The Flash Recap: A Speed Force to Be Reckoned With

This Tuesday’s The Flash found the titular hero being transported to a strange, yet familiar place.

In his childhood home, Barry encounters NotJoe, who informs him that “we” thought he’d more comfortable with someone he knew. That collective “we” is the Speed Force. (Don’t ask me how it can manifest itself as talking doppelgangers of Barry’s loved ones, with all their memories. I’m pretty sure even the show skirted that explanation.)

The Speed Force informs Barry that he can’t go back to his friends until he catches a speedster. If he goes home, it will be without his powers. So he decides to stick around for the emotional rollercoaster that is therapy with the Speed Force. A visit to Nora’s grave with NotHenry reveals that Barry has never been to his mother’s grave and has yet to accept her death. He’s also still beating himself up about not saving her.

In a teary, poignant scene with his “mom” – darn, those Grant Gustin waterworks always get me! – Barry finally comes to terms with his loss. He can’t outrun life’s tragedies, NotNora informs him. Once he accepts that, only then will he be able to truly run free. With that push — and after a loaded mother-son reading from his favorite childhood book, The Runaway Dinosaur — Barry takes Iris’ hand in the Speed Force whirlwind and chooses to go back, with his powers intact. (The speedster he had to catch? It was him, of course.)

In the real world, the pair visit Nora’s grave, where Barry tells Iris he’s not sure what they are, but the sound of her voice will always bring him home.

Elsewhere in the episode:

* A comatose Jesse won’t wake up — that is, until Speed Force-powered Barry approaches her. Whether she has any abilities remains to be seen. (Wally, for the record, is perfectly fine, despite Joe’s prodding about any changes in his body.)

* While trying to get Barry back, the S.T.A.R. Labs gang is also dealing with a fun, if forgettable, side plot about a reanimated Girder coming after Iris.

* Henry tells Barry he has no plans to leave Central City again.

* Zoom asks Caitlin if she’s with him or against him – and if her answer is the latter, he’ll show her no mercy. Then the baddie addresses his army full of metahumans from Earth-Two.

Flash fans, what did you think of this emotional episode?

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84 Comments
  1. herman1959 says:

    Wonderful! As Henry said, it was everything at the same time…still loving this show.

    • Leo says:

      I bet the writers are like, we need a zombie metahuman this week, and someone said, “We should totally bring Greg Finley back for the zombie part.” And thus the crossover between Flash x iZombie is born.
      Also…. SQUEAK! Katie Cassidy! Next week!!! I hope this version of Laurel doesn’t die. Maybe Jesse can be The Flash on E-2 and Black Siren be her frenemy or something.

  2. Cobra says:

    I have a new theory about who is in the mask:
    .
    Henry told Barry in “Rupture” that that Garrick was his mother’s maiden name, which indicates some kind of connection between the Garrick and Allen families.
    .
    We also know that on Earth-2, Barry and Iris are married which lines the Allen and West families, and therefore, a removed connection between the Garrick and West families.
    .
    We have not yet met Wally’s doppelganger on Eartth-2.
    .
    What if behind the iron mask is Jay Garrick, but not played by Teddy Sears as we came to know him, but Jay Garrick in the form of Wally West’s doppelganger?
    .
    “Rupture” and “The Runaway Dinosaur” had Jesse and Wally caught in the second particle accelerator explosion, but at this point, there is only evidence that Jesse may have been affected. While this wouldn’t have affected Wally (Jay?) on Earth-2, it could be preparation/foreshadowing for who the true Flash is on Earth-2 – Wally West/Jay Garrick.

    • flashfan3930574 says:

      Wally is the guy in the mask. Nice!
      You got this. Great job. TY

    • H.H. says:

      In all the press about who could be behind the mask they keep saying that who is behind the mask is going to be so shocking, such a jaw dropping surprise. Since Wally is the only character where we haven’t seen a E2 doppelganger it just doesn’t seem like it would be that shocking if it were him.

