Fresh off last week’s brutal and dark episode of The Flash the showrunners deliver an uplifting, although occasionally hammy follow-up.  This week features Kevin Smith stepping into the Director’s role and he even tosses in a cameo by his Jay & Silent Bob partner, Jason Mewes.
After Wells attempts to give Barry back his powers by recreating the particle accelerator experiment, Barry finds himself trapped in the Speed Force and in his boyhood home. The Speed Force manifests itself as a physical being, taking the appearance of Barry’s closest loved ones like Joe, Iris, and his parents.  He is told that the only way he can return home WITH his speed restored, is by capturing a mysterious, shadowy being that is racing around town.  While touching Barry’s Flash suit, Cisco vibes that Barry is still alive and with Wells’ help attempts to pull Barry out of the Speed Force but Barry refuses, knowing he must complete his task before he can return.

In the wake of the latest particle accelerator mishap, both Wally and Jessie were hit by a blast of energy.  While Wally seems unaffected, Jessie lies in a coma, just as Barry did after his accident.  They are not the only ones affected by the energy; deep in the S.T.A.R. Labs morgue, Girder’s body is reanimated as a zombie metahuman who immediately starts to hunt down Iris.

Now don’t quote me as I was never a heavy reader of the Flash comic but I don’t recall the Speed Force ever being portrayed as an actual sentient being so the TV show is doing a different take.  And while it comes in the form of a bit of Deus Ex Machina hokum it is an interesting idea.  Of course, it also presents the problem that if the Speed Force is seemingly a benevolent being that aids Barry why doesn’t it then stop Zoom?

Barry eventually has to come to grips with the death of his mother and it includes an overly sentimental scene where Barry and a manifestation of his mother read his favorite childhood book.  It was classic comic book melodrama, however, from Smith who understands the place for this type of story and respects the material.  Speaking of Zoom, the episode concludes with a shot of the villain raising an army of Earth-2 metahumans.  One of these will be none other than the Earth-2 Black Canary known as Black Siren and played by Katie Cassidy.

The plot with Girder, while amusing at times, was mere window dressing and fodder to keep the rest of the team busy while Barry sorted out his issues in the Speed Force.  Is Barry back and faster than he was?  It’s all leading to what promises to be a momentous season finale.
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