Speed Force

“Into The Speed Force” Review of S3 Ep16 of THE FLASH

Wally West has been drawn into the Speed Force by Savitar, who is now free to pursue his evil plans on our Earth…including the future murder of Iris West! Wally was Barry’s best hope for defeating Savitar, so what now? Barry has one hope of making this right…going into the Speed Force again! In this series, any trip to the Speed Force appears to be tied to some serious life’s lesson. This time, Barry needs to learn something important…but what? Want to know how this winds up? Just follow us after the jump!


NOTE: This review is being published prior to THE FLASH airing in the Pacific Time Zone (USA). If you haven’t seen the show yet, STOP NOW and come back after watching. 

Sacrifice is the underlying theme in this episode…from beginning to end. But, before we get to that…

Team Flash comes up with a safety net for Barry’s trip to the Speed Force, with a “tether” device loaded up into Barry’s chest symbol connected to Earth One by “Goldtooth”. Yes, Cisco is back to naming things again, and he’s very proud of himself. Cisco drops Barry off in the Speed Force, where Barry finds…

That the Speed Force is not happy with Barry.

After all, Barry left the Speed Force last time claiming he was through with holding on to the pain of his mother’s death. We know that to be a lie because of the Flashpoint paradox that started season three. The Speed Force speaks to Barry through the look-alikes for Eddie Thawne, Ronnie Raymond, and Len Snart – and they do everything they can to stop Barry from saving Wally.

This is where the idea of sacrifice is hammered in – each of these people sacrificed themselves…either to save Barry or due to being inspired directly by Barry. Barry wants to sacrifice himself now, to trade places with Wally in the belief that only Wally can save Iris. But, the Speed Force is adamant that he not be able to do this. Why?

Back on Earth One, Jesse is willing to take every risk to go after Savitar herself. She is distraught over Wally’s disappearance into the Speed Force, afraid that Barry may not be able to save Wally, and determined to make Savitar pay. She does eventually track Savitar down…and while she can’t defeat Savitar on her own, she does make a critical discovery. More on that in a moment…

Back in the Speed Force, things are looking very back for Barry. He’s about to lose out, when a BIG surprise appears…the Jay Garrick of Earth Three!

This is no trick of the Speed Force – Cisco went to Earth Three to get Jay’s help when the “tether” blinked out (see the show to find out how that happened). Jay helps Barry get to Wally…and then we see yet another sacrifice.

Someone has to trade places with Wally in order to free him from the Speed Force, and Jay stays behind!

This leads us to realize the big lesson of the Speed Force this time around. While saving Wally is very important, Wally is not and cannot be the answer to save Iris from Savitar. Barry himself has to do it. He has to step up and be that hero, and he cannot live afraid that he’s not “good enough”. Barry promises to return to save Jay – then Barry and Wally return to Earth One.

They learn the important fact that Jesse discovered in her fight with Savitar. It turns out that Savitar is NOT a “god”, but rather human! Underneath all that armor, Savitar can be hurt!

All that leads to some serious fallout, however. Here are the results:

Yes, Barry and Iris are still in love. And, Iris realizes she does want to marry Barry. But, Barry has to admit that he asked her to marry him to “change the future”…and he needs to stop trying to change every detail in order to save Iris. He asks for some space…and moves out of their apartment.

SUMMARY: In this series, any visit to the Speed Force is a powerfully emotional experience. This time, it was powerful for both Barry and Wally…and it will continue to be a sacrificial experience for Jay, who stays behind. There is one hope here…will sending Savitar back to the Speed Force (if indeed that’s how to stop him) bring back Jay? We’ll have to wait to find that out.  The great thing for all fans of the show was the return of some great characters – to see Eddie, Ronnie and Len once again, even if they were manifestations of the Speed Force. This was a great episode, one that represents a real opportunity for growth in the character of Barry Allen. And, this episode sets us on a course for a wild ride toward the end of the season (that is, as soon as we finish the exciting SUPERGIRL/FLASH crossover next week). This is a 10/10 for me – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!