This article contains major spoilers for The Flash.
Lots will be said about The Flash‘s merits over the next few weeks. Is it a heartfelt farewell to the Snyderverse and the DCEU that never really got started? Or is it soulless nostalgia bait, an incredibly cynical “celebration” of DC’s big-screen legacy? Perhaps it lands somewhere in the middle, with some of the cameos and easter eggs playing better than others. Some will even be taken with Ezra Miller‘s performance in the movie, which explores Barry Allen’s longing for the family life that was stolen from him (well-tread territory if you tuned into the mostly great Arrowverse series).
But what no one, likely not even Warner Bros., expected was that people would latch on to one scene in particular that’s gone viral on social media: the extremely dumb moment the Flash puts a falling baby in a microwave to “protect it” from shrapnel after a hospital wing collapses in Gotham City. Except the small snippet of the scene that’s been posted and re-posted on the internet for the past few days is actually a bit misleading. In fact, it’s the end of the scene but played in reverse to a much more shocking result.
The original scene sees the Flash saving all the tumbling babies from the hospital’s collapsing nursery, improvising ways to catch them all with a stretcher, including by sticking a CG baby into an unplugged microwave in mid-air. The scene ends with him taking the infant out of the microwave to hand him over to a traumatized nurse. But when the moment is played in reverse it looks like Barry is gleefully shoving the baby into the appliance. When viewed out of context, it truly is the most horrifying moment in superhero movie history.
But as it actually happens in the movie, it’s just one of the dumbest. Why of all things did The Flash team choose a microwave as a way to save a baby from falling to its death? Only the creatives behind the film could answer that question.
To be fair, this is hardly the biggest lapse in logic in a movie full of alternate timelines, colliding universes, paradoxes, and questionable CG, especially in the movie’s worst scene. At least that climactic (and somewhat cringey) “Chronobowl” scene leads to one of the better moments in the film when Barry chooses to sacrifice a life with his mom and dad in order to save the multiverse.
While The Flash may be a final swansong for Ezra Miller as Barry Allen as well as much of the Snyderverse crew and Michael Keaton as Batman, we know that director Andy Muschietti will be sticking around the DC Universe. The filmmaker has been tapped to helm The Brave and the Bold, a refresh of the Batman movie franchise for the new DCU being shepherded by DC Studios co-heads James Gunn and Peter Safran. How this new take on the Dark Knight fits into the revamped DC movie timeline remains to be seen. Let’s just hope there’s no Bat-microwave.
The Flash is in theaters now.