“I can’t save us this time,” says a dripping with sweat and exhausted Barry (Grant Gustin) to Iris (Candice Patton) as the city’s down to its last few seconds before a nuclear bomb detonates in season four episode 15 of The CW’s The Flash.
Turning the clock back 8 minutes and 48 seconds, Barry’s in S.T.A.R. Labs training with Vibe (Carlos Valdes) trying to get fast enough to go through a breach that Cisco creates. He’s been doing this for hours and still hasn’t been able to pull it off. A tired Cisco finally tells Barry they’re taking five, but a frustrated Barry wants to continue. Iris suggests the break is a much-needed one and that maybe Barry’s trying too hard. She sits with Barry and gets him to agree to take the night off for a special date night. Their moment is interrupted when Harry (Tom Cavanagh) comes over the intercom and tells them to come to the cortex.
In the cortex, Harry shows Team Flash what he and Cisco have discovered, that they’ve been able to pinpoint each spot DeVoe has come out of his power breach and that whatever his master plan is he’s been working on it for three years. Jesse (Violett Beane) enters S.T.A.R. Labs, surprising everyone and looking to speak with her father.
It seems Harry sent an apology cube – without the actual apology – to Jesse, and that’s brought her to see him. Jesse wants Harry to open up to her and talk about her dead mother, but Harry’s still unwilling to do so. (Jesse believes if Harry finally talks about her mom, it will help him move forward, stop being angry most of the time, and possibly find some happiness.) As father and daughter argue, Harry’s informed by Team Flash there’s a new crisis.
Joe (Jesse L. Martin) is in a hanger involved in a heavy firefight with terrorists who are after an ARGUS container he and a few other CCPD officers were escorting. When Joe and his men begin to lose the fight, Joe sends out a distress signal to Barry and his team. The Flash, Vibe, Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker), and Jesse arrive at the hanger to help Joe turn the fight around. As Team Flash starts to take out the terrorists, the leader manages to open the container and activate the fission engine (a super nuclear bomb) inside.
The Flash speeds over to stop her but sees that it’s too late; she’s already armed and activated the bomb. Barry’s moving so fast he’s entered Flashtime, which means he’s moving so fast everyone around him looks frozen. Jesse joins him in Flashtime and, with a question in her voice, says “Barry?” He responds, “We’re too late.” The core has gone critical.
Barry and Jesse try to come up with ideas on how to stop the blast from killing everyone in Central City. Jesse’s sure they don’t have enough time even while being in Flashtime to speed everyone out of the city and far enough away. She suggests running the bomb to a deserted part of the Earth, but Barry shoots down that idea because their speed would accelerate the nuclear reaction.
Barry asks Jesse to go get Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp) and let him know they need his help. Jesse speeds off and Barry looks around at everyone in the hanger. He sees Vibe and says softly, “I need you, man.” Barry touches Cisco and brings him into Flashtime with him. Barry shows Cisco the problem and Cisco suggests he breach it to a dead Earth. Cisco tries but can’t do it. At first he thinks he’s out of juice because of all the training from earlier in the day, but Barry realizes that’s not the problem. Cisco’s moving so fast being with Barry in Flashtime that the breach doesn’t have enough time to open. Barry moves Cisco back to where he was standing before bringing him into Flashtime – next to Killer Frost – and tells him he has to let go. Cisco apologizes and suggests he ask Harry, sure he’ll know what to do.
Barry races off to talk to Harry who’s standing motionless at S.T.A.R. Labs and touches him, bringing him into Flashtime. He brings him up to speed about what’s happening and at first all Harry can do is keep telling Barry to get Jesse far enough away from the blast that she’ll be all right. He comes up with the idea of sending the bomb into the Speed Force. A surprised and worried Barry asks what the explosion will do to the Speed Force, and Harry thinks it should be okay. Jesse shows up with Jay, and Barry releases Harry to tell them his idea. Jay says that’s not an option.
Jay knows if they do that they may lose the Speed Force forever. An explosion that big could destroy it. Barry, extremely frustrated, yells at Jay to come up with an idea or else he’s doing it, not caring about losing the Speed Force. Jesse tells Barry that her father never “thinks” that he knows anything and if he said he “thinks” the Speed Force will be okay, it means he doesn’t know. Barry, regaining his composure, starts to apologize to Jay who waves it off and suggests they go back to basics on how to stop the blast. Jay says they might be able to cool the bomb down enough to neutralize the blast with a little help.
Barry, Jay, and Jesse race back to the hanger and Barry brings in Killer Frost to Flashtime. “I see all these frozen people around me, Flash, and this time it’s not my fault,” says Frost. He explains what they need her to do: use her powers to stop it. Frost tries but isn’t able to get it cold enough to stop it. Time is still moving forward ever so incredibly slowly, and the bomb reaches another stage of its explosion, raising the heat where Frost is standing so that even she can feel its warmth.
“You’re burning up,” says Barry, taking her back to where she was standing. As he tells her he has to let her go, Killer Frost turns to him and says in an unusually serious but soft tone, “Barry, don’t let Caity die.” He nods okay as he lets her go.
Jesse comes up with an idea of off-setting the energy of the bomb with energy of nuclear fusion. He thinks they can achieve that if the three speedsters throw a lightning bolt at the same time. That should be enough to neutralize it. The three speedsters race around to generate enough energy and Barry and Jesse throw lightning bolts at the bomb. However, Jay stumbles and collapses. He’s not used to going this fast for this long and can’t keep up with the two younger speedsters. “I’m not going to be able to finish this one, Flash. I’m sorry,” says the older speedster as he exits Flashtime and joins the others in the hanger who are frozen in time.
