The Flash: Back to Normal
April 27, 2016 9:23 AM - Season 2, Episode 19 - Subscribe

Running faster is presently off the table.

It turns out that last week was not, in fact, part of any sort of gambit: Team Flash just gave Zoom Barry's powers. Zoom's plot-mandated cellular degeneration is gone, though he still streaks blue like a Velocity addict. It's unclear why his powers are still magnified.

The villain of the week isn't so lucky. Griffin Gray thinks Harrison Wells-2 is is Harrison Wells-1/Thawne, and demands a cure for his own degenerative illness from Wells. Gray helpfully provides Wells the very finest tools out of a children's chemistry set available for sale at the gift shop of an abandoned amusement park.

Other events include:
* Jesse realizing she actually loves her dad after all, even though he is still crazy scary, thus leaving her Earth-1 roommate hanging out to dry about rent.

*Wally decides that the best way to thank a depowered and traditionally privacy-concerned Flash is by demanding a meeting with him.

* Rather than looking for a cure or even toilet-deprived incarceration, Team Flash decides the best thing to do about Gray is simply taunt him into killing himself via over-punching, perhaps inspired that time Homer Simpson was a boxer.

* Caitlin is finally given something to do: she teams up with Killer Frost, which should have been the very Best Thing Ever. Instead, Frost decides to betray her, just in time for Zoom to murder Frost with her own icicle. Zoom threatens to kill the man in the mask if Caitlin tries the escape gambit again.

* Zoom decides to conquer Earth-1 because hey, why not? (It's unclear what he was doing running around Earth-2 now, for that matter: he doesn't return with loot or stories about people he hurt. Probably, Earth-1 is more interesting for him anyway.)

AV Club Review
posted by mordax (27 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
It turns out that last week was not, in fact, part of any sort of gambit: Team Flash just gave Zoom Barry's powers.

Yeah, I was way wrong about this, but in my defence: it's dumb.

Could the villain of the week sound any more Canadian? I haven't checked yet, but I'm guessing he is.

"Every time he exerts himself he accelerates his ageing."
"Oh, so if we explain that to him he could lead a relatively norm-"
"Let's get him to age himself to death, yeah."
posted by ODiV at 9:28 AM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


So... Barry killed Griffin Gray...

And it appeared he only survived through the power of post-editing.
posted by FallowKing at 9:40 AM on April 27, 2016


Yeah, I was way wrong about this, but in my defence: it's dumb.

To be fair, I was *really* hoping you were right. Or that, bare minimum, they would spend the whole episode working out how to get Barry's powers back, because Wells is right: it's only a matter of time before Zoom gets bored and murders all of them just for the lulz.

If nothing else, they just wasted Chekhov's Tachyon Harness - Thawne spent all of last season using that thing to temporarily regain super speed. With the harness, Thawne was even able to temporarily exceed Barry's normal power levels despite lacking a proper Speed Force connection. It seems like Barry could've done something similar. That wouldn't beat Zoom, but it's a safe bet he could've contained Gray.

(I'm pretty sure they knew Thawne was doing this - he flat out said someone could use the tachyon harness to 'become invincible' when he stole it in the first place. Dude enjoyed toying with them too much - they should generally know about his best shenanigans in retrospect.)
posted by mordax at 9:47 AM on April 27, 2016


I didn't watch last week's episode based on Metafilter's almost universal hatred of it, but I did watch this week's. Are there two personalities fighting inside Jay/Zoom? And hasn't enough happened to Caitlin that she might be suspicious of Killer Frost's deal?

I don't accept Jay Garrick as a villain. That's not the Jay Garrick I grew up reading about.
posted by wittgenstein at 10:42 AM on April 27, 2016


Are there two personalities fighting inside Jay/Zoom?

His eyes went black last time and he talked briefly about 'the darkness.' So, to answer your question, no clue.

And hasn't enough happened to Caitlin that she might be suspicious of Killer Frost's deal?

I gotta let Snow slide on that one. I was hoping for a legit team-up too.

I don't accept Jay Garrick as a villain. That's not the Jay Garrick I grew up reading about.

