‘The Flash’ Recap: The Runway Dinosaur

The Flash -- " The Runaway Dinosaur" -- Image: FLA221a_0109b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Last night’s episode of The Flash, “The Runaway Dinosaur,” begins where the last episode left off – with the team recovering from the particle accelerator simulator explosion and Barry’s subsequent disintegration. Joe and Wells find Wally and Jesse unconscious in the hallway. They revive Wally, who appears unscathed, but Jesse is in a coma, although she is breathing. Henry is distraught over the loss of his son. Joe pulls him together so he can use his skills as a doctor to aid Jesse. Cisco vibes on Barry’s suit and catches a glimpse of Barry trapped inside a vortex.

Suddenly, Barry, alive, wakes up in his old room. His house appears normal, but very still. He comes downstairs to see Joe, in his officer’s uniform, looking over a crime scene. It seems Barry has been sent back to the day after his mother was murdered. We learn that Barry is not actually seeing Joe but the Speed Force itself, taking the form of Joe so not to shock Barry too severely. Barry wants to get back to his friends and save his city, but the speed force tells him he cannot leave until he catches a mysterious blurred speedster running around outside.

Cisco tells Wells he saw Barry trapped in the middle of a vortex. Wells confirms that Barry is trapped inside the speed force. Henry demands that Wells get Barry back, but Wells does not know how. Wells spends most of his time at Jesse’s side, who remains unconscious. Joe tries to calm Henry down so he can focus on helping Jesse.

Henry tends to Jesse as Iris and Cisco watch. All of Jesse’s vital signs are normal, but she is not waking up. Iris remembers that is just how Barry was after the original particle accelerator explosion. Henry asks if there are any records on Barry that they might be able to use to help Jesse. Cisco and Iris find these records in the morgue, where they soon encounter a reanimated Tony Woodward/Girder (Greg Finley). Zombie Tony still has the ability to change his body into metal. The zombie is very disgruntled and trashes the lab before bursting out a wall and escaping in the night. Cisco and Iris tell Joe, Henry, and Wells that Tony has been reanimated. Joe convinces Wells to help them stop Girder and let Henry take care of Jesse.

Barry runs around outside trying to catch the blurred speedster, but with no luck. The environment looks like normal outdoor Central City, but the colors are muted and the scene feels very still. Barry encounters the physical embodiment of the speed force again, this time as Iris. They meet at the bench where the real Iris and Barry first kissed. The speed force chose the location and the image of Iris so it would be less upsetting for Barry. Barry is still mad they will not let him leave. He explains that his friends, city, and the whole world is in danger because of Zoom. The speed force tells Barry they had given him the wonderful gift of speed and he rejected it. Barry defends his actions, saying he sacrificed his powers to save another. He was a hero. He nearly killed himself trying to get them back. He then asks why the speed force gave him his powers if they would rather have given the powers to someone else. The speed force explains that they gave Barry his powers because he is the Flash.

Girder rampages through town, destroying a car in a Big Belly Burger parking lot. Meanwhile, at the lab, Cisco and Wells create a feedback loop around the new particle accelerator machine that Barry disintegrated inside. When Cisco vibes on Barry, a new device Wells created will send Wells the data he needs to pinpoint Barry’s location inside the speed force. The device will electrically stimulate Cisco’s prefrontal cortex, allowing Cisco to physically manifest inside the speed force and act as a beacon to guide Barry home. Wells turns on the device and Cisco is able to transport inside the speed force. Cisco sees Barry trapped inside the vortex and calls his name. Barry faintly hears Cisco’s voice while still on the bench talking to Iris. Cisco sees the vortex while Barry still sees Central City. The Barry inside the vortex turns toward Cisco, as the Barry in Central City moves toward a tornado formed by Cisco’s presence. Barry asks the speed force if it will let him go. It says he is allowed to return, but he will not have his powers. So Barry chooses to stay. The Barry inside the vortex turns away from Cisco before Cisco is thrust back in our world.

The team tracks Tony’s rampage through the city by using Cisco’s metahuman-tracking app. Iris watches Tony trash Jitters. Joe is curious why during his rampage, he only chooses to go inside Jitters. Henry relates Tony’s rampage to a man he knew in prison. The man escaped from prison but was quickly apprehended because he immediately went to his girlfriend’s place. The team thinks Tony is searching for his girlfriend. Iris realizes that Tony does not have a girlfriend and is most likely looking for her. Tony tried to ask her out once before, inside Jitters, but she rejected him. Iris figures Tony is slowly making his way to her house. She proposes to use herself as bait to lure Tony back to STAR Labs so Cisco and Wells can kill him once again.

