The reality of Barry passing begins to set with the team in different ways. Cisco becomes the primary focus, as he is also the most vocal in not accepting there is only one future– one without Barry. No matter what Barry says to comfort him, Cisco becomes more agitated and feels Barry is giving up. Barry wants Cisco to lead the team after he passes, and wants to inspire him with the same motivation he has to protect Central City. This somehow translates into finding a cure for Doctor Russo, a person Barry believes can save so many just by surviving himself.
Enter Harrison “Nash” Wells, a man who knows what he wants and will do what he can to get it. Barry, desperate to find a cure for Doctor Russo, is all too eager to volunteer to help Nash steal technology with the promise of a cure. The cure is said to regenerate cells, meaning good ones can replace the bad ones, made with tech from an alien world. The whole scene plays out as a classic heist, with Barry and Cisco struggling to escape when they are nearly caught in a top-secret lab. Cisco steals the cure, in hopes to use it to save Barry instead of Doctor Russo.
When Barry finds out he’s furious, he only wanted to save one life, and it can’t be his own. Both Barry and Cisco have faced countless deaths, and while Barry has always been an optimistic voice, Cisco can’t handle Barry seemingly giving up. It’s not until the final battle, and a quick heart to heart with Frost, does Cisco start to open up. At the same time, Barry begins to soften; it’s clear he’s worried about the team, but he can’t force them into roles on his terms.
While Barry and Cisco work on their relationship, the rest of Team Flash is still processing the news. Dibny is taking it extremely hard, to the point he’s snapping at Iris for trying to help him with a missing person case. A quick talk from Joe gets him to calm down, and he apologies, recognizing that living can’t be put on hold even when losing someone.
I wasn’t expecting Barry to talk over his impending death with Joe. The two have a closer relationship than Barry did with his biological dad, and seeing Joe break down got to me. It felt like a final goodbye between the two. Seeing a father realize he has to say goodbye to his son felt genuine, and Joe’s hurt was real. If you haven’t seen them grow together, it may not have the same impact.
Having Team Flash react realistically drove home what’s at stake. It isn’t just Barry as the Flash we’re going to lose– he’s practically a family member to most. They were able to play off a serious storyline with the discovery Doctor Russo can control bodies he has sucked dry of their blood. He can essentially make zombies, and if that isn’t the coolest villain power they’ve faced, I don’t know what is.