The Flash: Into the Speed Force
March 15, 2017 5:36 AM - Season 3, Episode 16 - Subscribe

Barry, desperate to stop Savitar and save his friends, turns to the speed force for answers. Meanwhile, H.R. gives Jesse some advice.
posted by oh yeah! (17 comments total)
This episode made the entire show make sense. Apparently the Speed Force is a massive idiot that has scrambled Barry's brain and turned him into a moron. So that explains what happened!

At first, when the Speed Force via the Eddie construct was telling Barry off for constantly going back and mucking with time and history I was all for it. I thought this might finally be the start of new plotlines. Then suddenly it took some kind of weird left turn and made this all about Barry asking for help and how bad that was. First, why? Second, that's completely stupid. Barry exists in a world with not only other meta humans but other speedsters. Why wouldn't he get help from them? Why wouldn't they work together? Why is the Speed Force so insistent that he save Iris himself (which, BTW, isn't that mucking up time and the future?) and so against him counting on Wally for help? (Also those conversations made it seem as if Wally is the only one fast enough. I didn't think that was what's happening. Barry is still faster than Wally, but Wally was going to be acting as a surprise backup, right?)

Then there's Barry's big speech to Iris about how he's not going to fight the future by attempting to chance it but by embracing it. Okay, that sounds at the very least like a new plan, but then he suddenly dumps Iris claiming he needs his space. How is that embracing the future--the future in which they're supposed to be together?

Look, I really don't like Barry and Iris as a couple but at this point, I've resigned myself to the fact this show wants them to be one, so fine they're a couple, and we can move on with other stories. Except now we can't. Now we're going to be stuck watching them get all mopey over not being with each other, and then we'll have to watch them dance around each other as they finally find their way back into each others' arms. No thanks.

Then we've got Jay's fate. If the Speed Force is so big on personal responsibility, then why doesn't it require Wally to perform a task, make a sacrifice (give up his powers) or fix something else before it just lets him go? Why is it condemning Jay to make up for his mistake? (Yeah, yeah, preserve the balance of the Speed Force, blah, blah, blah. It's still contradicting its own primary message.) Jay doesn't deserve that punishment.

Actually speaking of punishments and proclamations, why does Savitar's prophecy need to come true? Is it just because he knows the future? Or is it something else? If it's the future thing, then doesn't his coming back into the past muck up the timeline as much as Barry's flashpoint fiddling? Especially if he is telling Team Flash exactly what to expect in their futures? Because of course they're use that knowledge to attempt to change their fates, which is apparently a big no-no according to the Speed Force.

Julian is becoming more and more annoying by shoving Caitlin further and further into useless-team-member territory. His proposal for the tether is exactly what she would have proposed in the pre-Julian past. The only way she was even noticeable this episode was because of her outfit. I swear they dress her like she's going clubbing immediately after work and she won't have time to change.

Okay, I'm done ranting for a bit. If it's not obvious I was really disappointed by this episode. The potential was there to set this show back on the right track and instead, it was run completely off the rails. At this point, I don't know if there is a way to right the train and get it back to where it was during the first season.
posted by sardonyx at 7:25 AM on March 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

We all miss you terribly, Captain Cold, and want you to come home. I swear, sometimes the villains are more fun than the heroes on these shows. I'm even kind of starting to root for Eobard Thawne over on Legends of Tomorrow.
posted by Servo5678 at 7:48 AM on March 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

.. wow, this show is a slog anymore.

* Everything sardonyx said.

At this point, I don't know if there is a way to right the train and get it back to where it was during the first season.

I want to do more than favorite that post because that sums up a ton of stuff going on here. I don't want to retread, except for this: poor Jay Garrick. Man.

* I'll miss Jesse Quick, but I would've left too.

