When Barry cries, we all cry.
That was the main takeaway from last night’s THE FLASH for me. Grant Gustin really tugged at my heartstrings and I admit that I cried right along with him. Although last week left us with one hell of a cliffhanger – when Barry disintegrated right before our very eyes – I wasn’t expecting this week’s episode to take us on such an emotional journey. “The Runaway Dinosaur” was, ultimately, Barry’s quest to find his speed force once again, but most of all, it was a journey to accept who he is and everything that has happened to him.
While everyone’s reaction was to think that Barry had died – what with his body kind of falling apart and all – Cisco soon vibes off of Barry’s suit and sees that he is alive, apparently, but stuck in another plane of existence. But before they can do anything about it, they find out that Jessie and Wally were hit by the particle accelerator explosion too and are both unconscious. While Wally quickly comes to, Jessie just won’t wake up. So they take her to the hospital, with Henry monitoring her very closely, as she seems to be in the same kind of coma that Barry was in when he was first hit by lightning.
Cisco and Iris go back to Star Labs to get all the data on Barry’s condition when he was in a coma, and find out that the explosion caused one of the metahumans to come back to life – the metal man, who had a fixation on Iris then and still has it in for her now. So, basically, Team Flash has their hands full in this episode with the metal man, bringing Barry back from wherever he is and figuring out what happened to Jessie. Cisco was particularly inspired last night, because his one liners were hitting us left, right and center and it was just laugh-out-loud funny. Even Iris had a couple of funny one liners, which definitely surprised me. Also, Iris and Cisco? Great team.
So with the team busy, Barry wakes up in what seems to be a parallel universe. He is in his childhood house, at the scene where his mother died, and he sees Joe, feeling relieved to find a familiar face. Except this is not Joe at all. It turns out that he is inside the speed force and it is using Joe’s image to talk to Barry. To quote the Scarlet Speedster, “this is really trippy”. This episode had an almost surreal quality to it and, while all the action going on back in the real world was very cool and funny, what really carried this episode was Barry’s journey to acceptance of his life, and Grant Gustin’s amazing talent for dramatic scenes.
I can speak for myself when I say that it was impossible not to tear up with him on several occasions, but especially when he visited his mother’s grave for the first time with the speed force as his father, and then when he sees his mother. I doubt there was a dry eye in everyone’s living room when he recited “The Runaway Dinosaur” to his mother. And the whole point of this journey was for him to accept what had happened to him and embrace who he is. Only then would the speed force allow him to get his powers back and return to his world.
What left me scratching my head in confusion after this whole quest to find himself, however, was that scene close to the end, when he touches Jessie and uses his powers to wake her up. What was that about? Have his powers grown somehow? Also, will Jessie and Wally develop any powers? It stands to reason that that’s the direction they are taking both characters, right?
And last, but most definitely not least, Zoom – and Teddy Sears is doing such an amazing job with this evil version of himself – got every evil metahuman together to take over Central City. Lovely.
A new episode of THE FLASH is scheduled to air on May 17 at 8/7c on The CW.