As “The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Pt. 1” begins, we are informed that the upcoming event “Crisis on Infinite Earths” is only two days away. While the Arrowverse crossover is highly anticipated by fans, it’s the exact opposite for Team Flash. Ever since the Monitor warned Barry and the rest of his friends about the upcoming cataclysm, they have been preparing to say goodbye to Barry, who is destined to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the multiverse. Now, with the Crisis mere hours away, Barry is contemplating the life he is about to leave behind.
However, the unexpected meddling of Ramsey Rosso, aka Bloodwork, throws a wrench in his plans. After a fight with Ramsey leaves Ralph Dibny severely wounded, Barry donates his blood to the Elongated Man in a bid to help him heal faster and save his life. The procedure pays off, but it has an unfortunate side-effect: Ramsey’s blood, which had infected Ralph, found its way into Barry.
The Scarlet Speedster fights Bloodwork’s infection for most of the episode, but ultimately ends up succumbing… and transforming into Negative Flash.
After coming down with the infection, Barry falls into a coma-like state. In his mind, Ramsey attempts to take control of Barry by convincing him that he should choose life over death. But the Speed Force also shows up in the form of Barry’s mother, who fights to keep Barry in his right state of mind.
Unfortunately, as the infection grows stronger, Ramsey’s words become more and more enticing. His promise to give Barry the power to not only save everyone else from the Crisis but himself as well is persuasive. It’s the answer Barry has been looking for ever since the start of the season.
In his right mind, Barry wouldn’t succumb to Ramsey, but the infection inside him feeds on and increases his darkness. As the Speed Force and Bloodwork fight for control of Barry, the Scarlet Speedster wakes from his coma. But he’s no longer the heroic speedster we know — instead, he is now the Negative Flash. His lightning effects have become black, like Ramsey’s blood, and the dark infection has spread to his eyes, mouth, fingers and logo. As the Negative Flash, Barry is fueled by his darkness, and he obeys the commands of Bloodwork.
In the comics, Barry Allen briefly became the Negative Flash during Rebirth. While he faced Bloodwork in that storyline, it wasn’t Ramsey’s influence that transformed him into the Negative Flash. In fact, the change happened prior to the pair’s confrontation. It was actually the Reverse-Flash who trapped Barry Allen in the Negative Speed Force, whose darkness corrupted and changed him.
While it happens differently in The Flash television show, the Negative Flash has arrived, and it couldn’t come at a worse possible time. After all, the Crisis is almost here.
Airing Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW, The Flash stars Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Tom Cavanagh, Jesse L. Martin, Danielle Nicolet and Hartley Sawyer.