Spoilers roasting over an open fire…
It’s time for the mid-season finale with a holiday theme on The Flash 2×09: Running To Stand Still. There’s a few storylines to cover, but underneath all the Christmas-themed snappy comebacks there’s a bit of heart in this week’s episode, although not exactly a merry one. The Weather Wizard, Mark Mardon (Liam McIntyre) is back. He’s not one of the Flash’s most charismatic villains, yet he’s responsible for actually destroying Central City. Well, in a past timeline that is. He’s also the object of the Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten) justice/revenge quest as he took her father’s life. That particular aspect is what made this episode turn from a Christmas caper to a soul search.
The other storyline is Iris West (Candice Patton) reveal of the son that Joe (Jesse L. Martin) didn’t know he had with his estranged ex-wife Francine. To be fair, Iris does get a couple of scenes, but then it’s all on our Detective West. It’s interesting that Joe decides to give his father’s watch to Barry. Then again, he didn’t expect to meet his son so soon. Wally West is played by Keiynan Lonsdale. It appears he’ll become a regular later on. The name should be familiar, he’s become a speedster and taken the mantle of The Flash in the comics. If that is supposed to happen here, we have no clue yet.
The overall conflict is brought by the Weather Wizard freeing up two of Flash’s particularly troublesome enemies: Leonard Snart aka Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and James Jesse aka the Trickster (Mark Hamill). Leonard secretly pays Barry a visit (yeah this guy knows Barry’s identity, yikes) acting very prissy but revealing at least the intent of the other two criminals to take out the Flash. The Weather Wizard is all power, he can even fly now, but very to zero charisma. That’s supplied by the Trickster although Hamill’s performance comes across more as a cameo.
On their footsteps is Patty Spivot, who is making big strides in her detective work to be one step ahead of the Flash. They arrive at once to a place that could potentially be the Trickster’s hideout to encounter a trap. The Flash manages to save her, but you keep thinking there’s a ton of opportunities here for Barry to just reveal who he is to Patty. By the time they go against the Wizard and the Trickster well… I know it’s diabolical to hide bombs in Christmas presents but as far as ideas go it’s cheesy-diabolical. Of course, it’s time for the STAR Labs team to pull their weight as they create a way to magnetize the bombs into one of the Earth-2 breaches. Wait, what? How does that make sense whatsoever? Why would the bombs be on the only thing attracted? How can the attraction be so overwhelming that the bomb-presents are wrenched from the interior of all houses… Ok, you get the idea.
The scene that I wanted to see is Patty finally confronting Mark Mardon. To do that, she brings that Boot device that Cisco created for the anti-meta special unit. However, she uses it on the Flash so she can kill Mark without his interference. This is a moment in which I fully expected Barry to unmask, but nope. Instead, he manages to talk her out of it. It’s believable. Shantel VanSanten does justice to her character, given her personality some depth without losing her charm. It almost makes her grow up a little more.
Great episode that I wish would’ve given Patty and Iris a little more screen time. There’s a little Zoom epilogue at the end where it’s revealed that Jesse (Violet Beane) is still in the clutches of the evil speedster. What’s more, now she’s been used to blackmail Harrison Wells into helping increase the speedforce for the Flash – just so Zoom can steal it from him.
- I did enjoy the Patty Spivot fall and rise, as she trades revenge for her life and doesn’t let one bad guy become her fall. It made for a strong character and some great acting by Shantel VanSanten. However, I also expected Barry to come clean about being the Flash. Perhaps now that Patty is ready to talk about her past, Barry should talk about his present.
- The Wally West reveal is a story in progress. We don’t know anything about this character or how similar to his comic counterpart he will be. The cast is growing though.
- As it was obvious, Harrison Wells the Second has been keeping something from the STAR Labs team. Zoom, who wants to fatten Barry up in power just so the payoff when he steals the Speedforce from him is even sweeter.
- Low score for the Weather Wizard, so he has to bring two more baddies. In all honesty, the Trickster was more about wit than mischief. Instead, Captain Cold just basically stayed away from it all, save for warning Barry in his usual threatening way.
- The solution to the bomb-gifts is to find one and turn it into a magnet while throwing them into a dimensional breach. What is holding the first bomb from being attracted by the larger mass of the others? Not to mention that Wells somehow comes up with that idea without seeing any of them. Here’s a better solution. If bombs can be triggered remotely, let’s disable them remotely – or at least disable their detonation via remote. But I guess that’s not as Flash-y as an explosion.
- The Zoom semi-cliffhanger at the end was easily predictable. Odds pretty much stay the same, but we’re still watching.
- Until next year, Team Flash!
That will do for now.