In this episode of The Flash season 2, “Back to Normal,” Barry has to figure out how to deal with the latest meta-human threat despite his lack of speed. When a meta-human with super strength abducts Harry because he mistakes him for Earth-1’s Eobard-Wells, Barry turns to Jesse for help in finding her father. Meanwhile, Wally asks Joe to set up a meeting with The Flash, and Caitlin has a surprising encounter on Earth-2.
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Harry is Kidnapped
Now that Barry is sans his speed, he has to go back to life as a normal human being. During the opening montage, we see that this involves him riding the bus, waiting in line for coffee and slowly going through all the paperwork for his cases. While Barry is trying to cope without his speed, the team is worried about Caitlin. They know she is still alive, thanks to Cisco’s powers. But without Barry’s speed, there is no way to get back to Earth-2 to rescue her.
Though the rest of the team is understanding about this, Harry blames the whole thing on Barry. Not only is Harry concerned about Caitlin, but he also knows that Zoom can now return through the breach whenever he wants and they won’t be able to stop him. Iris sticks up for Barry and says that they made these decisions — to re-open the breach and give Zoom Barry’s speed in order to save Wally — as a team, but Harry doesn’t agree with that. Since Barry is now powerless, Harry is going off to find Jesse before Zoom can go after her again.
Harry explains that he can track his daughter down via cellular dead zones. Since Harry and Jesse aren’t from this Earth, they vibrate at a different frequency, thus creating cellular dead zones wherever they go. He can track the dead zones Jesse left behind since coming to Earth-1 and follow the trail right to her. Cisco thinks Harry could use some help with finding Jesse, but Harry isn’t interested and he heads off alone.
Harry eventually finds Jesse — she’s apparently still in Central City — but she has no intention of leaving with him even when he tells her she is in danger. Jesse says any danger she might be in is because of him. She thinks everything that has happened is his fault and she’s done with it. She’s also still upset that he killed a man while trying to save her, and she claims she is just as afraid of the person her father has become as she is of Zoom. (I can understand Jesse’s anger, but comparing her dad to the man who held her prisoner and threatened her life is pretty harsh.)
During the drive back from seeing Jesse, Harry is attacked on the road by a meta-human and taken hostage.
Team Flash Saves Harry
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco gets an alert letting him know that Harry’s car crashed, and Cisco and Barry watch a video feed that shows Harry being kidnapped. Barry and Iris then investigate the crash site and realize that a meta-human was involved. Barry thinks they should find Jesse and see if she can help them locate her father.
While the team searches for him, Harry has a chat with his kidnapper. The man, Griffin Grey, was affected by the particle accelerator explosion and he wants Harry’s help in “fixing” him. Harry realizes that his captor has mistaken him for Eobard-Wells and he thinks Harry can “fix” the problem he caused. Grey demonstrates the super-strength he developed thanks to the explosion and explains that his strength comes with a nasty side effect — rapid aging. Though Grey looks like he’s close to Harry’s age, he’s actually only 18. Harry says he does not know how to help Grey, but Grey says that if Harry doesn’t figure it out, he will kill him.
With Harry missing, Jesse uses her many skills (she apparently had five different majors in college) to help Team Flash in Caitlin’s absence. The team gets a sighting of Grey thanks to facial recognition. But even with Joe and Cisco as backup, a powerless Barry is no match for the meta. Yet during the fight, Barry actually saw Grey age right after using his powers, so the team realizes that if they can get Grey to exert enough energy he will age until he is old and weak. The problem with that is that Barry cannot let the guy beat on him until he is weakened, but Cisco comes up with a solution.
Cisco gets some dwarf star alloy from Felicity that will make Barry’s suit strong enough to hold up under one of Grey’s punches. (This is apparently the same compound Ray used in his Atom suit.) Alas, he only got enough of the compound to cover the chest area of Barry’s suit, and even then, it will only be able to protect Barry from one of Grey’s powerful punches.
With Barry’s suit as protected as it’s getting, Jesse is able to locate her dad by using the signal sent out by his watch. Luckily, the team shows up to save Harry just as Grey realizes that Harry has been stalling and pretending to come up with something to “fix” his problem. With help from Joe and Cisco, Barry tricks Grey into using his super-strength and aging until he dies. Upon his death, Grey reverts to his original 18-year old self.
After Grey is defeated, Jesse is relieved to find Harry safe. The two apologize to one another and head back to S.T.A.R. Labs for a heart-to-heart. Harry promises to be the kind of father Jesse deserves if she promises not to leave him again. Jesse agrees, and the two make up.
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Wally “Meets” The Flash
Throughout the episode, Wally keeps asking Joe to set up a meeting for him with The Flash. (He still doesn’t know that Barry is The Flash, but he knows Joe has a connection to the speedster.) He wants to thank The Flash for saving his life, but Joe keeps putting it off. Eventually, Wally explains that despite all the risks he has taken in his life, his abduction at Zoom’s hands was the first time he actually thought he might die. The only reason he didn’t is because of The Flash and he just wants a chance to tell the speedster how grateful he is. Joe is moved by Wally’s sincerity and decides to arrange the meeting.
After Barry deals with Grey, he meets up with Wally as The Flash, and Wally thanks him for giving up his speed to save his life. Wally promises the speedster that he will not waste the chance The Flash has given him, and Barry is clearly touched by Wally’s words. Will Wally ever learn that the man who saved his life is actually Barry?
Caitlin Has a Very Bad Day
Over on Earth-2, Caitlin is still being held hostage by Zoom. Zoom, aka Hunter, tells Caitlin that he is keeping her around because he loves her and he believes that, in time, she will come to love him again, too. He is clearly oblivious to Caitlin’s obvious hatred of him, but at least his feelings for her let him give her free rein of his headquarters. While Caitlin is exploring Zoom’s lair, she meets her evil doppelganger, Killer Frost.
Killer Frost is being held in one of Zoom’s cells and is surprisingly happy to see Caitlin. Killer Frost wants out of her cell and she thinks Caitlin can help her. In return, Killer Frost promises that she will help Caitlin escape Zoom’s lair and get back to Earth-1.
While Caitlin works on a way to break Killer Frost out, the women have a chance to talk. They bond over their “cold as ice” mother, and Caitlin learns that Killer Frost had a brother who died. Caitlin asks Killer Frost about the man in the mask, but Killer Frost doesn’t know who he is or why Zoom is keeping him around.
Because Caitlin is brilliant, she manages to weaken the molecular structure of the cell enough that she can break right through the glass. Alas, once Killer Frost is free, she attacks Caitlin. Killer Frost realizes that the only reason Zoom has kept her alive is because she looks like Caitlin. Now that Zoom has the real Caitlin, he won’t need her anymore. Before Killer Frost can kill Caitlin, Zoom arrives to prove her point. He murders Killer Frost and warns Caitlin that if she tries to free the mysterious man in the mask, he will do the same thing to him.
As the episode comes to a close, Zoom and Caitlin have a chat about what he did to her doppelganger. Zoom/Hunter thinks Caitlin should be grateful to him for saving her from Killer Frost, but all Caitlin will say is that she just wants to go home. All of Caitlin’s pleas that he return her to her Earth give Zoom an idea. Since he has already conquered Earth-2, he will turn his attention to her Earth. Will Barry be able to get his powers back before Zoom arrives to attack Earth-1?
How Will Barry Get His Powers Back?
Throughout the episode, Barry is clearly struggling with rediscovering himself and his purpose without his speed. At one point, he has a wonderful scene with Iris when he remembers that she was the first person he saved after he got his powers. (If you remember back to the pilot, Barry and Iris went on a walk after Barry learned of her relationship with Eddie. And out of nowhere, they were almost hit by several cars in a high-speed chase. Luckily for anyone who doesn’t remember that moment, Barry reminisces about it in detail.) Barry says he didn’t even know what he was capable of at the time, but he knew that he could save her and he did. Yet now, without his powers, Barry doesn’t know who he is anymore. Iris tells the man she clearly has more-than-friendship feelings for that, with or without his suit, he is a hero.
At the end of the episode, Barry and Harry have a chat about Barry’s lost speed. Harry says that Grey kidnapped him because he believed him to be Eobard-Wells. Thinking about that has given Harry an idea of how they can get Barry’s powers back — by creating another particle accelerator explosion. I love Harry, but I can’t believe they think this is a good idea after all the problems that were caused by the first explosion. Has Harry learned enough from what happened both on Earth-1 and on his Earth to safely set off another explosion so that only Barry is affected by the blast? I guess we’ll find out in the next episode.
What did you think of this episode of The Flash? Do you think Team Flash will go through with another particle accelerator explosion? Did you enjoy the reunion between Harry and Jesse? What did you think of that excellent Barry/Iris scene? Will Iris ever come clean to Barry about her feelings for him? Do you like that Jesse is now part of Team Flash? Will Caitlin learn the identity of the man in the mask now that she is also Zoom’s prisoner? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
The Flash airs Tuesday nights at 8pm on The CW.
(Image courtesy of The CW)