Say what you will about the CW and it’s shows, in regards to its hero stories, they always end midseason with a bang. For me, last years “The Man In The Yellow Suit” was the best episode of that season. This years “Running To Stand Still” was easily one of the best episodes to come from Season 02, but it did have some drawbacks.
The premise was very intriguing, as Weather Wizard returned to try and kill Flash, but as he noted, 3-on-1 was much better odds. So he tried to recruit Trickster and Captain Cold to help out. This led to a rather odd interaction, as Captain Cold rejected the offer, then decided to let Barry in on what they were up to, after a fashion. Barry calling out Cold as “honorable” was a bit of a stretch. This was more like him evening the scales with Flash after what happened in “Family of Rogues”. Once again, the CW is setting the table for Legends of Tomorrow, but this was an odd way of doing it.
Moving on, what this did allow was a two-pronged attack from Weather Wizard and Trickster, and when they were on screen, it was awesome! Note the words…when they were on screen. Trickster (played by the amazing Mark Hamill) got the most screen time, which I totally approve of, but it seemed like they tried to dial up the Joker meter a bit by his ideas and dialogue. True, they noted in “Tricksters” that he did kill a lot of people, but it still felt a little odd.
Then, there’s Weather Wizard, who barely got any time outside of a few scenes. Which is sad, because Liam Macintyre is a great actor, and Weather Wizard is a key member of the Rogues, but he just didn’t get enough time to show his style. His prison break was EPIC, but then he got beaten WAY too easily later on.
Feel a low score coming on? Not so fast, there were plenty of other things to keep this episode going, and like many good episodes of The Flash, it was all about characters. First up, Iris revealed to both Barry and Joe about Wally West. What followed were very heartwarming scenes, including another instantly classic Joe line in “I promised I would give this to my son…and now I have.” *sheds tears*.
Also though, Patty got some interesting plots involving Weather Wizard. It was great to see her shift in personality to reflect her “nemesis” coming back to town, however, some of it felt really forced. Most importantly, how did she expect to kill Mardon…when he has superpowers…and she has a gun? Yeah, and “conveniently” having that device to stop Flash? Yeah, little forced. Thankfully, Barry, as usual, saved the day and the scenes with his chat with Patty, it’s clear she’s going to learn about Barry’s identity soon, and it was great him showing his wisdom (or should I say his FATHER’S wisdom) and using it to keep Patty out of jail.
I also want to give a shoutout to the numerous comedic scenes in the episode. The instant classic being “Every Earth has Godfather, Vito”. And the lovely, “I’m seeing someone”, “Me too”. I’m glad they haven’t lost their sense of humor in a rather grim season so far.
But truly, and ironically, the best parts of the episode featured HW E-2 and Zoom, who not only started the episode in amazing fashion, but ended it with some confirmation we’ve been needing. Zoom CAN absorb the Speed Force, which is no doubt how Jay doesn’t have his powers. AND, Zoom wants Barry to get faster so that he can still his Speed Force too, and Harry is going to help in order to “save” his daughter. Dun dun dun!!!!!!!
“Running To Stand Still” had some faults, but the simpler moments honestly made it better. With new members of the cast arriving (Wally West!!!), and new alliances forming, things might just turn around for Flash Season 02.