Season 2 / Episode 20 / The CW
And you say Speed Force Hyperbolic Time Chamber?!
Please pardon any incidental CAPS LOCKED STATEMENTS or explanation points galore, I just saw Civil War and my frontal lobe is still processing that masterpiece, while simultaneously wiping that other vs movie abomination from existence. Not to mention that this is the episode that we’ve been waiting for, in order to see just how amazing Kevin Smith performs with these directing duties. Let’s see.
Particle Accelerator 2.0 Aftermath
So our boy Barry is stuck in the Speed Force. Yes, the writers quickly put to bed any idea that Barry was dead by having Cisco vibe to locate Barry in his new confinement. BTDubs, the Speed Force is weird as all hell. It’s kinda like being trapped in the most heartwarming phantom zone in the universe. Our crew at S.T.A.R. Labs is devastated because they think they killed Barry and put Jesse in a coma… which they kiiiiinda did.
Henry Allen lookin’ like he’s about to hit Harry Wells with these prison hardened hands for pushing his son to take that second explosion and lightning strike. Iris and Joe finna lose control up in the Guisseppi store. Cisco the only one with some common sense cuz he knows there’s a very good chance the showrunners wouldn’t dare to kill off Barry Allen. He could’ve gotten knocked into another dimension or alternate universe.
Harry checks up on Jesse and Wally through the intercom and doesn’t get any response so the overprotective dad duo go a running through the halls of S.T.A.R. Labs to find our young gunz laid up on the floor following that blast they took from the particle accelerator explosion. Wally comes to like a kid being woken up for school, talking bout “stop screaming”, and although Jesse’s heart stopped beating for a few moments, she’s alive. An unconscious vegetable, but alive. Joe runs up to put on Dr. Allen, but homie up in the accelerator room looking like a kid who was just told Christmas fake AF.
Joe gets him to snap out of it and to use those Nip Tuck skills on baby Wells. Cisco locates Barry when he touches the shredded piece of Barry’s suit and vibes out something mean. He witnessed Barry standing in a mysterious looking stormy vortex with lightning striking all around. He tells Joe that Barry is alive and we finally get our first real look at and answers about the Speed Force.
The Speed Force: Barry is brought back to the house that he grew up in, and subsequently saw his mother mother murdered in. He looks at all the little Barry toys and books (wink wink) in his old room and eventually runs into Joe performing detective work downstairs.
Barry is like, “Umm, what’s good Joe?” and he responds that it’s good to see Barry but he ain’t Joe and this ain’t his old stomping grounds. Those in charge decided that he might feel more comfortable in a place that Barry’s familiar with, talking to a face that he recognizes. But little do they know (or 100% knew) all it does is conjure up some insanely painful memories for our trapped hero. Barry is asked what he knows about the Speed Force and gives a pretty generic ass answer of where he got his powers from, it’s what gives him his speed.
Faux Joe up in there like, yeaaah, but NOPE! Our first hint at the idea that it’s not just the Speed Force that determines who receives power and it’s not just the individual, it’s something more. Faux Joe also gets into a little history lesson and tells Barry that when the big bang went off and universe began expanding, they was in the cut rollin doobies up. When the galaxy plunges into unfathomable fiery insta-death, they gone be sippin’ whiskey smoking a cigar watching it all go down.
Sidebar: This was a huge moment for real deal Flash fans, as it gives us our first actual explanation on what The CW’s Speed Force is all about.
Barry out here getting his mind blown when he finds out that he’s speaking to the Speed Force, who just so happens to look like his adoptive father. Or as Barry puts it, “That’s trippy”.
Speed Force Joe: “Yeahhh, we pretty much invented trippy.”
Then reality strikes and he realizes that his friends are all still very much in danger of being murder death chopped by Zoom at any moment. Speed Force Joe is like, “Yo ass ain’t going nowhere till you catch that shadowy speed blur doing laps around the hood.” And so begins Barry’s journey through the Speed Force and understanding of himself, his powers and way back home.
The word is out. Barry da Gawd is alive!
S.T.A.R. Labs: Cisco explains what he saw and Harry Wells is like, “Sheeeeeiiiiitttttt our young stunna is trapped in the Speed Force.” Henry demands that Harry gets him out and it looks like he ready to catch a body if his demands aren’t met. Harry sulking about his daughter, hovering over her doing absolutely nothing to help her in her unconscious state, so it takes Joe getting mad real to talk some sense into him.
Joe: BRUH. You a scientist. Henry a doctor. You help his kid. He helps yours. Get it? Now get yo ass into your lab and science the shit out this situation so he can worry about the medical aspects of our extremely fucked up scenario.
Harry: *Sulks as he leaves to go work on his area of expertise.*
Cisco: Good looks Dr. Allen. Without Caitlin here, we ain’t even got somebody that’s CPR certified!
Henry: Her reflexes and vitals are good. She should be coming out of her Sleeping Beauty rest, but..
Iris: Just like Barry when he was struck by lightning.
Henry: Wha-WHAT?! You know I was in jail that entire time right? Evil Wells Thawne keep any notes on him? If so, they might help. Spoiler alert: THEY DONT.
Cisco: They should be down in the morgue.
Iris: EWWWW. You guys have a morgue?
Cisco: Shut your dirty mouth. Some of the bad guys have died in our fight to save Central City each and every day ya heard. PUT SOME RESPEK on my superhero name!! Also, can you come down there with me Iris? It’s scary.
Wouldn’t you know it! Cisco was acting like a lil punk for the most legit reason this time around. They get down to the morgue to get Barry’s medical files and out of the morgue walks a reanimated Tony Woodward aka Girder, the man obsessed with Iris who can turn himself to steel. Yes, I SAID REANIMATED!! We got a zombie Colossus running around S.T.A.R. Labs. That ish cray.
