Emotions are unwrapped in this episode as the team is forced to face their impending death faster than they thought they would.
Team Flash faces an eco-terrorist who wants to see the destruction of Central City. The girl in charge manages to set up and detonate several nuclear bombs, enough to wipe the entire city out. The whole episode takes place within less than a second as Barry, and the visiting Jesse, try to figure out how to save their loved ones.
As seen in his trial, Barry can pull his friends into the Speed Force and converse with them. While the world around them seems frozen, it buys them more time to figure out how to fix this. They cannot last very long, as their bodies are not built like a Speedster’s, but it’s enough to give them a chance.
Barry is smart, but together his team can surely figure out a solution. Each person he converses with has a different plan to evade the nuclear blast, but each plan ultimately fails. Cisco can’t breach it into another world, Killer Frost can only cool the explosion so much, and Harry is too busy worrying about his daughter to focus. Barry even asks Jesse to bring Jay Garrick into the world for an experienced Speedsters opinion. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much advice to give, and he can’t quite keep up with their speed for very long either.
Faced with their death, Killer Frost and Harry show just how vulnerable they are. With her last words to Barry, Killer Frost asks he protect Caitlin. We’ve seen her soften up quite a bit this season, but she still takes any opportunity to tease her more reserved half. I wonder if the two will ever combine or will Caitlin always remain separated from her Metahuman half.
Harry has slowly been breaking down with each failure he encounters. Jesse’s visit has already thrown him off, especially as she demands he speak of her mother’s death. When Barry asks him for help, all Harry can think of is saving his daughter. His feelings are complicated; he has been closed off for so long, and a catastrophe as big as this pushes him over. Jesse is surprised by his outburst when Barry passes on the message and decides to face death by his side. She knows Harry loves her, but sometimes she needs to hear it.
Savitar was quite deadly, yet this seemed to have affected the team far more significantly. Barry, after exhausting all options, decides to face his death by Iris’ side. These two have said goodbye many times, yet it still breaks my heart each time they have to do it. In a last-ditch attempt, Iris’ encouragement has him returning to the blast site for another attempt to save the city. Through Speed Force magic, he manages to get the bombs into the prison he was in and lets it go off there. There isn’t an in-depth explanation how it works out, but the Speed Force isn’t easily explained to begin with.
By the end of the episode, we do not see any ramifications in the Speed Force from the explosion. But as DeVoe was absent, we can’t rule him out as a benefactor in this mess.
Once the smoke has settled, Harry sits Jesse down and has a heart to heart with her regarding her mother’s passing. It’s the first time we’ve seen him cry and let go of the walls he’s put up. He uses a mind-reading device so Jesse can hear precisely why Harry can’t speak about her mom. The scene between father and daughter perfectly captures the impact of losing the love of his life in as few words as possible. Jesse has a new understanding of her dad and why he has been closed off. I feel like their relationship will begin to heal.
The emotional breakthrough for Harry and Caitlin is one of my favorite events to come out of this episode. I thought it was interesting how they played up the Speed Force and did not use it as a gimmicky time traveling method.