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REVIEW: The Flash 3×16 “Into The Speed Force”

You know when everything is going super well for an episode and then someone does something so stupid it physically doesn’t make any sense. That happened not once but twice this week and my god was it super frustrating to watch happen both times. Make no mistake, for the large majority of the episode “Into The Speed Force” is one of the better episodes of The Flash. It manages to use the Speed Force in an entirely different way than it did last year, there are suitably creepy effects and situations to put Barry on edge, and it makes a very solid point about Barry’s role in not only the show but the season as a whole. Then we got to the end and everything went pear shaped for no real reason other than to create drama. I mean seriously who wrote that ending and thought it was a good idea in any way shape or form.

So I need to start from the end because holy shit it makes absolutely no sense at all, in any way shape or form. So Barry decides the only way to protect Iris from being murdered is to break up with here. That is a whole new level of stupidity that I can’t even do the math on. In no way shape or form will this stall Savitar or make Barry be anymore focused on saving Iris. All he had to do is say “Iris I love you and will propose to you after beating Savitar.” That is literally it, no muss, no fuss and Barry and Iris are still together as boyfriend and girlfriend. Instead Barry makes a decision that will have no bearing on the future at all, I mean this was Felicity levels of incoherent for a character who is supposed to be intelligent. I am really hoping this is corrected in the next couple of episodes, because if not this was entirely pointless.

As for the other stupid moment we have the return of Jay and his sacrifice to remain in Savitar’s prison until Barry can put Savitar back in it. On the surface it makes a slight amount of sense as a speedster needs to hold the Speed Force together and so Savitar’s prison. However, this is undercut by the message of the episode that Barry needs rot take responsibility for his actions. The Speed Force was right that Barry can’t just abandon being a hero and sacrifice himself at the same time. Barry needs to find ways to fix his mistakes that don’t involve someone else cleaning up his mess. Eddie, Ronnie, the time remnant of Barry, and Wally all paid for Barry’s selfish nature and inability to solve problems by himself. By having Jay take Wally’s place, even if only temporarily just continues this trend and means everything the Speed Force was trying to teach Barry fell on deaf ears. There had to be a simpler way to do this because boy was the core message undercut or what.

Luckily the Jessie plot was really good and made up for some mistakes. It is often forgot that Jessie is indeed The Flash of her world and that she has been doing battle with villains for some time. That makes it infuriating when the team undercuts her importance and skill. She is smarter than Harry and has speed powers, she can totally handle herself. It was great seeing HR provide her with moral support in the most HR way possible, and it was great that she discovered there is indeed someone under the surface of Savitar’s armor. I really can’t believe that the team simply believed Savitar was the living embodiment of the Speed Force, there has too be something controlling it or else it would mean the speed force has gone entirely rogue.

There was plenty of good material from Barry dealing with the repercussions of those who died to help him. There was just a little to much stupidity on Barry’s part to make this episode entirely serviceable.

Final Grade C+

+Every Speedster makes an appearance

+All of the Cameos

+Jesse plot

-Barry being an idiot and breaking up with Iris

-Jay staying behind in the speed force

-No real repercussions for Wally getting stuck last week

Extra Thoughts

-So, Jessie is going to Earth-3 to be The Flash in Jay’s absence. Who is the Flash on Earth-2 right now?

-Does Speed Force Ronnie count as Ronnie dying again or is this the first time he makes it out of a season truly alive?

About the author

Scott Swartz