The Flash 3.16 Review – “Into The Speed Force”
The Flash’s third season is coming to a close soon. Last week the story started to set the climax up by having Savitar return to Central City. The cliffhanger was Wally being thrown into the Speed Force. Today’s episode, “Into the Speed Force,” deals with the aftermath of this as Barry ventures into the Speed Force in an attempt to rescue Wally. There’s a lot of great dialogue pieces from Barry, making this a particularly strong installment in the writing department…mostly. There are a couple of aspects, such as the painfully melodramatic ending and Jesse Quick’s portrayal that hurt the episode a bit.
“Into the Speed Force” starts with some compelling narration from Barry. Every hero goes through some kind of inner turmoil about making a bad decision or feeling like the weight of the world is on their shoulders. Barry perfectly displays this as he tells everyone about his plan to save Wally. His conversation with Iris here was well done; the viewer can see how genuinely he cares about Iris and is worried that he lost her. Barry has been a compelling character since the first season, and this episode reminds the viewer of that.
The core of the story is focused on Barry’s grim adventure inside the Speed Force. Like his Season Two venture into that zone, the Speed Force talks through various people in the Barry’s life, this time most of whom are deceased. This is used to great effect, as it gives insight into what could have been. For example, we’re briefly shown the happy picture of Ronnie married to Caitlin and having a child. It’s a powerful scene, and perhaps even more interesting is when Leonard Snart appears. The avatar reveals that Barry had an influence on the real Snart, inspiring Leonard to be selfless which is why he gave his life in Legends of Tomorrow. As one can see, there’s a lot of great dialogue in the Speed Force scenes. The action isn’t forgotten either, as Barry has a fantastic fight with the deceased Hunter Zolomon, known in this form as the Black Flash.
There’s one more important thing to mention about the Speed Force scenes, and that’s the arrival of Jay Garrick. It’s a fun, unexpected scene when Jay arrives to save Barry. It might be a bit of a deus ex machina move, but it works. The big development here is that Jay takes Wally’s place in the prison. This is a powerful scene, and features some great acting from John Wesley Shipp. Barry says he will be back to save Jay, so hopefully the show will come back to this plot point next season.
Like Attack on Gorilla City, the cutaways to what’s happening with the other main characters is rather weak. Jesse says she’s going to battle Savitar herself, which is completely laughable. Jesse came off as very annoying throughout the episode. If Barry and Wally couldn’t stop this guy, does it really make sense for her to go after him with no backup? Sure, because of this we get to see Savitar briefly, which is always good, but it comes at the expense of Jesse resembling a well written character.
On a couple of last notes, a big development is Jesse leaving Earth-1 to take Jay’s place on Earth-3. (Wait a minute, doesn’t Earth-2 need a Flash?) Despite Jesse’s portrayal in this episode, she has been a fun character to have around so it’s a shame the writing is having her leave the main cast. There isn’t a big cliffhanger, but there’s something worth mentioning. Barry and Iris discuss their up-in-the-air marriage. Iris has some great dialogue on this, which culminates with her saying she wants to be Barry’s wife. This is great, right? Well, Barry decides to say that he doesn’t know “how we can move forward like this.” He tells her they should be separate from one another for now. So, after earlier expressing his worry about losing Iris, he says this? It doesn’t make sense and is another example of CW-melodrama.
Overall, “Into the Speed Force” is a good installment with some mediocre elements. The Speed Force scenes are excellent. From engaging dialogue to fantastic action, there’s plenty to enjoy. The Earth-1 scenes are on the weaker side, which is mainly thanks to Jesse being completely rash and unreasonable. Despite that, this episode continues to set up what looks to be a great finisher to the season.