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Spoilers ahead for Episode 7 of The Flash Season 6, called "The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Pt. 1."
The Flash has delivered some of the Arrow-verse's scariest villains over the years so far, with Tom Cavanagh chilling from the very beginning as Eobard Thawne, Zoom literally breaking Barry, and more. That said, I've been thoroughly unimpressed with The Flash's big bad Bloodwork for the first portion of Season 6, despite solid performances from Sendhil Ramamurthy. To me, The Flash was putting way more time and effort into (understandably) setting up the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover than actually turning Bloodwork into a compelling villain.
Well, I stand by my stance that the build to Bloodwork as a formidable baddie could have been better, but I'll admit that I was wrong about The Flash not having the time to do something interesting with him. In fact, The Flash found a way to make him downright scary in the first half of the Season 6 midseason finale, called "The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Pt. 1." Here's how The Flash went ahead and made me change my mind about Bloodwork.
Picking up after the cliffhanger that had Ralph facing off against Bloodwork, the baddie wound up infecting Ralph, who was dying until Barry used his phasing abilities to transfuse some of his blood with its speed-healing properties into Ralph. Unfortunately, this resulted in Barry being infected, and Bloodwork used the infection to subject Barry to very creepy hallucinations -- complete with his friends and family eating and leaking black Bloodwork blood -- to push him closer and closer to accepting Bloodwork as a way to survive the coming Crisis and live a full life with Iris, Nora, and more.
The Speed Force, in the form of Nora Allen, tried to intervene and stop Barry from giving into Bloodwork's temptation. Barry eventually turned on the Speed Force and tried to kill it/her with the same vibrating hand fans have seen Reverse-Flash use to kill. The situation turns into a fight between Bloodwork and the Speed Force for Barry, with Speed Force saying that accepting Bloodwork's blood would result in Barry losing his soul.
Cisco seemed to find the way to save the day by injecting Barry with some Velocity X, but the reveal at the end of the episode was that Barry was already possessed by Bloodwork when he was pulled out of the vision. Barry attacked Cisco, Frost, and Iris, although he didn't kill them. Leaving them unconscious in STAR Labs, he went to join Bloodwork, looking seriously creepy as the Bloodworked Flash.
Basically, The Flash found a way to make Bloodwork properly scary in the span of an hour, when I was distinctly not scared by him for the first six episodes of the season. Does this redeem The Flash taking its good time on developing Bloodwork into a legit bad guy, when he was only slated to be the big bad for the first, pre-"Crisis on Infinite Earths" arc of the season? Not quite, for me. Was it a pleasant surprise to see Bloodwork become a very real threat worth mentioning alongside the likes of Savitar and The Thinker? Yes.
Now I'm just hoping that the second half of the midseason finale, which presumably ends Bloodwork's arc and shifts the show into full "Crisis" mode, is as solid as the first half. "The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Pt. 2," which airs Tuesday, December 3 at 8 p.m. ET, will see Team Flash fighting to help Barry regain control from Bloodwork, while also working to defeat Bloodwork's growing army and save the city. Check out the promo:
"The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Pt. 2" will be The Flash's final episode before the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover that may or may not kill off a couple of major Arrow-verse heroes. The crossover kicks off on Sunday, December 8 at 8 p.m. ET with an episode of Supergirl and doesn't come to an end until the new year, so be sure to tune in! For more of what to expect in the not-too-distant future, swing by our winter and spring TV premiere schedule.