Oh, Barry. What did you do?
As usual, our favorite speedster's heart was in the right place on The Flash Season 3 Episode 16, "Into the Speed Force."
But his execution could definitely use a little work. Especially the part where he wanted space from Iris.
Seriously, WTF were you thinking, Barry?
On The Flash Season 3 Episode 15, Iris ended their engagement once she suspected Barry only proposed to change the future. Now that she's had some time to sit with it, she doesn't care.
She loves Barry. She wants to be his wife. This is the part where we're all ready to rejoice. Because if there's one thing we know, it's that Barry Allen and Iris West belong together.
Do yourself a favor. Look deep inside that big, beautiful heart of yours. You'll find the answer you're looking for.Joe
But now Barry is apparently having second thoughts. Because he did propose to Iris for the wrong reasons, and he wants to make it right.
That's all well and noble, but let's go ahead and call it what it is: unnecessary angst.
We've hit the point in the season where things start to feel stale. Instead of rising action, we're forced to slog through muddled storylines. It's too soon to reveal Savitar's identity so Barry's saddled with personal issues.
It's frustrating because this seems to happen every season around this time. As much as we love the idea of 22 or 23 episodes, maybe the series would benefit from a smaller number.
Then the audience wouldn't have to suffer through the same pitfalls each season. Like Barry thinking he's not worthy of Iris. Or that he's not worthy of being a hero. Or that he has to do it all alone.
Lather, rinse, repeat. May we please get off the ride?
I want to sacrifice myself for Wally.Barry
Unfortunately, the entire trip into the speed force fell into the same unsatisfying category as Barry wanting space from Iris.
I know it's part of a hero's journey to doubt himself. No one wants to watch a cocky jerk win week after week without any self-reflection. We love Barry because he's real and because he stays in touch with his emotions.
But there have to be other beats to the story.
First, Barry disappointed Eddie. Because he made a sacrifice, and now Barry's living the life he was supposed to have.
Ronnie's story was more of the same. Throwing in Caitlin with a baby was obviously meant to tug at our heart strings, and it did.
We know life would have been different if Eddie and Ronnie hadn't died. But it seems like we're taking something away from them by saying Barry's responsible for their sacrifices.
Eddie was a detective and Ronnie was a superhero in his own right. Both men gave their lives because it was the right thing to do to save people they loved.
Sure, Barry benefited. But Eddie was protecting Iris first and Caitlin was always Ronnie's first priority, too. Yes, we could argue that Barry's at fault since Eobard hated him the most.
But they made their choices. Just like Wally made his.
Eddie: Choices have consequences. I'm afraid we can't let you make anymore choices like that.
Barry: Wally is just a kid.
Eddie: He's a Flash. He made his choice. Now he has to live with it. Just like you do.
Barry: I'm not going anywhere until Wally's free.
Eddie: Then be prepared to spend an eternity in here.
I'm not saying Wally deserves to spend eternity in the speed force. He doesn't. But he's the one who ran off because he thought he knew better than Barry.
Ever since he got his speed, his only goal was to be faster than Barry. Then he succeeded. Why wouldn't Barry think he's the best one to save Iris?
It feels like we're going in circles as we watch Barry feel guilty over the same things.
Even Captain Cold's return turned out to be a letdown. And that's hard for me to say because he's one of my favorite characters in the entire CW universe.
But having Cold tell Barry he taught him how to be a hero felt strange. Maybe because Barry barely knew he'd died aside from a passing comment on The Flash Season 3 Episode 8.
I also didn't like that his message was the Barry wasn't acting like a hero. Since when? If anything, stepping aside so the faster speedster can save Iris proves Barry's a hero.
Because heroism isn't about glory. It's about keeping people safe.
Exactly as Jay did when he made the choice to stay inside the speed force. The logic seems a little fuzzy as to why it's necessary, but it made for a great moment.
He feels like he's done his time, and he's ready to step up so Barry and Wally can keep living their lives. He even gave Barry his helmet as a parting gift.
I hope Barry honors his promise. Jay deserves more than a fate worse than death.
As for our other resident speedster, Jesse's already trading in Earth-1 for another model.
I love Violett Beane, and I'm always happy to have Jesse on Team Flash. But it's hard to take her and Wally's love seriously when she's already leaving town.
Wanting to guard Earth-3 for Jay and avoid Savitar are valid reasons to switch Earths. But does it have to be two seconds after Wally returns?
Wally: I love you, Jesse.
Jesse: I love you, too.
STAR labs is crowded. Caitlin, Julian, and Cisco mostly did background work. Joe managed a few heart to hearts with his kids.
So I do understand the logistics of thinning the team, and Jesse is the one who lifts out the easiest.
But it still makes for a messy end to her arc, and that's disappointing.
Now it's your turn. What did you think of Barry's change of heart? Is he making the right call? Which return was your favorite? Any guesses on who's beneath the Savitar armor?
Remember, you can watch The Flash online anytime!
Mandy Treccia is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.