      Personally my money is on Ronnie. There are a bunch of characters who are scientists. And even after Jay shows up and explains that that paradox tornado was connected to Earth 2, and even knowing his metal helmet made that cross-worlds trip, not a one of them even mentions the possibility that maybe rather than dying in that paradox vortex that Ronnie ended up on the other side of it in Earth 2. If they aren’t considering the possibility that he’s alive and over there it’s probably because the writers don’t want to remind us, the audience, that might be alive so that it will be more of a shock if we were to find out that he is.

      • WFlash says:

        If you watch Walking Dead, in the press about who Negan killed, they all said it was shocking and unbelievable and some actors said it made them so angry and they couldn’t sleep for days after filming it. Then after the finale aired, in the press they all said it hadn’t been filmed yet about who Negan killed.

        Not saying Flash people are the same but just saying TPTB tend to lie a lot in the press.

      • Jayden Raso says:

        But when Caitlin was brought to Zooms layer the man in the iron mask barely reacted. Surely Ronnie would jump and be so happy to see his wife that he hasnt seen in ages?

    • Steve says:

      I think the Garrick Line will have a payoff but I think the man in the mask is Eddie. The way they have all of a sudden sped up the Barry/ Iris relationship leads me to believe its so they can throw a wrench, eddie, who Iris still very much loves, into it, into it. Plus it has big implications because if Eddie is alive, then somewhere Eobard is alive somewhere.

    • caelum says:

      The man in the iron mask’s knuckles were white lol

    • GW says:

      Mind blown

    • MiaB says:

      Wow. I also thought Earth-2 Wally might be in the mask, but I didn’t think it out as well as you did. Well done.

    • Jayden Raso says:

      See that makes sense, him tapping JAY on the glass, him being decently black in one photo and everything seems to line up except for one thing. The man in the iron mask did not react whatsoever when wally was kidnapped, he would look the exact same as him and he had no reaction? doesn’t seem to make sense? unless he did react and my memory is bad but still i dont think its him because of that sole reason. Besides that the theory is pretty good tbh.

      What i believe is that it is The Flash from the original Flash series. First of all he was played by Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp), there is a picture of the man in the iron mask from behind and his hair looks similar and as it is an older man he seems to fit the physical aspects. When Barry phases out of the cell across from him he nods, a weird nod which look very similar to the nod Henry gives Barry in previous episodes. So i believe that it is The Flash from the old series. As well as this when Barry first goes through the portal to Earth 2 it shows a lot of things, most of which have occurred within the TV shows, The Flash, Dc Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and Arrow. There are only a few which haven’t occurred in which one of them is a glimpse of The Original Flash. Maybe its a random coincidence or maybe it is a foreshadow of the man in the iron mask? who knows? Anyways i cannot wait for the Finale and i will always love the show and i pray that it continues its great story line and endless cliffhangers

    • edyn says:

      I never considered the Wally West doppelganger to be Jay Garrick. The hands look black to me, but we also have not seen Henry on Earth 2. It could be that Henry died. All the good guys are bad guys, Barry is not the Flash, Joe was a lounge singer, and Iris was a detective. Who’s to say Henry did die, but the family lines are tied. Wally’s doppelganger can be the Flash. Zolomon can go to the future because Wally does become the Flash in the future. That is something we also do not know. If Barry and Eobard can do it, why not Zoom? Erase the forms Flash completely. No competition, have all the power in the world.

  3. Robin says:

    Loved it! So thrilled to see WestAllen moving forward! Wonderful work by the writers, Kevin Smith & the cast! Fun & moving ep!

  4. Robin says:

    Barry also told Iris, ” You are everything to me and always have been.” That is the beginning of their love story!

  5. Hellas13 says:

    Worst episode ever. First time I had to fast forward through parts of an episode.

  6. steven says:

    Please oh Please don’t kill Henry.

    • Jimmy says:

      Yeah, he seems doomed, doesn’t he?

    • Gail says:

      My thought as well. As soon as he told Barry he was staying I thought he is a goner.
      Still it would be interesting if Henry is killed and the man in the iron mask is Jay Garrick played by John Wesley Shipp.

  7. James D says:

    Jason Mewes :) loved it Kevin did a great job. looks like they’re going with the Geoff Johns interpretation of the Speed Force which is awesome can’t wait for the next episode.

