THE FLASH Recap: A West Family Reunion

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Last night’s Winter Finale of THE FLASH presented a very emotional episode and I have to admit that I was a little surprised. Maybe it was because we were still coming off the crossover – which was super action-packed – but “Running to Stand Still” hit the breaks on the action front and gave us a heartfelt family tale.

We had a three villains for the price of one special deal, but even then, the episode itself wasn’t really about them. The Weather Wizard, Captain Cold and the Trickster all made an appearance and, while Snart said thanks, but no thanks to the opportunity of trying to take out the Flash, the Trickster is a complete psychopath and was all too happy to help Mark Mardon with his crazy plan to kill Barry once and for all.

Their shenanigans, though not very effective, provided two great moments between Patty and the Flash. It turns out that Mardon was the one who killed Patty’s dad years ago, way before the particle accelerator exploded. The reason she became a cop was to finally catch him and bring him to justice for what he did to her father. So when the news of his escape, along with Snart and Jesse, reached her ears, she made it her mission to track down the metahuman and put him down for good. The first time she tracks him down, Barry saves her as the Flash, when it turns out that the lead they followed was a trap that very nearly got them killed. When they get out of the factory, she tells him the whole story, how it is her fault that her dad died because she was the one who was supposed to be at the bank that day.

Now, I know I have been saying how I love Patty and I want her to stay on the show forever. But what really sells Patty as such a lovable character is Shantel VanSanten’s performance. And up until “Running to Stand Still”, she had just been the quirky cop, who was going out with Barry and ended up scoring a gig as Joe’s partner in the metahuman task force; but last night she proved to be a much more complex character and VanSanten did a tremendous job at portraying the desperation Patty felt at having her father’s murderer right in front of her and the struggle to not give in and end his life when she had the chance. Both scenes she had with the Flash were amazing, but the last one, in particular, really tugged at my heart. I’m really glad she decided to open up to Barry by the end of the episode, even thought he already knows everything. Now I want her to stay on the show forever even more.

Elsewhere, Iris was struggling with the fact that she was keeping some major news from Joe. She learned that Francine was pregnant when she left, and that she had a baby boy they never knew about weeks ago, but she couldn’t bring herself to tell her dad about it, for fear that the knowledge that he had a son he never knew would crush him. I have to say, the West family scenes really messed with my emotions. We all know Jesse L. Martin is a spectacular actor, so it’s no surprise that he absolutely rocked these scenes – but the real surprise here was Candice Patton. Finally, finally, they’re giving her something good to work on and she was absolutely amazing. The moment she broke down and told Barry about Wally, and then when they both told Joe, sweet baby Jesus, my heart almost couldn’t take it and I admit there were lots of tears involved. I am really curious as to where they are taking this storyline, especially now that we finally met Wally – however brief that meeting was.

Meanwhile, I was shocked to find out that Harry has been in contact with Zoom. The speed demon is forcing him to help Barry get faster and stronger, so Zoom can eventually steal his speed force when the time is right. If Harry doesn’t help him, he will kill his daughter. I completely understand Harry’s motivation, but how ironic is it that – after Barry purged all those feelings from his chest – Harry is going to go and double cross him?

What did you think? Hit the comments below and tell me all about it, or come talk to me on Twitter.

THE FLASH returns with an all new episode on January 19 at 8/7c on The CW.

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