, and Martin Stein since trust with them should not be a problem.
    Instead: Barry asks Captain Cold for help. A known Badass Normal supervillain who already outsmarted Barry several times. Cold agrees to help, but only if Barry destroys everything CCPD has on him.
    You'd then expect: Seeing as between them two Barry is clearly the more trustworthy one he'd say that he'll do it after Cold fulfilled his part of the dead. Then he can either play Guile Hero and not do it or Honor Before Reason and fulfill his end of the deal after Cold fulfilled his.
    Instead: He destroys evidence right of the bat leaving himself with no leverage to force Cold to fulfill his end of the bargain.
    Result: Captain Cold betrays them and releases the metahumans to potentially use them in the future. Cold himself lampshades how stupid that was.
    Cold: Here's the thing; I'm a criminal and a liar, and I hurt people and I rob them. What did you expect me to do? Not be who i am? Who you're really mad at is yourself.

Season 2

  • Doctor Light discovers that she has a double on Earth-1 and decides to replace her to hide from Zoom.
    You'd Expect: For her to stalk her double and find some isolated place to kill her, especially since the next episode stating that she specifically wanted to use Linda's body to convince Zoom she was dead, and then run, rather than taking over Linda's life.
    Instead: She does this by going to her crowded workplace in supervillain gear, refers to her as her double, and tries to murder her in front of a dozen witnesses.
    Result: Needless to say, it fails, and she ends up captured by Team Flash.
  • Cisco blithely opens Dr. Light's cell once he sees it empty.
    You'd Expect: Him to consider that, since her powers are based on light, that she may be able to turn invisible.
    Instead: He doesn't even consider this possibility.
    Result: She escapes.
  • Pretty much the entirety of Barry's "impersonate my alternate universe self" plan in "Welcome to Earth-2." Unsurprisingly, it gets Earth-2 Joe killed and Barry himself captured by Zoom. Comes off as particularly egregious considering that he spends a lot of time angsting about putting his loved ones in danger (even pushing Patty away because of it) and yet does it to his Earth-2 counterparts without much thought.
  • In "Escape from Earth-2," Zoom begins a manhunt for Dr. Wells.
You'd Expect: For Zoom to search STAR Labs—Wells' place of work—first.
Instead: He warns the entire town that he demands his head.
Result: His warnings indirectly cause Wells to realize that Zoom's hunting him and gives him time to escape.
  • In "Versus Zoom", Barry FINALLY is faster than Zoom, AND has captured him.
    You'd Expect: Barry drop him into the pipeline right then and there.
    Instead: Barry brags about Zoom never being able to take anything from anyone again, giving Zoom the time to break free and kidnap Wally. By the way, before this, Zoom was on Earth-2, DYING, AND unable to get to any other Earth on his own. The ONLY reason he got to do any of this and the later events was because Barry felt that he needed to stop Zoom, despite A. Zoom dying and B. Wells, Joe AND ZOOM HIMSELF saying what an idiot move that was. Granted, Barry probably figured Zoom would continue on his murder spree, but COME ON.
  • So now Zoom has kidnapped Wally, and will give him back in exchange for Barry's speed. By the time the trade-off has started, Zoom has given up Wally, Barry has not yet given up his speed, and everyone except Barry and Caitlin have guns trained dead center on Zoom.
    Instead: Honor Before Reason. JUST...Honor Before Reason.
    As A Result: Barry has no speed and therefore no real way to stop Zoom, Zoom has all of Barry's speed combined with his own insane amount, can travel through dimensions at will, has kidnapped Caitlin, is ready to start his invasion of Earth-1 with his army and eventual Omnicidal Maniac plan to destroy every earth except Earth-1 so he can rule over it. Great hero we have here.
  • In "Invincible", Barry and Wells just defeated the ENTIRE legion of Zoom's metahuman army, including Zoom himself.
    You'd Expect:Team Flash to immediately detect Zoom and throw him in the Pipeline, without any further delay.
    Instead:Zoom creates a breach (no thanks to the earlier What an Idiot! moment, right above), and escapes to Earth-2.
    You'd Now Expect:Barry and Cisco to go to Earth-2 ASAP and track Zoom. Cisco has a hacking ability only bettered by the Calculator and Felicity Smoak, and indeed can track most of the metahumans in the right time.
    Instead: Barry and Team Flash with their family members,decide to party at their 'victory'. Apparently, when your worst enemy has the power to create and escape breaches whenever he likes, and just bids his time to strike, that moment is a great victory.
    As A Result: Predictably, Zoom arrives at the party not long after, takes Henry hostage, and uses the stunned crowd at his advantage. He pretty much goads Barry into admitting how Zoom and Barry are Not So Different, and kills Henry right away. This leads the so-called victory party to outright mourning, and Barry himself was tricked to accept Zoom's challenge for a last race. Said race will power up the superweapon, which is set to destroy all other universes excluding Earth-1 (note that it consists of Zoom's own home, as well as Supergirl's Earth. This will create a Domino Effect that will force Barry to eventually create Flashpoint.
  • In The Race of His Life, the Team, fearing Barry is too blinded by rage to face off against Zoom, decide to lock him up and take him down themselves, instead of trying to calm Barry down and work together, which is supposed to be the team's modus operandi. And the plan itself is equally stupid: trick Zoom into approaching a hologram of Caitlin and open a breach to Earth-2 where he will supposedly be trapped forever. The problem with this plan is that Zoom will be free to terrorize Earth-2 and every other universe in the multiverse, in the end that wouldn't work and worsened Barry's temptations.

Season 3

  • Barry just saw the Rival literally stab Kid Flash in the back, nearly killing him. After he fights the Rival, he gets the upper hand, and proceeds to turn his back on the murderous supervillain. Guess what the Rival tries to do? Barry only escapes because Joe showed up at the last moment.
  • In "Magenta," Wally wants to see if he has Super Speed, so he jumps right into a speeding car to see how he'll react to it. For bonus points, he actually tells Barry that he didn't know what he'd expect from doing this. Barry proceeds to chew Wally out so thoroughly that Joe feels there's nothing more for him to add to the discussion.
  • In "Duet," a depowered Flash and Supergirl try to stop a gang war from breaking out by running right in the middle of the crossfire. Fortunately, this didn't end fatally for them.
  • In "Infantino Street", Savitar, being a future time remnant of Barry, starts to gain memories of Barry's final preparations to prevent Iris' death (in particular, asking for Captain Cold's assistance in breaking in A.R.G.U.S.), and, in order to ensure the death that would lead to his origin, heads to S.T.A.R. Labs posing as Barry and, after stating that was able to get the Dominator power cell, proceeds to ask where Iris is.
    You'd Expect: H.R. to not say anything or at least inform "Barry" that he can't provide that information, as doing so would result in Savitar learning where Iris is being kept safe.
    Instead: H.R. tells "Barry" that Iris and her family are currently in Earth-2, with "Barry" then revealing himself to be Savitar.
    As A Result: Savitar travels to Earth-2 to capture Iris, nearly causing the death that Team Flash's been trying to prevent for a half a season to happen if weren't for H.R. making a Heroic Sacrifice by using his Earth-19 disguise device to switch places with Iris.
  • In the finale, Barry assumes Savitar to be down and out.
    You'd Expect: For Barry, an experienced fighter, to ensure that his enemy is unconscious.
    Instead: He turns away and walks towards his friends.
    As A Result: Savitar rises up and rushes Barry from behind. This time, Iris saves him.