  8. Rachel says:

    I’m so glad you’re back b/c we’re about to die. Lol, Cisco is the best!

  9. jeremiah says:

    This was the best episode for me. As a fan this was the truest form of the Comics. It was emotional, funny and deep all at once. Kevin Smith gets an A++++++. Best moments was Barry dealing with his mom issues. I know this is going to come back. Flashpoint anyone. Something horrible will happen and Barry will make the biggest mistake ever.

    Barry and Iris. glad they are taking them slow. It is a natural. That is how real love works. Other shows look at this Arrow????? this is how you write a romance

    Jesse becoming Jesse Quick. I just wish it was Wally first but not bad

    Cisco and Iris. they are now my new friend partners. They were so natural. the writers should have been tapped in on this.

    Ohhh the end. Here comes Zoom. Boy this is going to be mega spectacular. I can see Barry’s dad might be the next casualty. Here comes the tears,

  10. Ash says:

    Everything about this episode was great except for the Barry/Iris romance seeming to be taking off. I love Iris and I love Barry, but I just don’t feel them as a couple. Maybe it’s because I see them as siblings seeing as that’s how they grew up, idk. But I just don’t feel it. The rest of it was great, especially Barry’s scenes with his “mother”.

    • jj says:

      Yes! It’s very difficult to get behind them as a couple when the show pushed them as pseudo-siblings for so long and still push the father-son thing with Joe and Barry.

    • Michelle says:

      Meh Barry admitted his feelings towards Iris and he even said that he had to move in with the girl he loved.

      All that said, I feel like they’re pushing the romance to make up for the snooze fest 2A was. Definitely rushed it and I think it will hurt the show.

    • Maybe now her true brother is on the scene, she realises her feelings for Barry aren’t “brotherly” at all? I felt weird watching them but I put it down to the actors’ interpretation of that awkward leap from platonic to romantic. Time will tell if there’s chemistry between them.

      • The chemistry is there, I think. I just can’t get beyond the fact that they were raised as brother and sister since an early age, and even though he was never legally adopted, the Wests have been his family since age 6 or 8, and Iris has been his sibling throughout that time. I would rather they had Iris and Cisco fall in love.

        On another note, I would love to see Grant Gustin go against Joshua Jackson (Nashville) on the Lip Synch show. They could do Roy Orbison’s “Crying” and I’m sure they would both bring real tears to their performances. Best weepers since Margaret O’Brien in the 1940’s.

        • Radha says:

          Barry was 11 or 12 They were in middle school when he moved in. They were best friends. Not siblings. Iris’ best FRIEND moved in when his mom died. Not an adopted brother. Personally I don’t see how Iris would suddenly go: “My best friend is now my brother!” Yesterday I saw him as my buddy and now he’s my pseudo brother. Now Joe? I can understand how he sees Barry as his kid. He became responsible for this child and took care of him. But he never had Iris thinking Barry is you bro. And if he thought that way he’d be disgusted that Barry was in love with her. Everyone who keeps harping on that point is just not wanting those two together. Find another reason.

          Think of it this way. Even if Barry never moved in and he got together with Iris and they got married, Joe could STILL think of Barry as a son. Because he would be. His son-in-law. Same familial ties. Same feelings and father/son bonding. Lord Christ. Get over the ridiculous pseudo incest point.

          • Thank you so much for your comment Radha! The son-in-law comparison was spot on.
            .
            I don’t see the issue here. They’re not related and they weren’t brought up as brother and sister. In season 1, Joe told Barry Iris was getting ready to marry the wrong man (Eddie) because she wasn’t marrying Barry.
            .
            He’s the one who raised them. If Joe had raised Barry to look at Iris as a sister, he would have had a problem with Barry’s feelings towards Iris. I start dozing off every time I hear, but they’re semi-siblings! Nope. They’re meant to “know” each other in the biblical way, on Earth 2 and in the future on Earth 1. They WILL be getting together. It’s happening, people.