Inside the speed force, Barry is lead to a graveyard. The speed force now takes the form of Henry. Barry is insulted that the speed force thinks he rejected his gift. He tries telling it how many people he has saved and what he has sacrificed. The speed force knows all of this but also knows Barry has never been to his mother’s grave.

Joe and Iris wait at their house for Tony. Wally brings the two of them coffee. Joe tries to subtly, yet awkwardly, ask Wally if he feels any different after the particle accelerator explosion. Wally does not understand the question. Joe tries to trick Wally by purposely dropping his coffee mug to see if he will catch it. The mug breaks on the ground and Wally says he feels fine. Iris is annoyed Joe broke a mug she had given him as a gift, but soon Girder arrives. Iris rushes outside and catches Girder’s attention. He begins to follow her and Iris coordinates with Joe to meet her back at the lab.

At Nora Allen’s grave, the speed force asks if Barry has truly accepted losing his mother. They think Barry has not been to her grave because seeing the grave will mean her death is real. Barry still blames himself for choosing his life over his mother’s. He does not think anyone can be truly at peace with that decision. The speed force does not think his mother would have wanted him to die for her, especially at the cost of the countless lives he has been able to save as the Flash. Barry refuses to listen and continues his pursuit of the blurred speedster.

Iris and Joe find Cisco at the lab. They tell him that Tony is in close pursuit. When Girder arrives, he steps into a machine Cisco created. It  should disrupt his brainwaves and wipe his mind clean. But the machine is too weak, and Girder manages to break out of the electromagnetic waves.

The speed force leads Barry back to his home. This time, it takes the form of his mother, Nora Allen (Michelle Harrison). The speed force recognizes that Barry is exhausted by life. Barry accepts he has not and probably never will accept his mother’s death. The speed force tells him he needs to find a way to accept it. Barry needs to learn he cannot outrun all the tragedies the universe throws at him, and once he accepts that he will truly be able to run free. Barry misses his mother too much. The speed force tells Barry that his mother misses him. Her actual essence is telling it she misses Barry and is proud of the man he has become.

The team locks themselves deeper inside STAR Labs. Girder rapidly breaks down the door, which the only thing separating him from the team. Iris is willing to act as a lure again, but Joe does not let her. Cisco realizes he couldn’t get Barry to come out of the speed force because Barry did not want to leave.

Nora (the speed force) begins to read Barry a favorite book of his from when he was a child. Barry takes over telling the story to the speed force. The story is about a little dinosaur and his mother. The moral of the story is that the little dinosaur is unique and has a mother who is perfect for him and will always love him no matter what. The speed force tells Barry he is finally ready to leave. The blurred speedster stands in front of Barry. He is easily able to catch the figure. The figure is revealed to be Barry as the Flash. Barry soon looks down at himself, and he has become the Flash again. His powers are fully restored.

Back in the lab, Iris agrees to go with Cisco into his vibe. She thinks she will be able to bring Barry back. The two vibe inside of the vortex and Iris spots Barry. She calls his name and Barry turns to her. Barry is able to reach out and grab Iris’s hand. Iris pulls Barry out of the speed force and back into the lab. The team is overjoyed to see him, but Cisco soon reminds everyone, and informs Barry, that Girder is about to kill them. With his speed, Barry uses Iris to lead Girder away from the others and back toward the electromagnetic machine. Barry spins around Girder, distracting him and supercharging the machine at the same time. The machine turns on and kills Girder.

After the chaos has settled, Barry joins the team at Jesse’s side. He touches her hand, and a jolt of the speed force shoots inside Jesse. Moments later, she is revived and seemingly fine. The team, especially Wells, is incredibly relieved. Iris and the team wonders if Barry knew that he would be able to revive Jesse like that. Barry explains he just had a feeling.

Henry double checks his son’s vital signs and everything comes up normal. Barry tells his father he finally sees his way of thinking. Barry finally accepts fate and understands everything happens for a reason. Good or bad, all the things that have
happened have made them the men they are today. Henry tells Barry that he plans to stay with him, here, in Central City.

Barry and Iris visit his mother’s grave. Barry realizes he has wasted a lot of time being angry. Barry finally tells Iris she means everything to him. The two embrace.

