ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 3.6.18
A nuclear bomb is released. Every Flash that ever flashed a flash is called on to stop it (except Wally). In the end, Iris saves the day! Because we’re the Flash.
Cucumber rhymes with Nuclear
So I must say, this episode was enjoyable in its premise and guest stars. The direction was really good too. Not so enjoyable with its resolution. But hey, We’re the Flash.
So we open at (almost) the end, when Barry is pulling Iris into Flashtime and admitting defeat.
Then we switch to Barry training to beat Devoe. He’s worn Cisco out with trying to beat the breeches in closing and Iris again shows a mastery of science that she hasn’t earned. But whatevs. The Allen-West-Allens-Burger-Meister-Meister-Burgers need more time together.
Don’t Harry and Cisco bicker like a couple?
Best thing about this episode? No. freaking. Dibny. We reached a saturation point with him a long time ago.
My daughter, my love
Before the episode is over, we’ll get some much needed progress on the Harry-Jesse relationship. It’s just that it’s been dragging on for so long now. And they too, bicker like a couple. But it’s not like the show has a problem with incestuously weird couples. Remember he used to sleep in the same room with her. Uggrrsssh.🤢
Turns out Harry has prolonged PTSD grief over the death of his wife, Jesse’s mother. I thought FOR SURE that Harry was going to say that her death was somehow his fault. Maybe he still will, but I thought that’s where they were going with it. It’s good to see Violett Beane, but she reminds us that Jesse only has two functions on this show: running fast but never quite fast enough, and being her father’s obsession.🤢🤢
Also, both Jesse and Harry are know-it-alls that think they know what’s best for everyone else. So I can see why they keep butting heads. Harry smashing that table was kind of violent. I can see why Jesse was put off by that. Often people that start with hitting an object move on to hitting people.
G.I. Joe West
Joe West is in the shootout of his life. Both the CCPD and members of A.R.G.U.S. are horribly outgunned so Joe has to hit the Troubalert. What kind of amazed me was how slow Team Flash was to respond. I thought Joe was gonna be on the ground bleeding out by the time Barry and Co. got there.
The Girl with the Nuclear Tattoo sets off the bomb AFTER Team Flash arrives. Does anyone else realize that two speedsters could’ve stopped her before she raised her hand to active the detonator? Or that Killer Frost could’ve frozen her mid stride? But oh well, Barry says it’s too late, and thus sets up the central problem of the whole episode.
It was cool that all the speedsters were moving in Flashtime. And cool that it had real consequences catching up to them as they were moving. I just don’t know if I buy into the idea that a bomb in motion like that would’ve presented all the problems that it did. But we’ll go with it for the sake of the story.
Barry pulls Crisco in, but he can’t Vibe in Flashtime. He does however completely and accurately assess the situation instantly. THAT’S the Cisco we need. His body also can’t take Flashtime but for so long. Again, that was well done.
Next Barry goes to Harry and explains the problem. And Jesse shows up with Jay. I love how Jay doesn’t know about transferring speed. What I didn’t love was the idea that the SpeedForce couldn’t survive a nuclear blast.
Now hold on just a minute.
The SpeedForce has never been clearly defined on this show. That’s been a problem from the beginning. But it has been shown to be beyond an elemental force of nature, with intelligent entities inside. It also is connected to all of space and time. It also is the thing that powers all the speedsters. So I can’t understand on a purely Newtonian physics level how a release of power, even on that level could harm it….yet they state later that a release of their SpeedForce based Flash lightning is enough to shut the bomb’s energy down. Do you see how that doesn’t make sense? Three lightning bolts from speedsters can shut it down but the SpeedForce itself would be compromised by its explosive energy? Just no.
The Whole Family’s on Speed
It’s always good to see the incredible John Wesley Shipp. But Barry is again willing to sacrifice people other than himself in a headstrong, close-minded kind of way. Like it’s his decision to make and his alone. That means he clearly hasn’t learned anything in the past four years. Then there’s this part where Barry hollers at Jay. I seriously didn’t like that. Why do they have to make Barry be the most unlikable character in every episode? Jay comes up with the idea of cooling it down. Enter Killer Frost.
She laughs at the idea, which was the best shot of the show. She tries anyway and has the same problem Francesca had. She can’t fully discharge her ice blasts in Flashtime. And she can’t take moving at super speed, although she has her first encounter with actual heat. I still say, last year she destroyed Black Flash. Wouldn’t the Death Speedster be moving faster than this? She stopped him. But again, whatever.
She then does something very interesting when Barry is about to let her go. She says to him, “Don’t let Caity die.” This is an interesting twist, which we’ll revisit again later in the episode with Caitlin. Does Killer Frost have compassion on Caitlin now? Are the two personalities merging? Is this like a Billy Batson/Captain Marvel thing now? Because Killer Frost is no longer angry and out of control when she’s called upon.
We’re the Machine
Offset the energy of the bomb with the energy of nuclear fusion. Three million tons of energy. Three megatons of energy. Three billion joules. Each lightning bolt gives off roughly one billion joules of energy. That should be enough. See, that’s real world physics. So that’s why I don’t get why the SpeedForce itself couldn’t handle that bomb’s energy release.
Jay however is feeling his age and can’t throw the lightning. And he can’t keep moving in Flashtime. That’s kind of a nod to the comics, but I still felt bad for him. Jesse suggests running back in time to change the timeline to stop the bomb from exploding. Barry counters by saying that it will change everyone you love. I personally don’t see how running back in time fifteen minutes or so will have that effect, but maybe the splintering of time by the speedsters running is what does it. Barry’s not willing to take that chance. Iris might end up on the other side of the world married to Eddie or something.
