Damn, that was pretty fun to watch and worked well within its conceit. I mean I have seen the we have to find the bomb before it blows up story plenty of times, but stop the bomb after it has technically gone off that was a new one for me. So, “Enter Flashtime” brings the tension as we watch Barry, Jesse, and Jay race against time to discover a way to stop the explosion in progress and sure enough the tension and suspense of watching the speedsters try and fail multiple times over to solve the problem in front of them. I mean on the surface the plot seems so simple and yet it manages to become way more dynamic and interesting than it need to be for a simple filler episode. I mean it think tonight and “Therefore I Am” are jockeying for best episode of the season so far and damn if “Enter Flashtime” didn’t elevate itself.
So, let’s start with the actual conceit of the episode Flashtime. It was definitely cool to see all of the intersecting aspects of the season begin to interact whether it be the quark sphere, the speedforce storm, Barry’s new found ability in the court room. It really felt as if the season was actually driving towards something and the consequences of the so called inconsequential total redeemed themselves. I loved the visual of Flashtime whether it be the bomb slowly exploding or the minor vibration from anyone who was brought into the realm, all of it just looked cool. I especially loved see Barry as he ran tonight in both the frozen city and the speedforce, little details like the lightning catching up or seeing the water splashing in the puddle was a really solid comic like effect and helped display the raw power Barry has. It felt as if I was watching something Francis Manapaul was drawing, extremely beautiful to say the least.
As for the actual character portion of this episode it was divided into three sections: Jesse’s problems with Harry, Jay going full Murtaugh, and Barry carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. Overall Jay’s plot is the weakest of all of them due to the fact he gets the least amount of screen time. Most of it which is spent telling Barry he can’t destroy the speedforce and setting the rules that if you go to fast for too long you will burn out and revert to normal speed. I mean I always love a good excuse to bring Jay back into the show, but would it really had been so hard for Barry to figure out the rules. I get Jay starts the ticking clock aspect of the plot, but that was a waste of a perfectly fun character.
On Jesse’s front it was just weird to have her around and looking for Wally in the beginning. I would think by now she would know that Wally is on a vision quest because she dumped him or that this is probably not the best time. But as far as her being Barry’s assistant for the majority of the episode it was a fun bit to watch. Her dealing with Harry being even more emotionally distant that normal was a solid bit of tension. Sadly, it only managed to work because of the last scene the characters had. All of the build up and turmoil did nothing for me mostly but the final scene hit the nail on the head and showed us not only how much Harry loves Jesse, but also how hurt he is about loosing her. I know he lost her a long time ago, but it is good to know how much he loved his former wife.
As for Barry, whoa boy does Grant Gustin do some heavy lifting tonight and make this whole episode work. I feel like a couple of times a season we are reminded just how good of an actor Grant is and tonight as just spectacular. I mean the pain and struggle of feeling completely hopeless and desire to save everyone was perfect. Barry felt like Barry, a man willing to consider all of the possibilities if it meant a one percent chance of saving those he loves. I mean it was painful watching Barry breakdowns and realize there was possibly no way to save everyone and Gustin sold every minute of his performance. I really wish he got more chances like tonight because even after four seasons it always great to watch.
Overall it was easily one of the best episodes of the season if not the entire show. I really hope we get some more like it.
Final Grade A
+Strong work from everyone involved
+Fun stakes for everyone involved
+Great performance from Grant Gustin
-Hey Jitters girl who is probably Dawn Allen is back and has apparently never met Caitlin or Harry. Thats not ominous.
-You know who would have been helpful tonight, Wally. To bad everyone drove him away and he now has new best friends and souvenirs.
-So Barry hypothetically destroys the speedforce prison sphere to save the city. Doesn’t that mean the speedforce storm should be coming back?
-So, it is never said how long Barry is in Flashtime. We talking hours, days, I don’t think it was weeks.
-Next week Iris gets powers for a week. This goes one of two ways.