In the abandoned CCPD, Zoom has uncuffed Caitlin. He asks her one last time if she will join him. Caitlin initially refuses. Zoom says that she has two options: stay or leave. If she leaves, he will kill her with the same ferocity he plans to kill her team. So Caitlin stays and thinks as Zoom addresses a crowd of metahumans. Zoom and his followers plan to attack the city shortly.

A very fun aspect of this episode was that it was directed by Kevin Smith. Kevin Smith is best-known for his View-askew universe and the characters of Jay and Silent Bob (Clerks, Mallrats). He is a major comic book fan and has written several himself. There was a fun little cameo from his frequent partner, Jason Mewes (Jay from Jay and Silent Bob). Mewes played the man whose car gets trashed outside the Big Bell Burger. His cameo has no direct effect on the episode; it was just fun to seem him working.

This episode was a very nice change of pace from all of the other episodes. Barry is trapped inside a simulated Central City, within the speed force, and the team works to stop a zombified metahuman. Zoom was barely present. The true villain in this episode was Barry himself. He finally comes to terms with losing his mother. This will hopefully come as a great relief to viewers because Barry may finally be far less mopey all the time.

I thought this episode balanced all of the characters well. It finally had an enjoyable portrayal of Wells. Initially, when Jesse is knocked unconscious, I feared the entire episode would revolve around Wells sulking and determined to only get Jesse back and healthy. Everyone would ask for his help and he would reject them because he only cares about Jesse, but NO! He actually allowed Henry to take care of her while he actually helped the team! AND he even had some goofy moments with Cisco.

I thought the tension between Henry and Wells was portrayed well. Both are fathers, and Wells is responsible for disintegrating Henry’s only son. It’s understandable that the two wouldn’t hit it off. But their tension did not derail the episode. They were both able to still use their scientific and medical knowledge, respectively, to aid the other members of the team.

Their storyline, along with Barry’s can serve as the theme: the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (to steal a famous line form Leonard Nimoy as Spock). They all need to come to terms with their own issues and focus on taking care of the bigger problems. Their own personal problems can distract them from their full potential.

The big ending, seeing Zoom rally his metahuman minions, is setting up for a gigantic showdown in the following two episodes. Barry finally has his powers back, and his heart and conscious are truly free, so he is finally ready to tackle his greatest foe. The season finale is going to be explosive.

Liked this? Check out last week’s recap!

Written by Bill Moore

Image via Katie Yu/The CW

Last night’s episode of The Flash, “The Runaway Dinosaur,” begins where the last episode left off – with the team recovering from the particle accelerator simulator explosion and Barry’s subsequent disintegration. Joe and Wells find Wally and Jesse unconscious in the hallway. They revive Wally, who appears unscathed, but Jesse is in a coma, although she is breathing. Henry is distraught over the loss of his son. Joe pulls him together so he can use his skills as a doctor to aid Jesse. Cisco vibes on Barry’s suit and catches a glimpse of Barry trapped inside a vortex.

Suddenly, Barry, alive, wakes up in his old room. His house appears normal, but very still. He comes downstairs to see Joe, in his officer’s uniform, looking over a crime scene. It seems Barry has been sent back to the day after his mother was murdered. We learn that Barry is not actually seeing Joe but the Speed Force itself, taking the form of Joe so not to shock Barry too severely. Barry wants to get back to his friends and save his city, but the speed force tells him he cannot leave until he catches a mysterious blurred speedster running around outside.

Cisco tells Wells he saw Barry trapped in the middle of a vortex. Wells confirms that Barry is trapped inside the speed force. Henry demands that Wells get Barry back, but Wells does not know how. Wells spends most of his time at Jesse’s side, who remains unconscious. Joe tries to calm Henry down so he can focus on helping Jesse.

Henry tends to Jesse as Iris and Cisco watch. All of Jesse’s vital signs are normal, but she is not waking up. Iris remembers that is just how Barry was after the original particle accelerator explosion. Henry asks if there are any records on Barry that they might be able to use to help Jesse. Cisco and Iris find these records in the morgue, where they soon encounter a reanimated Tony Woodward/Girder (Greg Finley). Zombie Tony still has the ability to change his body into metal. The zombie is very disgruntled and trashes the lab before bursting out a wall and escaping in the night. Cisco and Iris tell Joe, Henry, and Wells that Tony has been reanimated. Joe convinces Wells to help them stop Girder and let Henry take care of Jesse.

