- "I think we just time traveled."
"For real? So we gonna party like it's 1998?"
- —Cisco Ramon and Chester P. Runk
"The One With The Nineties" is the sixth episode of the seventh season of , and the one-hundred-thirty-ninth episode overall. It aired on April 6, 2021.
|Cisco and Chester travel back in time and get stuck in 1998, repeating the same day over and over again. The key to returning home is at Chester’s childhood home but he refuses to visit. Meanwhile, Iris forges a connection with the speed force.|
While Barry is in a self-induced coma to heal and rest, the Speed Force, in the form of Nora Allen, tells Team Flash the story of how it/she was attacked by two of the Forces of Nature, in the form of Fuerza and Psych. Chester tells the team that he has devised an isotope detection system that will allow them to find the Forces. Chester and Cisco go to Masonville to place amplifiers, since the detection system only works in close proximity, when a wave of energy hits them. Cisco and Chester are now in 1998.
Meanwhile, Iris gets to know and understand the Speed Force as a person, by taking her to Barry and Iris's apartment. It admits that it did not consider Barry's feelings when it took the form of his mother. Iris reaffirms for the cosmic being that looking like Nora is a good reminder to Barry of his mother's love.
Realizing when they are, Chester and Cisco change their motif to blend better and track the time-manipulating Force to Masonville High School. Originally, they think the water boy is the Force, but, when he is freed of the time bubble mentally, a time loop is re-created and everyone relives that day. Chester, who had the sensor, was immune to the change; he forces Cisco from the bubble mentally by having him remember the future.
By finding a copy of the Masonville Gazette, Chester and Cisco learn that everyone is stuck in the fourth of December; this hurts Chester because on December 5, 1998, Quincy P. Runk, his father, died. The duo has a more immediate problem: with the sensor broken, if the time loop comes again, they will not remember who they are and will be stuck as well. Going to a tech store, Chester learns that Quincy bought the last part needed and is refusing to relinquish it. Chester confronts Quincy, but does not reveal his identity or future knowledge. After Chester learn how much Quincy loves his son, Quincy helps him to rebuild the sensor.
Returning to the high school, Chester and Cisco are confronted by football player, Deon Owens, a wielder of a Force of Nature. He knows that they don't belong in 1998. Deon is so angry that he pulsates an energy wave that goes all the way to 2020. The wave affects the appearance of Frost and others and allows a Tyrannosaurus rex to frighten Natalie when she leaves work. Caitlin traces the disturbance to Masonville; Team Flash realizes that Cisco and Chester must stop this new threat.
Chester explains to Deon that his time-manipulating will not change a fixed point in his own timeline, no matter how many times he tries. Deon acquiesces, but plans to bother the future instead of the past. He frees everyone from the loop.
Returning to S.T.A.R. Labs, Team Flash has a meeting with Barry included. Cisco names the Forces of Nature based on his observations.
The Speed Force is invited to spend the night in Barry's apartment. Barry says that it is fine, but frowns when his wife walks away.
Joe tells Frost that Kristen Kramer is after her.
- Grant Gustin as Barry Allen
- Candice Patton as Iris West-Allen
- Danielle Panabaker as Dr. Caitlin Snow and Frost
- Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon
- Danielle Nicolet (credit only)
- Kayla Compton (credit only)
- Brandon McKnight as Chester P. Runk
- Jesse L. Martin as Captain Joe West
- Gabriel Gbeneyei as Teen
- Michael Taylor as Kevin
- Pavia Sidhu as Grunge Girl
- Sam Krochmal as Parker
- Tess Atkins as Natalie
- Randall Hua as Jock
- Zavien Garrett as Reggie
- As Natalie is talking to a friend, when a loud noise is heard and the coffee is giving off ripples and sees a T-Rex, which is the same thing happening at the first Jurassic park movie, as a T-Rex is walking over towards a car.
- The episode title is a reference to the episode title format used in the American sitcom Friends.
- This is the second Arrowverse episode to use the title format from Friends in the name of the episode. The first was the episode "".
- In Masonville, there is a billboard of "Murray Motors", which is a likely reference to the actor Bill Murray, who starred in the 1993 time loop film Groundhog Day, a nod to the episode's premise.
- Chester asks how can he and Cisco return to the present without a "DeLorean or a hot tub," referencing the movies Back to the Future and Hot Tub Time Machine.
- When Chester faces his father, he uses the fake name "John Boyega" which is a reference to the actor of the same name.
- Hints of the Reverse-Flash leitmotif can be heard when Iris and the Speed Force talk about the night Barry's mother was murdered.
- Cisco brings up Turtle 2.0 and references how the original Turtle was his elusive "white whale" search; he jokes that getting sent into 1998 is a form of revenge against him.
- When Cisco's memory is temporarily reset to what it was in 1998 by a time loop, he says he's 7; Chester states Cisco is currently 30, meaning Cisco's birthday is in the latter half of the year (as its currently mid-2020 in-universe) and that Cisco was born 1991.
- Frost picks up knitting as a hobby and learns Kramer is after her.
- Frost mentions Norvock brought her stuff out of storage for her, revealing their friendship is still intact Post-Crisis.
- The damage the Still Force is causing in 2020 is similar to the anachronisms the Legends caused in "" and subsequently dealt with from "" to "".
- When Cisco realizes he and Chester are stuck in Masonville in the past, trapped within the city by an invisible barrier, he says they've been "Under the Domed", referencing the Stephen King novel Under the Dome, and the TV series adaptation of the same name.
- When Cisco gets his memory back, he says that Parker was going all "Get Out" on him and Chester. This is a reference to the 2017 film 'Get Out', when Andre warned Chris to leave the Armitage household.
- Each member of Team Flash has their clothing changed to a different era as the Still Force time bubble gets more chaotic.
- Posters for Why Do Fools Fall In Love?, Fallen, Practical Magic and Sphere are seen when Cisco and Chester walk by the Blockbuster video store. All four films were released in 1998.
- Cisco states that the Still Force works like Turtle 2.0's powers. However, the Still Force works in reverse, as Turtle 2.0 could accelerate or steal time from targets to age them to death.
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