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?