Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 3, Episode 16 - Into The Speed Force

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Desperate to rescue Wally from the prison that Savitar escaped, Barry once again enters into The Speed Force and experiences visions of friends and enemies lost to time and space. Meanwhile, Iris considers the state of her relationship with Barry as Jesse pushes the rest of Team Flash to find a way to track down Savitar.


The Flash comics of Mark Waid, particularly Terminal Velocity.


The lighting and direction of the sequences in The Speed Force are genuinely creepy.

Flash Facts

HR says he is not going to be held responsible by his Earth Two counterpart if Jesse gets stuck in a negative world. Cisco recognizes this as a reference to the original Super Mario Bros. game, where a glitch could cause the player to get trapped in World - 1 - an endless water level. This world is more typically identified as Minus World rather than Negative World, however.

Cisco says "To Infinity and Beyond!" when Barry enters The Speed Force. This is the catch-phrase of Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story films.

Cisco refers to the movie The Iron Giant when speculating on how a piece of Savitar's armor might seek out the rest of it once broken off.

The fake Snart in The Speed Force makes a remark about how Jay Garrick is "getting slow in his golden age." Jay Garrick was the first superhero to use the name The Flash, back in what is commonly known as The Golden Age of Comics from 1938 to the mid-1950s.


HR asks why they can't come up with some kind of tether to keep Barry from getting lost in The Speed Force. This leads Cisco to say he could do that and Julian to develop a biological component that can measure Barry's vitals when he is in The Speed Force, letting them pull him out if something happens.

The electrode halo - in addition to being the device that allowed Team Flash to channel Savitar through Julian Albert - is also part of the device that Cisco used to pull Barry Allen out of The Speed Force the last time he entered into it.

Goldtooth is the Cisco Ramon designed inter-dimensional equivalent of Bluetooth.

The electrode halos are electromagnetically linked via Goldtooth. It gives them all the relevant locus information no matter where in the multiverse Barry is. If he needs help, it will automatically stimulate Cisco's prefrontal cortex, letting him open a breach to wherever Barry is and pull him back to Earth One.

Julian speculates that Savitar's blade is made of  some kind of new metal akin to a Luttinger liquid - a theoretical model describing interacting electrons in a one-dimensional conductor such as carbon nanotubes.

HR refers to the theory of Schrödinger's Cat - a paradoxical thought experiment involving trapping a cat in a box with a radioactive source and a poison that will be released upon the emission of radiation - the result of which is that the cat will be both alive and dead until the box is opened and it can be observed.

Caitlin says that the metal of Savitar's blade is made of a near-frictionless material that is a constant state of flux. While totally motionless on the outside, it is constantly moving on the inside as if being affected by an outside influence. Julian likens this to how tides are affected by the phases of the moon. Jesse suggests that the outside influence is Savitar and that he somehow has the ability to control the metal despite it being separated from his armor.

Cisco describes feeling a lot of harmonic feedback when trying to vibe into The Speed Force.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Barry and Iris are alone in the hallway at STAR Labs.)
I'm gonna find Wally.  Whatever's holding him, whatever's keeping him trapped in there? I'm gonna get him back.
Iris: Okay.
Barry: Okay.
(Barry looks down at Iris' hand. She still isn't wearing her engagement ring.)
Barry: Iris?
(Iris doesn't meet his eyes.)
Barry: Did I lose you?
(Iris says nothing and just walks away quickly. Barry turns and watched her sadly. Joe enters from behind Barry.)
Baar?  What's going on?
Barry: Nothing. I'm just trying to.. make her not worry so much.
Joe: About Wally?  Or you?
Barry: Joe, now is not the time, alright?
Joe: Look, you are about to risk your life to save her brother. I think now is the perfect time.
Barry: (sighs) She's having doubts about us. About marrying me.
Joe: She... call off the engagement?
Barry: Guess I changed the future one too many times.

Barry: Where is Wally West?!
Eddie: He's not exactly here per say. He's in the prison you created. Well, your future self, that is.
Barry: How do I get him out? (more intensely) How do I get him out?!
Eddie: I think you' ll find we're not going to be as accommodating as we were the last time you visited us.
Barry: What the hell does that mean?!
Eddie: It means things have changed. We gave you your speed back because you said you'd come to terms with your mother's death. But you lied to us. You went back in time and saved her. And in doing so, you created Flashpoint.
Barry: Zoom had just killed my father -
Eddie: We know. And we understand. Which is why we allowed you to do that. But choices have consequences and I'm afraid we can't let you make any more choices like that.
Barry: Wally's just a kid...
Eddie: He's a Flash. He made his choice. Now he has to live with it. Just like you do.
Barry: I'm not going anywhere until Wally is free.
Eddie: Then be prepared to spend an eternity in here.

