To go from hero to zero has to hurt more than anything. However, it’s what you’re able to do as that zero that really defines you. And in this week’s episode of The Flash, titled, “Back to Normal,” Barry has to deal with the loss of his speed. No more waking up in the morning, quickly dressing up for work, running for coffee, or quickly going over case files for the CCPD. Everything happens at a normal speed which means he has to figure out what to wear for the day, wait in line for coffee, and he can’t catch his mug every time he drops it. It looks like Barry is doomed.
As usual, this is your weekly spoiler warning. This RECAP/REVIEW will contain spoilers, so if you didn’t see last night’s episode, you may want to look away now. This will be your only and final warning. Also, to help you avoid keywords or anything your eyes may wander to, here is a wonderful photo of something from the internet.
“It’s just a regular day, and I’m just a regular guy.” Poor Barry Allen has lost his speed and is slowly beginning to lose members of his team. First Caitlin is taken by Zoom, then Wells goes off on his own to find his daughter. Luckily he has Joe and Iris to fall back on. On Earth-2, Caitlin is being held captive in Zoom’s lair. However, in an effort to convince her that he still has feelings for her, he unshackles her, and allows her to walk around. Inside she comes across the masked man and Killer Frost.
Back on Earth-1, Wells finally finds Jesse and tries to get her to come home with him. Too bad she’s still upset with him for killing someone for her. Wells, presumably, heads back to the lab but not before literally running into someone. He hits the breaks but is too late when the the van he was driving folds like a piece of paper around a poll. Meanwhile, Killer Frost and Caitlin are beginning to get to know one another. And at one point, Killer Frost even tells Caitlin that she’s going to help her escape.
As it turns out, Wells wasn’t the plot of a meta-human from Earth-2. Griffin Grey was born and raised on Earth-1. In fact, Grey even thinks that this Wells was the original who created the particle accelerator explosion. And now Grey has kidnapped Wells in effort to help regain his normal life. Speaking of escape, Caitlin begins to rig Killer Frost’s cell to that she can break out. The two share some stories and compare each others’ different lives.
Griffin Grey has finally been spotted back on Earth-1. He’s currently holding Wells inside a chemical plant known as Ace Chemicals. Barry gathers the troupes and heads over to the chem plan to try to save Wells. Barry is injured in their rescue attempt but notices that Grey ages more whenever he exerts himself. Together they come up with a plan to weaken Griffin enough to capture him.
Killer Frost eventually breaks free from her cell thanks to Caitlin, and then attacks her. She says that the only reason why Zoom kept her around was because she looked like Snow. Frost freezes the ground and Caitlin slips. And before Caitlin can react, Killer Frost throws an ice spike at her. Zoom comes racing into the scene, phases through Caitlin and eventually kills Killer Frost.
Barry and the crew discover that Wells is being held at an abandoned amusement part. He confronts Grey and manages to get him to exert himself enough to defeat him. Back on Earth-2, Zoom is upset that Caitlin tries to escape. Then comes up with this crazy idea of taking over all the other versions of Earth. He takes Caitlin by the hand and races off to another world. On Earth-1, Wells is greatful for getting his daughter back. He then commits to Barry that they will get his speed back by recreating the particle accelerator explosion.
After last week’s episode, the major question was how was Barry going to react to not having his powers? And it was really important how this episode was going to deal with it because there’s a good and a bad way to deal with it. And, luckily, the show did fine coping with the loss of his powers. Now, if the show had begun the episode with Barry crying in corner because he felt helpless and did this until the end of the episode where he realizes, “Oh, I still have my friends and team to help me out,” then this would have been the first real bad episode of the season. Instead, thanks through experience and having gone through situations where he’s felt helpless, he already knows that he can depend on everyone else around him. And because of that, the episode and the season is able to move on without much of a hiccup.
It might be time to start considering giving Teddy Sears an award or something. He was an okay Jay Garrick, but now that it’s been revealed that he’s actually Zoom/Hunter Zolomon, he’s been on a roll pulling off this crazy vibe. You can really feel it come through whenever he has a moment remembering his past or produces one of his sadistic laughs. The best part is that this is all building up to what can only be a final confrontation by the end of the season. If and whenever they finally do go against each other, hopefully they both survive meaning that fans and audiences will get a future taste of Zoom in later seasons.
This week’s villain was Griffin Grey. A little bit of research pulls up that this version of Grey is nothing like the Grey in the comics. On paper, Grey not only has super strength, but also has the ability to manipulate energy, enhanced vision, and super leaping. In last night’s episode, Grey only had super strength, but it came at the cost of his youth as he became older whenever he exerted himself. Capturing Grey would have been a cakewalk if the Flash hadn’t lost his powers. With that in mind, Grey has been the worst villain on the show thus far.
On a final note, seeing Killer Frost meet her demise was quite a bummer. And did anyone else pick up on the fact that Grey had broken into an Ace Chemical lab? Was that a nod to Bruce Wayne and company? Remember, Ace Chemicals is the same company that was responsible for giving the Joker his clown-like looks. Overall, this week’s episode felt like filler, but necessary filler because it was important to know how Barry deals with the loss of his powers. Still, filler episodes can be just as good as the ones that help progress the story. This was a rare instance where the show fell short of it’s mark. There’s no chance something like this happens next week.
“Back to Normal” overall grade – C+/B-
The Flash airs every Tuesday @ 8PM EST on The CW. Check out a preview for next week’s all new episode titled, “Rupture”: