Season 3, Episode 16: “Into the Speedforce”
Original Air Date: March 14th, 2017
With an adventure into the speed force, tension between fiancés, a reunion of old friends, and a series of Christmas-Carol-esque trials, the Flash once again nailed an episode that left us speechless and tearful as it ended.
The 40-minute show started off with #squad standing in the cortex, naturally. Right away, a solemn mood is in the air and the frame freezes. Barry begins his monologue about how he must be the one to save Wally West, who is imprisoned in the speed force with no way out and it’s all Barry’s fault–but wait! Why are they doing the mannequin challenge? At least, it really, really looked like they were doing the mannequin challenge as the camera panned across each of the characters throughout the cortex.
Whether purposefully or not, The Flash cast totally did the mannequin challenge this episode, and I’m pretty okay with it.
During this scene and many others throughout this episode, pay careful attention to the adorably wonderful Cisco/Barry moments. They are a true bromance that will forever touch our hearts. Did anyone squeal when Cisco squeezed Barry’s hand while pulling Savitar’s claw out of his chest?
Although the Barrisco shipping was sailing smoothly, there was still trouble in paradise regarding Barry and Iris. Considering Barry and Iris seemed to be extremely happy this season so far (their relationship was much too perfect, some may interject), it was like a punch in a face last episode when Iris found out Barry’s proposal was not completely out of love, but also from his dark thoughts and desperation to save her.
After Barry’s internal monologue, he asked Cisco to prepare the breach room so that Barry could venture into the speed force and return Wally to the real world.
Cue an anti-Westallen moment that broke me a little bit inside.
Iris… Did I lose you?
ANSWER HIM IRIS! DID WE LOSE YOU? Ahem, I mean, did he lose you? I’m not a part of this relationship.
But seriously, I think a piece of my Westallen heart got torn out of my chest when Iris took off that ring. Inappropriate simile? My bad. You may think I’m the world’s biggest Iris/Barry shipper. However, I’m sorry to say that this is quite false. I mean come on. Papaw Joe just wants some grandkids.
When Iris walked away from their conversation, Joe came into the cortex, urging Barry to fix the problems that they had and that this was the perfect timing to do so. This was the part that I maybe teared a little.
Later when Barry left for the speedforce, Joe told Iris that although they had an argument, this did not affect Barry’s decision to save Wally at the risk of his own life (AKA marry this man!).
Speaking of his travels in the speedforce… The Speedforce (capitalized, because it’s a tangible being that I still do not understand) was not as eager and welcoming as the last time. Even during the last time, they allowed him to leave with his powers back only if he accepted his mother’s death, which he did not. But, that was understandable, of course. Not a lot of people see their mothers killed at age 11 and realize it was their future selves’ fault.
This time around, Barry’s visit into the Speedforce was far from pleasant, comprised of, but not limited to: an attack from the remnants of Zoom; being freshly blamed for three deaths that he had moved on from; seeing his potentially brother-in-law being tortured with his mother’s death over again; and leaving his father’s doppelganger behind to suffer said fate.
Is it safe to say there may be leftover repercussions from this lovely visit? Maybe.
But seriously, who forgot what it felt like to be in the presence of Eddie Thawne, Ronnie Raymond, and Leonard Snart? The actors (Rick Cosnett, Robbie Amell, and Wentworth Miller, respectively) did a phenomenal job of bringing back long-missed feelings from season 1, and also matching the tone of season 3. Dear producers of The Flash, please bring them back. I need them. I mean the show needs them. Because I don’t have a personal attachment to the show or anything like that.
In the end, Barry returned from the Speedforce with Wally in tow, but Jay Garrick was missing. You know the drill.
IW: I thought I lost you too.
BA: I’m right here.
These aren’t tears of emotions. I just fell into the Speedforce and the lightning gave me an allergic reaction. Gosh darn my allergies. Always ruining my reviews…
Okay, okay. So that scene gave me some feels. But you know that the worst-feely scene is yet to come. Yeah, you know what scene I’m talking about. That one.
Oh, the one where we thought Iris forgave Barry so they would live happily ever after? Well, the writers of the Flash in their own twisted way screwed us all over. Yes, Barry left her. I repeat, they are “taking some space.”And you’d think the fastest man alive had enough of space considering he was always too fast for others to catch up. Sorry, bad joke. It didn’t even make sense. So, the episode ended with Barry closing the door of the apartment, leaving Iris sitting by the windowsill with tears down her face.
All in all, this episode was dramatic, meaningful, and was able to cover many plot holes (such as: why is Barry making Wally run faster to save Iris? Where did Black Flash/Remains of Zoom go after season two? So Wally never thought twice after his mom died?).
Although Barry can be irrational sometimes, and borderline stupid, always remember that his desperation to save the love of his life comes from his experiences in the past.
Don’t let the darkness dim your soul, Barry.
(On a side note, anyone predict that Savitar may actually be Future Jay Garrick? If not, who do you think Savitar is? Think about it. Let me know in the comments.)
Tune in to the Flash 8/7c on Tuesday nights on the CW.