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The Flash - S3E16 - Into the Speed Force

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.

Image: The CW

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?

Speed Bumps

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….

  1. Iris and Barry is incest. (Wrong. Shut up. Stop it. That’s stupid.)
  2. 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.)
  3. She needs saving too many times. (Never mind the fact that Iris has saved herself from several situations, Caitlin has been kidnapped twice.)
  4. 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.

Girl, I guess. (Photo credit: screenshot)

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.

The Flash S3E16
  • 7/10
    Plot - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Dialogue - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Performances - 8/10

"Into the Speed Force"

Starring: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Keinynan Lonsdale, Tom Felton

User Review
5 (1 vote)
About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

23 Comments on The Flash - S3E16 - Into the Speed Force


    After that bullshit ending i am officially on the FUCK BARTHOLOMEW ALLEN Train. The thing that’s pissing me of the most is we wont even be coming back to this story for a while because next week these mother fuckers are going to be Tap dancing and doing fucking Jazz hands in that music crossover nobody fucking asked for.

    Iris: How are we gonna get them back?

    Caitlin: I don’t think we can.

    Christopher: THIS BITCH

    I just want someone to throw Caitlin’s negative ass in the speed force and leave her there.

    Can’t wait to hear your Podcast.

    Hi Nina, Donald, and John!
    This episode had me in my feelings so badly that I’m gonna stop being a lurker and leave feedback for once. As soon as this episode ended I said out loud: this was some BULLSHIT! I just really did not like anything that happened in this episode. Barry continues to irk me! I hope I don’t start hating him like I do Oliver on Arrow. Maybe y’all can clarify something for me: I thought we already knew that Savitar was human? Last week’s episode when Barry was fighting him he tried taking off his helmet and asked who he was. I thought by Barry doing that he was under the impression that it was just another man he was facing. So how was finding out that Savitar feels pain and is just a human a “revelation”?
    Hope this wasn’t too long winded! P.S. Your review was awesome and laugh out loud funny Nina! I’m currently living abroad and this podcast and your site help me to feel a little connected to home. Thanks for all that you do because it is much appreciated!

  3. Thank you for that recap Nina. I laughed several times.

    For the podcast

    This episode hurt. My WestAllen heart is broken. 💔 The show is lucky Grant & Candice are such great actors cause WTF was this bullshit they fed us? In what universe would Barry Allen break up with Iris West? I can’t with this show sometimes.

    That’s it. I don’t know what I watched. Other than Barry being OOC. Nice to see Eddie, Ronnie & Snart again but I thought we’d get more out of them. I understand they want to add obstacles to WestAllen but this was ridiculous & contrived and it makes no sense.

    Anyway, can’t wait to hear the podcast! And I know it’s gonna be silly but I’m looking forward to the musical. If nothing else, looks like the cast had a lot of fun filming it.

  4. Well there goes my Eddie theory ..cause its def not him anymore. They already blew their load on his ghost version . So I’m pretty sure we’re getting evil Barry cause who else is gonna be under that mask ,Iris’s Boss at the paper, where did that guy go ? Oh no it’s a “Time wraith” oh man it’s “Hunter Zolaman” Is that you “Ronnie”. We know who these people are ! We don’t need you to tell us we’re not dumb. This is my personal pet peeve srry I mean who are you talking to , them? I’m pretty sure they know their own ghost names .
    The minute Barry proposed I knew it wasn’t gonna last . Television now for the most part wants to rush everything . Proposal to Breakup .. From meet cute to I’m moving to earth 2 and I love you? If Buffy came out today, Angel would of lost his soul and been evil then come back from hell within 3 episodes . I mean let shit play out for a while. I still really like this show but it’s starting to get a bit Arrowwy
    So who do you guys thinks under that mask now I’m almost 80% sure it’s Evil Barry . Remember that one time Barry fucked with the time stream and we saw a vision of Barry in Jail instead of his father . That’s who I think this is . Also what type of villain would guys like to see next season besides a speedster . I personally think the Turtle would of been interesting villain if they used him in a way like someone who has infinite patience vs someone who has borderline ADD. But they killed him off so there’s that .

  5. For The Podcast

    Hello Nina, Donald and John.

    1. I call bullcrap on Barry asking for space. There is not a Barry Allen in the multiverse that would not want to spend all his time with Iris West. The writers manufactured this mess so that next week when Barry is singing “runnin home to you” during the musical it will have more of an impact. This crap won’t last for long. Cynthia will be back in a couple of weeks, and Cisco will need his privacy.

    2. I thought Joe West was the captain of the WestAllen ship, but the speedforce is coming for that number one spot. They can be co-captains.

    3. Where is the righteous indignation over Elsa’s short, tight skirt? Iris can’t wear anything without the SBs going crazy on social media.

    That’s it. I’m sure the rest of the crew will cover everything else. I can’t wait for the podcast.

