Catching Up: The Flash Episode 316, "Into the Speed Force"

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The Flash 316: Into the Speed Force

Greetings, Flash fans! So here's where we are to date: Kid Flash Wally West (KEIYNAN LONSDALE) got tricked by Savitar into releasing him from the Speed Force prison only to end up trapped there himself. The Flash (GRANT GUSTIN) takes it upon himself to zip into the Speed Force and break Wally out, by hook or by crook. Cisco (CARLOS VALDES) whips up some techno magic called a Goldtooth (an interdimensional Bluetooth) so that Team Flash can pull Barry out if they need to do so. You can probably guess how that's going to work.

Once in the Speed Force, Barry gets the usual Christmas Carol visitations -- three ghosts of his past, beginning in the form of Eddie Thawne (RICK COSNETT), who tells Barry that the Speed Force is unhappy that Barry lied to it -- that he told them he was past the death of his mother, and then went right out and changed the past to save her. The Speed Force allowed this because Zoom had just killed his father, but everything comes with a price. Wally is now trapped in the Speed Force prison that Flash's future self builds. (Just a Bill and Ted moment, here, but what if Flash just decided, "Well, I'm never going to build a prison in the Speed Force."? Wouldn't that negate the whole season in a puff of logic?) Barry insists that he's getting Wally out, but Eddie says he must first get past a Time Wraith, putting Barry on the run from one of the Speed Force dementors.

Barry's second visitation is in S.T.A.R. Labs, where he sees Caitlin Snow (DANIELLE PANABAKER) singing a lullaby to a baby. It's the baby she would have had with Firestorm Ronnie Raymond (ROBBIE AMELL), who appears to Barry next. Ronnie tells him that the people being represented are people who sacrificed themselves for Barry. He tells him that Wally is in a hell all his own that's not for Barry, but Barry insists that he isn't leaving without Wally. This time the Speed Force sics Zombie Zoom on him, and Barry's vitals start to register a crash out in the real world, alarming Team Flash. As Barry starts to decay, he escapes in a bit of unexplained logic by taking off the Goldtooth chest insignia and sticking it onto Zoom's chest. (Submitted for your consideration: Whatever Barry did is what has allowed Zoombie to start chasing after Reverse Flash Eobard Thawne in LEGENDS OF TOMORROW?)

Barry finds Wally in a hospital room looking at an empty bed. His final visitation comes from Captain Cold, Leonard Snart (WENTWORTH MILLER), who works to prevent him from entering the hospital room. Snart tells Barry that it was his inspiration that gave the real Snart the courage to sacrifice himself for the greater good. Is this information Flash already had? Just when the Snart Force has Barry down for the count, he's rescued by Jay Garrick (JOHN WESLEY SHIPP) -- the real one, not a Speed Force manifestation. Together they beat Snart and make it into the room, breaking Wally out of the trance where he sees his mother die over and over (and over and over; nice prison you built there, Barry). But as they leave, Jay stays behind, telling Barry that someone had to take Wally's place -- for reaaons mysterious and unknown, because you know that Barry is going to get him out someday, somehow, so why not now?

Back in the real world, Jesse Quick (VIOLETT BEANE) is eager to go after Savitar alone, and theorizes that the shard of his armor could lead her to him. Team Flash validates her assumption, but won't help because it's a suicide mission. They do find some unique properties about the shard, which Jesse then steals and uses to find the so-called God of Speed, fighting her way past H.R. Wells (TOM CAVANAGH) in the process. H.R. does offer assistance during her fight, however, when he struggles to find a weakness in Savitar -- and reaches the STAR TREK V conclusion: Why does an invulnerable god need armor? Jesse uses the shard to stab through a chink in the armor, and it wounds him, sending him running away.

The episode ends with breakups. Jesse is leaving Wally for a while to go to Earth 3 and stand in for Jay Garrick. And Barry tells Iris he loves her, but the Speed Force made him realize that he can't put his burdens on others -- he can't expect Wally to save Iris from Savitar in the future. It's something that he's going to have to do himself, and will. He tells her he will save her not by changing the future, but embracing it, So what does that mean, Iris would like to know. Apparently it means that Barry needs some space from Iris for a while, so he's going to move out and crash on Cisco's couch (because Cisco loved that so much the last time Barry did it!)

Next week: The hunt for Savitar is put on hold as The Flash joins Supergirl in a musical episode when they take on The Music Meister!

Grade: 
3.5 / 5.0