Barry Allen must save Wally from a fate worse than death by jumping… into the Speed Force!
After last week’s excellent episode did a terrific job of ramping up the drama, this episode had a lot to measure up to. Beside that, it was returning to the Speed Force for the first time since season two’s ‘The Runaway Dinosaur’, one of the show’s best ever efforts. So, how did it measure up.
Well, why it was superior to most of this season’s episodes, ‘Into the Speed Force’ didn’t quite pack the punch of ‘The Runaway Dinosaur’. That episode really felt like an ode to the heroism at the core of Barry’s character. And while he comes out of this one with a newfound focus on saving Iris himself, I didn’t feel the weight of that change of heart the way Barry came to terms with his mother’s death last year. Still, it’s unfair to measure this one up to one of the show’s finest hours, as it was still a lot of fun on its own terms.
Because how can you not love an episode which throws a load of old faces at you? Structurally, ‘Into the Speed Force’ was basically a carousel of dead cast members popping up to chat to Barry. It was nice to see Rick Cosnett and Robbie Amell back as Eddie Thawne and Ronnie Raymond, respectively, and their ‘ghosts’ were used to ram home the message that Barry needs to stop letting others die in his name and take on his own responsibilities. Best of all was Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold – we’re still waiting for him to make a full-time return to Legends of Tomorrow, so it was great to see him sparring with Barry once again.
That’s not all, though, as Jay Garrick was back again, too. It’s always a delight to have John Wesley Shipp turn up as Earth-3’s Flash and his heroic sacrifice here was a really touching moment. I would have liked to have seen what his personal hell would have been, just to add some backstory to his character (maybe he lost the Earth-3 version of Barry in the past?), but I have a feeling that we haven’t seen the last of him anyway.
One thing I couldn’t get behind in this episode was Barry breaking up with Iris. Not because I am a particular fan of the couple, but because I didn’t buy Barry’s reasoning: he loves her too much to be with her? It just feels like the show is adding in some relationship drama for the sake of it. As much as I enjoyed this episode, it did remind me that my biggest pet peeve with the past two seasons of the show is the over-reliance on a glum tone. We originally loved The Flash because it was so much fun.
Ah well, at least next week is The Flash/Supergirl musical crossover! If that doesn’t put the fun back into the show, then nothing will…
- Jesse is leaving to protect Earth-3, now that Jay is trapped in the Speed Force. Er, but what about Earth-2 – that’s been without a speedster for longer!
- Speaking of which, Jay’s imprisonment in the Speed Force adds him to the growing list of suspects for Savitar’s real identity. Also, I thought Julian gave a very suspicious look when the gang discussed Savitar’s weakness…
- Barry finally faced off against Black Flash, Zoom’s new skeletal form. It’s a shame that wasn’t a bigger moment, but it was nice to see all the same.