The Flash, S2 Ep19 – Back To Normal

Following the events of “Versus Zoom”, Barry has lost his speed and is now living his life as a normal human being: taking his time getting dressed, waiting in line for coffee, and resorting to taking the bus to work. Unfortunately, with Barry’s speed completely depleted he and the rest of Team Flash have no way of rescuing Caitlin from Zoom’s Earth-2 lair. To complicate matters even more, Dr. Harrison Wells finds himself kidnapped by a meta-human by the name of Griffin Grey (Haig Sutherland).

The Flash -- "Back to Normal" -- Image: FLA219a_0085b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West, Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen-- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Team Flash searching For Grey

It’s hard for me to be on board with this episode considering it spawned out of one of the worst episodes of the series so far, but “Back To Normal” does shine in certain areas where “Versus Zoom” didn’t. Barry being depleted of his speed allows for the character to rely more on his wits rather than his meta-human abilities.

After Wells storms out of S.T.A.R. Labs in an attempt to find his daughter, he eventually does find her and is immediately rejected by her. This leads to him running into Griffin Grey and being kidnapped, thus leading to Barry relying on forensic skills to find out what happened to him.

Griffin Grey is different than other meta-humans we’ve seen on The Flash before him. While his power set may seem generic (super strength) it comes with a tragic catch. Every time he exerts himself he grows older. This gives Grey an actual motive to kidnap Wells and a reason to hate him, since it was Earth-1 Harrison Wells who caused the particle accelerator explosion that turned him into a meta-human. Grey kidnaps him in the hopes that he will find a cure.

Over on Earth-2, Caitlin tries to deal with her new circumstances of being Zoom’s prisoner. In my opinion, ever since we learned about Zoom’s backstory he just doesn’t seem as frightening. The fact that he has a soft spot for Caitlin as his prisoner does not help in this regard. That being said, the Earth-2 scenes allowed for some fun interactions between Caitlin and Killer Frost, even though they ultimately led to an obvious double cross. Danielle Panabaker has fun hamming it up as Caitlin’s Earth-2 doppelganger, at times doing her best Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) impression. However, this subplot concludes with Zoom murdering Killer Frost after Caitlin helps her escape, so that will probably be the last time we’ll see Panabaker in this role. Sorry, Killer Frost fans.

The Flash, S2 Ep19 - Back To Normal (4)

The Flash vs. Griffin Grey

Back on Earth-1, Barry has to use his wits and some suit upgrades provided by Cisco in order to defeat Grey and rescue Wells. It was interesting and fun to see Barry take down the villain-of-the-week without his abilities, dodging Grey’s attacks at normal speed.

The episode concluded on a happy note for the most part with Barry taking down the bad guy, Wells being saved and reunited with his forgiving daughter, and Wells coming to terms with mistakes he’s made. Wally West even got to meet his literal hero, The Flash, and thank him for saving him. The only thing that was unclear to me was what happened to Griffin Grey after he aged completely. He resorted to his younger self. It was unclear if he died or if he is back to normal.

Overall, “Back To Normal” was better than last week’s episode, but still just okay. It was fun seeing Barry and Team Flash take down the villain without his powers. I really enjoyed the interactions between Caitlin and Killer Frost, but I still hate what Zoom’s become. “Back To Normal” concluded with Wells vowing to return Barry’s speed by recreating the particle accelerator explosion. I have a feeling this could lead to new meta-humans arising if something goes wrong. Considering how much Wally West’s eventual speed has been foreshadowed I think he’ll be getting his abilities very soon.

Check out The CW’s official trailer for next week’s episode of The Flash, “Rupture”, below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Back To Normal” in the comments.