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  1. #1
    New In Town Clada Max-El's Avatar
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    Why does Barry even wear a mask?

    This is going to be a little bit of a rant.

    One good thing about Arrow in the old days is that at the end of Season 1, you could still count on one hand how many people knew Ollie's secret. On Flash, you had already run out of fingers in the one hand at the end of the pilot. By the end of the first season, you run out of both fingers AND toes, with at least 22 people that I can think of off the top of my head who know who the Flash is under his mask.

    Below I have my list of people who learned Barry's secret in Season 1, written in white so that the spoiler sensitive can be spared. I am well aware that some of the names on my list are now deceased, and some the names are my list are code names. If I am missing one, that just further proves my point.Iappologise for spelling any names wrong.

    Eobard Thawne, Cisco Ramone, Caitlyn Snow, Oliver Queen, Joe West, Felicity Smoak, Girder, Plastique, John Diggle, Lyla Michaels, Roy Harper, Leonard Snart (and possibly Dante Ramone), Eddie Thawne, Ray Palmer, Ronnie Raymond, Martin Stien, Mrs. Stien, Laurel Lance, Henry Allen, Malcolm Merlin, Iris West, and Nora Allen.


    Season 2 adds even more names to the list. With so many people who know Barry's secret, it's no wonder Jay Garrick was able to figure out who the Flash was over the summer. By the end of season 2, we've nearly doubled our number, adding at least 19 names to our list. Once again, I will put my list in white below:

    Jay Garrick/Zoom, Earth-2 Harrison Wells, Linda Park, Kendra Sonders, Carter Hall, Thea Queen, Jesse Quick, Earth-2 Iris West, Earth-2 Barry Allen, Killer Frost, The Man in the Iron Mask, Patty Spivit, Hartley Rathaway, Kara Danvers/Supergirl, Jimmie Olsen, Whinn Scott, Lucy Lane and Cat Grant from the Supergirl Crossover, Tina McGee and Wally West.


    Last edited by Clada Max-El; 06-03-2016 at 04:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Pirate King Backward Galaxy's Avatar
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    The list of people who know Barry = Flash is basically the entire main cast, but that doesn't make it a lot of people relative to the city/country/world at large.

    Think of it a different way... In the real world, the one in which you and I live, a lot of people in the chain of command know the identity of undercover police officers, but you don't broadcast their identities to the world at large.

  3. #3
    Posting Pro Aurora Moon's Avatar
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    I agree that Barry handled the whole secret identity thing in the worst way possible. How about taking off his mask every chance he could get, right there in public where anybody with a phone camera could be wandering by, etc.

    Intellectually, I know it's because the director and the writers wanted us to be able to see Barry's face every time he emotes.... it's the same reason why they have glass prisons in many TV shows now, so that we can see the actors' faces when they act out how they feel.

    But in-universe, it just made Barry look stupid... and lately I think even the writers and the director was starting to realize this, and that's why we don't see Barry take off his mask as much as often as he used to.

    I like Backwards Galaxy's explanation though... that part does make a lot of sense. But it does bring up one of my biggest beef with the series, how long Barry held off on telling Iris even though literally everyone else knew by that point. And worse, that "secret" was putting her in danger.
    I liked it when Iris rightfully told Barry off for doing that, when she found out about him.

    I think nowadays, Superheroes need to evolve the secret ID thing a little bit to fit with the times.

    Instead of having them go: "Nobody must know that I really am the _____"
    It should be: "Only my closest allies and my loved ones should know that I'm really the _______."

  4. #4
    New In Town Clada Max-El's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backward Galaxy View Post
    Think of it a different way... In the real world, the one in which you and I live, a lot of people in the chain of command know the identity of undercover police officers, but you don't broadcast their identities to the world at large.
    I understand that, and I know that in the modern would you can't expect a hero to keep his secret from everyone like it was still 1939. I'm perfectly fine with a hero having a circle of friends who know the Secret and can help the hero out when its needed. But, like Aurora Moon mentioned, Barry does handle it in the worst way possible. It's almost as if Barry doesn't care about his secret identity. A few times when his secret was accidently revealed he just brushed it off like it happened every day. At least whenever Ollie's identity was revealed without his concent Ollie would spend some time ensuring said person would not tell anyone.

    One thing I would like to see sometime on the show is Team Flash agreeing to always refer to Barry as Flash whenever he was wearing the suit. It didn't matter if they were in STAR Labs or on the street. In costume, his name is The Flash, out of costume, his name is Barry. Is that too hard for the writers to do?
    Last edited by Clada Max-El; 06-03-2016 at 04:21 PM.

  5. #5
    Posting Pro Aurora Moon's Avatar
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    I kind of wish that they had done it deliberately, so that there was a sub-plot where Barry was careless about his ID and he ended up facing consequences for that. so that Barry could learn not to be so careless and stupid when taking off his mask every chance he got.

    It would be a good way of exploring and deconstructing the Heroes and their secret ID trope, and why we need it even in this day and age.
    With a light-hearted hero like Barry who works on the police force, he might even thought that he was a good guy so therefore he had nothing to hide from the public. With such a mindset, it would be understandable why he kind of didn't care if anybody found out who he was.... until something horrible happened.

    That's why I'm so annoyed with how they handled Barry's Flash alter ego.... there's zero consequences to anybody finding out who he really is.

  6. #6
    Pirate King Backward Galaxy's Avatar
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    To me, the secret identity thing is played. It's been played since the 80's, but it's especially played now in the post Raimi-Spiderman world. I'm perfectly okay with them treating him like he's basically an undercover cop. Others "on the force" can know and it just isn't that big of a deal.

