The Flash ‘Back to Normal’ Recap – Episode 02.19

Flash - Back to Normal
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Back to Normal

Without his speed and with Caitlin taken away to Earth-2 by Jay, Barry is at a loss as to how to proceed with life and crime fighting. Harry, angry and frightened about how things turned out, tracks down Jesse to try to protect her from Zoom. Jesse still wants nothing to do with Harry, but when Harry is turned away he is kidnapped by a super-strong meta-human named Griffin Grey. He mistakes Harry for the Earth-1 Wells and demands that he cure him of his condition, which causes him to age every time he uses his super strength. Griffin is obviously not the brightest meta-human in the multi-verse since he seems not to have noticed the correlation between using his super strength and his subsequent aging – since, if he had, he might maybe just have stopped using his super strength and stayed young. But whatever, he wants to be cured. Barry breaks out his CSI skills and with Jesse’s help identifies Griffin and tracks him down. Their first encounter ends with Griffin’s escape and Barry being injured, but the connection between his super strength and aging is clear and the team develops a plan to lure Griffin into using his super strength and using up his remaining youth. Barry’s suit is upgraded with some dwarf star alloy acquired from Felicity Smoak and if designed to take a single major hit from Griffin. They locate Harry and provoke Griffin into a confrontation, allowing him to age himself into submission. They save Harry, Harry and Jesse make up, and Harry decides to help Barry get his speed back by creating another particle accelerator explosion. Meanwhile, on Earth-2 Caitlin his held captive by Jay who has decided to keep her until she learns to love him again. Caitlin strikes a deal with Killer Frost to help each other escape, but Killer Frost betrays her as soon as she’s released. Jay arrives just in time to save Caitlin and kill Killer Frost. Jay decides to take Caitlin back to Earth-1 so he can conquer it, saying that he’s been limiting his definition of success by how many people he’s killed when he should expand to worlds conquered.

Caitlin and Jay

It’s really frightening how often Caitlin is kidnapped by male beings who develop feelings for her. And it’s understandable that Caitlin inspires this reaction since she is an extraordinary and compassionate person. But this happens a lot to her, and perhaps one of the most extraordinary things about Caitlin is the strength she has to keep opening up to people despite constant heartbreak and betrayal. After everything, she believes in people and their basic humanity. Jay, on the other hand, is absolutely insane and the crazier he is the more fascinating he is to watch. I mean, he is really scary. And maybe the most striking thing is the contrast between the bland, unthreatening Jay Garrick we know and the crazy-eyed speed freak serial killer Hunter Zolomon. In retrospect, there was something weird and kinda creepy about how ordinary he seemed. I always thought it was just a product of the vintage era from which Jay Garrick originated or the steampunk futurism of Earth-2 – that kind of anachronistic manner a la Steve Rogers, like a man out of time. But no, I think he was just working really hard to cover up the crazy. Anyway, he’s on his way back to Earth-1 to conquer everyone, because he’s tired of killing people one at a time.

Harry and Jesse

Jesse ran away because she couldn’t handle the burden of being the cause of the murder her father committed. Harry admits that he just snapped when she was taken because she’s the only other person, besides his dead wife, that he loves in the world. They make a compromise – that Harry will be a father that Jesse can be proud of if she never runs away again.

Of course, Harry’s abduction allows for Jesse to become a new member of the team, putting her five college majors to good use helping STAR Labs locate and save her father. It would be good to get to know more about Jesse Wells since up until now she’s been a fairly neglected character beyond being the main motivating factor for her father’s actions.

Wally

Wally has lived a pretty reckless life, but when he was kidnapped by Zoom, for the first time in his life he really thought he was going to die. So when the Flash saved him – because someone the Flash cares about cares about Wally – it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that that someone is Joe. So Wally asks Joe to set up a meeting with the Flash, so that Wally can thank him for saving his life, for giving him a second chance to live a better life, and that he doesn’t intend to waste it – especially considering what the Flash gave up to save Wally. At first, Joe says he can’t make it happen, but when Wally tells him why he needs to thank the Flash, Joe sets it up. Barry is obviously mourning the loss of his powers, but Wally’s gratitude and his new lease on life means a lot to Barry and ultimately confirms he made the right decision when saving Wally.

 

Back to Normal Without his speed and with Caitlin taken away to Earth-2 by Jay, Barry is at a loss as to how to proceed with life and crime fighting. Harry, angry and frightened about how things turned out, tracks down Jesse to try to protect her from Zoom. Jesse still wants nothing to do with Harry, but when Harry is turned away he is kidnapped by a super-strong meta-human named Griffin Grey. He mistakes Harry for the Earth-1 Wells and demands that he cure him of his condition, which causes him to age every time he uses his super strength. Griffin is obviously not the brightest meta-human in the multi-verse since he seems not to have noticed the correlation between using his super strength and his subsequent aging - since, if he had, he might maybe just have stopped using his super strength and stayed young. But whatever, he wants to be cured. Barry breaks out his CSI skills and with Jesse’s help identifies Griffin and tracks him down. Their first encounter ends with Griffin’s escape and Barry being injured, but the connection between his super strength and aging is clear and the team develops a plan to lure Griffin into using his super strength and using up his remaining youth. Barry’s suit is upgraded with some dwarf star alloy acquired from Felicity Smoak and if designed to take a single major hit from Griffin. They locate Harry and provoke Griffin into a confrontation, allowing him to age himself into submission. They save Harry, Harry and Jesse make up, and Harry decides to help Barry get his speed back by creating another particle accelerator explosion. Meanwhile, on Earth-2 Caitlin his held captive by Jay who has decided to keep her until she learns to love him again. Caitlin strikes a deal with Killer Frost to help each other escape, but Killer Frost betrays her as soon as she’s released. Jay arrives just in time to save Caitlin and kill Killer Frost. Jay decides to take Caitlin back to Earth-1 so he can conquer it, saying that he’s been limiting his definition of success by how many people he’s killed when he should expand to worlds conquered. Caitlin and Jay It's really frightening how often Caitlin is kidnapped by male beings who develop feelings for her. And it's understandable that Caitlin inspires this reaction since she is an extraordinary and compassionate person. But this happens a lot to her, and perhaps one of the most extraordinary things about Caitlin is the strength she has to keep opening up to people despite constant heartbreak and betrayal. After everything, she believes in people and their basic humanity. Jay, on the other hand, is absolutely insane and the crazier he is the more fascinating he is to watch. I mean, he is really scary. And maybe the most striking thing is the contrast between the bland, unthreatening Jay Garrick we know and the crazy-eyed speed freak serial killer Hunter Zolomon. In retrospect, there…
Episode Score - 7.5

7.5

Barry struggles to fight crime without his speed. Harry is kidnapped by a meta-human who wants to be cured of his condition. Jesse joins the team to rescue her father.

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About the Author

Bethany Lewis
My cinema education started when, at three years old, Charlie Chaplin's "The Gold Rush" became my earliest memory of cinema. Since then, I've been obsessed with film and television, learning more about it, analyzing it, researching it, and experiencing different kinds of it. After getting my BA in Theater, I went on to get my MFA in Film Studies. I now spend my free time watching and writing about movies.
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