The Flash Season 2 Episode 19 Review: ”Back to Normal”

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After sacrificing his speed to Zoom last week, Barry has to deal with being a regular human again in this week’s episode of The Flash as a new and dangerous meta-human comes for Harry Wells.

I was really impressed to see Caitlin getting to meet her Earth-2 counterpart, Killer Frost, as it was really hard to know how it was going to turn out. Seeing Danielle Panabaker playing double duties was really neat and fun since it has been a while since an Earth-1 character met their counterpart on Earth-2. While I knew it would never happen, a part of me kept imagining that at some point, Frost would kill our Caitlin and somehow make it back to Earth-1 and disguising herself as their Caitlin. Instead, we get to the disappointing moment where Zoom kills her, even though I get his reasons since she tried to kill Caitlin. As we have been seeing several female characters being killed off lately on TV, it definitely got more than annoying that they had to kill Killer Frost off.

It just feels like they are throwing away so many potential arcs with her by doing so and in addition to that, one of the show’s very few female villains. I know that this show can use the Multiverse and that we may very well meet a new Killer Frost soon enough. However, you can’t keep using that box too many times and introduce too many versions of a character. So while it is a bummer that we lost her, hopefully the Killer Frost legacy is far from over on the show. Hunter continues to get creepier by every second that goes by and it wouldn’t surprise me at this point if he actually does something really horrible to Caitlin as an act of “love” – to show her that if he was like her, that they could be together.

Back on Earth-1, we get introduced to a new meta-human by the name Griffin Grey, who is a The Flash character from the Bart Allen lore, and while I was expecting him to just be another one-off villain of the week, he actually left an impact. His powers were a curse in this situation as the more he used it, the older he got. Although did anyone else at one point just think that he could have solved that problem if he hadn’t, oh I don’t know, not used his strength? Unless I missed something, it felt like he was being portrayed as a villain that, because of his lack of brightness, pretty much sabotaged himself.

I actually felt sorry for him most of the time because while we have seen heroes and villains come out of the particle accelerator explosion; there have been few instances when there have been just simple victims that didn’t take one side completely.  Also, he served as an obstacle that wasn’t too difficult to defeat for Barry as he was without his speed this week. The only thing that confused me at the end was when it looked like he had aged so much that he actually died, but then suddenly he was back to his 18-year old looking self – what was that all about? I never saw him take the cure that Harry did for him, which even Grey said wasn’t anything that would help him, so how did he do that ?

There was also a lot of great character development in “Back to Normal” as Jesse and Harry’s relationship got to a stronger point while Wally finally got to meet The Flash. The more she is on the show, the more I am enjoying Jesse Quick and I wouldn’t actually mind if she got bumped up to series regular for Season 3. While it has gone a little fast – no pun intended – in the pacing of their relationship, I’m glad that Harry and Jesse got past their issues as it was time to wrap that up. Cavanagh killed it in that moment because for the first time in a long time, we got to see an emotional side of Harry without him being his witty and sassy self.

Wally’s desire to want to meet The Flash and thank him for saving him twice was really sweet and also a very nice parallel to when Roy wanted to find the Arrow back in Season 1. I like how well Wally’s progression has been since he joined the show in the second half of the season as he is going away from those rough edges and growing closer with his sister and father. I do hope however for some more Iris and Wally scenes coming up. Speaking of Iris, who had the best one-liner of all time when Jesse was humble-bragging about having five majors in college, I’m glad that she is being included more on the team lately. While we know it is coming, seeing the small steps that the show is taking to bringing her and Barry together, is warming my heart every week.

The episode has two major endings as Zoom decides to go even more psycho with what he is doing while Harry offers Barry the most surprising way ever to get his speed back. I’m mixed about Harry’s idea to cause another particle accelerator explosion because it depends completely on how they will do it. Is he just going to build one that is big enough for Barry or is it going to be a similar one from Season 1 that could potentially affect the whole city? This could cause the birth of more meta-humans, which can be both good and bad, but at the same time feel like an “easy” solution to Barry’s issue. I always expected that they would have his speed come back to him through his connection with the Speed Force, if they are basing it on the recent versions of it from the comics.

I have to see how it plays out next week to have a bigger opinion on Harry’s plan. But overall, “Back to Normal” was a solid follow-up to last week’s episode of The Flash and it was nice that Barry didn’t actually get his speed back so soon after just one episode. After how they dealt with it from the events of “Enter Zoom”, I was a little worried that they would go a similar route again by having his speed be back already.

The Flash airs on Tuesday nights at 8/7c on The CW.

[Photo: Katie Yu/The CW]

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