The Flash: Into the Speed Force Review
The CW’s The Flash: Season 3, Episode 16: ‘Into the Speed Force’ was a return to the past for Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) as our hero went back into the Speed Force on a mission to save Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale). However, the journey became much more than that for him as he discovered the mistakes he’s made and the many tragedies he had to live through. The episode took some pages off of season two to make Barry become aware of all the things his friends have done for him. Despite delivering some memorable scenes and bringing back some characters, it all went downhill in the end.
The episode certainly was dark as everyone was coming to terms with losing Wally and worried that Barry may be gone too. We are at a point this season where everything is at stake and it shouldn’t be a surprise to see that the show is taking on a dark and gloomy tone as we inch closer to what may be Iris’ (Candice Patton) last moments on Earth. With the exception of H.R. Wells (Tom Cavanagh) to keep things light with his metaphors, the show is just as grim as when Barry made his first trip to the Speed Force.
We did get to see the dimension where Barry’s speed gets its juice from, so there is some freshness into seeing Barry interacting with the Speed Force. Rather than focusing on the death of his mother, the episode went into the dead allies that Barry has made. In the Speed Force, Barry met with the likes of Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett), Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell), and Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller). It was good seeing Eddie and Ronnie return after meeting their demise in the past two seasons. They never got much screen time since then and this episode definitely made up for that. Snart did make a few appearances in other shows so his return to The Flash wasn’t something that anyone didn’t expect.
It was pretty cool seeing all these characters make a comeback, even if it was just the Speed Force speaking through them. Each of them had a part to play in Barry’s journey through the Speed Force. The last time Barry made a trip to this dimension was to move on from his mother’s death and finally become Central City’s protector. His second time into this place was for a different reason, which was for Barry to discover that only he can stop Savitar. He was the one who created Flashpoint, thus bringing out Savitar. His mistake has changed the fates of his friends and family. This was a problem that Barry can only fix. It all took the voice of a dimensional entity to push Barry into realizing that he alone must rectify his mistakes and not to rely on Wally to clean his mess.
Another big surprise in the episode was the return of Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp). It was nice to have one more moment between Barry and Jay for the season before ending Jay’s arc. It was an emotional farewell for the Golden Age speedster, and one that came full circle when Barry saved Jay last season. It even left the door open for Jay to be saved one day when the chance arises. Hopefully we can see that happen down the line when this whole Savitar business is over.
‘Into the Speed Force’ did have some trouble making a good finish. After Jay’s sacrifice, the episode didn’t feel complete, as it should have coming out of this journey into the dark dimension. Even though Wally was deeply affected by this experience, we know that he will come out of it sooner or later. Even Barry didn’t come out with a sense of hope after that whole ordeal.
There are still so many questions left unanswered after this episode. Savitar still remains a mystery regarding his/her identity and motive. It would be nice to know where this Speed Force prison came from and why it was made. How come future Barry put Savitar there in the first place? If Barry were to choose not to imprison Savitar, perhaps this would stop the villain from being created in the first place. It would be quite helpful to learn more about Savitar so we know that Barry has to deal with. It’s puzzling to know that we are almost done with the season and still don’t know anything about Savitar.
The only development made on Savitar was Jesse Quick (Violett Beane) finding out that he does feel pain. Jesse served her purpose only because of her relationship with H.R. Wells who tries to be a mentor since he’s not her father. It was great having Jesse back for a bit, but putting her on the path to Earth-3 needed to be done. We have too many speedsters; so cutting it down to one speedster was a good move.
What was truly upsetting was the end of the episode when Barry decides to break things off with Iris. Having him put Iris away with her death coming closer was a horrible way to close out the episode. Barry seems to have made some pretty bad decisions and the trend continues with this latest one. It seems like Barry hasn’t learned from his past mistakes of pushing people away.
This week’s episode overall was full of returns from past characters as Barry went back to the Speed Force. Even though the journey was fun, the ending left much to be desired. The show still has a problem of keeping Savitar a big mystery that has dragged on long enough. We are inching closer the season finale and Barry’s greatest enemy doesn’t sound menacing so far.
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