Season 4

  • In "Mixed Signals," Shelia finds herself with her ex colleague Tim who tells her that their old partner Decker (who they screwed over) is a meta and has been hunting his old partners. Shelia doesn't believe this but then comes face to face with Decker himself who confirms what Tim said.
    You'd Expect: Shelia to realize that at the very least a confirmed killer is in her room with his sights set on her and try to resolve things peacefully or at the very least try to escape.
    Instead: She walks right up to Decker and tells him it's his fault that he got screwed over and that she's glad she did it because he finally grew a pair.
    The Result: Decker uses his new found technopathy to inject her with a lethal dose of insulin and nearly kills her. The only reason she survived was because Wally and Joe had been expecting this and were able to save her.
  • Towards the end of "Girls Night Out," Killer Frost finally has Amunet, who the CCPD have been searching for a while now, at her mercy. Iris convinces her not to kill her.
    You'd Expect: Killer Frost to just knock her out, or at least freeze her hands and feet together to keep her restrained for the police to take her away. AND nobody has to die.
    Instead: Caitlin decides to let her go. Why? Most likely to give the writers a chance to bring her back later in the season.
    The Result: The girls celebrate what they consider to be a victory, completely ignoring the fact that they let a dangerous, sadistic, and amoral Amunet escape so that she can continue with her criminal activities and put the rest of the city in danger. Caitlin's decision seems almost certain to come back to bite her hard.
  • In "When Harry Met Harry," Barry and Ralph are fighting a meta who can bring statues to life. This is their second encounter as Barry previously let her get away to save an innocent man's life. However, this time no one is in danger and the conflict only involves Barry, Ralph, the statue, and Mina (the meta). Barry is about to catch her, but then Mina's statue hits him.
    You'd Expect: Barry to forget about the statue as no innocent people are in danger and he could easily use his Super Speed to arrest her and carry her to the Pipeline so that no one else will be hurt by her powers.
    Instead: Barry tries to fight the statue, forgetting that no one is in danger and thus leaving the inexperienced Ralph to catch Mina.
    The Result: The statue ends up throwing Barry into a utility pole meaning innocent lives actually are in danger from the severed electrical cables. Because of this, Barry is also injured to the point where he cannot move and save a little girl from being crushed from the falling utility pole.
  • "Therefore I Am" is one big chain reaction of "What an Idiot" moments. Basically, Barry is convinced that DeVoe is the mastermind behind the creation of the "bus metas", but can't find any concrete proof, with his snooping resulting in DeVoe's wife filing a complaint to the police. Barry then discovers that DeVoe had hid a camera inside the Samuroid's helmet and has been monitoring him and the rest of Team Flash this whole time.
    You'd Expect: Barry, before doing anything else that could cause any possible legal problems, to inform the rest of the team about the camera. Then he could have asked Cisco to "vibe" the helmet first, or alternatively as Harry suggested he could track the IP address of the camera to its source.
    Instead: Barry promptly runs to the DeVoe household and breaks in to do a blind hunt for clues that he's guilty.
    You'd Then Expect: When breaking in, for Barry to wear something that can completely cover his face (i.e. his Flash costume), as he should have expected there would be security cameras around the DeVoe household given he just found one in the Samuroid.
    Instead: All he wears is civilian clothes and a hooded sweater.
    As A Result: DeVoe is able to catch a photo of his face, resulting in his wife filing a restraining order given Barry did something genuinely incriminating followed by Barry being given a two-week suspension from the police force.
    * Also from "Therefore I Am", while under question by Captain Singh on what Barry was doing investigating DeVoe and insisting it had to be for a very specific crime.
    You'd Expect: Barry or Joe to bring up DeVoe being suspected of the Samuroid attack in "The Flash Reborn". Even if there was no definite proof at the time it would have at least perked Singh's interest.
    Instead: Barry and Joe remain completely speechless and not giving Singh any proper answer.
    The Result: They look like complete idiots and DeVoe gets his complaint filed against Barry, while Barry's reputation is further tainted in the CCPD.
    Furthermore: Barry's actions serve to help [DeVoe] frame Barry for his murder.

Season 5

  • Basically the entire prolonged Cicada storyline is built around Team Flash consistently letting Cicada get away, by turning their backs for a second or not using meta-cuffs.
  • One of the dumbest decisions in Season 5 comes in the episode What's Past is Prologue. After Team Flash builds a device that actually severs Cicada's connection to his dagger Cisco grabs it to breach it away from him.
    You'd Expect: Cisco to breach it into a black hole, or the middle of a star, or another planet, or into an active volcano, or the bottom of the ocean where it will be crushed by the pressure, so that it will be instantly destroyed, just to be on the safe side. Or, if he wants to play it safe, he can just send it to another universe.
    Instead: Cisco sends it into orbit and even tells Cicada where he sent it.
    The Result: Cicada calls his dagger to him from space and the arc continues.
  • Nora's main role in the season basically makes her The Millstone for Team Flash. Constantly interfering when Barry has the situation under control, trusting villains who she has no reason to, and distrusting characters when she has no reason to. Case in point, when Weather Witch genuinely wants to make a Heel–Face Turn, Nora thinks the best possible decision is to disparage her and tell her she's beyond redemption, despite Cecile confirming that her genuine remorse.

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