If you’re familiar with the comic books, then you’re aware that the idea of The Flash losing his powers is something Barry has to deal with on a couple of occasions. Losing, regaining, and increasing his speed are common issues he struggles with throughout the books. Back To Normal touched on that subject with Barry having to adjust to a normal life after giving up his powers to Zoom in the previous episode. But as he deals with the feeling of being powerless, The Flash is desperately needed in Central City as crime rises as more criminals become aware that he’s missing. And with a new villain on the loose, Barry has to suit up again to take him on without the use of his speed.
Picking up after Versus Zoom, Barry has to deal with the loss of his speed and adjust back to being a normal person again. But Griffin Grey, a metahuman with super strength that accelerates his aging whenever he uses it, forces Barry to suit up after he kidnaps Wells and holds him hostage in exchange for a cure for his condition. Barry and the rest of the team go after him as best as possible, and eventually put together a plan to force him to use his strength up to age until he’s no longer a threat. Reflecting on the decisions made last episode, Harrison Wells assures Barry that he will work to help him regain his speed by setting off another particle accelerator explosion. Meanwhile, Caitlin tries to free both herself and Killer Frost. After finally setting Frost free, Frost turns on Caitlin. Zoom kills Frost and saves Caitlin and threatens to do the same to the man in the mask if Caitlin tries to free him as well.
What I liked
First off, the acting was incredible in this episode. The scenes with Wells and Jesse in particular were brilliantly performed. There’s a chemistry between the two that makes their relationship believable. Jesse brings out a side of Wells that is barely shown to other characters. Harrison shows a vulnerable side to Jesse that he wouldn’t dare show anyone else if he could help it. She keeps him grounded and connected to others. Without her, there is no telling what he would be capable of. The episode addresses this with how Jesse reacts to knowing her father took a life in order to save her. The two patch things up in the end, and Jesse becomes somewhat of a official member of Team Flash moving forward.
Wally’s quest to meet The Flash to thank him for saving his life was also a plus. It shows that Wally is finally growing as a character, and is headed towards possibly becoming more aware of Iris and Joe’s activities with the Flash. It’s a step towards him becoming more like his comic book counterpart. And with another particle accelerator explosion happening soon, there’s a chance he could be affected by it as well. We’ll have to wait and see how his character develops. Hopefully, he continues down the path of becoming whom he is suppose to be next season. (Being extremely vague for non comic book readers)
What I disliked
There were only a few things to dislike about this episode. The villain was mostly not the main focus of the episode. It mostly dealt with Wells repairing his relationship with Jesse, Wally trying to convince Joe to set up a meeting with him and The Flash, and Barry adjusting to not having his speed. The villain was basically replaceable. A villain of the week approach after the episode we received last week felt a little off. It possibly could have worked better with a familiar villain The Flash had faced before rather than a new one.
Also, there seemed to be less concern about Caitlin’s safety throughout the episode. She was mentioned a few times, but there wasn’t a scene in which anyone showed any true concern about Zoom holding her captive. It seemed like Barry was more bummed out about not being able to use his super speed to cut line at the coffee shop than Caitlin’s kidnapping. This could have been because the team believes Zoom wouldn’t hurt her and would keep her safe, but it still feels odd regardless. Speaking of Caitlin, what was Killer Frost’s motivation for attempting to kill her again? It just seems a little irrational that she would considering how Caitlin was trying to help both of them escape. And knowing that Zoom cares about her at that moment, Caitlin would have been more beneficial as a hostage to threaten him with in order to escape. I know I’m searching for logic in a murderous killer with ice powers, but it just seems off for her to comment on how she figured out how much Caitlin means to Zoom right before trying to murder her.
But the thing that bothered me the most is that Barry did not have a back up plan after giving up his speed to Zoom. I was certain he wouldn’t give it up without a plan to defeat him later. But it seems he truly did just give up to Zoom. If it wasn’t for Wells offering his idea of how to bring back his speed, Barry would have just lived a normal life. It was a little disappointing, but the news that there will be another particle accelerator explosion justifies his power loss. Not only could the story use it to make new metahumans, it’s a nice little homage to the Flashpoint comic in which he tries to regain his powers as well.
This episode of The Flash felt like filler. It added very little to the main storyline, but an episode of Barry adjusting to not having his powers is needed in order for him to make a comeback. And while not a bad episode, and definitely not a boring one, it served minor story purposes within the last stretch of this season. The finale of The Flash is closer than ever. The next few episodes really need to count in order to give this season as big of a send off as the first season had. This episode was decent, but just didn’t fit in between the episode before and after it where the stakes are much higher. But at least the next episode seems promising.