The Flash recently served up some game-changing reveals that could have massive ramifications on the remainder of Season 6. In episode 14, “Death of the Speed Force,” we saw the return of Wally West, aka Kid Flash. After a long time away, Wally informed Barry Allen that he didn’t come back just to see his family. He also wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on with the Speed Force, which has been on a downward spiral since the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover.
Speculative spoilers ahead for The Flash's Season 6 episode, "Death of the Speed Force"
Barry began losing his connection to the Speed Force during Season 6's midseason premiere. While he didn’t realize the cause at the time, his powers did begin acting up in strange ways. For example, his speed healing would fail to work as quickly as it had in the past, he would lose his breath when he ran, and lightning would shoot out of his hands unexpectedly.
As it turns out, the problems began during “Crisis on Infinite Earths." In order to save the multiverse, Barry allowed the cosmic entity known as the Spectre to infiltrate the Speed Force. Unfortunately, this incursion infected the Speed Force and triggered its death. With Barry poised to lose his powers for good, here are three theories that might occur following the demise of the Speed Force:
Barry will be pulled into the Negative Speed Force
From past episodes, we know that the villainous Reverse-Flash was able to create his own Speed Force by using negative energy and emotion to help fuel his powers. For regular speedsters, the Negative Speed Force acts like a disease that can infect and kill them. To combat these mounting problems, Barry reveals that he wants to create an artificial Speed Force as a temporary substitute until he can figure out a way to bring back the original.
However, considering that Reverse-Flash is back in the mix, it’s possible that Barry will be absorbed by the Negative Speed Force instead. In the comics, Thawne does lead Barry into the NSF at one point. Though Barry is able to break free, the residual effects linger in unexpected ways. Since the show has never shied from its comic book roots, it’s very possible The Flash is headed in the same direction.
The Flash could team up with Nora West-Allen
In the episode, Wally indicated that the Speed Force didn’t belong to any one person, but instead linked all speedsters together through time. Wally even saw his kids and their kids running together at some point in the future. More importantly, however, Wally tells Barry that he saw Nora West-Allen in the Speed Force, too.
That should have been impossible, since Barry and Iris’ daughter vanished from existence in the Season 5 finale. However, the confirmation of her continued existence means that Nora may reteam with her father to help save the Speed Force in a later episode.
Reverse-Flash will be defeated once and for all
“Death of the Speed Force” saw the return of Eobard Thawne, known best as The Flash’s manipulative foe, Reverse-Flash. After a few episodes of being haunted by dead doppelgangers of his alternate self, Nash Wells was fully taken over by Thawne. While the method of his return remains a mystery, Thawne’s possession-based resurrection poses a new threat to Team Flash.
Now that the Speed Force is dead and Thawne is seemingly powerless for the time being, Barry’s plan to create an artificial Speed Force creates a huge opportunity to defeat Reverse-Flash once and for all. Previews for an upcoming episode indicate that Barry will be fighting with Thawne and, given how long the villain has been around, this storyline is an opportune time to tie up his arc for good.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.