'The Flash' Season 6: Bloodwork causes an emotional crisis in Barry Allen before the actual 'Crisis On Infinite Earths'
In the latest episode of 'The Flash', Barry Allen chooses Bloodwork's side, to avoid dying during the Crisis
'Crisis' — that's the word on the lips of superheroes these days. The multiverse-spanning 'Crisis on Infinite Earths' is a couple of days away, and our superheroes have been struggling to come to terms with the ominous fate that is set to befall them.
After stoically saying tearful goodbyes, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) is having second thoughts now about dying or vanishing during the Crisis, as the prophecy states.
For the longest time, he has maintained a brave face for everyone and refused to even try and fight it. He had accepted his mysterious fate, whatever it may be.
However, in the last episode, the real vulnerabilities of Barry are revealed. He gets infected by Bloodwork (Sendhil Ramamurthy), who wants him on his side. If he does so, Barry can survive the Crisis, and he can have the future with Iris (Candice Patton), that he desires.
It's told to him convincingly, and Barry is torn. He knows what's wrong and evil, but the lure of a happy ending is too much for him. In this conflict between good and evil, Barry gets carried away.
Barry succumbs to the temptation and instantly becomes a changed person, something that Iris instantly notices at the end of the episode. He turns into the Negative Flash. It now depends on the team to bring back the old Barry just before the Crisis hits.
How Bloodwork played with Barry's mind
Ramsey had infected Ralph with his blood. When Barry saves Ralph with a blood transfusion, the infection spreads to him. This leads to Barry collapsing with a fever, while the Speed Force tries to fight off the infection, which is essentially Ramsey toying with Barry's memories and causing him further pain.
The more the infection grows, the more enticing Ramsey's words seem. Barry realizes that he can not only save everyone else during the Crisis, but he can be saved too.
It's what he has always wanted. In his right mind, Barry has no inclination to choose Ramsey and knows what the Speed Force in the form of his mother is saying is right. Unfortunately, the infection gets the upper hand.
Bloodwork's emotional manipulation doesn't end there. The most heartwrenching part of the episode is when Barry sees his daughter Nora as a baby, and cannot touch or hold her. Season 5 ended with Nora vanishing in front of their eyes, leaving Barry and Iris to grieve.
It's the promise that he will survive the Crisis and have that happy family portrait with Iris and Nora that is alluring. Bloodwork plays on Barry's emotions and knows just when to twist the knife further.
Bloodwork knows that the temptation of a life with Iris and Nora is too much to resist for Barry, and sure enough, Barry gives in.
Grappling with fear and mortality
For most of Season 6, Barry has been trying to prepare his team to survive without him. It is in this episode that we finally see Barry's real fears come to the fore. And, when the means of survival hangs like a carrot in front of him, he is desperate to snatch it.
Barry has made several errors over the years, but he rarely has taken such a dark twist as this. However, he has also never faced something like the terrifying prospect of the 'Crisis'. And, who wants to lose a chance of a happy life with their family?
In the next episode, Bloodwork's arc will be wrapped up as 'Crisis' hits right after that. However, the show has found a way to link the darkly sadistic Bloodwork with the looming 'Crisis'.
In fact, it was Bloodwork who tortured Barry enough with his darkest fears and made him admit that he did not want to die. 'The Flash' airs on The CW on Tuesdays.