(Jesse wants to run off and find Savitar.)
HR: Hold your roll, Jesse Quick. This hesitation that you feel on behalf of the group is our realization that this "go for broke" attitude is the very attitude that got Wallace in his predicament in the first place. Am I right?
Julian: I can't believe I'm uttering the words but... I actually agree with HR.
Cisco: Ditto.
HR: Thanks boys.

(Barry looks on Caitlin holding a baby, singing her to sleep. Ronnie Raymond stands by his side.)
Ronnie: This troubles you. Another life that could have been and never was.
(Ronnie walks over and kisses the baby on the forehead. Caitlin mutely walks off with the baby.)
Barry: Caitlin and Ronnie should have had that. A family... a future.
Ronnie: The future doesn't always turn out as we want it to.
Barry: I see what you're doing. First Eddie. Now Ronnie. Showing me all the people who sacrificed themselves for the greater good...
Ronnie: No, Barry - their sacrifices were for you. As was Wally's when he attempted to stop Savitar.
Barry: Savitar tricked Wally! And now he's trapped. Wally doesn't belong in The Speed Force. You have to let me take his place. (pauses) That's why I'm here. 
Ronnie: Or the other reason, Barry.
Barry: I want to sacrifice myself for Wally. 
Ronnie:: We can't allow that.
Barry: Why not? 
Ronnie: Because where Wally has gone is a hell all his own.
Barry: Savitar said "one would suffer a fate far worse than death".
Ronnie: And it's not for you. Leave Barry. While you still can.
(Ronnie turns his back on Barry and starts to walk away.)
Barry: No.
(Barry pulls up his hood and looks at Ronnie, who turns back to face him.)
Barry: Whatever hell Wally's trapped in, I'm going to set him free. And I'm not leaving here until I do.
Ronnie: Very well. But you were warned.
(There is a growl from behind Barry as The Black Flash runs out of nowhere and shoves him across the bank of computer desks.)

(HR block's Jesse's path as she tries to leave the lab with the piece of Savitar's blade. He tells her that he is not letting her pass.)
Jesse: You done?
HR: Yeah. Said my peace. And guess what? I'm still. Not.
(Jesse punches him once at super-speed.)
HR: ... moving.
(HR falls to the floor. Jesse kneels down and checks to make sure the unconscious HR isn't seriously hurt. She nods to herself.)
Jesse: That was oddly satisfying. 

(Barry watches Wally West through the window of the door to a hospital room. Wally is starring at an empty bed, eyes watery. unable to look away. Leonard Snart comes to stand besides Barry.)
Barry: What's happening to him?
Snart: Wally West is caught in an endless temporal loop, just like Savitar after you imprisoned him here in the future. No wonder he hates you.
Barry: What's he seeing?
Snart: He's reliving the single most painful moment of his life. Over and over again. His mother's death.
Barry: Wally... he doesn't deserve this
Snart: And let me guess - you do?
Barry: I know what my hell is. I've already seen it. In the future.
Snart: You don't like the future, Flash? Change it!
Barry: I can't ! Don't you get it?!  I can't! I'm not fast enough! He is! (he sighs and looks back to Wally) That's why you have to let me take his place. Wally can save Iris.
Snart: (annoyed) Not learning your lesson, Barry. You keep telling us one thing and then doing another! (pauses) You want to know what inspired Leonard Snart to sacrifice himself? It was you. Barry Allen. You inspired him to be... better. You inspired him to be selfless. To sacrifice himself for others. To be a hero. Just like you.
Barry: I'm no hero. Not lately.
Snart: So... what? Had enough, Scarlet Speedster?  Time to hang up the cowl and give it all up? Well,, if you're out...
(Snart draws his cold gun and powers it on.)
Snart: ... you're out.
Barry: (tiredly) I'm done fighting.
Snart: We know. And that's exactly the problem.
(Snart blasts Barry, sending him flying against the wall. Barry is pinned to the wall, gasping for breath as the ice sticks him up against the wall unable to move.)
Snart: You think seeing Iris' death is hell? You ain't seen nothing yet.
(Suddenly a red streak appears and knocks Snart down. It is Jay Garrick.)
Jay Garrick: (looking to Barry) Let's get you out of here.

(Barry guides Wally to the door out of the hospital room.  Jay moves to stand where Wally had been.)
Barry: Jay? Let's go. 
Jay: Sorry kid. This is where I stay for a while.
Barry: What? What are you talking about?
Jay: We both know that a speedster needs to take Wally's place. That's why I'm here.
Barry: No. No, Jay! You already lived your hell when you were Zoom's prisoner.
Jay: And you set me free! And I owe you for that.
Barry: Jay -
Jay: I've run a hell of a race. But every marathon has a finish line. Time's finally come for me to cross it. But you? You, Barry... you need to put an end to this once and for all and stop Savitar.
Barry: How?
Jay: Do what you do best. Be The Flash. (Jay holds up his helmet and hands it to Barry.) Cisco said that he could use this to track you and bring you home. 
(Barry reluctantly takes the helmet.)
Barry:  I'm gonna get this back to you again. When I break you out of here.
Jay: (nodding) See you soon, Flash. 


