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Recap / The Flash 2014 S 3 E 16 Into The Speed Force

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Barry's journey to the Speed Force to rescue Wally is going to be a little more intense due to Barry's actions since the last time.


  • Adult Fear: Upon hearing of Barry's plans, Joe almost breaks down, since he just might lose another son to the Speed Force.
  • An Aesop:
    • Don't feel sorry about the deaths of others if it was their own choice; however, if you know how someone else is going to be murdered beforehand, you have a responsibility to do what you can to stop it.
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    • Don't have other people fix problems you are responsible for creating, even if they are better suited to do the fixing. note 
  • Alien Sky: The Speed Force is apparently one where there is a constant threat of storms.
  • And I Must Scream: Future Barry's prison for Savitar is revealed to be a continuing time loop of the occupant's worst memory. For Wally, it's his mother dying.
  • And Starring: "Special Guest Stars Robbie Amell, Rick Cosnett, and Wentworth Miller", plus "and John Wesley Shipp" in the regular guest stars lineup.
  • Antagonist Title: The Speed Force itself is the episode's main obstacle.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: An almost literal example, as H.R. rightfully asks why Savitar, the self-proclaimed God of Speed, needs a suit of armor? Because he's not a god; he's still just a man. Jesse proves his point when she stabs Savitar with his own severed blade in his glowing blue under-armor, driving him off.
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  • Attack Reflector: Barry uses Jay's helmet to bounce Snart's cold gun ray back.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: The Speed Force, due to being angry with Barry over creating Flashpoint.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Jay shows up just in time to save Barry from Speed Force Snart.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Wally is freed from the Speed Force, but at the expense of Jay's freedom. And while Savitar is still loose, Team Flash discovers that he's not really a god like he claims he is. Wally is going to need time to recover from his experience in the speed force. Also, Barry and Iris decided to cool things off for a while.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: The Speed Force as per usual, showing little sympathy for Barry or Wally or concern that Savitar is running loose.
  • Broken Hero: Due to the immense guilt that Barry feels about Flashpoint, he's ready to give it all up by sacrificing himself to take Wally's place — but the Speed Force isn't having any of it.
    Barry: I’m done fighting.
    Speed Force!Cold: We know, and that’s exactly the problem.
  • The Bus Came Back:
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    • Subverted with Ronnie, Eddie, and Captain Cold, as they're all just manifestations of the Speed Force.
    • The Black Flash returns after last being seen in "The Legion of Doom" over in Legends. This is also his first time on his parent show since the Season Two finale.
    • Jay Garrick shows up to help Barry save Wally.
    • The Speed force itself returns after last appearing in the third to the last episode of Season 2.
  • Call-Back:
    • The manifestation of Eddie Thawne reminds Barry of how Iris was going to marry him until he shot himself to destroy Eobard Thawne and save Barry. He even sports the blood patch on his White Shirt of Death just as he did in "Fast Enough".
    • The Speed Force tells Barry that the reason Captain Cold made his Heroic Sacrifice was because of Barry's influence.
  • Catch and Return: When Jesse tries to blast Savitar with lightning, he effortlessly absorbs it and blasts her back. This is a Call-Back to Zoom doing something similar to Barry's lightning bolt.
  • Central Theme: Personal responsibility. The Speed Force lectures Barry that both Flashpoint and Savitar are problems that he created, so he has to take responsibility for them instead of having others shoulder the burden. On the flip side, it also reminds him that Eddie, Ronnie, and Snart each made a choice to sacrifice themselves for the greater good, so their deaths aren't his responsibility and he needs to stop blaming himself.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: The Speed Force make avatars of the deceased Eddie Thawne, Ronnie Raymond, and Leonard Snart when speaking to Barry.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: When the Speed Force tells Barry to leave Wally to his fate, Barry firmly says no — and the Speed Force is very pissed off about it.
  • Disappointed in You: The Speed Force says as much to Barry for creating Flashpoint.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: H.R. tells Jesse that her brash attitude about wanting to confront Savitar is the exact attitude Wally had before getting trapped in the Speed Force — a point that Julian and Cisco both agree with, to their own surprise.
