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REVIEW: The Flash 2×19 “Back to Normal”

Good to see we felt the need to stall for time this week as nothing truly important was actually taking place. I mean “Back to Normal” was an average episode by the standards of any other tv show, but by the standards of The Flash it just wasn’t there. I mean everyone was mopey or uninspired in their goals, even our villain though sympathetic was not quite at the level we have come to expect from the average Flash episode. I was really hoping to see some more effective fallout from the events of last week, yet the team seemingly didn’t care at all that Zoom can now come and go as he pleases. At least last year when we were forced to stall we had some somewhat interesting developments with the characters. This one it’s not like our team or our information that we had on our villain actually grew in any way.

So first thing is first, Hunter went from zero to crazy in like no time fast at all. I mean not only has he killed Killer Frost, whist by the way sucks hard because she was actually fun to watch on occasion, but he has decided his grand plan is to conquer as may earths as he possibly can. Normally I am cool with the whole take over the world thing, but trying to make a girl maybe fall in love with you is crazy banana pants even for Zoom. I mean shouldn’t Hunter be more worried with the whole dying thing or has Barry’s speed completely negated this problem for the time being. I also kind of want to see just how bad Earth-2 got in the interim as Barry closed the portals for sometime and kind of left Zoom all by his lonesome to murder everyone. I mean show, don’t just tell me the world has been conquered by Zoom and his henchmen.

Similarly, watching Caitlin team up with Killer Frost was kind of underwhelming to say the least. I mean we did get some slightly enjoyable backstory as both Caitlin and Frost bonded over having shitty mothers and their mutual cold personalities. But other than that this really added nothing to the entire story besides killing off Frost, which once again was a waste of a character who was at least slightly compelling. Cripple her, make her run as fast as she possibly can knowing she could never out run you, but don’t just kill her. That manages to take all the fun out of not only Frost but also some of the joy of knowing a little bit more about Caitlin. It was still fun seeing Danielle Panabaker put on her best Wentworth Miller performance as the ice cold Frost. I hope our Caitlin somehow ends up back as a meta or at least something cool happens to her.

As for the main storyline watching Barry mope around about not having his powers is not as interesting as the writers think it is. Especially when we have already dealt with this storyline before with Blackout and it felt played out then. I did appreciate Barry actually having to slightly be a CSI this episode since we rarely get to see him do his actual job, but the way in which he dealt with Griffin was extremely uninspired and the team didn’t really assist in any way. I mean we brought back Jessie to do something I am pretty sure Cisco would have figured out on his own. Also, to have Jessie out think the entirety of team Flash kind of dilutes the abilities of the team as a whole. I mean why even keep Cisco, Caitlin, and Harry around if Jessie can do everything they can do and better.

The only part of the episode that worked for me in any way despite being supremely heavy handed were the interactions between Griffin and Wells. Sure was it on the nose to compare what happened to Griffin to Wells’ creation of Zoom? Probably, but hell if Tom Cavanaugh didn’t sell the absolute crap out of the entire thing. I mean he is at least somewhat conflicted about creating an absolute demon in the form of Zoom and for him to want to try to make a mends in anyway shows how remarkably different Harry has become from even when he first appeared. Hopefully this new found humility will manage to humanize Harry in a way we have not seen before.

Overall it was a lackluster episode, but hey it was better than most things usually are.

Final Grade C-

+Wells admiring his faults

-Griffin was a boring villain

-Zoom’s master plan is really uninspired

-Killer Frost is dead

-Jessie being so op

-Barry being a sad sack

Extra Thoughts

-Hey, Wally thanked The Flash. Still not enough for him to do.

-Killer Frost pointing out how gullible everyone on Earth-1 is may be my favorite little joke of the night.

-No matter how let down by the episode I was, watching Zoom shank Killer Frost was a great visual.

About the author

Scott Swartz