"Enter Flashtime" was more or less a standalone episode of The Flash. Yet the show still managed to cram a lot of action and important moments into a story that had very little to do with the season-long plot of The Thinker. "Enter Flashtime" not only saw the return of Jay Garrick, Jesse Quick and the Mystery Girl, but set up the future of the series.
At the end of the hour, Jay Garrick announced that he was retiring, yet his Earth would still have a Flash. Jay was going to train a new female speedster to take over his mantle. Based on the comics, there are multiple speedsters who could be Jay's replacement but, on the show, the identity of this Flash has to be the "Mystery Girl."
The Next Generation of Speedsters
Since her introduction in the "Crisis on Earth-X" crossover, the Mystery Girl has been an adorable carrot that The Flash has dangled in front of the audience. Almost nothing has been confirmed about her, other than she exists. However, everything about her appearance and personality suggests she's related to Barry and Iris.
There's precedence for this in this in the comics, as rather famous characters from The Flash's history include Dawn Allen, Barry and Iris' daughter, and Jenni Ognats, their granddaughter, both of whom have traveled from the future. There's even more obscure future relatives like Sela Allen, who comes from even farther in the future than Jenni or Dawn. Yet no matter who the identity of the Mystery Girl ends up being unveiled as, she's almost certainly the woman that Jay wants to train as his replacement.
It's possible the speedster Jay was teasing will be a completely new character. It's just very, very unlikely, bordering on impossible. The Flash has spent so much time building up to the Mystery Girl and not revealing her that they're not going to introduce yet another new mysterious female character. In addition, the fact that Jay mentioned he was training a female speedster and The Flash went directly into a scene with the Mystery Girl is highly significant.
It's true that Jay lives on another Earth and the Mystery Girl seems to be a resident of Earth-1. However, the Mystery Girl has an uncanny ability to be everywhere she needs to be and could easily travel to another Earth. In fact, Mystery Girl's knack for always showing up out of nowhere almost confirms she's a speedster of some kind.
All the writing on the wall is there for The Flash to go forward with Barry's father's doppelganger training Barry's future relative. Yet it's not only a story that The Flash can adapt, but one that they should.
The Return of the Flash Family
After overloading on speedsters for three seasons, The Flash has "course-corrected" in the exact opposite direction. It's a wasteland of Speed Force users on The Flash. Wally has moved to Legends of Tomorrow and while it was great to have Jesse back for "Enter Flastime," it's not setting her up for another recurring role. "Enter Flashtime" almost functioned as a goodbye to Jesse's character. It's understandable as actress Violett Beane is quickly becoming one of Hollywood's hottest young actresses, appearing in everything from FOX's The Resident to movies and even landing her own pilot on CBS.
The Flash Family is hemorrhaging members but the idea of Jay Garrick training Barry's future relative could fix that. Jay's best use as a character on The Flash has been as a mentor. As cool as it looks to have Jay Garrick running side-by-side with Barry, the character is far better used as Barry's speedster teacher, forcing Barry to slow down, not speed up.
John Wesley Shipp does an extraordinary job making exposition seem emotional and interesting. The dynamic with Jay as Barry's speedster guide just works. Not only does Jay look exactly like Barry's dearly departed dad, Jay has also been in the speedster game far longer than Barry. Jay is a lot wiser about how the Speed Force works and about life. Anytime Jay is on-screen there's a wonderful push and pull between teacher and student.
By training the Mystery Girl, The Flash can have Jay do what he does best, teach. It'll also keep him close to Team Flash and Barry. If the obvious becomes true and the Mystery Girl is related to Barry and Iris, The Flash obviously won't push her to the side. She's going to be involved and if Jay's training her, he'll be along for the ride. It's the best of both worlds, literally.
It's going to be weird, definitely, but The Flash manages to find real heart in the bizarre. There's a very small chance that Jay and the Mystery Girl won't be aligned but that would be a huge mistake for The Flash.
But what do you think? Is the Mystery Girl Jay's trainee? Should she become the new Flash of Earth-2? Do you think the show lacks speedsters or is it best when Barry is alone?
(Image courtesy of The CW)