    • As mentioned above, H.R. is also the one to question why a supposed god would need a suit of armor.
  • Empathic Environment: The Speed Force's current atmosphere may be due to its disappointment towards Barry's actions.
  • Energy Absorption: Savitar's suit absorbs the lightning Jesse throws at him and sends it right back.
  • Event Title: Into the Speed Force features Barry going inside it to free Wally.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Well, face Fate Worse than Death with dignity is a better description to Jay's Heroic Sacrifice. When Barry calls him out on it, Jay calmly says that he "had a hell of a race" and makes a Call-Back to Barry saving him the last time he was imprisoned by Zoom.
  • Fond Memories That Could Have Been: Discussed and invoked by the respective Speed Force manifestations of Eddie and Ronnie. "Eddie" mentions that Iris would have been "his" wife and Joe would have been "his" father-in-law if "he" didn't performed a Heroic Suicide during the Season 1 finale, complete with visual likeliness of the Wests standing behind "him". Meanwhile, "Ronnie" appears with "Caitlin" and "their child", saying "they" would have been a happy family if "he" didn't (apparently) died in his Heroic Sacrifice while closing the wormhole.
  • God Guise: H.R. realizes that Savitar has indeed only been pretending to be a god all this time — there's a mortal man under that armor.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: H.R.'s suggestions once again prove useful on two occasions. First when he gives Cisco the advice to build an anchor device for Barry while he is in the Speed Force and then when he points out that Savitar is just a human being under a suit.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Jay takes Wally's place in Savitar's prison, instead of Barry as he originally planned.
    • The Speed Force tries to get Barry to understand that the three forms it takes (Eddie Thawne, Ronnie Raymond, and Leonard Snart) all willingly sacrificed themselves for the greater good, with Barry as their inspiration to be heroes. Speed Force Snart has to explicitly tell him that.
  • History Repeats: Jay Garrick is once again imprisoned under a Fate Worse than Death situation. Barry lampshades this while calling Jay out on his Heroic Sacrifice. He promises Jay that he'll once again free him, which also happens during the middle of the season.
  • Idiot Ball: Jesse grabs it when she goes after Savitar alone, still in grief over Wally's fate. The rest of the team rightfully calls her out on it. Fortunately, it doesn't backfire on her, mainly because H.R. is there to guide her.
  • Ironic Echo: Jay's Cool Helmet is put in a similar pedestal Team Flash built for Hunter when they thought he died during the time when he was posing as Jay.
  • It's All About Me: Invoked. The main lesson that the Speed Force is trying to knock into Barry's head is that he needs to stop thinking about all the grief he's caused others. Everyone whom he feels guilty about dying made their choices and he doesn't need to shoulder every burden.
  • Jerkass Gods: The Speed Force has every right to be angry at Barry for creating Flashpoint, but it goes too far with its indifferent attitude towards Wally's predicament or the suffering its chosen champion has ensured. After all, how can a man cope with the death of one parent when the other is murdered in almost identical circumstances? Still, one can't help but wonder if this attitude was part of Barry's test, too. In fact, Speed Force Eddie admits that the only reason they even allowed him to save his mother is because of his grief over his father's death. At the same time, they hold him accountable for his actions.
  • Jerkass Realization: Barry seems to be going through one the entire episode, lamenting how his bad choices have hurt other people and wanting to make amends, but it really hits home at the end. When Iris decides she's willing to trust that Barry wants to marry her out of love after all, he admits that while he does love her, he proposed in an attempt to change the future just as Wally claimed, and he allows her to stay in their apartment while he crashes at Cisco's place so they can have some time and space to figure things out.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Team Flash has to talk a grieving Jesse out of chasing after Savitar on her own. At the end, she admits she fell into the same trap Wally did last episode, and she's lucky H.R. was able to help her.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Speed Force Snart says that Jay is "getting a little slow in [his] golden age". Jay Garrick originated in The Golden Age of Comic Books.
    • The prison within the Speed Force that Wally and later Jay get stuck in is a clear reference to The Flash #200 where Hunter Zolomon gets trapped in a time loop reliving the worst moment of his life.