Barry runs around outside trying to catch the blurred speedster, but with no luck. The environment looks like normal outdoor Central City, but the colors are muted and the scene feels very still. Barry encounters the physical embodiment of the speed force again, this time as Iris. They meet at the bench where the real Iris and Barry first kissed. The speed force chose the location and the image of Iris so it would be less upsetting for Barry. Barry is still mad they will not let him leave. He explains that his friends, city, and the whole world is in danger because of Zoom. The speed force tells Barry they had given him the wonderful gift of speed and he rejected it. Barry defends his actions, saying he sacrificed his powers to save another. He was a hero. He nearly killed himself trying to get them back. He then asks why the speed force gave him his powers if they would rather have given the powers to someone else. The speed force explains that they gave Barry his powers because he is the Flash.

Girder rampages through town, destroying a car in a Big Belly Burger parking lot. Meanwhile, at the lab, Cisco and Wells create a feedback loop around the new particle accelerator machine that Barry disintegrated inside. When Cisco vibes on Barry, a new device Wells created will send Wells the data he needs to pinpoint Barry’s location inside the speed force. The device will electrically stimulate Cisco’s prefrontal cortex, allowing Cisco to physically manifest inside the speed force and act as a beacon to guide Barry home. Wells turns on the device and Cisco is able to transport inside the speed force. Cisco sees Barry trapped inside the vortex and calls his name. Barry faintly hears Cisco’s voice while still on the bench talking to Iris. Cisco sees the vortex while Barry still sees Central City. The Barry inside the vortex turns toward Cisco, as the Barry in Central City moves toward a tornado formed by Cisco’s presence. Barry asks the speed force if it will let him go. It says he is allowed to return, but he will not have his powers. So Barry chooses to stay. The Barry inside the vortex turns away from Cisco before Cisco is thrust back in our world.

The team tracks Tony’s rampage through the city by using Cisco’s metahuman-tracking app. Iris watches Tony trash Jitters. Joe is curious why during his rampage, he only chooses to go inside Jitters. Henry relates Tony’s rampage to a man he knew in prison. The man escaped from prison but was quickly apprehended because he immediately went to his girlfriend’s place. The team thinks Tony is searching for his girlfriend. Iris realizes that Tony does not have a girlfriend and is most likely looking for her. Tony tried to ask her out once before, inside Jitters, but she rejected him. Iris figures Tony is slowly making his way to her house. She proposes to use herself as bait to lure Tony back to STAR Labs so Cisco and Wells can kill him once again.

Inside the speed force, Barry is lead to a graveyard. The speed force now takes the form of Henry. Barry is insulted that the speed force thinks he rejected his gift. He tries telling it how many people he has saved and what he has sacrificed. The speed force knows all of this but also knows Barry has never been to his mother’s grave.

Joe and Iris wait at their house for Tony. Wally brings the two of them coffee. Joe tries to subtly, yet awkwardly, ask Wally if he feels any different after the particle accelerator explosion. Wally does not understand the question. Joe tries to trick Wally by purposely dropping his coffee mug to see if he will catch it. The mug breaks on the ground and Wally says he feels fine. Iris is annoyed Joe broke a mug she had given him as a gift, but soon Girder arrives. Iris rushes outside and catches Girder’s attention. He begins to follow her and Iris coordinates with Joe to meet her back at the lab.

At Nora Allen’s grave, the speed force asks if Barry has truly accepted losing his mother. They think Barry has not been to her grave because seeing the grave will mean her death is real. Barry still blames himself for choosing his life over his mother’s. He does not think anyone can be truly at peace with that decision. The speed force does not think his mother would have wanted him to die for her, especially at the cost of the countless lives he has been able to save as the Flash. Barry refuses to listen and continues his pursuit of the blurred speedster.

Iris and Joe find Cisco at the lab. They tell him that Tony is in close pursuit. When Girder arrives, he steps into a machine Cisco created. It  should disrupt his brainwaves and wipe his mind clean. But the machine is too weak, and Girder manages to break out of the electromagnetic waves.

The speed force leads Barry back to his home. This time, it takes the form of his mother, Nora Allen (Michelle Harrison). The speed force recognizes that Barry is exhausted by life. Barry accepts he has not and probably never will accept his mother’s death. The speed force tells him he needs to find a way to accept it. Barry needs to learn he cannot outrun all the tragedies the universe throws at him, and once he accepts that he will truly be able to run free. Barry misses his mother too much. The speed force tells Barry that his mother misses him. Her actual essence is telling it she misses Barry and is proud of the man he has become.

