Previously on The Flash, “Subject 9”
Is it unrealistic to expect The Flash to be this good every week? Perhaps. A 23-episode season is a long one and it forces filler episodes and stretching major plot lines beyond reason. But it certainly felt like a lot of season one was this good. “Enter Flashtime” had so much of that season one magic that it both makes the subpar episodes that came before it look worse and sparks hope that season four can be salvaged going forward. *fingers crossed*
Suicidal activists attempt to steal a nuclear weapon from an A.R.G.U.S transport. When Team Flash foil their plans, the leader activates the weapon forcing Barry to slow down time before the blast can consume the city. Barry is able to temporarily bring members of the team into flashtime by touching them (like Iris in the courtroom), but Cisco is unable to breach the bomb to a dead earth and Killer Frost isn’t strong enough to freeze the blast. Barry, Jesse (Violett Beane), and Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp) consider tossing the weapon into the Speed Force (Harry’s idea), but that comes with the risk of wiping out every speedster in every dimension.
Eventually, Jay and Jesse have to stop moving, leaving Barry to deal with the problem alone. Unable to come up with a solution, Barry brings Iris into flashtime to say goodbye. Because nothing trumps Black Girl Magic, Iris comes up with the idea to obtain the quark sphere used to trick the Speed Force into thinking Barry was still in it while Cisco pulled him out, and then chuck it into the blast so that the Speed Force’s lightning will follow, split the atoms, and negate the explosion.
Up to Speed
Wow. This episode was everything I love about The Flash. First, we need to talk about how hard it is for formulaic shows to pull off high-stakes episodes. Unless it’s a show like The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones where you could conceivably lose a major character in a random episode that’s not a finale or premiere, the audience understands that no one is going to die. To sell it, the audience needs to feel as though the worst could happen and to feel that you need great actors. Thankfully, The Flash has that. The obvious standout is Grant Gustin, who consistently acts his ass off, but Patton, Beane, and Shipp shined as well. And it doesn’t hurt that even though we don’t see these characters often, we actually care about Jesse and Jay… unlike Ralph, who’s around damn near every week and his absence from this episode wasn’t felt and actually made it better.
Killer Frost cares for “Cait.” Awww. I like that.
“Enter Flashtime” also looked really fucking cool. The lighting in the hangar gave the whole experience of being in flashtime a dreamlike quality that worked.
The reveal that Harry is a big old grump cause he’s been walking around with unresolved grief over losing his wife was a nice bit of character building and shed light on his recent friction with Jesse; friction that we’d only heard about from him this season.
I’m so burned out with this DeVoe business that it being absent from this episode was a plus. Although, there were a few developments: by tracking the times and places he’s entered and exited his pocket dimension, the team now knows his plan has been in motion for three years (since he became a meta); and though the team doesn’t mention it, retrieving the quark sphere and removing it from the Speed Force has to be part of DeVoe’s plan, right? Also, Harry tweaked the cerebral inhibitor to hear thoughts and that has to come into play for something other than allowing Jesse to experience his thoughts/memories of her mother.
That scene with Barry and Iris in flashtime. Their chemistry is magic. Period.
But Wait; There’s More
The quirky, clumsy server/coffee patron is back, this time dumping a Killer Frost drink from Jitters all over Harry and Caitlin. During her jittery apology she reveals she’s nervous because she’s meeting some people for the first time. After Harry and Caitlin leave, it’s clear they were the people she planned to meet and she didn’t look all that happy about it.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Leave your brief thoughts below, send them to email@example.com, or leave them on our Facebook post for this review, and we’ll read them on tonight’s podcast.
The Flash S4E15 Review Score
The Flash – S4E15 – “Enter Flashtime” | Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Keinynan Lonsdale, Hartley Sawyer, Danielle Nicolet