Last night’s Enter Flashtime showcases the Flash doing something that has not fully been experimented with before- in an effort to stop a bomb from going off, Barry slows time down for the majority of the episode. At the same time, he is obviously speeding up, but the way this episode has been filmed makes everything seem to freeze around him. Perhaps to make editing easier, everyone else literally freezes, while Barry and Co. walk around normally in the eyes of the viewers. Barry and Co. then use their time (that actually ends up equating to about one second in real time) to save the day.
A Rushed summary:
The episode itself begins eerily, with Barry grabbing Iris in a panic, exclaiming that he doesn’t think he can save them this time. We soon figure out that this scene happens only about 8 minutes after the present that we soon switch back to. Slightly complicated, I know. Things are fairly quickly explained when the team discovers there is a shoot-out in progress at a warehouse, and of course Joe is there (because somehow, he is always present for dangerous moments). Barry, Cisco, Killer Frost, and Jessie Quick (who is back to confront her father over their slightly irrelevant to the plot drama) rush to the warehouse and no sooner do they get there does the villain of the week, a sort of nonsensical domestic terrorist, sets of a nuclear bomb. Barry immediately goes into “Flashtime”, which essentially is just him speeding up, and therefore slowing down everything around him. This is the newfound power of his that was discovered after he got out of the speed force and showcased during S4 Ep10, The Trial of the Flash.
Anywho, while attempting to figure out how to stop this nuclear bomb from killing everyone in the city, he drags almost all the characters individually from being frozen in time, into “Flashtime”. He even enlists Old Man Jay Garrick, who, as the name suggests, spends most of the episode acting like an old man and ruining one of their plans to throw lightning at the bomb because “his legs don’t work as well as they used to”. In the end, it ends up being Iris that saves the day. She comes up with an idea that allows them to safely use the Speed force to stop the bomb from going off, without getting rid of the Speed Force completely as Old Man Garrick warned of. Honestly, the mechanics of the various useless plans the characters came up with are irrelevant.
But here’s what you need to know:
This episode began and ended with the idea that Barry needs to take a breather. At its core, the Flash relies on Barry and Iris’ relationship to ground Barry himself, and this episode stresses this more heavily than usual. At the start, she reminds him to take a break and to spend more quality time with her. We see this continued throughout this episode as Barry only saves the city because of Iris’ idea. Barry’s confession to Iris that prompts her idea that saves everyone, “You’re my lightening rod,” is certainly proven to be true. Barry is close to losing his mind and giving up when he goes to Iris, his essentially last resort before giving up, and actually figures out a solution because of her. In this way, Iris is undervalued to the team, and as the only one without super powers or a super brain like Harry has, she is not given as much credit as she deserves. It seems as if we are possibly going to be given the chance to explore this further in next week’s episode “Run, Iris, Run”, in which Iris is given her own shot at powers.
However, while I value the show’s heaviness on Iris and Barry’s relationship, this episode also prompts the idea that Barry is not necessarily too slow- for anything. He does not need to work faster, he (and the team) just need to work smarter. That is important going into the end half of this season, in which a face-off with DeVoe is imminent. All the other seasons have toyed with the idea that Barry needs to get faster in order to beat whoever the Big Bad is for that season. This is an interesting twist, especially considering DeVoe is known in the comics as The Thinker.
- The other major plotline I think is worthy of mentioning is the mystery character (played by Jessica Parker Kennedy) first seen in Crisis on Earth-X during Barry and Iris’ wedding. She purposefully runs into Caitlin and Harry at Jitters, and continues to act mysterious. I, along with many other fans, particularly like the theory that she is Barry and Iris’ daughter or grand-daughter from the future. There has been speculation that Iris is/is going to be pregnant soon, as when Barry came back from the speed force in the premier, his jumbled speech mentioned something about needing more diapers. And, parts that very same jumbled speech have already come true, with the part about him being innocent being traced back to his trial for the murder of DeVoe. This is definitely something to keep an eye on, and I think the writers will give us an answer by the end of this season. In the meantime, hit me up with theories.
- Once again, my favorite quotes come from Cisco and Harry:
Harry: [Modesty] is unbecoming on you
Cisco: You’re unbecoming
Harry: You WISH I was unbecoming
- Apparently, DeVoe has been planning whatever this is for the last three years. And as Harry notes, he’s a planner…Just like Thawne was.
- Sweet moments at the end with Harry finally attempting to open up to Jessie about her mother and why he has never fully dealt with her death.
- I’m not quite sure how Joe has never gotten critically injured or killed in one of these shoot-outs.
- I get Ralph was moving into Star Labs during this episode but… come on? Wouldn’t he have been curious about the nuclear bomb fiasco?
After getting over the terrible plotline of Barry being in jail and the DeVoe centric episodes, things are looking up. It looks like things may be getting more optimistic even though the prospect of DeVoe easily getting whatever he wants is looming up ahead. I hope we become privy as to what the heck his plan really is soon—otherwise I may find it hard to continue caring. Next week’s episode looks like another winner, so the show is looking up! I no longer feel as if keeping up with it is a chore as I did earlier this season. I would say we are currently experiencing partly cloudy weather in Central City.
Made up science terms and weird speed force analytics aside, I think this is a stronger episode compared to what we’ve been used to.
Until next week!