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The Flash: Into the Still Force

“Hang on, because things are about to get real weird.”

For an episode ostensibly about Iris’s mysterious disappearance, it covered a lot of ground. We learned Caitlyn can be very manipulative when she’s grieving. Chester discovered the pitfalls of open sourcing. Allegra and Taylor’s animosity is about to level up. And Nora and Barry got to spend some quality Daddy/Daughter time.

You know you’re in trouble when Mark is the voice of reason. Both he and Caitlyn miss Frost, but he’s willing to let her go. Caitlyn refuses to. Frost was once a part of her and is now like a phantom limb that she can feel but not touch. Caitlyn’s determination to get Frost back overrides Mark’s valid arguments that her last resurrection attempt was an utter failure and that if this was a good idea, she wouldn’t hide it from the rest of Team Flash.

Instead, Caitlyn plays on Mark’s pain. He can have a future with the woman he loves... if he’s just willing to help Caitlyn. The temptation eats at his resolve. He agrees on the condition that Caitlyn guarantees their success. A doctor should know better than to make that promise and as a scientist, he should know better than to believe her. However, they are both so desperate they’re willing to overlook the fact that this is not likely to end well.

Meanwhile, Chester is honored that Central City’s Finest has requested his expertise. He’s less than thrilled when he realizes a bomb that could have killed dozens of people was made with the technology he developed. After arguing that not all Chester’s inventions should be shared a few episodes back, Allegra now talks him off the proverbial ledge. After all, supervillains don’t normally evacuate their intended victims or warn the Fire Department. She may have been right about this instance, but it appears not everyone’s intentions are as benevolent Wookielover77.

This brings us to the central story of the episode. Iris has disappeared and Barry is desperate to find her. So desperate that he begs the woman who tried to wipe her out of existence for help and follows a god into the unknown.

Barry should know by now that Joe is always right. Lord knows Joe wants to find his daughter. So, if he says Deon’s plan doesn’t pass the smell test, maybe Barry should listen. Deon didn’t need anything other than the sensor to find what he was looking for. And he certainly didn’t need to bring Nora into the Still Force. Was that to help Barry as he claimed, or did he want to trap her as well? That said, I have a hard time believing that Deon is evil.

My favorite part of the episode was the interactions between Barry and Nora. Talking about her career. Sharing stories about Wally. Even Nora suggesting that Barry focus on Iris’s brush. They were the small familial moments that solidify their relationship and bring a needed dose of reality to the insanity that is their lives.

Their jaunt through the Still Force is proof of that. It also left me with more questions than answers. I was glad to see that Renee was alive. I have faith Barry will find a way to return her to Tinya. I also wasn’t surprised that Taylor’s quest to discredit Allegra will continue. Color me curious about what Taylor claims “they have a right to know.” Although I imagine whatever it is will be taken completely out of context. Is Vanya as Editor-In-Chief a possible future or the definitive one? How is the isotope that Deon put inside Iris just floating in mid-air? And why did Deon need it so badly? I’m not even going to touch on the metaphysics of how the Still Force works or why Barry and Nora were able to escape. It makes my head hurt.

What I was struck by was the emphasis this episode placed on self-doubt. Allegra's admonishment for Chester to have faith in himself was closely followed by Nora stating that heroes should trust themselves even when everyone tells them they're wrong. Yet, Joe was right about Barry going into the Still Force. And there is a high probability that Chester’s inventions are about to be used for malevolent purposes. All of which makes the message just a wee bit muddled.

My only problem with this episode is that after spending a season and a half setting up Iris’s temporal illness, they undercut the stakes by having Barry state he knows she’s okay. It was bad enough that Nora was able to confirm she was safe in 2049. At least that could get fan-waved away by all the timey-wimey stuff. It was a nice moment between Barry and Joe, but it’ll make it much harder for The Powers That Be to create a satisfying payoff for this storyline.

Another solid episode. But with only five episodes left, I wish I felt like the show was building towards a conclusion rather than setting up more questions to be resolved.

3.5 out of 5 traveling hairbrushes

Parting Thoughts:

I know this is a superhero show but have they never heard of chain of custody? In what world could Chester take evidence to his lab? Oh, yeah, right.

Love the hints at Bart and Nora’s futures. I’m also wondering who is Max. Is this another comic book reference I’m unaware of?

Sabertooth tigers in Central City. When they said the past, present, and future exist at the same time they weren’t kidding.


Chester: "The town is quiet, no alerts, no crisis, just sweet, sweet, silen--"
Cecile: "Barry, what’s wrong?"

Mark: "You can process losing Frost in whatever way you need to, but as far as all this is concerned... count me out."

Deon: "Sorry about the mess."

Nora: "Shark Stadium erupted in cheers after XS's heroic save. Even without Impulse, her partner in crime-fighting, who was too busy partying to answer his alerts!"

Chester: "Oh my God, I'm a supervillain."
Allegra: "You're one of the good ones. So have a little faith in yourself."

Nora: "Maybe it's our belief in each other that keeps us connected just as much as the other stuff."

Joe: "What in the world? Barry, Nora, what are you two doing in my living room?"

Mark: "So... if we do this, I need you to promise me one thing, that we won’t fail."
Caitlyn: "We won’t. I promise."

Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, the supernatural, and anything with a cape.


  1. "Max" probably refers to Max Mercury, a speedster who raised and trained Bart in the comics and is known as "The Zen Master of Speed".

    1. Thanks Gary. I love my comic book shows but I'm not up on all the lore. That was/is my brother's department.


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