The Flash -- "P.O.W." -- Image Number: FLA716b_BTS_0260r.jpg – Pictured: David Ramsey as John Diggle -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Photo Credit: Bettina Strauss

There’s something comforting about the right kind of cameo on a show. A beloved character brought back, given ample screen time, and something to do. The Flash botched it hard earlier this year with Tom Cavanaugh’s final appearance, but a guest spot from David Ramsey is another chance for the show to succeed. Spoilers follow for The Flash Season 7, Episode 16, “P.O.W.”

P.O.W.

The Flash has been struggling to find its footing for a long time now–ironic for a show about a guy who is better at running than anyone else on earth. The Forces storyline was a low point, with an ambitious storyline falling into the muck and mire of drama without giving us the character development to back it up.

After a couple of character-focused episodes, though, The Flash is starting to find its footing, if only for a little bit. The show is finally diving into the Godspeed mystery that has been percolating since Nora West-Allen joined the cast in Season 5. After a frantic fight against the Godspeed clones last week, the team is looking desperately for answers when who should appear but John Diggle. Chester P. Runk is over the moon–to him, Diggle is something of a celebrity, and he can’t help but fanboy out when the ex-vigilante appears.

While his appearance on Legends of Tomorrow was a silly cameo, this appearance continues the storyline that began at the end of Arrow and continued in the penultimate episode of Batwoman Season 2.

Diggle arrives

Diggle arrives with a present from ARGUS, a sort of stasis device that can be used to trap a speedster. They manage to capture one of the rebellious Godspeed clones who eventually decides to talk; he reveals that there are two Godspeed factions. One bows before the original Godspeed, August Heart, while the other faction knows that Heart would kill them once they stopped being useful, and they want more life from their father.

The team works out where they might find the modern-day, non-speedster August Heart. Meanwhile, the same headaches that brought Diggle to Gotham a few weeks ago have only intensified, becoming almost crippling. He’s hearing voices, too, saying that ‘worlds await’ him, while we get flashbacks to him opening that clamshell full of bright green light.

It sounds like whatever they’re doing with this storyline it’ll likely get its major development when he appears on Superman and Lois in the coming weeks.

Speedsters break time

While this is going on, time itself seems to be bending and flexing. Barry is having visions of his daughter, Nora, warning him of something to come. When he tries–with Diggle’s encouragement–to visit Nora in the future, a bunch of Godspeeds are there to stop him from making it there. What do you call a group of speedsters? A marathon?

Anyway, Flash is knocked out of the timestream and finds himself face to face with the Still Force, Deon. Remember how Iris was conspicuously absent last week? It turns out she’s apparently phasing through temporal planes or some other timey-wimey gobbledy-gook, and Deon holding her in stasis is the only thing keeping her alive.

Meanwhile, Joe West and Kristen survived the explosion unscathed and end up on the run from an apparently immortal soldier. This storyline is doing nothing for the show, Joe West himself, or the actor who plays him, Jesse L. Martin. It doesn’t play to any of the show’s strengths–it’s just filler so far.

In the final moments of the episode, with August Heart found but mind-wiped, the Godspeeds’ purpose revealed, and Diggle on his way to do what he says he should’ve done long ago, Nora shows up… with her brother Bart in tow.

Next week!

The show’s epic-sounding 150th Episode is now set up–Nora and Bart will be there, apparently, Jay Garrick returns–this is going to be an all-out speedster war to close out the season.

This episode is easily one of the strongest of the season, if not the strongest. It has a lot going for it. Diggle’s presence brings some much-needed grounding for the team. I’m interested in the Godspeed mystery. What’s ironic is that by the end of Season 3, fans were asking for any villain that wasn’t a speedster, and here we are fighting a speedster again… and it’s the first time in a while that the show feels like it’s back on track, and I’m actually looking forward to the next episode for the first time in a while.