Previously on The Flash, “The Wrath of Savitar”
Jesse Quick was the only one acting like she has some gatdamn sense and that’s saying something considering she spent the majority of “Into the Speed Force” trying to get herself killed, and the rest of the time heading off to an alternate Earth she’s never seen with nothing more than a backpack and a rare blood type. Oh, and no money. Good luck, girl.
Let’s stop going into the Speed Force, please. Every time we do, I lose a few more fucks to give for Barry Allen and his constant need for a balls massage. Okay. That was mean. But for the love of Savitar, how many more pep talks does this guy need? We are now at the point of every season where Barry realizes he’s had the juice all along. Just click your speedster heels, boo. The road to this season’s revelation was filled with inappropriate shenanigans and a conversation that was about nothing.
Barry goes into the Speed Force, and just like the last time, the SF takes the form of people he knows; this time, dead people who want to roast Bartholomew. Since it’s not really those people or even their spirits in the afterlife, what Barry truly hears is the Speed Force calling him out for his own shit and insecurities.
First up: Eddie Thawne, who wants Barry to remember that time he shot himself in the chest to save everyone while Barry was being choked out by his great^7 grandson. Oh, and he reminds Barry that Iris was his first, because the Speed Force is petty AF, apparently. The Speed Force is also a little miffed that after their last sit-down, Barry STILL went back in time to save his mother and the only reason they let him do all that he did was because 1. they understood he’d just lost his father and 2. they were hoping that Barry would live with the consequences for once. But Barry gonna Barry. Anyway, Barry is willing to take all these lumps if it means getting Wally back. SF Eddie tells him he needs to outrun a convenient plot point called a Time Wraith.
Next he encounters Ronnie in a scene that served no purpose other than to make the Snowbarry’s PhotoShopping a bit easier this week. SF Ronnie is salty because he sacrificed his life to save the world when Barry couldn’t, and now he’s not around to raise this baby that Caitlin has brought to work because S.T.A.R. Labs doesn’t have proper security so you know they ain’t got no damn childcare.
Finally, with Wally just out of reach in the next room, Barry sees Leonard Snart, who just came to chew this fancy new Speed Force scenery and I loved it because Wentworth Miller is the motherfucking man. Cat Daddy Flash arrives to put an end to this nonsense, and stays behind in Wally’s place since this elaborate Speed Force Penitentiary Barry built needs to have a speedster at all times… for reasons.
Meanwhile, Jesse has to jump in way too many asses because she just watched her boyfriend disintegrate and she’s not in the mood for stupid jokes, mansplaining, or H.R. putting his drumsticks in his mouth trying to be the Earth-19 version of her overprotective dad. While some think Jesse was a tad #TeamTooMuch, I appreciate that she was the only one acting like they might not ever see Wally again. At least her actions led to the team figuring out that Savitar is just a man under the suit when Jesse stabs him with a piece of it and Savitar screams like a little bitch.
Last week, I was okay with Iris’ issues with Barry’s proposal. If he loves her (he does), and wants to marry her (he does), she’d rather have him propose when she’s not under the threat of death. However, what I don’t understand is why she spent this episode straight up behaving like she wasn’t sure if she and Barry belonged together at all.
He asks, “Did I lose you?” And she walks away without answering. Excuse me, what? The answer is no. The answer is, “I’m still up in my feelings and we’ll deal with the engagement that almost was when this is all over, but of course you haven’t lost me. There is no The Flash without Iris West. I’m not going anywhere.”
Then, she has a conversation with Joe that meant absolutely nothing. They were both speaking in these broad, general phrases that told each other (and us) very little.
Iris: “What if it’s too late? What if some things can’t be undone?”
Joe: “You having second thoughts?”
Iris: “I guess I’m just worried that I made the wrong decision.”
When? Accepting the proposal or taking the ring off?
Joe: “And what… you think that calling things off sent Barry running into the Speed Force?”
Oh, so this is about Wally now?
Joe: “Sweetheart, I know how you’re feeling. You can’t figure out which way is up right now, can you?”
Iris shakes her head no and I almost threw my damn remote at the TV.
What did this conversation mean? Why can’t she figure out which way is up? Does she have vertigo? What happened?
In the end, Wally is home, poor Jay is cooling his heels in the Speed Force behind Barry’s bullshit, and Barry realizes he needed to be the one to stop Savitar all along. Then he breaks up with Iris for reasons. He tells her to stay in the loft and he’ll sleep on Cisco’s couch.
