Welcome to the fourteenth installment of the Flashback. This week’s episode issues a new set of challenges as Team Flash discovers additional post-Crisis consequences.
Air Traffic Control notifies Team Flash of a distressed helicopter. Camilla and Caitlin see a speeding line on the grid of their computer and assume it’s Barry, but Kid Flash reports to the scene with god-like speed and dismantles the helicopter in mid-air to prevent crashing – in what was one of the best special effect sequences this season.
Wally tells the crew that he has been receiving Buddhist tutelage while away, but he’s happy to be around friends and family. Iris and Eva hopelessly watch the reunion from behind the mirror. As Eva tells Iris that she’s been trapped for many years, she begins to panic and shakes with a glass of water in her hand, which causes fake Iris to spill a glass of wine. Meanwhile, Cisco announces his return to the welcome-home party but soon falls asleep. As a result, the crew disbands for the night leaving behind Barry and Wally to do some speed cleaning. While running, Barry loses coordination and stumbles into a wall. Wally asks if this is the first time, which Barry minimizes as “post-Crisis recovery”. Wally then admits that he didn’t just return to see family, but believes that there is a disturbance in the speed force.
The Russian woman, Maria, who Wally saved from the falling helicopter berates her Barista at Jitters about an incorrect order. Suddenly, a green wave spreads throughout the building and renders everyone immobile as time stands still. Another Russian woman steps forward and throws a second green wave at Maria turning her into a ghoul.
Joe arrives to diagnose the scene, so Wally tells Joe that he previously saved Maria from the helicopter. Barry realizes they have already encountered a metahuman with similar abilities, so Cisco reveals that this is Turtle 2, which is an upgraded version of a time-slowing meta.
Cisco theorizes that if he can create a formula to counteract her slowing powers. Nash-Wells enters and asks if Cisco can help him find a potentially dead metahuman. Cisco declines, and Nash-Wells angrily storms out.
Fake Iris and Wally make conversation about relationships with the speed force. Iris tells him that Barry had a slight snafu with the speed force and that he should investigate. Camilla enters and takes a photograph of Wally and Fake Iris conversing, which prompts Fake Iris to demand that Camilla delete the photo immediately! Iris dismisses this as protecting their identity as Team Citizen workers.
Dying Speed Force
Wally confronts Barry about what happened with the speed force. Barry tries to explain that it’s nothing, but Wally projects their consciousness into the speed force. Barry then sees his mother, the physical representation of the speed force, and she tells him the speed force is dying because he … (we are not fully aware of what foul is/was committed). Barry tells Wally that the speed force is infinite and is incapable of dying, yet Wally becomes irate that Barry harmed the speed force without seeking his guidance and storms out.
Meanwhile, Barry uses tachyon enhancers to project his consciousness into the speed force. He goes back to the room where his weakening mother rests and tries to tell the speed force that he can fix it. She retorts by telling him that he isn’t the problem and that some new substance is the weakening factor. Barry realizes that he brought shared energy during Crisis to enter the speed force, which ultimately leads to the speed force dying in front of him.
Wally heads to CCPD and tells Joe that the speed force died. He then explains that speedsters have a limited amount of speed that will dwindle as they use it. Joe tells an extended anecdote of how Wally came to be the man he is and explains that no solution will arise if he doesn’t embrace it. They split ways to handle separate tasks, but Joe tells Wally to have sympathy for Barry.
Later, in the time vault, Barry is stricken with the truth of what [actually] happened to the speed force. In summary, the speed force died because Barry took the Spectre’s energy into the speed force and neutralized it. Wally sympathizes with Barry’s decision but tells him to do something to atone for his actions.
You’re Not Nash
The power goes out in a room where Nash-Wells tinkers on a device. He looks up and sees the angry-red Reverse Flash eyes. Cisco apologizes to Nash-Wells for being a jerk and asks him to do some “multiversal ghostbusting”. As they turn face-to-face, Cisco realizes that this isn’t [actually] Nash-Wells and confronts Thawne’s infamous phase hand. Cisco recognizes Nash-Wells has no powers, so they tussle and Nash-Wells gains the upper hand forcing Cecile to tase him.
Caitlin follows up with Cisco for how he dismissed Nash-Wells. She feels Cisco is running as the result of an accountability issue and promises to take over his tasks so he can explore himself. As a result, Caitlin tracks Turtle 2 to CCPD where she holds Joe hostage. Team Flash needs to respond quickly, yet with speed consumption as a factor, Barry tells Wally they should run in a straight line and phase through buildings. They arrive just in time to battle with Turtle 2. Her slowing bubbles trap Wally, so Barry stalls by negotiating as Joe sneaks in and apprehends Turtle 2.
Once the battle is over, Barry sorrowfully tells Fake Iris about the Speed Force’s death. Fake Iris tries to persuade him that his loss of speed may be best for their hopes of “normal life.” Cisco interrupts by dispatching Barry to the pipeline, where he reveals that Thawne has taken over Nash-Well’s body. Without a moment’s delay, Thawne confesses that his goal is to kill Barry, his family, and friends. Thawne continues his dialogue by telling Barry he will be powerless to stop him because of the speed force’s death.
In typical father fashion, Joe asks if Wally is ready to leave so soon. Wally responds by saying he will return to his destination by walking [an indication that he knows his speed will soon fail and he’s trying to preserve it]. Before leaving, he asked Joe to keep an eye on Iris because there is something “different” about her.
Barry enlists Caitlin and Cisco’s help to build their own artificial speed force. He feels that if Thawne can build one, so can they. Meanwhile, Camilla receives a notification from her camera that it was unable to delete the photo of Fake Iris and Wally. Further investigation detects the presence of a spirit, so Fake Iris shoots Camilla with the mirror gun.
With Camila now presumed to be in Mirror Land, hopefully, Wally’s memo will weigh on Joe. Iris has been trapped for what seems like an eternity and the effects are starting to show in Fake Iris’ behavior. What will finally give away her identity? Be sure to tune in next week to Atlanta’s CW to see the latest developments.