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The Flash – S2E21- The Runaway Dinosaur

Previously on The Flash, “Rupture”

I wanted to love this episode. I wanted to love this episode so much that I told myself I loved it before I even watched it. And then I watched it. And I didn’t love it.

Thankfully, the gang becomes aware that Barry isn’t dead fairly quickly. It wouldn’t have done well to watch them mourn for any real length of time when we knew he’d return at the end of the hour. Cisco is able to vibe Barry, and Wells figures out that Barry is stuck inside the Speed Force. When Cisco goes into the Speed Force to pull Barry home, Barry looks at his friend, and then turns his back on him as he’s decided to stay. The Speed Force told Barry that if he left with Cisco, he’d be doing so without his powers.

Images: The CW

The Speed Force told him?

Yup. The Speed Force took the form of familiar places (Barry’s childhood home, the waterfront where he first kissed Iris, his mother’s grave) and familiar people (Joe, Iris, Henry, and finally Nora Allen) to communicate with him. They literally offered him several seats until he was able to admit that he’d never come to terms with deciding not to save his mother last year. For this, I loved the episode. I just re-watched the first four episodes of this season and was struck by the fact that we never saw Barry have one conversation with anyone close to him about seeing his mother again, speaking to her, and then letting her die. That’s pretty heavy stuff. I should have known that just like we didn’t get to see Iris mourn Eddie early in the season because they had plans to address it later, they were doing the same with Barry. However, why now?

Why did the Speed Force decide now was the time to hold Barry and his powers hostage until he worked through his baggage? How has his unresolved feelings towards his mother’s death (the second one) affected him being The Flash, attempting to catch Zoom, etc.? It hasn’t. Barry didn’t lose his powers because of it. He lost them in a noble act. So why now? Why is the Speed Force being such a dick? And if it has that kind of power, why doesn’t it tell Zoom to go sit his ass down somewhere?

If this is Barry’s doing – like if he’s suffering some kind of mental block – that’s equally senseless because, as I said, we’ve not seen this going on at all.

I wish the silliness ended there, but it didn’t. Wally and Jesse were hit with the dark matter and she lies in a coma – like Barry – while Wally seems just fine and goes home. He’s informed that “Barry is gone,” but if anyone elaborates beyond that, we don’t get to see it. What he knows and doesn’t know is either vague or unaddressed. What’s certain is that he still, for some unknown reason, doesn’t know that Barry is The Flash. For some unknown reason, Iris is perfectly fine treating her brother the same way she was treated – and hated – last year.

Girder rises from the dead, still strong and still an asshole. He’s retracing his steps in the last days of his life because reasons. This means he’s chasing Iris around town until the team can figure out a way to stop him, but all plans fail. Suddenly, Cisco remembers that he didn’t “lose” Barry in the Speed Force as he’d said earlier. He realizes that the look on Barry’s face meant he didn’t want to come back. Thanks for figuring that out conveniently late, Cisco. Iris connects with Cisco when he vibes a second time, and this time Barry has worked through his feelings and is ready to come home. Once Girder is taken care of, Barry instinctively knows he needs to touch Jesse’s hand for her to wake up, which fit right in an episode where things seem to happen simply because they need to.

Even the moment I’ve been waiting for since season one fell flat. I’ve always thought Grant Gustin and Candice Patton had ridiculous chemistry, but even though Barry’s words to Iris were everything I’ve wanted to hear, their chaste hug afterwards was bizarre, and felt clunky and out-of-place.

If there’s been one highlight of the stupid Zoom <3s Caitlin storyline it’s been Caitlin’s absence. Everything about the team (when Henry isn’t making demands like he didn’t dip out on his son after 15 years in jail – you don’t even go here, Henry!) really gels. Iris, Cisco, and Jesse have shown they work great together and combined have the talent and resources to be vital members of the team. Now that Henry has decided to stay in town, why do we really need Caitlin? He’s a medical doctor and can fill that void. There were a few positives in this episode and Caitlin being gone was one of them… until the stinger showed her arguing with Hunter about calling her Cait (Girl, bye.) and him giving her an ultimatum: be with me or die with your friends. He says this just before rallying a team of meta-humans who look like really bad cosplay at a con.

Other positives include the performances. Grant Gustin’s chemistry with Michelle Harrison, who plays Nora Allen, is insane. They’ve only had one scene together prior to this episode, but they’ll make you believe they are mother and son. And Gustin can cry like no one’s damn business. And The Flash is finally using Candice Patton to her full potential, showing Iris as a capable and funny addition to the them. She and Carlos Valdes play off of each other wonderfully. I want a web series with the two of them solving small cases using their collective skills.

