Let’s start out talking about tonight’s episode, “Into the Speed Force” by addressing a bunch of Jesse Quick stuff! It sure seems like Jesse Wells takes a lot of crap from the men in this episode. Barry benches Jesse right at the beginning of the episode instead of having her help him locate Wally, who has been lost in the Speed Force. On top of that, HR insinuates—in so many words—that Jesse is not as capable a speedster as the Flash. But rather than being a deterrent to Jesse’s character, both instances strengthen her resolve and push Jesse into proving that she is easily as capable as any of her male contemporaries.
There is also the added bonus of this episode of The Flash strengthening her relationship with HR, which is a really unique and interesting development on the show.
The Flash has done a lot to flush out Jesse Quick’s character. The woman that actress Violett Beane is playing on the show is a big divergence from her comic book character (I actually wrote an earlier column on Jesse Quick that you can go and learn more from!), and one of the best developments has been her burgeoning romantic relationship with Keiynan Lonsdale’s Wally West.
Honestly, the couple—who have been dubbed QuickWest by fans—is one of my favorite aspects of the show. WestAllen—that is to say, Barry and Iris—is a couple with a lot of weight on their shoulders. Barry and Iris are an iconic couple in DC Comics continuity that stand among the likes of Lois and Clark, Selina and Bruce or Karen and Mal. We always knew going into The Flash that they were destined to wind up together. In some ways, that makes QuickWest so much more exciting!
Wally West and Jesse Quick have such limited interactions in the comic books that literally anything could happen as they develop together. There is a real sense with QuickWest that the relationship did develop organically—or as organically as the relationship of two fictional characters on a major television show can feel! Although it does seem that every possible reason for Wally and Jesse not to be together has been thrown their way, the idea that they are willing to wait for the right time and work their damnedest to be together is truly powerful. As the two youngest members of Team Flash it is sometimes surprising to see them face adversity with such maturity.
However, the happy ending still seems to be elusive for QuickWest, with Wally determined to take some time away from being Kid Flash at the end of “Into the Speed Force” and Jesse going to Earth-3 to replace Jay Garrick as that world’s speedster. Fans of this couple, like myself, seem doomed to wait (until at least the end of the third season of The Flash) to see the couple together.
In this same episode, Cisco introduced the idea of a tether back to Earth-1 for someone inside the Speed Force. While, in this incarnation, the tool is a working piece of science, it is very similar to a less tangible concept from the Flash comics. Wally West has a habit of getting stuck in the Speed Force, and he has used a focal point in order to return back to present day. The most recent time this happened was during the Rebirth event that restored the classic red-haired Wally West to DC Comics continuity. This device is referred to by Wally as a “lightning rod” in keeping with the lightning theme that is prominent in Flash mythology.
Traditionally, Wally’s lightning rod has been Linda Park.
Now, we’ve seen Linda on the show previously (played by Malese Jow), and she was a love interest of Barry Allen’s very briefly. In the comics, she was in love with Wally, and Wally was able to focus on his love for Linda and the strength of their relationship in order to ground himself and fight his way back to the world.
Given the fact that Wally does have a penchant for getting lost in the Speed Force and we know, based on what happened at the end of “Into the Speed Force,” that he’s likely to have to go back in as part of a rescue mission to free Jay Garrick, there could be a chance that this idea of a more ephemeral lightning rod will make its way into The Flash. Who else could represent that same connection for this onscreen version of Wally West than Jesse Quick?
Now, I know you are thinking that there’s a chance this same idea is more likely to be applied to Barry and Iris. It certainly could. However, their relationship certainly seems to be in a rocky state right now, and if that were the case, why have Cisco develop a mechanical device to tether Barry back to Team Flash? To this Flash fan’s eyes, the love is clearly stronger in the QuickWest camp.
Ashley V. Robinson covers The Flash as a part of the #DCTV Couch Club. You can find her on Twitter at @AshleyVRobinson and on the Jawiin YouTube channel. The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW.