'The Flash' Reveals His True Power in a Fight With Cicada in "Seeing Red"

Barry Allen is literally “Seeing Red” in the latest episode of The Flash, and after Cicada severely wounds Nora, it makes Barry angry enough to channel three times the power of a lightning bolt into his fist. It’s perhaps the most powerful we’ve seen the Flash, but also his most angry.

Full spoilers follow for The Flash Season 5, Episode 11: “Seeing Red.”

After last week revealed that a meta-human cure was possible, “Seeing Red” continues exploring that conflict in multiple dramatic ways, but mostly in the B-plot. Predictably, Killer Frost is afraid that if Caitlin were to take the cure, it would erase her from existence. In other places during this episode, a similar kind of fear leads to anger.

There’s a larger concern that with a meta-human serial killer like Cicada on the loose, a lot of metas are starting to think they might be better off if they never had powers to begin with, especially when a police officer leaks a list of known meta-humans directly to Cicada.

The more pressing concern, at least to Barry, happens after Cicada depowers Team Flash in a fight and punches Nora in the spine. Her back is broken, hearkening back to when Zoom did something similar to Barry. History is always doomed to repeat itself on The Flash, and even when we and Barry know that Nora will eventually heal, it’s enough to make him incredibly angry.

It’s almost comical, as always, to watch an angry Barry try to hold his own in a fight without his powers, making me wonder yet again why he doesn’t train more without his Speed. Wouldn’t it make sense to shoot over to Star City and train with Oliver a couple times a month? Better yet, what if he took a bit of Oliver’s muscle memory with him after the Elseworlds crossover?

It makes for a startling juxtaposition with the thrilling final fight of the episode, when Cicada ambushes a huge group of metas that Team Flash is trying to transport into protective custody. Killer Frost is able to temporarily subdue Cicada’s dagger, effectively negating its power negation.

Double negative means a positive, so a fully-powered Barry makes short work of Cicada, channeling three lightning bolts worth of energy into his fist. With that much energy, he could very easily kill Cicada, especially when he momentarily enters Flashtime to deliver one precise, brutal punch.

Barry does actually come very close to killing Cicada in a fit of rage, but of course Nora only just finishes healing in time to speed over and stop him.

The whole thing serves as an interesting reminder that much like Spider-Man over in Marvel, the Flash almost never utilizes his full potential. In almost ever case, he’s pulling his punches because enemies never truly push him to the limit. But the Flash operating at his most angry and desperate is a force to be reckoned with in the multiverse.

One thing’s for sure, Barry would go to extreme lengths to protect Nora, and we’re bound to see those limits tested time and again throughout the rest of the season.

The Flash airs Tuesday nights on The CW at 8 p.m. Eastern.