The team locks themselves deeper inside STAR Labs. Girder rapidly breaks down the door, which the only thing separating him from the team. Iris is willing to act as a lure again, but Joe does not let her. Cisco realizes he couldn’t get Barry to come out of the speed force because Barry did not want to leave.

Nora (the speed force) begins to read Barry a favorite book of his from when he was a child. Barry takes over telling the story to the speed force. The story is about a little dinosaur and his mother. The moral of the story is that the little dinosaur is unique and has a mother who is perfect for him and will always love him no matter what. The speed force tells Barry he is finally ready to leave. The blurred speedster stands in front of Barry. He is easily able to catch the figure. The figure is revealed to be Barry as the Flash. Barry soon looks down at himself, and he has become the Flash again. His powers are fully restored.

Back in the lab, Iris agrees to go with Cisco into his vibe. She thinks she will be able to bring Barry back. The two vibe inside of the vortex and Iris spots Barry. She calls his name and Barry turns to her. Barry is able to reach out and grab Iris’s hand. Iris pulls Barry out of the speed force and back into the lab. The team is overjoyed to see him, but Cisco soon reminds everyone, and informs Barry, that Girder is about to kill them. With his speed, Barry uses Iris to lead Girder away from the others and back toward the electromagnetic machine. Barry spins around Girder, distracting him and supercharging the machine at the same time. The machine turns on and kills Girder.

After the chaos has settled, Barry joins the team at Jesse’s side. He touches her hand, and a jolt of the speed force shoots inside Jesse. Moments later, she is revived and seemingly fine. The team, especially Wells, is incredibly relieved. Iris and the team wonders if Barry knew that he would be able to revive Jesse like that. Barry explains he just had a feeling.

Henry double checks his son’s vital signs and everything comes up normal. Barry tells his father he finally sees his way of thinking. Barry finally accepts fate and understands everything happens for a reason. Good or bad, all the things that have
happened have made them the men they are today. Henry tells Barry that he plans to stay with him, here, in Central City.

Barry and Iris visit his mother’s grave. Barry realizes he has wasted a lot of time being angry. Barry finally tells Iris she means everything to him. The two embrace.

In the abandoned CCPD, Zoom has uncuffed Caitlin. He asks her one last time if she will join him. Caitlin initially refuses. Zoom says that she has two options: stay or leave. If she leaves, he will kill her with the same ferocity he plans to kill her team. So Caitlin stays and thinks as Zoom addresses a crowd of metahumans. Zoom and his followers plan to attack the city shortly.

A very fun aspect of this episode was that it was directed by Kevin Smith. Kevin Smith is best-known for his View-askew universe and the characters of Jay and Silent Bob (Clerks, Mallrats). He is a major comic book fan and has written several himself. There was a fun little cameo from his frequent partner, Jason Mewes (Jay from Jay and Silent Bob). Mewes played the man whose car gets trashed outside the Big Bell Burger. His cameo has no direct effect on the episode; it was just fun to seem him working.

This episode was a very nice change of pace from all of the other episodes. Barry is trapped inside a simulated Central City, within the speed force, and the team works to stop a zombified metahuman. Zoom was barely present. The true villain in this episode was Barry himself. He finally comes to terms with losing his mother. This will hopefully come as a great relief to viewers because Barry may finally be far less mopey all the time.

I thought this episode balanced all of the characters well. It finally had an enjoyable portrayal of Wells. Initially, when Jesse is knocked unconscious, I feared the entire episode would revolve around Wells sulking and determined to only get Jesse back and healthy. Everyone would ask for his help and he would reject them because he only cares about Jesse, but NO! He actually allowed Henry to take care of her while he actually helped the team! AND he even had some goofy moments with Cisco.

I thought the tension between Henry and Wells was portrayed well. Both are fathers, and Wells is responsible for disintegrating Henry’s only son. It’s understandable that the two wouldn’t hit it off. But their tension did not derail the episode. They were both able to still use their scientific and medical knowledge, respectively, to aid the other members of the team.

Their storyline, along with Barry’s can serve as the theme: the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (to steal a famous line form Leonard Nimoy as Spock). They all need to come to terms with their own issues and focus on taking care of the bigger problems. Their own personal problems can distract them from their full potential.

The big ending, seeing Zoom rally his metahuman minions, is setting up for a gigantic showdown in the following two episodes. Barry finally has his powers back, and his heart and conscious are truly free, so he is finally ready to tackle his greatest foe. The season finale is going to be explosive.

Liked this? Check out last week’s recap!

Written by Bill Moore

Image via Katie Yu/The CW

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