Girl, I’d change the damn locks. Tuh.
Up to Speed
I love how Jesse called out everyone’s nonsense from the joking in the cortex to H.R.’s condescending comment about Barry being the “real Flash.” Jesse has been on her own Earth, kicking ass and saving her city. Remember that.
Though it is funny that every Central City needs a Flash, apparently, yet no one thought about leaving Earth-2 vulnerable when she decided to move in with Wally. Also, is she going to avoid Earth-3’s Jesse and Harrison Wells?
Now that Barry is going to be sleeping on Cisco’s couch and no longer preparing elaborate breakfasts and proposals, hopefully he’ll spend this time figuring out who Savitar is. Interestingly enough, this feels like we’re headed into another paradox. Without knowing who Savitar is, why he has beef with Barry, and why he ended up tossed into the Speed Force to begin with, it’s possible that in trying to figure all of that out, Barry actually causes it. I mean, it’s not like before Savitar showed up Barry was sitting around trying to figure out how to make a Speed Force prison.
Speaking of which, why the hell did he create one that must hold a speedster at all times? Jay said, “We both know that a speedster needs to take Wally’s place.” Why? Why you make this shit so complicated, Barry? If Jay were to leave, would the Speed Force collapse? Does the world end?
I try not to talk about Snowbarrys too much, but something in this episode made me curious. For those who don’t know, Snowbarry is the ship name for fans of the show who wish to see Caitlin and Barry together as a romantic couple. Shipping is a part of fandom and it can be a lot of fun. I shipped WestAllen (Barry and Iris) since the pilot. The difference between that and Snowbarry is 1. the show is actually about, in part, Barry and Iris’ relationship and 2. my shipping isn’t rooted in racism.
Now, of course not all Snowbarrys are racist. However, it’s hard to understand the logic behind their love of Caitlin and absolute hate for Iris. When you swat down their reasons, just to name a few….
- Iris and Barry is incest. (Wrong. Shut up. Stop it. That’s stupid.)
- Iris doesn’t really love Barry; she loves The Flash. (Again. Stop. They’ve established many times that Iris West loves Barry Allen with or without his powers.)
- She needs saving too many times. (Never mind the fact that Iris has saved herself from several situations, Caitlin has been kidnapped twice.)
- They don’t have chemistry. (If you think Candice Patton and Grant Gustin don’t have all kinds of chemistry, I’m assuming you’ve never had a kiss, had sex, or even had conversations with other people in person and not on the internet. Or you’re blind.)
…. what you’re left with is: You say Iris’ race has nothing to do with it, but it all just boils down to you don’t like her “for some reason.”
One of the more ridiculous complaints about Iris (from the Snowbarrys) is that she dresses like she’s going clubbing. Now, slut shaming aside, this isn’t an Iris thing, this is a CW thing. I’ve said many times that they’ve dressed Iris in outfits at work that wouldn’t necessarily fly in “real life.” They’ve done the same thing to Felicity on Arrow, because for some reason they think CEOs of major corporations are wearing backless dresses to work. However, examine how those characters behave. Neither Iris nor Felicity behave like they’re “in the club” when they’re at work or helping fight crime from their secret superhero lairs. So this is less about who the character is and more how the people who make the wardrobe decisions see these young women in the workplace.
Not all Snowbarrys are racist, but the ones who are white most certainly have White Privilege. And one of those privileges is seeing themselves represented positively in all forms of fiction since the beginning of ever. White women have been the default. They can be the lead, the love interest, and the best friend in the same damn show. Hell, in some shows, they are the show (Sex and the City). I truly believe that for a lot of these shippers, they don’t know how to handle a beautiful black woman being the desire of the white male lead, and also being a fleshed out character separate from him. They don’t know how to see themselves in Iris. They cannot link their love for the fictional hero to the love Iris feels for him so it must be wrong.
And it’s going to be real hard to take them seriously when I know they won’t have shit to say about Caitlin’s uterus-revealing dress last night. Somehow, I have a feeling that club attire will be JUST FINE to Snowbarrys.
Check yourselves, ladies. Your bias is showing.
Finally, are we going to turn Barry into one of those “I can’t have people I love in my life because they might get hurt” heroes? Because if I wanted to see a mopey bastard in a mask, I’d be watching Arrow.
Got thoughts on this week’s episode? Leave them below or on our Facebook post for this review, and we’ll read them on tomorrow night’s podcast.