Time travel and mind-bending paradoxes are pretty standard in The Flash, so it makes total sense that a plot hole or two might slip in. It's not ideal, but hey, Barry's cute, so we can totally forgive everyone's favorite Scarlet Speedster for the odd inconsistency.
However, what fans of #TheCW's biggest superhero show may not have realized is that The Flash contains one plot hole in particular that dwarves all others. In fact, this gap in logic is so huge that it makes the black hole from Season 2's finale look smaller than The Atom in comparison.
If you don't want the adventures of Team Flash forever ruined, we suggest you run away faster than Barry on Velocity 9... but aren't you just a teensy bit curious?
The Flash Should Win Every Fight In Less Than Three Seconds, And Here's Why
Barry Allen loves to remind us that he's 'The Fastest Man Alive' on a weekly basis, using his super-speed to protect the residents of Central City from the meta-humans who terrorise their home. One certainly can't fault the Scarlet Speedster for these noble aspirations, but there's just one small problem:
The Flash is a cocky bastard.
Sure, Barry seems adorable, flashing that winning smile at us one minute and those cute puppy dog eyes in the next, but if the safety of Central City was really top of his agenda, then The Flash would approach each fight very differently.
Despite jumping into the fray with Team Flash in his ear, offering strategic tips via their connected headpiece, Barry takes great delight in using his super speed to... stand directly in front of his enemy, trading banter. Why use the element of surprise to sucker punch your enemy and knock them out when you can slow down and remind them of how awesome you are with some well-timed witticisms?
But, Does This Happen Often?
In just Season 3 alone, Barry has committed this cardinal sin more than we would like to admit. Remember that time The Flash confronted Mirror Master and The Top with some cocky bravado, proving to be a terrible role model for Jesse Quick?
"Yeah, so we're not going to let you leave here with that."
Or when Barry thought it was more important to update Plunder on his love life than actually apprehend the villain?
"See, I'm living with someone now, so I can't have criminals constantly interrupting our alone time."
Perhaps if Barry spent less time chatting and more time fighting, maybe there would be more villains locked up safe in the S.T.A.R. Labs Pipeline.
But Could The Flash Really Win Every Fight With One Sucker Punch?
While Barry could certainly use his speed and the element of surprise to take out the majority of Rogues with ease (honestly, how hard is it to sneak up behind Captain Cold and just nab his cold gun?), there are some instances where this approach wouldn't work.
For example, some villains have turned the tables and actually taken Barry by surprise instead, such as that time King Shark snuck up and grabbed The Flash by the skull. How this didn't instantly crush his poor little speedster brain is a discussion for another day...
Then there's also those moments when Barry's trusting nature gets the better of him, such as when he recently tried to bring Caitlyn Snow back from the brink of ice-cold villainy.
Of course, The Flash doesn't just fight your run-of-the-mill Rogues. Week after week, it seems like there's a new speedster in town, and they rarely see eye to eye with Barry. In these situations, the ol' sucker punch manoeuvre probably wouldn't work as well, due to the lightning-fast reflexes of these evil speedsters... although it certainly wouldn't hurt to attempt at least one surprise attack across the show's many seasons.
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It's easy to see why this ginormous plot hole has been allowed to continue for so long. After all, these climactic confrontations are usually the highlight of each episode, and if Barry could take out most of his villains in three seconds, then there wouldn't be much of a show left to watch. It's also difficult for the writers to devise new ways of accounting for this plot hole without coming across as contrived or repetitive.
Sure, Barry's not the most subtle guy in the world, racing into battle in a bright red suit that screams "shoot me," but still — The Flash could attempt to surprise his enemies at least once without loudly announcing his presence beforehand. Hell, we'd even settle for a quip from Cisco, pointing out that this plot hole exists and won't be resolved anytime soon. Unless, of course, someone travelled back in time to change things...