Going into this episode I really loved the premise. I really liked the opening to this episode how they were staging the Flash around Central City. It was the typical Cisco thing to do in this situation. I liked how following on from that we got to see the follow up from Wells idea from last episode. It was a nice flow on from last week and they really got to the point early which I liked.
The return of Barry’s dad, Henry Allen was really nice. It’s been such a long time since we saw him and I liked how Barry went to him to have a really great emotional moment for the episode. Also coming out of this was a massive clue, something which for me was a massive clue to the man in the iron mask. Going into this episode I really thought the real Jay would be the man in the mask but there was something Henry said that both now adds petrol to a theory that has been circling and creates a new one. Garrick was Henry’s mother maiden name. For me, I think it adds to a massive theory that has been circling that is is actually John Wesley Shipp as the man in the iron mask as his 90s version of the Flash. There is already strong evidence suggesting this, mostly because we saw the vision of him when they travelled to Earth 2. I think what this moment in the episode also does is suggest that the version of John Wesley Shipp that might be the man in the iron mask is indeed the real Jay Garrick.
Back to John Wesley Shipp for a minute though, I thought he was fantastic. He really played the role of the father amazingly. I loved his talk with Joe and Wells when they were discussing Barry. This really was a talent overload. Shipp, Cavanagh and Martin. Cavanagh and Martin week in and week out are 2 of the best performers every week and now adding Shipp into one big conversation was amazing. I like how themselves as the characters all had emotional stakes in Barry and it was really cool to see them have such a big and emotional conversation.
Something that has really been building the past few weeks and again this week is Wally. After a rough start, Wally is really hitting his straps now. He has been characterised fantastically in recent weeks and its really paying off now. I like how he is starting the fit into the team and I really liked how this episode he started that connection with Jesse. As we all assume, these 2 will become Kid Flash and Jesse Quick and there was so many little tip of the hat to that through their scene. When they decided to break out I knew that this was the moment they became speedsters, and of course we can only assume that when they awake, they will indeed be Kid Flash and Jesse Quick.
Zoom was again fantastic this episode. This really was the first time we saw Zoom take out a group of people and it was great. Credit to the editors and directors to how that scene was put together. The cracking of the necks in slow mo were brutal yet awesome to see happen. With us actually seeing Zoom do thing we have only hear stories of was great and it really added his dark nature. Just one last thing to do with Zoom, I really hope we some form of explanation into what happens with his eyes. It was creepy the first time he did it and it was creepy again tonight.
Something I really liked about this week’s episode is that even though they essentially had “The Villain of the Week”, this one was really meaningful and I thought used fantastically. Having Cisco’s Earth 2 brother show up as the one designated to take out the police force was a really cool thing mainly because it lead to Cisco finally confronting a member of his family and telling them that he is a Metahuman. I thought this was a really nice character development moment for Cisco. We saw really early on in the series that he doesn’t have the best relationship with his brother and I really liked how they used him to create yet another emotional point for the series.
I thought another big emotional point of the episode was everything with Barry and Iris. They have really been building this relationship up recently and I like how its really starting to develop to the point that now Iris wants to be with Barry. Regardless of what you think about the relationship itself, you can’t deny that the acting was spot on for this moment. The way that they brought the emotion, especially with the situation of the episode. I thought that this moment is really going to be a big landmark in how season 3 will play out.
The ending was amazing. First of all the silent acting during this sequence was amazing. Everything from the tear running down Gustin’s face to the panic on Shipp’s face were all nailed to perfection. As someone who has some knowledge of the Crisis on Infinite Earth story line, it was really awesome to see it being played out on the TV show. Basically in this story line, Barry is turned into pure speed force. It is than believed that from that, this version of Barry becomes the lightning which strikes Barry originally to turn him into the Flash, therefore giving his current powers to his past self. I think the aspect they are really adapt from this story is the speed force side of it. With that, we all know that Barry is not dead and I really think that he is in fact turned into pure speed force. The next episode is going to be really interesting to see how the show handles everything that is happened and explain how Barry comes back into the physical world. There was a part of me expecting them to show the opening scenes of the series where Barry is hit by lightning, hinting that speed force Barry joined with the particle accelerator to create the Flash. I actually think that sequence is going to be the how the series as a whole will end, with speed force Barry being the one that creates the season 1 Barry Allen as the Flash.
I really loved this episode. I think that has to be at least top 2 or 3 of Flash episodes for me of all time. I loved how they really made it such a dense episode but gave it to us in a way that was paced excellently and kept us wanting more. I really hope that they can back this up next week.