Skip to main content

'The Flash' 7.04 Review: Central City Strong

His name is Philipe.

David Dastmalchian as Abra Kadabra in 'The Flash.'
(Image: © The CW )

Our Verdict

Thrilled to to see The Flash continue its trend of focusing on heart over might.

For

  • ⚡️We love an episode focused on grief and guilt!
  • ⚡️David Dastmalchian always brings it as Abra Kadabra, but this was a particularly special performance.

Against

  • ⚡️This Frost twist is a bit out of the blue.

This post contains spoilers for The Flash.
Check out our last review here

Guilt and grief are the themes of this week’s The Flash. The two come together in a very significant way, one that also manages to help the episode avoid falling into the standard villain-of-the-week category. While Barry tries to get rid of his guilt and Iris tries to quantify her feelings over being trapped for as long as she was, Abra Kadabra returns to attempt to blow up a city in the middle of its attempt to rebuild after Eva’s defeat.

When Abra Kadabra (David Dastmalchian) returns, it’s because The Flash (Grant Gustin) broke the timeline when he didn’t disappear. When the timeline changed, the future where Kadabra was happy goes away with it. He knows what he’s lost, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get them back. The thing is, there’s no experiment, no hypothesis, no simulation that he’s run that results in the outcome he wants. His family is gone, it’s technically Barry’s — but more precisely, Crisis’ — fault, and Kadabra wants his revenge.

Thankfully, the hiccup we saw several weeks ago with No Feels Only Brains Barry has been corrected, and the Super Friends’ resident puppy dog has returned to protect his city and take on the world. The Flash doesn’t beat Abra Kadabra with brawn. Instead, he explains to him what he already knows: destroying Central City won’t bring his family back, and they wouldn’t want him to go out that way. In a moment of clarity, Kadabra tells him that his name is Philipe. Unfortunately, his moment as a “good guy” is short lived. Turns out the earthquakes that have been wracking the city aren’t from natural causes, and Kadabra wasn’t behind them either. He and The Flash are attacked by a mysterious monster. Central City’s speedster survives the first blow, but Philipe dies a hero in an attempt to distract whatever the thing is long enough for Barry to recover.

Ultimately, it was a sad farewell to a long-running side-character in The Flash, but this week belongs to Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton). The series has no intention on just skipping past her trauma even if she as a character would kill to. It might not be the primary focus of  “Central City Strong,” but Central City’s ace reporter is given time to both deny he trauma and realize that she has to stop running from it by the end of the episode. A similar (also valuable) track is taken with Barry’s guilt as he continues to deal with the fact that he thought a mirror-person was his wife for as long as he did. 

For now, we have no idea who this mysterious new monster is, or what her motives are. What we do know is that she absorbed a dark matter bomb big enough to wipe out the city, as well as a lightning bolt without so much as a tickle. All signs point to her having a connection to the bolts that shot off of the speedforce when Team Flash managed to restore it, but we’ll have to wait for more answers on that front. Next week we’ll see nightmares come to life, which likely means we’ll take a brief hiatus from whoever this new she-hulk-like player may be.