          • KatsMom says:

            Yes, I second that thank you. I think there was a conversation between Joe and Barry at some point when Joe said that he was well aware of Barry’s feelings for Iris…and he’d ALWAYS known of Barry’s feelings for Iris and thought it must have been incredibly difficult for him going through those awkward teenage years in the same house with the girl he’d been crushing on. Barry’s never seen Iris as a sister. Iris, I think, definitely put Barry into the friend zone, but it’s certainly not unusual for women to see their male friends in a different light when they reach a bit of a crossroads in their lives, as Iris has. At least, I don’t think it’s all that unusual because it happened to me.

            BTW, to whoever said things were a bit awkward between Iris and Barry, I thought that was perfect. It is REALLY awkward when your relationship changes. You’re comfortable with one way of being and then you decide to find a new way of being and it’s really not something that’s just seamless and magical at the beginning. There is definitely a little “this is kind of weird…not bad…just something I’m not really used to yet” feeling at first.

    • Kerry says:

      Especially when you have Barry reminding us that Joe is his adoptive father in the same episode. I’m not that creeped out by their fauxcest but they are severely lacking in passion.

    • jenna says:

      agree, I much preferred them as friends. They don’t have the same chemistry that barry had with patty. I’m unsure why the writers are rushing into getting them together.

    • Megan says:

      I used to love the Barry/Iris idea because Barry/Grant really sold his pining in the first season…and then he really sold his getting over it in the second season so I got over it! I really liked him with Patti, too. I never really saw the brother/sister thing with him and Iris, since I saw the romance first (not a comic book reader so I wasn’t already embedded with the back story). I think once the two start playing the romance more, I’ll be on board again.

  11. Augie72 says:

    What this show has that other superhero shows don’t is this cast! Not saying that others are bad, but these actors knock it out of the park every episode! Loved this ep. The range these actors show is Emmy worthy. Couldn’t imagine anyone other than Grant being The Flash. I think DC is making a mistake not putting him in the movies.

    • Michelle says:

      I think it’s smart since Snyder is a snoozefest and frankly , style over substance is never a good thing.

  12. George H. says:

    Really liked this episode, especially the little tidbits you know Kevin Smith had a part in. Thought Jason Mewes’s cameo was great, especially after the door was torn off the hummer. Was an emotional and funny episode at the same time.

  13. F.R says:

    I don’t know what it is, but Barry and Iris don’t together doesn’t annoy me a quarter as much as Olicity. Maybe because it’s more textbook, and Barry and Iris seem like romantic characters.

    • kath says:

      It’s the other way around for me. I could see Oliver and Felilcity developing as an organic relationship but with The Flash,, it’s like they’re forcing foster siblings Barry and Iris together Because Of Comics.
      Last episode Iris even said that they should be together because they are in the alternate universes, not because she sees herself in love with him. Way to kill chemistry, show..

      • F.R says:

        They’re really more like childhood friends than siblings. I don’t know, I just think their romance is a lot more grounded, and not over-the-top. I reckon it’ll be watchable until they start spending half the show being moody with each other like Olicity. All the drama and break-up was what ruined olicity for me.

        • nsync08 says:

          I completely agree. Passion can sometimes burn itself out, but Barry and Iris have a connection that most people spend their entire lives (and relationships) striving for. I can see them lasting. Oliver and Felicity were doomed from the beginning because (1) Oliver doesn’t seem to realize that he needs to work on letting people in and trusting the people he loves, and (2) Felicity expected love to change Oliver into someone who doesn’t feel a need to keep secrets. If Felicity wants to make it work with Oliver, she needs to quit acting like a teenage girl and accept Oliver for who he is, flaws and all. No one is perfect.

          • The Arrow writers should watch a few Thin Man movies to learn how to write an entertaining relationship between Oliver and Felicity–Nick and Nora Charles were able to be strong supportive partners without all the melodrama. Maybe it was the massive quantities of martinis that they sipped, but seriously, Olicity needs some humor and light heartedness. Oliver should hook up with Bat Man if all he can bring to a relationship is darkness and gloom. And Felicity’s passive aggressive snarkiness turned me off to her big time.

          • “I completely agree. Passion can sometimes burn itself out, but Barry and Iris have a connection that most people spend their entire lives (and relationships) striving for. I can see them lasting.”
            .
            This. I like that they’re taking it slow and they had experiences with other people. When they truly find each other, it’ll be forever.

