This season has been a difficult one for The Flash. Barry (Grant Gustin) believed he was destined to die during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and when he did not, that was obviously cause for celebration -- but it also meant that everything that had happened up to that point was about to be upended. Also, the Speed Force was severely damaged during the Crisis and Barry, as result, has a very limited amount of speed left before the Speed Force, and thus Barry's powers, are totally depleted. Not willing to let The Flash fade from view because of this, Barry and his team have decided that they will create an artificial Speed Force.
The plan is to use Nora West-Allen's (Jessica Parker Kennedy) journal as a jumping-off point, and with the ticking clock of the Speed Gauge created to measure Barry's remaining Speed Force energy, Team Flash will be working hard to get the hero back up and running -- no pun intended. But it is not going to be easy, and not everyone will be on the sdame page in this week's episode.
"Barry will have the Speed Gauge that Cisco and Caitlin developed to register how much energy he is using and make sure he is not wasting his speed, but in the meantime this artificial Speed Force isn't going to come together as quickly as we would like it to," Gustin explained. "And when they eventually do find a way to get it to work, it comes with a pretty big sacrifice for the team."
What is that sacrifice? Well, for anybody who really wants to feel hopeless, consider that the star also said that Joe West gets "harmed" during an encounter with Rag Doll (played by contortionist Troy James and voiced by Phil Lamarr), and that "the dynamic of the West family and Team Flash is going to be altered for a while because of what happens with Joe and Rag Doll."
Luckily, while "sacrifice" on a superhero show often sounds like "death," it seems unlikely that is the case here, since Gustin also said that the fallout from the battle with Rag Doll will "affect the show moving forward for while." That "for a while" is probably key, since Team Flash is such a tight-knit family at this point that any capital-S sacrifice would likely impact the show more or less forever.
The Flash returns with new episodes tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, followed by a new episode of DC's Legends of Tomorrow.