The Flash, S2 Ep21 – The Runaway Dinosaur

Following the events of “Rupture”, “The Runaway Dinosaur” picks up with Barry being sent to another plane of existence and greeted by physical manifestations of the speed force. Unfortunately, as Barry journeys through an alternate reality, Central City is left unprotected and a reanimated Girder, played by returning guest star Greg Finley, is set loose. Additionally, “The Runaway Dinosaur” marks film director and DC super fan Kevin Smith’s (Clerks) first, and probably not last, directing gig on The Flash.

Kevin Smith directs

Kevin Smith directs

“The Runaway Dinosaur” is a surprisingly emotional and flat-out weird episode. Barry gets lost in an alternate reality where he literally meets the speed force. The speed force talks to Barry taking the forms of the loved ones in his life including Joe, Iris, his father Henry, and even his mother Nora. There’s a very positive lesson to be learned by Barry and taught to audiences alike, which is to just be grateful for what you have and not to dwell on what you’ve lost.

The episode brings some unexpected closure to season one’s finale, when Barry traveled back in time and allowed his mother to be killed in order to not change the timeline. By the end of “The Runaway Dinosaur” Barry comes to terms with the action he committed and comes out of his experience a changed man.

The journey to Barry’s eventual epiphany is very emotional and heart warming, especially during scenes where Barry speaks to the speed force embodying his mother. He recounts the moments he remembers with her as a child and recites the words from his favorite children’s story she read to him, The Runaway Dinosaur, a book which details the love a mother dinosaur has for her child. With Mother’s Day occurring just two days before this episode aired, we can understand why this episode’s themes were explored this week.

Breaking apart the more poignant speed force subplot, another subplot sees the once Flash villain, Girder, become reanimated into a zombie. This subplot was fun and served as a nice contrast to everything else that was going on. Long time friend of director Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, even appears in a humorous cameo as a disgruntled citizen of Central City. Girder, in his zombified state, is simply after one thing; Iris. I liked seeing Iris take charge and immediately serve herself up as bait in order to stop Girder, but unfortunately their plans fall through and Team Flash’s only hope of being rescued is Barry. Also, I have to point out that actor Greg Finley has already played a zombie on the hit CW series iZombie and “The Runaway Dinosaur” is seemingly aware of this.

Cisco’s Vibe powers are pushed much further in “The Runaway Dinosaur,” as he is able to create a link from the real world to the alternate reality Barry resides in. Once Barry completes his journey and literally earns his speed back, Cisco and Iris pull him out, leading to Barry taking down Girder and saving the day. Additionally, Jesse, who was placed in a coma after being struck with the particle accelerator explosion, is eventually woken by Barry as he inexplicably uses his speed force to revive her. By the end of “The Runaway Dinoasaur” we are still left unsure if Jesse will also be granted meta-human abilities, or even Wally, who was hit with the same explosion. One of the episode’s more comedic moments was Joe purposely dropping a mug that Iris bought him on the ground in front of Wally in order to see if he gained super speed.

Not Barry's real mother

Not Barry’s real mother

The episode concluded with Barry finally visiting his mother’s grave, as it was stated he never actually did after she died when he was a child, and placing a copy of The Runaway Dinosaur on her tombstone. The ending is very touching and also adds more to the relationship between Barry and Iris as both remain unsure of their future together, but are happy with their lives together regardless.

Overall, “The Runaway Dinosaur” was a great, touching episode that made up for some of the poor ones we’ve seen in recent weeks. It brought some of the characters into new territory and provided some much needed closure for certain events. While “The Runaway Dinosaur” remained somewhat calm for the most part, it looks like next week’s episode will be drastically different in tone, as Zoom has gathered up a ton of evil meta-humans from Earth-2 to take down Earth-1 Central City. One meta-human includes Black Siren, the evil Earth-2 doppelganger of Earth-1 Laurel Lance/Black Canary, who sadly died recently on Arrow. I look forward to seeing what Black Siren’s appearance brings to the table. Check out The CW’s official trailer for next week’s episode, “Invinicible”, below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “The Runaway Dinosaur” on our Facebook or in the comments.