It’s Christmastime and mid-season finale time on The Flash, so it’s time for everyone to say how they really feel. In “Running to Stand Still,” Joe learns about his son, Zoom reveals his master plan and Caitlin FINALLY kisses Jay Garrick.
More importantly, three rogues return, including another genius performance by Mark Hamill as the Trickster. Then there’s the arrival of Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West and since he’s in the opening credits as a series regular, it’s safe to assume he’s not going anywhere in 2016.
A Trio of Rogues
Snow falls on Central City, but that’s a bad thing because it means the Weather Wizard (aka the guy who killed Patty’s dad) is back in town. He decides to break Captain Cold and the Trickster out of prison, giving us an overload of awesomely over-the-top performances from Wentworth Miller and Mark Hamill. Hearing the Trickster sing “Deck the halls with body parts of a girl named Holly” is my favorite thing Hamill has ever done, and I’m including Star Wars in that statement.
The Weather Wizard wants to kill the Flash because Zoom weakened him and the Trickster agrees, but Captain Cold is more of a frenemy than a true rogue. Instead of going along with them, the future Legend of Tomorrow visits Barry to warn him about the plot. However, Captain Cold refuses to help because he doesn’t want to be a hero, even though he’s definitely not a very good villain.
The Flash and Patty independently track the Trickster to a warehouse where they’re attacked by dreidel bombs. They escape and the Flash learns how much anger Patty has below the surface, blaming herself for her father’s death.
The Weather Wizard and the Trickster’s convoluted plan involves forcing the Flash into letting them kill him by delivering 100 bombs to various kids as fake Christmas presents and threatening to blow them all up unless he agrees. The Flash gets knocked around, but Harry has an equally convoluted plan of stealing one bomb present and sending it into the breach so the magnetic polarity reverses and attracts all of the other bombs. The science is irrelevant, but needless to say, Harry succeeds by stealing some kids’ present like the Grinch, allowing the Flash to tie up the two villains.
Patty shows up, ties down the Flash and threatens to kill the Weather Wizard to get revenge for her dad. But the Flash talks her out of it.
Introducing Wally West
Iris has been agonizing over the fact that she’s keeping a huge secret from her dad, namely that he has a son he doesn’t know about named Wally West. She confides in Barry, who stands by her when she finally tells her dad. Joe’s world is shattered, but he asks for some time to process this bombshell. Joe blames himself for not knowing about Wally and that he wasn’t there to raise his son.
Joe learns to forgive his ex-wife and be happy that he has a son, but he hasn’t forgotten that, regardless of biolofgy, Barry is also his son. At the West family Christmas party, Joe gets an unexpected visit from none other than his long-lost son, Wally West.
STAR Labs Romance
Caitlin and Jay’s flirtation has gotten so bad, even Cisco is begging them to just kiss already. Though Kendra isn’t mentioned at all, I’m gonna assume Cisco is so invested in this relationship to get over his own romantic woes. At the Christmas party, they finally kiss under some mistletoe.
The episode opens with Harry Wells chasing Zoom through STAR Labs, but he gets captured. Instead of killing him, Zoom simply says “Merry Christmas.” Zoom uses his prisoner, Harry’s daughter, as leverage to force him into working with the evil speedster.
The final scene shows Zoom once again confronting Harry, who knows that Zoom is trying to make the Flash faster so he can eventually steal his speed force. And in exchange for his daughter’s freedom, Harry agrees to help him do it. Sigh, so I guess this means Harrison Wells is still evil.
The Flash returns Tuesday, January 19 as Barry decides that it might be time to tell Patty his secret, though he may be too late.
(Image courtesy of the CW)