Tonight's episode of "The Flash" featured an incredibly powerful narrative about family. While the show had put the father/son elements of the show on the back burner during the aftermath of Flashpoint, the emotionally charged dynamics between Joe and Barry were back in "Untouchable." Not only did tonight's episode put Iris in peril, but it gave each member of Team Flash an opportunity to shine, including Barry, who used his powers to phase an entire train through a blockade of debris. The episode also showcased the growing friendship of Caitlin and Julian, who, despite being evenly matched as scientists, still have a long way to go in terms of being close. Barry continued to train Wally to become "fast enough" and, despite some failed attempts, he learned the power of inspiring someone to greatness. Jesse Wells also made a "quick" appearance in the episode, teeing up a two-part arc that will take place in Gorilla City.
Iris Can't Die, Yet
The recurring theme in the backhalf of "The Flash" Season 3 continues to be #SaveIris. Whether the team was working on ways to change her future with Savitar or to literally save her life tonight, "The Flash" has truly put Iris at the center of this season. When an Alchemy-created metahuman began killing people in Central City, the West family was put right into the metahuman's crosshairs. According to Barry, Clive Yorkin was arrested in the Flashpoint timeline. When Alchemy gave him metahuman powers, his memories from Flashpoint transfered over, and he vowed to get revenge on the police from that timeline. He killed two people, then came after Joe West. Wally was able to scare Yorkin away, but then Yorkin went after Iris. His flash-eating powers began to destroy Iris' arm and the only solution was for Caitlin to use her Killer Frost powers to stop it from spreading. Everyone had a role to play this week in rescuing Iris and Joe. When Caitlin's powers grew out of control, Julian encouraged her that she wasn't a monster. Cisco used his powers to Vibe the truth of what happened in Flashpoint, which sent Joe to save private investigator Stone. When Yorkin targeted the train that Joe and Stone were on, Barry and Wally teamed up to bring him down. The whole sequences of events was riveting to behold, especially when Barry phased an entire train.
Flash vs. Kid Flash
Another important storyline this week was the testing of Kid Flash. At first, Barry was training Wally from a technical standpoint. Barry was giving Wally racing challenges and speed tests, but it wasn't helping Wally get any better. It took multiple failures for Barry to realize that he didn't need to push Wally to be better, but to inspire him to be better. Kid Flash went head-to-head with the untouchable meta tonight, and although he wasn't fast enough to save Iris, he was able to defeat the meta in the end by phasing through him. Wally even learned to control his phasing at the end of the episode, just before Jesse Quick showed up needing help. So far, Wally is like the teen version of The Flash. He poses for selfies, he enjoys the spotlight, he has Flash-swagger. His Flash-swag even got praised by Joe's girlfriend's daughter, who said that the only thing she missed about Central City was Kid Flash. Wally definitely has a lot to learn, but his heart-to-heart with Barry about being inspired was a beautiful look at mentorship that's driven not by performance but by love. Barry is getting a lot of moments this season that are similar to Oliver on "Arrow." They're both learning how to mentor, how to inspire, how to love, which ultimately brings out the best in their teams.
Joe West, the Heartbeat of this Show
With Joe West being hunted by a flash-eating metahuman, the team finally decided to come clean to Joe about Iris' impending death. When they told Joe about Savitar's actions in the future, Joe was furious -- and rightfully so. Keeping secrets has never worked out for anyone on "The Flash," and he needed to be told. Joe scolded Barry and Iris for keeping him in the dark, but more so Barry. After what felt like months of no episode with strong Barry/Joe scenes, this episode delivered in a huge way. This episode reminded audiences that no one in the West family or on Team Flash was untouchable and that everyone needed each other's support, honesty, and protection. This episode also completely re-centered the show as a family drama -- yes there are superheroes in the mix -- but "The Flash" is first and foremost about the West/Allen family. Once Joe cooled down from being lied to, he reminded the team that they work better together, and that they will save Iris from the future Barry saw when he traveled to the future.
Next week "The Flash" is on break, but when the show returns February 21, it will kick-off a two-episode event on Earth-2. The episode will feature Gorilla City, Gorilla Grodd, and Solovar.
BARRY AND TEAM TRAVEL TO GORILLA CITY AND FACE GRODD – When Jesse Quick (guest star Violett Beane) informs the team that her father (Tom Cavanagh) has been abducted, Barry (Grant Gustin), Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker), Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Julian (Tom Felton) voyage to Earth-2 on a rescue mission to save Harry from Gorilla City. As they trek through the forest, Barry and the team are immediately captured and brought to Grodd (voiced by David Sobolov). Grodd tells them he needs their help to stop Solovar (voiced by Keith David), the leader of Gorilla City, as Solovar wants to invade Earth-1. Meanwhile, back on Earth-1, Jesse and Kid Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale) hit the streets to stop a metahuman that can control gravity, with H.R. and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) guiding them from S.T.A.R Labs. Dermott Downs directed the episode with story by Andrew Kreisberg and teleplay by Aaron Helbing & David Kob. Original airdate 2/21/2017.
Starring Grant Gustin as the Scarlet Speedster, "The Flash" airs Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. on The CW. The series also stars Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Keiynan Lonsdale and more.