  7. #7
    Posting Pro Aurora Moon's Avatar
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    But Barry takes his mask off in front of enemies too. Captain Cold found out, etc... and it wasn't treated as a major threat even though it should had been. Oh sure they went though the motions of wondering whenever Captain Cold would blow the whistle on Barry, but apparently it's alright because Snart's a frenemy to Barry.

    That's the thing about undercover cops. It's alright if other cops know, but any citizen or criminals aren't supposed to know otherwise the undercover cop's life could be in danger. But Barry's actions isn't like that of a undercover cop, it's like he doesn't care who knows about him.

  8. #8
    Pirate King Backward Galaxy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aurora Moon View Post
    But Barry takes his mask off in front of enemies too. Captain Cold found out, etc... and it wasn't treated as a major threat even though it should had been. Oh sure they went though the motions of wondering whenever Captain Cold would blow the whistle on Barry, but apparently it's alright because Snart's a frenemy to Barry.

    That's the thing about undercover cops. It's alright if other cops know, but any citizen or criminals aren't supposed to know otherwise the undercover cop's life could be in danger. But Barry's actions isn't like that of a undercover cop, it's like he doesn't care who knows about him.
    Cisco told Snart that Barry is Flash to save Dante's life. Barry only unmasked after Snart called him by his first name.


    Last edited by Backward Galaxy; 06-03-2016 at 10:50 AM.

  9. #9
    Posting Pro Aurora Moon's Avatar
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    I was mainly thinking of guys like that army general Wade Eiling. He was antagonistic towards the Flash.

    When Barry took off his mask to talk with Plastique, He was there to see Barry do that. So it wasn't like he employed some clever way to learn of Flash's ID, all it took was Barry taking off his mask.

  10. #10
    Pirate King Backward Galaxy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aurora Moon View Post
    When Barry took off his mask to talk with Plastique, He was there to see Barry do that. So it wasn't like he employed some clever way to learn of Flash's ID, all it took was Barry taking off his mask.
    If you're talking about this scene:



    Eiling is unconscious when Barry takes off his mask.

  11. #11
    Posting Pro Aurora Moon's Avatar
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    General Wade alludes to having found out that way in his later conversations with the Flash, so he clearly wasn't unconscious at the time. He just collapsed from his injuries, which isn't the same thing as passing out. He could had easily listened to everything that was going on with his eyes half-closed in the background when Barry was on the mic talking to his allies at star labs, etc.

  12. #12
    Pirate King Backward Galaxy's Avatar
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    I mean, it's pretty clear from the way the scene is staged that Barry at least thought Eiling was unconscious. So, at worst, Barry slipped up. It's not like he walked into an army base with his mask off. And Plastique was dying. He wanted her to see a friendly face. His humanity in that moment trumped his need to hide his secret identity from a man who probably could have put 2 and 2 together all on his own, anyway.

    I think the perception is greater than the reality because we're only privy to the lives of the cast. The greater world of that universe does not know Barry Allen is the Flash. And if you take away the people from that list who aren't even from Earth-1, or are dead, it's around 25 people deep. So, like, 25 people out of 7 billion know Barry is Flash.
    Last edited by Backward Galaxy; 06-03-2016 at 11:49 AM.

  13. #13
    Posting Pro Aurora Moon's Avatar
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    It doesn't change the fact that in the early seasons Barry took his mask off in public a lot. He's gotten better about it, but it did bug me a lot.

    Sure, that Street, Alleyway or construction set where he took off his mask is empty but what about security cameras? What about random bystanders who could had been just walking by? Etc...

    Attachment 16788
    Take this scene from Rogue Air. They're basically standing around chatting before the big showdown in an semi-public place, and Barry has his mask down for no real good reason. Anybody could had been walking by and saw him. Or, what about security cameras on the buildings behind them?

    Oh, and let's not forget about the time Barry Allen wanted to do a group picture of himself and the Star Labs crew, while still wearing his flash suit. But his mask was off for that. What happens if somebody comes across that picture?
    Last edited by Aurora Moon; 06-03-2016 at 12:20 PM.

  14. #14
    Pirate King Backward Galaxy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aurora Moon View Post
    It doesn't change the fact that in the early seasons Barry took his mask off in public a lot. He's gotten better about it, but it did bug me a lot.

    Sure, that Street, Alleyway or construction set where he took off his mask is empty but what about security cameras? What about random bystanders who could had been just walking by? Etc...

    Attachment 16788
    Take this scene from Rogue Air. They're basically standing around chatting before the big showdown in an semi-public place, and Barry has his mask down for no real good reason. Anybody could had been walking by and saw him. Or, what about security cameras on the buildings behind them?


    Oh, and let's not forget about the time Barry Allen wanted to do a group picture of himself and the Star Labs crew, while still wearing his flash suit. But his mask was off for that. What happens if somebody comes across that picture?
    Like who? Who is going to see that?

  15. #15
    Posting Pro Aurora Moon's Avatar
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    I remember that EP, it was a hilarious scene. I see your point, but the fact is that everyone and their grandmother have cellphones with cameras on them now. All it would take is for a snapped photo of the unmasked flash to go viral over the internet, and then somebody goes: "Hey... I know that guy, his name's Barry Allen. I went to college with him!"

    Like who? Who is going to see that?
    There could easily be a raid on star labs by the police, the baddies, etc. And not to mention the fact security in Star Labs is kind of shoddy that anybody can just easily walk in.

    Again, it's one of those things that they got better about over time, but still. Remember when Iris could just walk right in anytime she wanted and she wasn't part of the flash team? And what would happen if some Random guy walked in from the street and saw that framed photo? He could scan it, and then upload it to the internet or something.

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