The way everyone kept talking down to her because of how her dad would feel was skin-crawling. I'm glad she hit HR, took the blade and went looking for Savitar herself. I'm also glad she booked it for Earth-3. (I only wish Wally had decided to follow her, along with the show's POV. Watching Barry Allen isn't much fun anymore.)

I'm still watching for now, but I dunno how much more of this I'm interested in. (I'm mostly sticking it out in case Cowboy Wells shows up, at this point.)
posted by mordax at 10:17 AM on March 15, 2017

has scrambled Barry's brain and turned him into a moron
You've JUST noticed that? Barry's been severely brain damaged since he was stuck by lightning and put into a coma for 8 months. He has an IQ of 40 but no one wants to tell him because they're afraid of upsetting the demi-god/Jesus surrogate that could kill everyone on a whim.

Why wouldn't he get help from them?
There seems to be a highlander-type system in the multi-verse. There can be only 1. The concentration of speedsters grew too high in earth-1 so the speed force took measures to correct it. None of the evil speedsters were naturally introduced into earth-1 except Barry and Jessie, and Jessie's changed earths (for a reason that doesn't completely make sense). Reverse flash, Zoom, The Rival, that other one, Savitar. None of them originated on Earth-1 in the present timeline.

, why does Savitar's prophecy need to come true?
Because Savitar is future Barry, he knows exactly what happens and how to motivate Barry to desired outcome. (Until the writers determine that he doesn't).

Caitlin further and further into useless-team-member territory.
Maybe she could hang out with Hartley Rathaway and keep him company. The territory of Useless-team-members is a lonely place.
They may be replacing her... which I wouldn't mind. Julian is a better actor and has more potential.

I don't know if there is a way to right the train and get it back to where it was during the first season.
There is. They could fire all of the writers and replace Barry's actor. Have Caity Lotz be the flash. Just retcon her in. No explanation given. She'll be The Flash and have the same history as Barry, and in all of the flashbacks it would be a younger Caity Lotz.
posted by FallowKing at 10:23 AM on March 15, 2017

Believe me, I've noticed Barry's stupidity before. It just seems to be getting worse. Way back when this show started, he came across as having half a brain. Now he's down to, I don't know, maybe a tenth of a brain. It seems that every time he taps into his speed and into the Speed Force, his IQ drops a point or two. I don't think he can afford to lose too many more brain cells and remain upright.

I do like your Highlander theory. I think it's better thought-out than whatever the writers have created.

As for Caitlin, she's not my favourite, but if it's her or Iris, I'm for keeping her and dumping Iris, at least Caitlin has been shown (at times) to be competent and relevant, which is more than Iris has typically done. But in no way do I want to encourage this show to dump female characters and replace them with men. It's alreay too male-centric. Yes, I know the writers have no clue how to deal with women, but they need to figure it out.

I'm happy with Caity as Canary. I still say the actor playing Eddie should have been Barry, and Barry should have been Wally. (Okay, he'd make a lousy Wally, even if he's physically Wally's type.) Eddie has always been way more Barry, than Barry has been. I'd certainly be interested in seeing that take on the character. The only thing I'd say is the whole dead mother and imprisoned father backstory needs to go. There was no need to pile angst on top of Barry. Speedsters should be lighter characters than Dark Knights.
posted by sardonyx at 10:59 AM on March 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

This show is maybe for kids? From the 1980s?
posted by amtho at 11:21 AM on March 15, 2017

Have Caity Lotz be the flash. Just retcon her in. No explanation given. She'll be The Flash and have the same history as Barry, and in all of the flashbacks it would be a younger Caity Lotz.

I'd just just fine with them killing off Barry instead, and making this the Jesse Quick show. She's pretty easy to slot in: she's fast, super-smart and has a connection to one or more Harrisons Wells, especially Dick Wells, who should clearly be their leader.

(I don't want them to pull Caity off LOT. She's one of the best reasons to watch, and they really turned that show around this season.)

Speedsters should be lighter characters than Dark Knights.

Yeah, absolutely.