    • Jeremiah says:

      Yep. We can agree season one Iris was not the best. But hot damn loving season 2 Iris. I see her now as a true partner for Barry.

      I truly hate Arrow and Felicity. ,my once fav show is now dead to me. Long live the flash

  14. F.R says:

    Wally has a sum total of two brain cells if he hasn’t realised by now that Barry’s the flash

    • Leo says:

      Yeah, I mean he and Jesse got locked in Star Labs, something went awry then Joe told him, “Barry’s gone.” and then he got home and act like nothing big happened. I was like, “Did Wally already know or not?” Also Wally and Jesse are alone in the chambers, of course they’ll have that conversation about Flash. So if in next episode, Wally act shocked or butt hurt, I can’t even…..

    • jenna says:

      i’m curious how they will explain barry’s/the flash’s return to him

  15. kath says:

    Dear Flash: Deep Space Nine wants it’s allegory back. If you’re going to steal an idea, at least do it as well as the original.
    Henry is sooooo dead.

    • Ansing says:

      That’s what I was saying as I watched. When Barry asked why they gave him powers I half expected them to say “Because you are the Sisko”!

  16. Jared says:

    That was honestly just a beautifully shot..directed and well acted episode all around. The Flash is everything you’d want your superhero show to be..and Grant Gustin is a beast..

  17. Ronnie says:

    Ronnie survived the breach and ended up on Earth-2. Zoom imprisioned him and put an iron mask on him. Boom.

  18. Joey Padron says:

    New episode was really good and emotional. Loved Jason Mewes cameo. Kevin Smith did a great job directing the episode. Think Jesse will get her speed powers first then Wally later on in next season.

  19. Tiffany says:

    Wally West is The Flash In Superfriends

    • Erik says:

      Uh no. Wally was not the flash in superfriends. Barry was. The only cartoon where Wally was the flash was justice league and justice league unlimited. Wally didn’t become the flash until the mid 80s in the comics, so there’s no way Wally was the flash in the 70s cartoon.

  20. Lorena says:

    When the speedforce was talking to Barry i just was thinking this
    Barry “of course it is happening inside your head but why on earth should that mean it is not real” jejeje

  21. N says:

    I think the man in the mask is Eddie. The way they have all of a sudden sped up the Barry/ Iris relationship leads me to believe its so they can throw a wrench, eddie, who Iris still very much loves, into it,. Plus it has big implications because if Eddie is alive, then somewhere Eobard Thawne/ E1 Harrison Wells could be alive.

    • DT says:

      Earth-1 Eddie shot himself. He is dead. I understand your logic throwing a wrench into the Barry/Iris dynamic, but even a Man in the Iron Mask Earth-2 Eddie wouldn’t be the same person Iris loved, just would have the same face.

  22. ndixit says:

    I hope Grant Gustin gets a POTW mention because he deserves it. Amazing work. You would have to have a heart of stone not be moved by the scene with Barry and Nora.

  23. Someone who's curious says:

    So grinder grandi or not

  24. Pat says:

    Really, really enjoyed this episode. At first I thought here we go again Barry ends up o another earth but low and behold that was not it. The scenes with Barry at his mother’s grave the first time with his father the speed force and the ones with his mother again speed force just tugged at my heartstrings and sent me into a puddle of tears. The scene with Joe talking to Wally about any changes in body, with Iris looking on at them made me laugh. Also, Cisco made me laugh with the Zombie wisecracks.

  25. Ana says:

    Lovely episode. However I didn’t quite get what the speed force was referring to when “they” said Barry didn’t appreciate the rare gift he was given. Anyone?

    • 134sc says:

      I think the speed force was reffering to Barrys want to go back in time to save his mom. By doing that he would not be the Flash anymore. The speed force told him as much. What I think will happen is now that Barry has fully accepted his Mom’s death and how everything that has happened to him good and bad has brought him to this point, he is quite literally one with the speed force, so maybe next season or beyond we will see his fight with the RF and the moment he tells his season 1 self to not save his mom. This was the episode where he became at peace with that decision.

