Before I get into it here, let me be clear: There’s so much about The CW’s The Flash that I think is great. It’s got superhero fun with just enough heart and an awesome cast to boot. Which is why it’s so disappointing that the show is completely undermined by one glaringly obvious mistake that makes it impossible to enjoy.
Why doesn’t Flash have bugs splattered on his face after every time he runs really fast?
For a show that prides itself on its attention to detail, The Flash consistently overlooks the fact that its namesake should realistically have at least a half-inch layer of bug viscera slathered on his face at the end of every run. Just think of how many dead bugs there are on a car’s windshield after a road trip. Now take into account the fact that Flash is traveling more than 10 times the speed of a vehicle on the freeway. Do the writers really expect us to believe that Flash isn’t running into thousands and thousands of bugs on his runs and inadvertently killing them with his face and torso?
Honestly, there should be some bird guts mixed in there, too. And feathers.
These are basic considerations that a professional writing staff should be taking into account. And it’s a shame that Grant Gustin’s otherwise fantastic performance as Barry Allen/The Flash is basically unwatchable thanks to the fact that his face is conspicuously bug-free in every single scene. It’s the kind of mistake you might expect from a newer show that’s still working out the kinks, but we’re already halfway through the fourth season and Flash has not once had to ask someone for a towel to clean the obliterated remains of bugs off his face after running 700 mph for a sustained distance.
It’s such an obvious oversight that it’s frankly pretty embarrassing.
It’s just so infuriating that showrunners Greg Berlanti and Todd Helbing went to the trouble of building such a rich world for Flash, only to neglect such a crucial logical detail: all the dead bugs that he presumably has to spend hours cleaning off of his face and teeth after every time he runs. Would it kill them to at least include a line of exposition after each run where Flash explains that he just wiped the splattered bugs away right before he stopped running? At least then there would be a semblance of an explanation for why his face isn’t covered by a full mask of crushed and splattered insects.
But no. The creators of The Flash apparently can’t be bothered to make a show that actually makes sense. I mean, come on. We’re four seasons in, and they haven’t even given us a single scene in which Iris has to give Flash the Heimlich maneuver because his esophagus is stuffed full of dragonflies and mosquitos he accidentally swallowed while running at lightning-fast speeds through all manner of outdoor environments.
Look, I’m not trying to be a hater. I had high hopes for this show, and I really wanted to enjoy it. But Central City’s thrilling cast of characters and compelling superhero storylines can’t make up for the fact that every time Flash shows up without a mouthful of gnats, I’m completely taken out of the experience. It’s just bad writing and bad world-building, and I’m not sure I’m going to be able to keep watching. It’s a real shame.