The bomb hits its final stages. Barry tells Jesse to skeedaddle off planet, but of course she doesn’t. She goes to say her goodbyes to her dad. Barry looks at Team Flash and does the same thing. He tries to do some last minute calculations, but to no avail. So he goes to where the episode started: saying goodbye to Iris.
And what happens next?
They say their goodbyes, but Iris remembers about the tracker in the SpeedForce attuned to Barry’s genetic markers. And how retrieving it will cause the SpeedForce lightning to chase Barry out of its dimension and follow him out here. It was very, very cool to watch, in spite of the sometimes shaky CGI. But what doesn’t hold up is the logic of it.
Iris seems to have more knowledge of the Speed Force than Barry, Jay, and Harry. She doesn’t just remember the device (which she was against) but she theorizes as to how it would work. That’s the most implausible solution we’ve seen all episode because a) Iris is not a scientist and b) We’re dealing with non-Newtonian physics in SpeedForce behavior and c) if SpeedForce lightning pulled out of its place could stop the bomb, why couldn’t SpeedForce lightning WHILE IN THE SPEEDFORCE stop the bomb, aka, Harry’s original idea? Remember…none of them have any idea what the SpeedForce actually is, so its behavior (unlike water, or gravity, or sound) would not be a constant in the equation. But okay, because We have to be the Flash.
Also, the SpeedForce has shown cognizance and memory and has tried to teach Barry philosophical and moral lessons….which means that it’s kind of dumb to think that it could be fooled by a device that’s just emanating Barry’s DNA, isn’t it? Couldn’t you walk in a room and figure out that pillows and clothes underneath the covers is not actually your child and they’re not there? But okay. Still fun to watch. Kinda.
Also. Once Barry throws the Genetic Corksphere into the bomb’s blast radius and the SpeedForce lightning destroys it….doesn’t that mean that it is then no longer in the SpeedForce to fool said SpeedForce into thinking that Barry’s still in there? Wasn’t that the point of the Corksphere? But at least Jay Garrick alludes to the fact that there could be trouble coming after this solution.
AfterMath. Or OverMath. Or UnderMath. Okay SideMath for sure.
So Veronica Dale is a character from the comics, somewhat faithfully adapted here. I’m not fond of her unmasked face and name being a part of her post bomb video. She says “you’ll see it again.” But now we have a face and a name to track, but okay.
So Caitlin does her doctor thing to nurse Barry back to health. The ol’ Crimson Comet makes a point of giving Iris credit and then Jay decides to retire. After he trains Jesse to replace him. I certainly don’t get why Jay never thought to train Barry, but now magnanimously decides to train Jesse.
Now Barry realizes he’s more than fast enough to catch Devoe. Too bad he didn’t get that last week when Izzy was dying.
Harry and Jesse have their moment. Courtesy of Harry’s mind reading device. Jesse can now hear and feel her father’s love for his late wife, her mother. It was poignant, and needed, but I’m sorry their whole relationship is just so stinking weird to me.
Caitlin and Harry, after having ordered a Killer Frost, seem to have a bit of a moment. (Please don’t make them a couple. Like, ever.) But Caitlin revisits the idea we talked about earlier, that she and Killer Frost are maybe beginning to share memories. That was really cool, but this is another relationship we also need some clear resolution to.
And then the best/worst thing happens. They are interrupted by Maybe Dawn Allen. Lots of theories as to who this girl might be. She could be the daughter of Barry and Iris, Joe and Cecile, Jesse and Wally, Cisco and Gypsy, or the granddaughter of Barry. She confirms tonight she’s from the future, because her intent was to meet Harry and Caity for the first time. But she narrows her eyes in an evil way, so now maybe she’s an antagonist. We’ll see.
-It’s always good to see John Wesley Shipp.
-It was surprisingly good to see Jesse. Some of that has to do with us finally getting a break from Dibny tho.
-There was quite a bit of science bandied about in this episode, and every single member of Team Flash participated in it. Including Cisco and Caitlin, their genius was for once not diminished.
-Harry and Jesse had some level of breakthrough in their father-daughter dealings.
-The whole thing isn’t about the ever-changing bodies of Bel Biv Devoe.
-This was probably one of the better episodes of the season, and the closest return to the tone of Season 1 we’ve seen yet.
-Once again, Barry is the most unlikable character on his own show. He’s the only one shown to be short-tempered, panicky, losing his cool under pressure, and being somewhat pessimistic and defeatist.
-Barry still can’t think for himself. How do we know that? I’ll tell you how. How many times has Jay Garrick called in the other Flashes to help him? How many times has Jesse done it? And she’s been a Flash the least amount of time. Only Barry is shown to be the one who can’t think without others.
-Iris is shoehorned in to save the day once again. Proof that her character is underdeveloped, because she has to be forced in at the expense of the main character, Barry.
-Guest stars got more time than Cisco and Caitlin. We’d like to see Original Team Flash developed, not everybody BUT them.
So it was a mixed bag. We’ll see what happens next week when Iris Rey Sue’s status is cemented. She’ll get Barry’s powers. Barry was in a coma for nine months, died a few times, and took quite a while to learn his powers. Iris gets them and will suit up and save the city in one episode. Do they have to hit you over the head any harder as to who the actual star of this show is?
Join us next Tuesday for #FlashChat at 1 PM CST on Twitter. We’ll be talking about this episode and analyzing its every twist and turn!