  26. tango says:

    Give Grant Gustin an Emmy already! He made me cry last season and he made me cry this episode. Seriously.

    That. Man. Deserves. An. Emmy.

  27. Dj says:

    Fun episode. Enjoyed the Jason Mews cameo. I hope Jesse gets the speed force and returns to earth 2. I dont want to many speedsters running around. With Jesse on E2 it would mean she could always come back to help when they need her.

  28. George the flash says:

    So actually Barry conquered his emotions and let go his tragidies. I think this meant Barry will harness the speed force in no time and run freely. He now has the connection with the speed force and can outrun Zoom in the next episode, I guess. When Henry said he won’t leaving Barry, I instantly know he is in trouble and I think Zoom will kill him in the next episode. When Barry screamed emotionally in the trailer, I think that the one who die is Henry. I hope Barry can overcome the fear that Zoom has brought in earth 1 and unleash his power even when his father die.

  29. dancmh says:

    Henry might as well as said, “I’m going to go home and put on my red shirt, stuff myself into a refrigerator, and prepare to die.”

  30. Carl Byrd says:

    Maybe it’s Barry from the future. Remember the newspaper ad that said “Flash Missing Vanishes from Crisis” We all assumed it referred to the Crisis on Infinite Earths story line form the comics. Maybe Zoom kidnapped Barry form future and stole his speed force. Ha.
    I thinks it’s Barry.

  31. Zed says:

    Goodbye, Henry Allen. We never knew you well. #deadmanwalking

  32. Gabby says:

    Loved everything about this episode glad they have finally taken the step forward with Barry and Iris ( I really wouldn’t have been able to stomach another season of will they won’t they) Cisco and Iris or boy what a fun pair they turned out to be loved their dynamic.And Henry dude you are pretty much signing your death wish with all those grand speeches two days after returning from the cold. Definitely think Wally has his speedster powers but it will probably be explored allayed in season 3 or even season 4 and I love that we will probably have a female speedster in Jesse. Overall beautifully acted directed and writen episode. Very excited to see what’s next

    • “Loved everything about this episode glad they have finally taken the step forward with Barry and Iris ( I really wouldn’t have been able to stomach another season of will they won’t they)”
      .
      I was ready to pull my hair out when they introduced the new editor. I was NOT looking forward to another round of Iris with the wrong guy. Turns out they only used him to show Iris that she was already interested in someone else. Well played.

  33. BlackPhoenix says:

    When notJoe, notIris and notNora all kept saying ‘sit Barry, sit’ I really thought there was something to it, like it was a clue for him to use to get back home. Oh well. Awesome episode though! Grant Gustin is such a boss.

  34. Bill says:

    What a rushed recap lol

  35. Loved the episode. Grant Gustin knocked it out the park. As usual.
    It was great to see Nora again and I really liked the way they represented the speed force.
    Cisco remains flawless and he and Wells are my second favorite twosome.
    We’re finally getting somewhere with WestAllen. Oh man, that was amazing, they have so much chemistry. I’ve been waiting for this.
    Jesse’s growing on me.
    Poor Caitlyn…

  36. TVg says:

    oliver queen the man behind the mask

  37. jytix says:

    Has anyone considered the possibility of Earth-2 Green Arrow?

  38. Tommy Threetone says:

    They say the identity of the man in the mask is going to be shocking. Therefore it’s got to be Rip Torn. Who wouldn’t be shocked by that? But if CBS drops Supergirl and CW picks it up, I think it will be the doppelganger for someone from that show to tie them together again.

  39. The scene where Iris and Barry clasp hands in the “dimensional vortex” was pretty cheesy. The effects reminded me of something you’d see on Nickelodeon.

  40. vmaxart says:

    I am not a fan of the relationship that they are trying to force between iris and Barry. I feel like it takes away from the show and the connection is not there. As I said before it seems so forced. Same with Henry’s relationship with Barry. Henry hasn’t been in Barry’s life and now he is freaking out about every choice Barry makes. Then iris rejected Barry several times but all the sudden is in love with him. The show is trying to force too many new relationships.

  41. revakaneri says:

    Can you tell me when was speed force introduced like which episode was it