'The Flash' needs to save itself from Barry Allen

As Barry first entered the Speed Force, he nearly immediately encountered Thawne.

- Iris: "That's just the kind of hero he is". His conversation with Iris here was well done; the viewer can see how genuinely he cares about Iris and is anxious that he lost her. Barry has been a compelling character since the first season, and this episode reminds the viewer of that.

Once in the Speed Force, Barry gets the usual Christmas Carol visitations - three ghosts of his past, beginning in the form of Eddie Thawne (RICK COSNETT), who tells Barry that the Speed Force is unhappy that Barry lied to it - that he told them he was past the death of his mother, and then went right out and changed the past to save her. This is used to great effect, as it gives insight into what could have been. It's a powerful scene, and perhaps even more interesting is when Leonard Snart appears. Meanwhile, the Legends of Tomorrow go nuts on history. There's also no evidence Caitlin and Ronnie would have had a child; I feel the Speed Force was playing fast and loose with that prediction.

Barry then has to battle the Black Flash version of Hunter Zoloman. Thankfully, Jay Garrick comes to Barry's rescue. It might be a bit of a deus ex machina move, but it works. Unfortunately, the path will be bumpy because Barry will match up against familiar faces who will do anything to destabilize. This is a powerful scene, and features some great acting from John Wesley Shipp. Each of them meant something to Barry and they lament about themselves and the lives they could have lead (Eddie as a husband, Ronnie as a father and Snart, well, just at being a career criminal dick) and Barry is ready to join them, sacrifice himself because at this point, it is easier to do that than to figure out how to fix things with Iris, course correct the future and stop Savitar.

Like Attack on Gorilla City, the cutaways to what's happening with the other main characters is rather weak. Jesse came off as very annoying throughout the episode. Later, Barry tells the team that he knows the speed force wouldn't let him take Wally's place because saving Iris is "my responsibility, and mine alone".

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Fans have always suspected that Savitar was a human, perhaps even a character we've seen before, but this week it was finally confirmed when Jesse convinced Cisco to run some tests on the chunk of Savitar's armor. It makes sense she'd try to fill the void for Jay Garrick on Earth-3, but isn't her world still missing a Flash now? You never know who you might meet there if you're the Flash or another speedster. There isn't a big cliffhanger, but there's something worth mentioning. Travelling away from her fills everyone with a tension that lingers long after Barry departs. "She is a very capable woman, so how great would it be for a character like Iris, who has no superpowers, to be part of her own destiny?"

And while we're on the subject of the great John Wesley Shipp, here's another flawless example of The Flash atoning for its past.

Listen Barry, we get it. Before his trip into the breach, he asks her if his actions broke them, but she refuses to answer and just walks off. So, after earlier expressing his worry about losing Iris, he says this?

Overall, "Into the Speed Force" is a good installment with some mediocre elements. It turns out that this is the real reason Jay entered the speed force.

  • Michelle Webb