When I compare this episode to where we were at this point in season one, I wish it had done a better job of building the momentum and tension going into the finale in two weeks.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this review had the actor who plays Cisco listed as Carlos Valdez. His name is Valdes.

The Flash S2E21 = 7.9/10
  • 6/10
    Plot - 6/10
  • 8/10
    Dialogue - 8/10
  • 7.5/10
    Action - 7.5/10
  • 10/10
    Performances - 10/10
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About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on Amazon.com for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

6 Comments on The Flash – S2E21- The Runaway Dinosaur

  1. FOR THE PODCAST:

    This is the one time that I am somewhat speechless about an episode and this is not a good thing. I usually have a bunch to write about the episode itself, but I found myself unable to think of anything to write half way in. I always feel like The Flash can’t outdo itself but I am always proven wrong except this time. It’s like I tell the show “y’all were amazing this week and I don’t know if y’all can top this” and they say “Oh yeah? challenge accepted and let me snatch dem edges while I’m at it” and while I liked this episode because it was emotional, my edges weren’t snatched. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t TWD levels of shit. It was just blah.

    Anyway, Barry was great. Can he get an emmy? Forserious. Everyone was great and they always are. This was more or less the same of “regular” flash episodes so what did Kevin James do other than be there? And who wrote this and why do they want to hurt me? I just don’t know what to really say about the episode. This may not make sense but it felt like a comic book show this episode. It wasn’t fun.

  2. I was just really put off my Barry talking to “the speed force.” And if the “force” can choose people, why doesn’t it just leave zoom’s body or something? Do y’all think Caitlin will choose jay or the flash team? Also, so is Wally not a speedster or maybe it’s going to manifest later? I think Barry was somehow able to revive Jessie through interacting with the speed force inside her. I’m wondering that Barry now has “communed” with the speed force, is this how he will he able to beat zoom? Like call the speed force out of him or something? Idk guys just trying to make sense out of nonsense

  3. FOR THE PODCAST
    This was an interesting episode
    It was a different take on the speed force.
    I liked how it looked visually and the psychological aspect of Barry regaining his power and accepting his past
    I also like the contrast between the dark more somber themes of the speed force and the lighter more jovial feel of the rest of the episode
    The Girder storyline was meh
    WestAllen felt like the producers were treading softly trying not to upset any segment of the flash fans

    My question is are they really giving Jessie powers but Wally gets to go home empty handed?

    Can’t wait to hear the podcast

  4. FOR THE PODCAST

    I liked it but I guess I was expecting to be blown away. I’m confused by the speed force stuff but as usual Grant Gustin brought it. I’m always emotional when he has scenes with his mom.

    Loved any scenes with Iris & Cisco or Irisco and I saw on tumblr. They really play well off each other and it’s just straight funny. Plus I love Cisco so much! Cisco + Iris just makes it fabulous!

    Lmao over that scene with the West Family and Joe sounding like he’s about to give Wally the puberty speech or something. But why didn’t they just tell Wally that Barry is the Flash? Like Iris saying Barry is gone has no bearing on what was happening at Star Labs without the Flash context. I just don’t get it! Wtf is the point in dragging this out? I don’t understand. Makes no damn sense! And is he a speedster or not?

    While the show is still copping out on giving us full on physical WestAllen, I did love how Iris basically pushed Henry out the way cause she knew Barry would respond more to her. Loved the scene at his Mom’s grave. Loved the speech he gave. It was great. Loved the handholding. But why the hell wasn’t there a kiss? I don’t mean they need to rip each other’s clothes off or anything. Just a sweet kiss to seal it with. Ugh! It’s frustrating and ain’t nobody got time for that!

    I’m getting long winded. Sorry. Ok, I can’t wait to hear the podcast. Btw, is it me or was there more chemistry in that clip from next week between Zoom & Laurel than there has ever been between him & Caitlin? And can she please choose evil! Please!! Cause otherwise they really don’t need her.

  5. FOR THE PODCAST: Hey Nina and Donald (please never fight again) and hey John! It seems like this was a polarizing episode but I really liked it. It gave me some iconic WestAllen lines “We never had anyone who was just right for us” “Come home to me” “You are everything to me” and I just die whenever Barry has to interact with his mom. Grant plays it so well. I also liked Zombie!Girder cause I like that actor and it was one big iZombie joke for me. Question: We are truly near the end and I do not see how this is all going to shake out. We’re getting alternate Earth Laurel next week. It feels like they’re introducing more when we should be winding down and getting answers. What’s you guys’ predictions for how the season ends?

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