By Taylor Gibson

S.4 E.15 – Enter Flashtime

Unable to Find Happiness
With a face covered in sweat, Barry tells Iris “I can’t save us this time!” while in a full-fledged panic attack. Flashback to just short of 9 minutes prior, we see Barry attempting to break through a breach, where we’re led to believe he is attempting to break into DeVoe’s “pocket dimension.” As a respose to Barry’s despondence, Iris tells him they should switch their focus to enjoying a date night and quality time. Harry comes barking over the intercom and summons the two of them to come to the cortex to inform them of an algorithm [Cisco developed] that tracks each time DeVoe has gone in or out of his pocket over the past 3 years. Jesse [unexpectedly] arrives at the lab, and she and Harry pretty much get into an instant quarrel about his lack of dealing with the death of his wife. Jesse feels that as long as he refuses to talk about his wife’s death he will be miserable and unable to move on. After a bit of a tempered rage, he prepares to make a revelation but declines further comment.
Joe responds to a call at an airport hangar that puts him in immediate danger, so he sends a distress signal to Star Labs. He and CCPD engage in a heavy shootout with masked bandits looking to steal a cargo ship with some high-powered nuclear technology. As the leader tries to breach the interface, Barry, Killer Frost, Jesse, and Cisco round up her goons. Barry gets ready to apprehend the leader, but she shows him a module displaying that nuclear detonation is imminent.
Although they aren’t phasing or dashing, Barry and Jesse are moving so fast that everything around them pauses – similar to the way Barry surrounded Iris in the courtroom. The two of them can’t seem to stop time long enough, so Barry sends Jesse to Earth-3 to round up Jay Garrick for addtional help. While she’s gone, Barry brings Cisco into hyper speed to determine if the bomb can be deactivated. He tries to breach the bomb to a dead Earth, but while they are moving in “flashtime” there isn’t enough time to actively open a breach. Barry runs back to Star Labs, so Harry tells Barry to throw the bomb into the speed force. Jay and Jesse arrive, but Jay adamantly denies putting the Speedforce at risk because every speedster across the multiverse would lose their power.  Since they can’t get rid of the bomb, Jay theorizes that maybe they can reverse the explosion and restore stability by cooling it down. They return to the hangar and bring Killer Frost into flashtime to try cooling the bomb. Her powers have no impact and the bomb enters the first stage of explosion. Jesse assesses the situation from a mathematical standpoint and proposes that if the 3 speedsters throw lightning bolts they can stabilize the separating molecules. Barry and Jesse throw bolts, but Jay comes up lame as the stress of flashtime has worn down his endurance.
With options quickly waning, Jesse wants to run back in time and stop the bomb before it goes off. Barry tells her the ramifications of altering the timeline, but before he finishes, the reaction combustion enters its second phase. Barry sends Jesse back to safety of Earth-2, but instead, she goes to Star Labs and tries to pull Harry into flashtime. She’s unable, so she tells his mannequin form that she only wants for him to be happy again. Barry frantically tries to mathematically create a solution involving the Speedforce. He fails yet again, so he stumbles to the cortex to see Iris and enters us into the scene that starts the episode.
Lightning Rod
Barry’s melting down, – somewhat literally but definitely figuratively – so Iris tries her best to console him as she feels the heat of flashtime radiating from his body. The conversation arc changes to their normal lovey-dovey pattern and Barry tells Iris that she is his lightning rod. This catalyzes her to speculate that the speed force can generate enough lightning force to stabilize the bomb, but Barry will need to grab the Quarks Sphere locked in the speed force. Upon removing Quarks Sphere, the Speedforce should become unstable and the ensuing lighting storm (like in the finale of season 3) will search for a speed source.  So, Barry dashes into the Speedforce, grabs the Quarks Sphere, runs to the hangar, jumps off a squad car and throws the Quarks Sphere into the nuclear bomb. As Barry runs through the hangar, everyone’s body positions had changed to reflect preparing for blast, but Iris’s theory works and life/speed returns to normal.
Recovery and Repair
Once back at Star Labs, Joe shows the crew a previously recorded video by the leader of the nuclear attack, Veronica Dale. She assures them that nuclear power will be a threat again at a later date. Jay Garrick prepares to return home, yet tells the crew that he no longer feels up to his Flashly duties and plans to train an understudy. The crew disbands for the day leaving Iris in charge of Barry to rest, recover, and enjoy quality time. Jesse also prepares to return home, so she visits Harry to say farewell. He gears up to explain why he doesn’t talk about her mother’s death because…. but Jesse cuts him short and says he can do it when he’s ready. He’s still not fully ready to talk but would like her to stick around and “listen” to something, yet he attaches a Mental Activity Dampener to each of their heads to reveal a portion of his thoughts.
Lastly, the episode culminates with Caitlin and Harry getting coffee from Jitters.  Harry feels that something is weighing on Caitlin’s mind, so he asks whats up. Caitlin tells him that it’s scary to have another half of yourself that you know nothing about, but this time she remembers the worry Killer Frost had for Katie’s safety. The conversation abruptly ends because the socially awkward girl from Jitters [several episodes ago] crashes the conversation with spilled drinks. Her complete intention is unknown but it’s clear it’s of ill will.
At the moment it’s unknown if this potential nuclear holocaust is part of DeVoe’s plan. Instead, the episode seemed to be more about mending/repairing stress within relationships. Surely, DeVoe won’t stay away for long and has another trick up his sleeve.  Be sure to tune in next Tuesday to Atlanta’s CW for the latest developments.