The Speed Force: Round 2 of Speed Force training commences. This time, the wise masters attempt to ease Barry’s discomfort level by speaking to him through Iris and bringing him to the place they first played tongue hockey. Barry lets her know that it don’t mean a dam THANG that they’re bringing him to all these sentimental locations, his homies are back on Earth being terrorized by the dude who paralyzed and demoralized him. The Speed Force out here acting mad bipolar accusing our boy of rejecting his power then anointing him as the Flash in the most frustrating exchange between Barry and The Speed Force.
S.T.A.R. Labs: Cisco remains the sleeper MVP of this episode as Wells comes thru playing Upgrade Ya once more and hooks Cisco up to a new contraption. This laboratory shark cage is supposed to pinpoint Barry’s location no matter what pocket in the universe the homie is trapped in. THEN Harry basically reveals that he’s going to electrocute Cisco’s frontal cortex to open up a breach so he can extract the package. Cue the classic Cisco sus face.
Cisco and Harry succeed in their ambitions efforts but fail on the end. While Cisco is but a stormy plane away, Barry knows that he was brought into the Speed Force for a reason and turns down the opportunity of returning if it means he won’t have a particular pep in his step.
Guess what? Girder’s got a fever! And the only prescription… is more Iris!
Joe and Iris use their handy dandy notebook to put the clues together and determine that Tony is following the same route as when he has alive and obsessed with Iris. They intercept him on his way to his next destination, the West house. Iris lures him away, and back to S.T.A.R. Labs. There they have absolutely no contingency plan in place if Cisco’s huge magnet plan failed… which it did. So they book it after the botch and all hole up in the room that Jesse was just placed in for safety. Cisco realizes he needs to start vibe tripping again and get Barry’s ass back to the real world as this cat Girder begins to just methodically punch his way through the door.
The Speed Force: Things get real for Barry when his tortoise vs hare shadow blur chase down finds him staring at the most painful truth of his life; his mother’s grave. A place he never had the strength to visit in all these years. And who’s waiting for him there? None other than Barry’s father, Henry Allen.
Henry forces Barry to face his deepest regret. To accept the realest event in his life. Barry still isn’t ready, as he remains in denial and continues to chase down the mysterious blur. And finally, we have the moment that everybody had been waiting for! The final person that the Speed Force decided to visit Barry as, his mom.
CUE THE CW SOFT PIANO AND VIOLIN MUSIC! Cue an amazingly acted, shot, and directed scene that could’ve easily turned into landfill levels of rotting hot garbage. Barry finally admits that he’s never truly accepted the fact that his mother is gone and constantly blames himself for choosing to allow The Flash to live instead of going back in time and saving her life. Heavy shit right there.
[quote_simple]The Runaway Dinosaur: Once there was a little dinosaur called maiasaura who lived with his mother. One day he told his mother, I wish I was special like the other dinosaurs. If I were a T-Rex, I could chomp with my ferocious teeth. But if you were a T-Rex, said his mother, how would you hug me with these tiny little arms? I wish I were an apatosaurus, said the tiny little dinosaur, so with my long neck I could see high above the treetops. But if you were an apatasaurus, said his mother, how would you hear me in the treetops when I told you I love you? What makes you so special little amayasaur, said its mother, isn’t your ferocious teeth, or long neck, or pointy beak. What makes you special is out of all of the different dinosaurs in the big wide world, you have the mother who is just right for you and who will always love you.
This story and the fact that The Speed Force pulled out all the other-worldy deity power swag by telling Barry that his mother is proud of him and the man who he’s become. The Speed Force just went from all-powerful entity that has been around since the dawn of time to something that is even more regal, grandeur and stoic than believed. Is the Speed Force on the same level as life and death? All I know is that Nora Allen drops our classic line to help our hero push through the the struggle to become one with the Speed Force.
Barry catches the blur doing Jesse Owens numbers and it turns out to be his other half, The Flash. Aka Barry Allen da Flash GAWD is back!!
Cisco is finally able to help bring Barry back through the breach, but it’s Iris who volunteers to be the one to actually convince Barry to come home and pull him through before the team gets pulverized by this steel zombie stalker. The Flash puts the moves on Zombie Girder and takes him down by recharging the giant magnet contraption that shorted out when Cisco tried to take down the walking steel dead man.
Late episode shockers
So it is heavily implied that we may not be getting two speedsters joining the Flash in his fight to save Central City. Instead it looks like Jesse Quick will be the only new member of the family, as Barry approaches her comatose vegetable body and lightning sparks and runs into her body when he touches her hand and she wakes up.
Barry is joined by Iris for his first real world visit to his mothers grave.
In our final moments, Zoom is is making a speech at the CCPD, but the show does an excellent job holding out on revealing who the speech is being made to. The last shot shows that he has rounded up all the evil meta humans of Earth-1 (just like he did on E-2) and plans on making the city his forever.
Social Media Metahuman App watch: Back in action baby!! Girder was eating up the streets and Cisco’s app was doing work. We also got our pretty hilarious Jason Mewes sighting in one of these Girder destroying the city scenes.
A few shout out to pop culture. We had a big Walking Dead reference, a couple Frankenstein name drops and a horrible iZombie connection.
The writers are finally bringing the Barry and Iris rekindling back to full flame levels. It appears they’re going all in on Iris being Barry’s anchor or “lightning rod” who is the one who grounds him in the real world, no matter where he goes with his alternate reality visiting, other world hopping, time traveling ass.
The Kevin Smith directoral chair verdict: Grade A material. This man is a nerdy beast.