    • The Speed Force Eddie tells Barry that Wally is "a Flash", which is true in the comics after Barry's death.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: H.R. tries to stop Jesse from confronting Savitar, dramatic speech and all...then gets punched out in one swift move.
  • No Sympathy: As far as the Speed Force is concerned, Wally put himself in Savitar's prison, so he should face the consequences of his actions, ignoring the circumstances that led up to it. Barry calls it out on that.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: H.R. says to Jesse's face they will go after Savitar when the "real Flash" gets back. H.R. quickly realizes he screwed up by quoting this trope word for word.
  • Orcus on His Throne: So, what exactly is Savitar up to while Team Flash is busy mounting a rescue mission? We don't really see it.
  • The Paragon: The Speed Force tells Barry that Snart sacrificed himself because Barry inspired him to become a better person.
  • The Promise: Barry vows that once Savitar is dealt with, he's going straight back to the Speed Force to bust Jay out.
  • Put on a Bus: Jesse leaves for Earth-3, since it needs a Flash while Jay is stuck in the Speed Force and she doesn't wat to be involved in Savitar's plans.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The Speed Force spends the entire episode giving this to Barry over creating Flashpoint. To drive the point home, instead of manifesting itself as Barry's family, it manifests itself as all of the people he feels guilty over failing to save: Eddie, Ronnie, and Captain Cold.
  • The Reveal: While Jay had said Savitar Was Once a Man, we learn he's not a god, but still just a man under a God Guise.
  • Say My Name: Barry says "Hunter Zolomon" when he recognizes the Black Flash as what's left of the man in question.
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • It's not-so-subtly implied that the Speed Force let Zoom kill Henry to see if Barry really learned to cope with tragedy — creating Flashpoint proved he failed.
    • It's also implied that it's letting Savitar kill Iris as yet another test of character of Barry.
    • After Barry finally actively fights back, saves Jay and doesn't plead any more but just breaks into Wally's prison, Speed Force Snart gives a small smile as if pleased that Barry is finally standing up.
  • Sequel Episode: To last season's "The Runaway Dinosaur". The difference is that the Speed Force is in no mood to help Barry this time around.
  • Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: This time around, the Speed Force takes the form of the people Barry felt he failed (and Captain Cold).
  • She's Got Legs: Caitlin's (the real one, not the Speed Force avatar) are in full display thanks to the black mini-skirt she's wearing.
  • Shout-Out
    • Early on, H.R. and Cisco make a reference to Super Mario Bros.
    • Cisco says "To infinity and beyond" when Barry is about to go into the Speed Force.
    • When it's revealed the piece of armor Barry tore off from Savitar in the previous episode is trying to go back to him, Cisco points out the similarity to The Iron Giant. Special points because this plot point might have been outright inspired by that movie.
    • H.R. seems to channel Austin Powers when he says of Savitar, "He's just a man, baby!"
    • Peanuts is discussed, as H.R. argues with Caitlin and Cisco over the differences between the Earth-1 and Earth-19 versions.
    • When Julian starts catching on to how the Speed Force works, Cisco says in a British accent, "By George, I think he's got it!"
  • Skewed Priorities: Jesse blows up at H.R. and Cisco talking about the differences between their Earths when their friends need saving.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: The Speed Force makes it clear to Barry that it's his responsibility to stop Savitar and his alone.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Barry and Jay have to actively fight against the source of their powers — the Speed Force itself — to save Wally. But judging by the Speed Force's reaction, this might have been the outcome it was hoping for, since it proved that Barry hadn't given up fighting.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Obviously, the Speed Force is very unhappy with Barry creating Flashpoint, because it thought Barry had moved on from his mom's death. Barry counters that he did until Zoom murdered Henry right in front of him, then goes on to call it out right back on its lack of concern for Wally.
    • The Speed-Force in turn however, reveals that they only allowed Barry to do so, because of said grief. And he then made the choice to undo it all, showing that he still hasn't understood the full consequences of his actions.
  • You Are Not My Father: H.R. tries to dissuade Jesse from recklessly going after Savitar by trying to exploit that he is Harry's alternate version. Jesse has none of it.
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