Desperate, Jesse suggests she and Barry go back in time and stop the bomb from going off. Barry tells her that’s not an option. She pushes, saying it will save the city. Barry tells her that the second you change the past it changes the whole timeline – and especially the people you love. “Trust me, I learned that the hard way,” says Barry.
The bomb’s reaction is reaching its final phase as its color goes from yellow to purple. Barry tells Jesse they’re slowing down and wants her to get out of Central City to save herself. He needs her to do that for her father. Initially unwilling to leave, Barry convinces her to go to Earth-2…or so he thinks. Jesse actually speeds off to S.T.A.R. Labs and stands with her father as she exits Flashtime. She wants to be with him when the bomb’s explosion finally reaches impact.
Unable to see a way to save the city, Barry joins Iris. He touches her, bringing her into Flashtime. He apologizes that he doesn’t see a way to save everyone this time.
Distraught and exhausted, Barry confesses he’s so tired and she hugs, him telling him it’s okay and that they’re together. In a tender and moving scene, Barry and Iris comfort each other and he tells her she’s his lightning rod. That gives Iris an idea! She reminds him he tried using lighting power to neutralize the blast but it wasn’t enough. If he could bring out the power of the Speed Force and use it on the blast, it should be enough to stop it. Barry doesn’t know how he could bring out the power and she explains that Cisco and Caitlin created a ball sphere with his DNA to trick the Speed Force that he was still inside it. He needs to go into the Speed Force and find it, bring it out, and the energy from the Speed Force will follow it like lightning to a lightning rod.
Barry speeds off into the Speed Force and finds the ball sphere. He speeds back out and lures it into the hanger, throwing it at the bomb. All the lightning power from the Speed Force follows and hits the blast, successfully neutralizing it.
Everyone falls to the ground, safe and unharmed. Joe runs over to Barry to check on him to see if he’s all right. “Flash?” says Joe. Barry opens his eyes and asks, “Are we dead?” “No,” replies Joe. “That’s good,” answers The Flash, obviously relieved his plan worked.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, the team’s watching a video made by the leader of the terrorist group. Her name’s Veronica Dale and the video was supposed to be found and aired after Central City was destroyed. Jay believes he’s getting too old for this and is training a new Flash on his Earth. Caitlin reminds him he needs to rest and then turns to Barry and says, “You need to rest too, mister.” Joe reminds Iris to watch over Barry and make sure he takes it easy. Barry and Iris happily snuggle together on his medical bed.
Jesse says goodbye to Harry and tells him she’s okay if he’s not ready to talk about her mom yet. She explains that when he is, she wants to be the one he talks to. In a sweet and very touching scene, Harry puts the mind-controlling device on her forehead. He’s changed it so she can read his thoughts. He allows her to read his mind and view his memories of her mother and how much he loved her.
In the episode’s final scene, Caitlin and Harry are at Jitters getting coffee. He wants to know what’s on her mind and Caitlin initially just looks at him. He reminds her he knows her well enough to know when something’s bothering her. Caitlin confesses it’s Killer Frost and that she doesn’t know anything that she says or does. It’s scary and alarming to have this person living inside of her. Caitlin reveals that for the first time she remembers what Frost did in the hanger with Barry and the bomb, and that Frost was worried about Caitlin.
Just as Harry’s about to continue the conversation, the clumsy mystery girl – the same one who was at Barry and Iris’s wedding – spills her drink on their table. Apologizing and rambling about meeting new people and being nervous, the girl quickly gets on Harry’s nerves. He says they’re leaving anyway as she cleans up. As she leaves, Caitlin wishes the girl good luck with her meeting and hopes it goes well. As Harry and Caitlin walk away, the young girl says under her breath, “Thanks, it just did.”
The Flash Season 4 Episode 15 Review:
Suspenseful with superb acting, wonderful special effects, and some truly emotional scenes, season four episode 15 titled “Enter Flashtime” is the best episode of the season delivering everything a viewer and fan of the series could want from the show. The pacing and writing were tight and everyone delivered an above average performance.
Grant Gustin delivers the standout performance as Barry who’s desperate to try to find a way to save his city and everyone he loves from being killed by the nuclear bomb’s blast. This is perhaps the best performance he’s given in the series, showing the desperation, controlled panic, anger, frustration, fear, and exhausting Barry goes through while trying to think of a way to stop the worst from happening. The scene where he admits to Iris he doesn’t think he can save everyone this time and says sorry is heartbreaking.
Another stand-out performance is delivered by Violett Beane as the visiting Jesse who stopped by to speak to her father, never expecting that it could be the last time either of them see each other. The scene in which she speeds over to be with him when the bomb finally reaches its ultimate impact is sweet and touching.
Almost every main actor had a pivotal scene during the crisis, including Killer Frost. The intriguing and touching scene where she tells Barry to “make sure Caitlin doesn’t die” reveals a new side to Frost, one that shows she actually cares about and puts her alter-ego’s safety first. With Caitlin remembering what Frost did in the hanger and worrying about her for the first time it will be interesting to see what this means for both characters.
With a well written script, excellent emotional performances, and exciting and intense action, “Enter Flashtime” is as about as good as an episode can get.
More on The Flash Season 4:
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 1 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 2 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 3 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 4 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 5 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 6 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 7 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 8 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 9 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 10 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 11 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 12 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 13 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 14 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 16 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 17 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 18 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 19 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 21 Recap
– The Flash Season 4 Episode 22 Recap