Helium is used to power gas stoves on Earth 19. This fact is revealed with HR says "Now we are cooking with Helium!"

The Super Mario Brothers game series exists on Earth 19.

Barry's shoulder is still injured from the last episode.

The electrode halo - the device Cisco used to pull Barry out of The Speed Force in 221 - is given an official name. This is also the same device Julian wore to channel Savitar.

The place where Barry arrives in The Speed Force looks like the Central City Police Department on a stormy night.

Barry saw Eddie Thawne die in 123. He took a trip to the past, where he saw Eddie before his death in 217.

The motto of the Central City Police Department is "Justice For All."

A Time Wraith - last seen in 223 - blocks Barry's path in The Speed Force.

The second location Barry travels to in The Speed Force resembles the hallway and main medical lab of STAR Labs.

Barry last saw Ronnie Raymond when he sacrificed himself to close the super-breach in 201.  He saw Ronnie's Earth Two counterpart, Deathstorm, die in 213.Barry sees a version of Caitlin holding a baby girl. He is told, by the vision of Ronnie Raymond, that it is her daughter.  Barry quickly figures out that this is a vision of the life Caitlin and Ronnie would have had together if Ronnie hadn't sacrificed himself.

Caitlin says that the metal from Savitar's blade, much like the box that held The Philosopher's stone, both exists and does not exist at the same time.

On Earth 19, according to HR, the theory of Schrödinger's Cat is called Schroeder's Cat.

On Earth 19, according to HR Charlie Brown was the kid with the piano in the Peanuts cartoons rather than Schroeder. The joke was that Charlie Brown was a terrible piano player.

HR wears a men's size 11 shoe. Presumably American size, assuming Earth 19 shoe sizes are the same as Earth One's.

The third place Barry finds himself in The Speed Force is a hospital hallway.  Wally is trapped in one of the rooms, seemingly starring at an empty bed.

Barry last saw Leonard Snart in the flesh in 209. A hologram of him appeared in 304. Snart apparently died in L115.

Wally West's personal hell is watching his mother's death over and over for all eternity.

According to The Speed Force, Leonard Snart chose to sacrifice himself because of Barry Allen's example.

Savitar claims to have already lived through all of the events that are about to happen to Team Flash.

Jesse Quick is able to throw lightning like Barry Allen.

Savitar is apparently immune to lightning and can either throw lightning without having to run around first or can absorb and redirect the lightning generated by other speedsters, as evidenced by his throwing a bolt of blue-white lightning at Jesse.

Jesse is able to hurt Savitar by stabbing him with the piece of his blade aiming for a gap in his armor.  HR correctly guesses that Savitar wouldn't be wearing armor if he didn't need it. This confirms that Savitar is mortal and not a god, no matter how fast he is.

Jay Garrick was last seen in 309. He says that Cisco came to his Earth (Earth Three) and asked for help when the team lost contact with Barry.

Jay takes Wally's place in The Speed Force.

Jesse decides to travel to Earth Three until Savitar is defeated - partly to thwart whatever plans Savitar had for her and partly to protect Jay Garrick's Earth until he can return.

Iris declares that she wants to marry Barry.

Barry says that he thinks they need some space while they figure out everything and that he's afraid he did propose to her for the wrong reasons.

Iris will stay in their apartment while Barry stays with Cisco.


The Speed Force

The Fridge Factor

Averted hard in the case of Jesse Quick, who makes all the correct intellectual leaps to figure out how to use the piece of Savitar's armor to find him and hurt him.  Honestly, I'd rather the show follow her and see her adventures on Earth Three than watch Barry whine about saving Iris for another seven episodes this season.

The Bottom Line

A solid episode but not for the reasons you'd think. The sequences in The Speed Force are powerful, precisely because they keep Barry off-balance and knock him out of the "I must save Iris!" rut he's been in for the past few episodes.  The sequences with Jesse Quick are strictly standard in terms of writing yet are made engaging by Violett Beane's performance. As good as Grant Gustin and Candice Patton are, however, they can't make the continual drama between Barry and Iris engaging and reducing Iris to the role of She Who Must Be Saved has killed all of the character's momentum. Still, it's nice to see Wentworth Miller snarking it up as Snart, regardless of the circumstances. And John Wesley Shipp continues to get more and more impressive with ever appearance he makes as Jay Garrick.

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