The Flash Review: Into The Speed Force (Season 3 Episode 16)

Desperate to stop Savitar and save his friends, Barry (Grant Gustin) turns to the speed force for answers. H.R. (Tom Cavanagh) gives Jesse (guest star Violett Beane) some advice.

The Flash Season 3 Episode 16, “Into The Speed Force,” was essentially part two of “The Wrath of Savitar.” After all, it continued pretty directly from the conclusion Team Flash were left reeling from: Wally getting trapped within the Speed Force’s prison. Barry’s decision to go in and rescue him was a natural place to start.

This episode was a little reminiscent of Season 2’s “The Runaway Dinosaur” when Barry first entered the Speed Force – and was arguably Season 2’s, if not the entire series’, best episode. However, what was great about it was it didn’t try to exactly copy, instead keeping to its own story and style while being a dark sequel of sorts.

The similarities between them extended only so far as Barry seeing visions of people he cared about in life, only this time it was all the people who sacrificed themselves for him. It was great seeing the return of Rick Cosnett, Robbie Amell and Wentworth Miller as Eddie, Ronnie and Captain Cold.

It’s needless to say that Barry has been somewhat reckless this season – creating Flashpoint, going up against Savitar, putting Wally at risk. His boneheaded actions were finally called out in this episode as the Speed Force saw his behaviour as shirking his responsibility; why should Wally be the one to stop Savitar when it was Barry who released (and will eventually place him in) the Speed Force to begin with?

Each guest star did well with the material they were given. Rick Cosnett’s reappearance was Eddie was most especially great to see as I feel the show has missed something in his absence. Wentworth Miller was also fun in his return as Captain Cold. Ever since The Flash’s second season and Miller’s bounce from this show to Legends of Tomorrow, Miller’s been somewhat underutilized and never truly got to reach his potential as Captain Cold.

After all, Cold is one of Flash’s greatest villains and it’s a shame that a true group of The Rogues have never gotten together on Flash. Hopefully this can change later, but given Snart’s deceased status in Legends (not to mention Heat Wave’s heroic turn as well), it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing The Rogues for a long while, if at all.

While Barry was off saving Wally in the Speed Force, Jesse Quick decided to go after Savitar herself. While this B Plot ultimately led to Jesse travelling to Earth-3, it also had an interesting reveal: Savitar has “plans” for Jesse.

Why would Jesse be so important to Savitar, and what could she possibly do for him? This slightly backs up my theory that Wally West becomes Savitar. Maybe he wants to help excel her own speed? Though Violett Beane has seemingly left for now, it’s at least nice to now she’ll be back as the endgame with Savitar hits.

The Flash Season 3 Episode 16 was a great follow-up that had nicely focused on Barry’s behavior. The return of Cosnett, Amell, and Miller was an excellent addition that reminded viewers what they brought to the series. Even John Wesley Shipp returned as Jay Garrick, placing himself in the Speed Force until Savitar will be imprisoned.

The only negative that I can really see is Barry’s decision to distance himself from Iris as they get closer to her possible death. It seems like a drastic decision, especially after getting a rather hard lesson on taking responsibility for his actions and any future consequences. Still, ‘Into The Speed Force’ was a good instalment that examined Barry’s faults and the sacrifices of the past.

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

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