REVIEW: The Flash, S4 Ep15 – Enter Flashtime

“Enter Flashtime” switches its format up from previous episodes by having the majority of the episode take place within a 9-minute time span. The episode begins with a sweaty, frantic Barry (Grant Gustin) confessing to Iris that he won’t be able to save them from their latest dilemma. While we aren’t immediately given information on what that dilemma is exactly, we soon find out that the events that culminated in this catastrophe occurred 9 minutes prior. As the episode continues we find out that Team Flash fails to stop a terrorist from activating a nuclear bomb. Much of the episode takes place in what Cisco (Carlos Valdes) dubs “Flashtime,” and sees Barry speed his way around his counterparts as they appear frozen in time. His latest super power, which was introduced in “The Trial of The Flash,” allows Barry to bring each of his counterparts into Flashtime in order to get their opinions on how to solve a problem that would lead to destruction of Central City within seconds.

“Enter Flashtime” is definitely a unique approach in storytelling, having the majority of the episode take place with everything seemingly frozen in time. While we never get the sense of dread the show is aiming for, being that in the back of our minds we all know Central City is not really going to explode, it’s still fun to see Barry, along with Jesse Quick (Violett Beane) and Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp), attempt to figure out this dilemma, being that they are all speedsters and are able to work fast enough before the bomb eventually goes off.

Each member of Team Flash demonstrates their expertise as Barry brings each of them into Flashtime one by one. Cisco attempts to breach the bomb to another dimension which fails because of the time difference in Flashtime. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) recommends throwing the bomb into the speed force, although doing so would result in every speedster being unable to ever utilize their super speed ever again. Also, Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) attempts to freeze it, but that also fails due to Frost increasingly becoming tired and overheated from the nearby explosion. It seems all hope is lost for the majority of the episode. Sadly, Garrick even fails to deliver a lightning bolt in unison with Barry and Jesse, resulting in him tiring out and falling out of Flashtime.

Team Flash’s nuclear bomb problem is eventually solved fairly easily due to some smarts from Iris (Candice Patton), and a Deus ex Machina plot device we forgot about from numerous episodes prior. In fact, if it wasn’t for the “previously on” segment prior to the episode, this object would have been something most viewers forgot about and wouldn’t expect to see make its way into the series again. Not trying to undermine Iris, who continues to prove herself a worthy and essential member of Team Flash, but this solution felt a bit lazy.

While the episode took place mainly in Flashtime, it did allow for some sentimental and touching moments. This is mainly felt in a subplot involving Harrison Wells and his daughter Jesse Quick. As Jesse returns to Earth-1, prior to the explosion, she attempts to get her father to talk about her mother’s death, something he has avoided doing. Their brush with death, having nearly been caught in a nuclear blast, did help in this situation leading to a very touching moment in which Wells reverse engineers his neural dampener in order for Jesse to read his thoughts he is unable to say out loud. Additionally, there are some touching moments between our favorite power couple Barry and Iris, but there is also a very interesting moment where Killer Frost expresses concern for Caitlin Snow. This is definitely something that should be expanded on, though how so is unclear.

Overall, “Enter Flashtime” was a unique, intense, and fun episode, though its easily solved conclusion killed the momentum built prior and made the episode feel a bit inconsequential. Each member of Team Flash was able to shine a bit in their own way as they each contributed their expertise to the problem, and Barry’s newest super power proves he is continuing to become a better super hero. The episode also left viewers with additional unanswered questions and things to look forward to, including a new female speedster Garrick is training on Earth-3. The episode’s final scene saw that same young woman at CC Jitters, this time chatting a bit with Harry and Caitlin. As of right now many have assumed she is the daughter or granddaughter of Barry and Iris from the future, but she did have a bit of a sinister look on her face upon the episode’s final shot, so there could be a lot more to this character than meets the eye.