  6. For The Podcast:

    This episode was bad and we haven’t even got to the musical yet.
    - Cisco being petty at HR has reached boiling point. There was literally no reason to correct him on the cat thing - we all know what he meant - but still he went there. HR has been nothing but accommodating to Cisco’s bullshit and I won’t stand for it any longer.
    - Caitlin is the worst, but we already knew that. Who the fuck is Nora btw, and why do people keep calling her baby that?
    - Jessica was being her inner “Can I speak to the manager?” whole bitch for the entire episode, so I’m glad we are taking a break from her shenanigans.
    - Deadbeat Dad Flash hates Barry so much that he’d rather be stuck in the speedforce than be a father figure. Fuck you Henry, even if you are Jay!
    - Idk, I kinda get why Barry felt guilty enough to break up with Iris after everything. He fucked up bad, and now he’s paying the price. It’s not like Snowbarry is happening or anything. Barry will feel bad for a bit, beat Savitar, and then marry Iris and have “woke-a mocha babies”. Simple as. Unless John gets there first.

  7. For the podcast: hi y’all. What’s up with Barry? That ‘I need space’ rubbish? WHAT? Why are we inventing issues? Iris better make him beg once he gets his head back on straight. John does the speed force play such a big role in the comics? Why do we keep messing with this entity that we don’t seem to know much about? Next weeks shucking & jiving episode is coming at a horrible time. I just don’t care. Why can’t supergirl stay in her lane? Ugh 😩😩😩.

  8. For the podcast: Hey there Nina, Donnie, and John. Thanks for all you do and the great podcast(s). I just wanted to throw a theory out there about Savitar. I think he may be HR simply based on the fact that he called Wally Wallace at the end of “the Wrath of Savitar” episode. That’s it. No big long drawn out thing. Just based on that. Why not? Have a good one folks.

  9. Kind of concerned because the SF pretty much told Barry if you don’t save Iris we won’t let you change the timeline again. I’m also thinking that since they (the speed force) allowed him to change the TL to get his mom back due to grief, losing Iris is the consequence he now has to live with. With that said, I think the SF was showing him what Eddie and Ronnie lost, he is going to lose out on the same future, Iris as his wife and starting a family with her, but since Barry fucked up, he has to live with losing her. Also you’re in the MF speed force where Savitar has been trapped and tormented for years why not ask them who the fuck he is and how to stop him? “I’m here for Wally West” MF they kept asking you and what else?! Dumb ass. I hate him

  10. Why did Jessie Quick needs HR’s help to fight Savitar, isn’t she supposed to be a genius, even smarter than her father?

  11. In regards to the breakup, I think Barry’s point of view made sense, he wants to be the man she deserves and he can’t be that for her right now while he’s consumed with her looming death. He heard her when she said I want to be your wife not someone you need to save, right now he’s only focused on saving her. Meanwhile Iris come to the conclusion that maybe her death is a fixed point that can’t be changed so she rather spend her last few months happy with Barry. These two just need to stay on the same page.

  12. This show is so infuriating sometimes. Why do they keep writing such nonsense?

    Barry is lowkey suicidal and they need to address that but they won’t. The Westallen drama was a mess. I hate that they wrote it like Iris was questioning Barry’s love for her. That was dumb. Him saying he needed space reminded me of when he said how he needed to fix himself if he wanted to be the man she deserved during the porch scene. I didn’t like it and it’s lazy writing but I get it.

    Is it me or was the speed force trying to make Ronnie and Eddie’s death seem like it was Barry’s fault? Mess! Jesse and HR got way too much screen time but when HR said “when the real flash gets back” I cackled. Jesse and Wally are in love and that still makes no sense! I’m glad Jesse is finally gone but why was she so quick to go to earth 3 because they needed a protector when she had no problems leaving earth 2 behind?

  13. This show is so infuriating sometimes. Why do they keep writing such nonsense?

    Barry is lowkey suicidal and they need to address that but they won’t. The Westallen drama was a mess. Barry saying he needed space reminds me of when he said he needed to fix himself if he wanted to be the man Iris deserves and so I’m not mad at him for that. But the way the went about it was terribly written. This shit writing and all for a musical crossover no one asked for.

    Is it me or was the speed force trying to make Ronnie and Eddie’s death seem like it was Barry’s fault? Mess! Jesse and HR got way too much screen time but when HR said “when the real flash gets back” I cackled. Jesse and Wally are in love and that still makes no sense! I’m glad Jesse is finally gone but why was she so quick to go to earth 3 because they needed a protector when she had no problems leaving earth 2 behind?

  14. Hi Guys! My two cents if it’s not too late. Iris walking away from Barry was horrible. Iris walking around in a daze the entire time like she was breaking off the relationship altogether was horrible. The speed force scene should have been 10 minutes if at all. Barry being afraid to save Iris, going in to get Wally so he could save her? Please! Stop being such a whimp and save ya woman! Barry needing space at the end because of ???? Still don’t know but that was the worse! Enjoy your articles and listening to the podcast every week! 👍🏻


    This episode was 💩 and 🗑, also NiNiNina Pérezd I was her favorite!!!

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