This show is maybe for kids? From the 1980s?

I might buy that if Barry ate more pork chop sandwiches.
posted by mordax at 12:02 PM on March 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Holy shit, this show has become a real downer. I don't need The Flash to be unicorns and rainbows every week, but of late it's just been miserable. I guess that's what happens when the hook for the season is ineptly stopping your girlfriend from being horribly murdered. If things don't pick up, I think this may be the last season for me :(
posted by adrianhon at 3:12 PM on March 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Also, enough with Flashpoint! Everything comes back to Flashpoint - Savitar, Speedforce weirdness, every single bit of interpersonal drama, strange metas. It's time to move on, showrunners.
posted by adrianhon at 3:13 PM on March 15, 2017

Has anyone been keeping a tally on how many people Barry killed with flashpoint?
The legion of doom only came together because of flashpoint, and they've killed quite a few including the entire -spoiler-, one of them being emotionally significant to someone and dying in the last episode. I think the LOT killed some soldiers at multiple points as a result of the LOD.

Plus there's Diggle's daughter, the entire team Julian killed as Alchemy, Cisco's brother, The Rival.

I assume many more 'henchmen' type characters.
posted by FallowKing at 6:15 PM on March 15, 2017

Like everyone else: yeah, the writing of this show is not good and this plot is sloggy and the Speed Force chewing Barry out for a while is nothing anyone wants to see, except for briefly bringing Snart back. I am getting pretty tired of this one.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:24 PM on March 15, 2017

There were two instances of Barry, a speedster who can run up the sides of buildings, waiting for an elevator in this episode... while trying to escape monsters and shit while inside the speed force. Are the staircases out of order? No, Barry's just dumb as rocks.
posted by axiom at 8:57 PM on March 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm with you guys, this series is giving me "the season before last when I broke up with Sleepy Hollow" vibes.

Fuck this show, man. Harrisons Wells, I'll mainly miss you.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:19 PM on March 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

That scene where the team was arguing about 'Peanuts' in front of Jesse while Barry and Wally are trapped in the speed force was painful to watch. I get that the plot demanded that Jesse get angry at everyone and take on Savitar on her own, but having everyone be so flippant while Barry and Wally's lives are at stake is a weird route to take.

More generally, why in the world would the producers think that making Barry sullen and stupid was a good direction for the show to go in?

Anyway, I saw on Tom Cavanagh's instagram that he has been directing episode 19 this week.
posted by plastic_animals at 10:18 AM on March 16, 2017

why in the world would the producers think that making Barry sullen and stupid was a good direction for the show to go in?

I have a theory that over time, all Greg Berlanti shows will end up exactly the same. See Flash becoming ever more like Arrow, and this season, Supergirl becoming more like both of the above - more toting of the idiot ball, more angst and sullenness, more stupid and arbitrary relationship-angst beats that make no actual sense.

I also have a theory that he's working on way more shows than he can actually keep track of; that any given time he can only really work on maybe about two and half shows, so during any given season, two will be bad, one will be mediocre, and any left over will be outside of his attention and actually be good. Last season, Arrow was bad, Legends was bad, Flash was mediocre, and Supergirl was good. This season, Supergirl is bad (or at least worse, though Melissa Benoist is as close to the anti-Berlanti as exists, I think...although I would've said that about Grant Gustin back in S1 of this show, too), Flash is bad, Arrow is mediocre, and Legends is the leftover and actually good. Next season it could all switch around again, like musical chairs.
posted by mstokes650 at 10:32 AM on March 16, 2017 [4 favorites]

Could be that Berlanti is stretched too thin. He is also co-executive producer of Riverdale.
posted by plastic_animals at 10:44 AM on March 16, 2017

Can't you just imagine the crossover possibilities? Maybe Josie and the Pussycats will crossover for next year's musical interlude.
posted by sardonyx at 11:53 AM on March 17, 2017

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