Desperate times call for desperate measures, so this Tuesday on The Flash (The CW, 8/7), Barry Allen will again become one with the Speed Force in a bid to rescue Wally, who involuntarily traded places with the long-imprisoned Savitar.
Of course, the first time Barry (accidentally) merged with the Speed Force — in last May’s Kevin Smith-directed “The Runaway Dinosaur” — he was met by the faces of people he trusted and loved. Here, the avatars include the late Leonard Snart, Eddie Thawne and Ronnie Raymond (played by series alumni Wentworth Miller, Rick Cosnett and Robbie Amell).
Previewing this return trip, Flash star Grant Gustin tells TVLine, “Because we did it last year, I think Barry went in knowing what to expect, more or less — but then it is not the same experience.”
Indeed, Snart et all will present Barry with some tough talk as he labors to save Wally from the torturous hell that drove Savitar mad, over and over again.
The number they do on Barry’s psyche is “a pretty drastic one,” Gustin forewarns. “But it’s harder on Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale), actually, and that’s why Barry goes in to get him. Wally is being put through emotional turmoil that only Barry can understand. They manipulate Barry a bit differently than they did last year.”
But also like last time, there are invaluable lessons for Barry to learn by way of this incredible crucible. Ones that might even nudge him toward a solution for the Savitar crisis that has stymied Team Flash. “[Eddie and the others] are ultimately trying to help him, even if it means teaching him a lesson in a very tough way, or throwing him a bone.”
Hey, maybe they can offer Barry some love life advice while they’re at it? Seeing as things just went a bit sideways after it came to light that he proposed to Iris (Candice Patton) not purely out of love, but as his latest attempt to alter the future — and thus avert her grisly murder at Savitar’s hand.
“I actually liked the proposal!” Gustin contends with a laugh. “I thought it was really pretty. It was hard to be like, ‘Annnnnd this is where were going next with the storyline.’ I was like, ‘We just did the proposal and it was great!”
Regardless, this is where we are now, thanks to petulant Wally’s outburst upon glimpsing the near-future. Surveying “WestAllen’s” dis-engaged status, Gustin says, “Initially, it’s kind of weird. We don’t exactly know what we’re doing. [But we will] we try to figure things out.”
In the meantime, Savitar looms largest in the scarlet speedster’s mind. “Barry is trying to stay focused on stopping Savitar, stopping this destiny that he refuses to accept.”
Is there a future scenario where Barry dares to pop the question anew? What all would need to be different for him to risk heartbreak again?
“The circumstances don’t even need to change,” Gustin ventures. “There’s a lot going on right now that is literally life-or-death, and I think that is clouding everything and getting in the way of their relationship. All of the relationships are kind of in a weird place right now, just because everyone is scared. I think [Barry and Iris] just need to find some clarity. They need to trust their love, and be brave enough to believe in the relationship.”