Welcome back to my weekly recaps of The Flash. To read previous coverage, go here.
So what the hell was that all about and why were we supposed to be rooting for Barry by the end of it?
“Into The Speed Force” is an episode that would’ve greatly benefited from being a two parter, feeling both stuffed and thematically slight, speeding through each new action packed development with little care about the fallout or even if there was one, ironic in an episode that deals exclusively with the consequences of Barry’s actions. Following a genuinely exciting installment in last weeks “The Wrath of Savitar” there was no way this week’s was ever going to end feeling anything more than a let down.
Here are some befuddled thoughts on this weeks episode of The Flash as we head into the last third of season three.
What on earth are they doing to Barry
It’s hard not to love Barry Allen and Grant Gustin, no matter what’s thrown at him, has managed to continue to imbue the character with enough good natured charisma and underlying fragility to make us root for him but this week it felt as if the writers were going out of their way to upend that work done primarily by the actor. His decision making is rash, cold and it puts characters such as Jay at risk when he needs to enter the speed force as well to save him and Wally. That, coupled with an absurdly abrupt ending where he asks Iris for space after having been so persistently in love with day one with no real reasoning makes for a leading man who comes up damn near unlikable. Perhaps this will all be changed next week when Gustin is allowed to share the spotlight with Melissa Benoist in the much talked about musical episode but at this point who the hell knows what we’ll be thinking about him by the seasons end.
Make a decision on Jesse Quick and Kid Flash
Both Jesse and Wally have had some well earned hero moments this season and both are well-rounded characters to the point where we’re able to accept them as fellow heroes to the Flash. However, at this point it’s beginning to feel as if the show is doubting how soon they brought both into the fray by sidelining Wally and having Jesse leave for Earth 3 after Savitar tells her in a truly great confrontation that he has “big plans for her” in the future. Commit to having three speedsters on the show or come up with better reasoning’s for them to pop in and out of the main storylines.
The speed force was lame
After last years “The Runaway Dinosaur” (a series highlight) there was no reason to believe that this years trip into the speed force would be any less thrilling. On top of that we were getting appearances from Eddie (!), Captain Cold (!!!) and…Ronnie, all to remind Barry of his past failures but also of the people who were inspired by his certain brand of self-sacrificial heroics. For what should have been a monumental episode that also dealt with the trauma of Wally dealing with his own personal hell on loop in the end it all felt woefully inconsequential and with just a few episodes left that’s not a great sign.
A weak offering in an overall scattered season, The Flash is going to need a major pick me up to be considered must see viewing after the seasons end.
What did everyone else think?