He's actually Hunter Zolomon masquerading as Jay Garrick to screw with the general populace of Earth-2. Much as I hate to admit it, watching the last episode is probably important to understanding anything that's going on right now.

Or, if you need a sanity buffer, read a recap or two. It's insanely complicated, and I'm speaking as someone who enjoyed S1 a whole lot. The whole thing is pretty nutty, even leaving aside how little sense Team Flash's actions make.
posted by mordax at 11:05 AM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


I can't even with the plot of this show, but damn if I don't freaking love it. Next level suspension of disbelief is imperative for anyone watching this. It's just the best.
posted by the webmistress at 1:06 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just really wanted Joe to give Wally a dressing down. He was acting like a baby. "But I wanna talk to him. Waaaaaaa!!!"

I really wish people on this show would start talking to each other like they would in real life--or at least some semblance of it. "Look, you idiot, Flash is depowered. It's dangerous for him to be out and about in his eye-catching red suit without his ability to move at lightening speeds. He sacrificed himself for you, isn't that enough? No? Fine. Give me your message and I'll try to pass it along. Done."
posted by sardonyx at 1:19 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


I didn't watch last week's episode based on Metafilter's almost universal hatred of it

IMHO, we're into "so bad it's good" territory here. I haven't had this much fun watching a bad show since... well, since yesterday when I watched the most recent episode of Legends of Tomorrow. But before that it was Terra Nova.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 1:26 PM on April 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


But before that it was Terra Nova.

Hahahaha! We need a Terra Nova rewatch thread when we run outta CWDC stuff.
posted by mordax at 1:52 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Maybe I'm expecting way too much from this show but wouldn't Barry and Cisco explained what code they used to communicate with the masked prisoner when they debriefed the rest of the team? I mean they (especially Cisco) love to explain things and talk about how clever they are, so why would they have skipped over the nerdy, geeky code-breaking parts.?
posted by sardonyx at 5:13 PM on April 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've had problems with this show, but these recent episodes are just terrible. This is upsetting to me because, for me, this show wasn't an "enjoying it because it's bad" thing, I genuinely have liked it a lot. Except for a few things which have been like fingernails on a chalkboard to me (I'm looking at you Barry-slash-Iris). So I'm kind of pissed-off at how dumb and boring this has been.

I'll tell you what, though: they sure are lucky they cast Tom Cavanagh in this role(s).
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:31 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is it just me or was Barry standing there getting punched hardly distinguishable from the way he'd stupidly stand there and get punched by slow people back when he still had his powers?

He's lost his powers, but he's still the Flash we know and (?) love.
posted by straight at 11:40 PM on April 27, 2016


it's dumb.

So is re-creating the particle accelerator explosion.
posted by Mezentian at 7:04 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Season 3 is definitely going to feature lots of Barry Guilt over the new additional random metahumans that he's personally responsible for creating with his new particle accelerator explosion. What better excuse to give powers to Wally, Earth-1 Caitlyn, E1 Dante, E2 Jesse, E1 Hunter/Jay (if he exists), Hartley, and/or more of the Rogues?
posted by nicebookrack at 7:14 AM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Season 3 is definitely going to feature lots of Barry Guilt

Since Guilt has just become a sentiment character over on Arrow, I don't think there's enough guilt in the Arrowverse to go around on The Flash.
posted by Mezentian at 7:20 AM on April 28, 2016


I don't accept Jay Garrick as a villain. That's not the Jay Garrick I grew up reading about.

Clearly you went into this show with far too much expectation.
posted by numaner at 7:36 AM on April 28, 2016


No nickname for this week's Metahuman!

I nominate: Grumpy Old Man
posted by Sparx at 3:12 PM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Team Flash decides the best thing to do about Gray is simply taunt him into killing himself via over-punching.

I mean, this was just dumb. They found blood on the van. He's not invincible, he's just super strong. If you're going to murder the poor bastard anyway, just shoot him in the face and go home.

For such a mensch, Barry kills a lot of people.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:13 PM on April 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


Remember when he saved Caitlin th...

