The Runaway Dinosaur
While Barry is trapped in another dimension with the speed force – who appears to him in the form of his loved ones offering an important life lesson a la the wormhole aliens from Deep Space 9 – the team at STAR Labs struggle with the fallout from the accelerator explosion. While Wally walks away from the blast just fine, Jesse is trapped in an inexplicable coma, and Girder reanimates as a mindless zombie intent only on finding Iris. Cisco is able to locate Barry within the speed force, but they won’t let him return with his powers until he learns the lesson they’re trying to teach him. The gist is that the speed force wants Barry to accept the death of his mother and embrace the power they’ve given him. The episode title refers to a book that Barry’s mother used to read to him as a child. Barry finally realizes that everything in his life – even the death of his mother – has happened for a reason and has resulted in the gift of his powers and beyond. Barry returns with his powers to defeat Girder and awakens Jesse with his new instinctual understanding of the speed force.
Here is where The Flash is very clever about setting up expectations for its deeply knowledgeable comic book fan base. They know we know Wally West is one of the many incarnations of the Flash in the comic books, so they set us up with the expectation that when Wally is hit with the speed force wave that he will develop those powers. Joe acts as our surrogate, also expecting that maybe Wally has been endowed with the power of the speed force. To test this theory, Joe drops a coffee cup expecting Wally to instinctually use his speed powers to catch it. Of course, Wally doesn’t move at all to try to catch the cup from across the room and is only left confused as to why Joe would behave so strangely. Iris is merely annoyed that Joe intentionally broke a mug that she gave him as a gift.
Iris and Barry
Iris and Barry are in a very confusing place in their relationship right now, and nothing really gets resolved in this episode other than they reestablish how much they mean to each other. It’s Iris who brings Barry home, in the end, the call of her voice that pulls him back from the speed force. He tells her that he doesn’t know what’s between them, or where they go from here, but that she means everything to him.
Zoom has rounded up a plethora of meta-humans from Earth-2 to help him conquer Earth-1. Its kind of scary how many there are – definitely more than enough to fill the entirety of season three. Jay tells Caitlin that she has to make her choice – that she can leave if she wants, but if she does he will show her only as much mercy as he will show her friends. Or she can stay – which considering the army of meta-humans and Zoom’s determination to destroy her friends, may be more help if she could gain Jay’s trust and work from the inside to take him down.
[Image by The CW]