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‘The Flash’ Review: “Into the Speed Force”

John David Mazzarella ‘20 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Warning: The Following Contains Spoilers for The Flash season 3

The Team is still reeling from the fallout of last week’s events. With Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) trapped in the speed force, Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) decides to halt the search for Savitar in order to liberate his friend. While Barry sets out to free Wally, Jesse Quick (Violett Beane) takes it upon herself to locate Savitar.

Half of the episode is a guilt trip for Barry. Once again, Barry faces repercussions for Flashpoint, this time by the speed force. It used people that committed self-sacrifice to teach Barry about responsibility. Most of the people who died didn’t do so because of Barry: they were men who made choices for the greater good. This also contradicts previous lessons in the show; previously, the Flash’s allies tried to deter him from holding the weight of the world on his shoulders, but now the speed force is trying to make Barry do just that. Seasons of Barry putting his trust in his friends is undermined in this episode.

Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW
Photo: Robert Falconer/The CW

Despite this, it’s fun to see the speed force again. The speed force takes the forms of Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett), Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell), and Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller). The episode also treats the audience to the long-awaited reunion/introduction of Black Flash with The Flash. Still, these characters don’t really help with the speed force’s argument. It would have been stronger had they used characters that Barry had the opportunity to save, but failed to, like his father and his mother. The fight with Black Flash is fun but it only lasts a few seconds. The deus ex machina of Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp) felt last minute and out of left field.

Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW
Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW

The other half of the episode attempts to flesh out Jesse Quick, the key word being “attempts.” At one point in the episode, Jesse asks when they will pursue Savitar, to which H.R. (Tom Cavanagh) replies, “when the real Flash comes back.” Jesse takes offense to this, retorting that on her earth, she is the real Flash. This is meant to be an empowering moment; however, this just presents a bigger issue. If Jesse is the hero on her earth that she claims to be, then moving to Earth-1 was a completely selfish move. This paints Jesse Quick as someone who abandoned her responsibilities to protect her earth just so she could be with a guy. Then, at the end of the episode, Jesse decides to leave Earth-1 not to go back to Earth-2, but to go to Earth-3. She realizes Earth-3 needs a Flash, but doesn’t Earth-2? Was all crime on Earth-2 eradicated before Gorilla City? Last season, we learned of there being a greater amount of metahuman criminals on Earth-2 than even Earth-1.

The ending of the episode was needlessly over dramatic. The break-up between Barry and Iris West (Candice Patton) is needless. It’s obvious they’re eventually going to patch things up just before or after something bad happens. It also doesn’t make sense why it has to be Barry who saves Iris: Iris is Wally’s sister and saving her life is just as much his responsibility as it is Barry’s.

Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW
Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW

It was fun seeing all these old characters, but the story was too unfocused. It was a break from the action just to justify returning the limelight to Barry. Apparently the Flash’s way of addressing the criticism of having too many speedsters is to just get rid of all of them. This episode was a fan service, but not much else. The best thing to come out of this episode is some more information on Savitar, which will hopefully be the focus of the episode following the long-awaited musical episode.

Overall Episode Grade: C-

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