Oh wait, that was Zoom.
posted by ODiV at 6:33 PM on April 28, 2016


Also, Caitlin was able to help Jay with his speed induced metabolic breakdown. Why exactly can't they help Grumpy Old Man? Fucking GrimDark Wells can't even be bothered to try. Take the poor bastard to Star Labs and run some tests, asshole!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:36 PM on April 28, 2016


"If you'd just bothered to ask for my help instead of wrecking my car, kidnapping me, and stupidly assuming I'm the guy who did this to you..."

or

"Me stalling for time so you sit here watching me dilute this stuff instead of running around using the super-strength that takes you another giant step closer to the grave every time you exert yourself? That was me giving you the best cure you're going to get. Now stop killing yourself and blaming it on me."
posted by straight at 8:50 PM on April 28, 2016


Did we all notice that Jay/Zoom/Hunter gives his bathroom-less charges better food than the Star Labs Big Belly Burger diet?
posted by Mezentian at 11:50 PM on April 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


I just really wanted Joe to give Wally a dressing down. He was acting like a baby. "But I wanna talk to him. Waaaaaaa!!!"

I did not have that initial reaction since I assumed Wally wasn't fully in the know, that he assumed Flash somehow retained or regained his powers or... something. Once he thanked him for it I was retroactively annoyed at Joe for not saying "I bet the best thanks would be to leave him alone for the moment; if I have contact with him again I'll pass on your thanks" AND I was cheesed that Wally is now so fucking stupid that he doesn't say "hey if you have no powers how are you here in the suit and doing the voice thing?"

Then when Flash walks out of sight he could have yelled "I know you're just hiding back there! You can't speed away! Don't worry, I'll leave now so you can skulk away unobserved. K bye thanks again!"

I can only assume this whole nonsense was just to let us wonder if this was going to be how they finally revealed to Wally that Barry is the Flash. Oh is Barry going to walk out now and Wally will be all like hey I thought I was meeting the Flash and then Barry is like you ARE and then Wally will be like all WOAH but then Barry says Well I mean you WERE because I am not-or wait should it be you ARE but I WERE no wait that's not right ow grammar is hard and then they'd laugh and finally really be brothers.
posted by phearlez at 1:18 PM on April 29, 2016


Did we all notice that Jay/Zoom/Hunter gives his bathroom-less charges better food than the Star Labs Big Belly Burger diet?

Except apparently the man in the iron mask needs no bathroom, since he has no way to eat or drink either?
posted by oh yeah! at 4:34 PM on April 29, 2016


I can only assume this whole nonsense was just to let us wonder if this was going to be how they finally revealed to Wally that Barry is the Flash. Oh is Barry going to walk out now and Wally will be all like hey I thought I was meeting the Flash and then Barry is like you ARE and then Wally will be like all WOAH but then Barry says Well I mean you WERE because I am not-or wait should it be you ARE but I WERE no wait that's not right ow grammar is hard and then they'd laugh and finally really be brothers.

The thing is, I'm sure the writers would have loved to write a scene like that for this episode, but they've got a chart somewhere that says "Episode X.X - Wally finds out Barry is the Flash" and so they can't do that thing that would make total sense because it isn't Episode X.X yet, so they sit there asking themselves, "Well, what can we do with these characters?" and the answers they come up with that still fit with the chart aren't very good.
posted by straight at 10:18 PM on April 30, 2016


Wondering about the masked man's bathroom situation is fair, but I had questions about Caitlyn and Killer Frost's incarceration, too. Like, for one, how does Caitlyn end up dirty and increasingly disheveled after less than 24 hours, while Killer Frost has hair products and green lip gloss to reapply as needed on an indefinite basis.

Also, was Caityln's meal Big Belly Burger? I am interested in franchise rights. That place is everywhere.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:44 AM on May 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I loved Joe getting all of the funny lines in this ep. There were three or four I counted, but the best two were, "So what... he just needs to up his blueberry intake?" and "'Cause they crazy."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:45 AM on May 2, 2016


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