Running To Stand Still: The Flash Season 2 Mid-Season Finale Review
"What says togetherness more than mass graves?"
I love it that bad guys love Christmas, especially those who can't seem to commit to one holiday tradition and in the same episode play Creepy Mall Santa and use dreidels as weapons. (Since ultimately The Flash tied up The Trickster with strings of colored lights, it looks like Christmas won out.)
The Trickster, our over-the-top Uncle Nutbar played by the hilarious Mark Hamill, is exhausting. He's too disorganized and unhinged to pull off villainous projects on his own, but with a partner, Weather Wizard (murderer of Patty's father), he wreaked some legitimate holiday havoc.
Captain Cold briefly considered joining this caper, but obviously thought better of going out on such a bad note in his last episode before Legends of Tomorrow premieres in January. He betrayed the other two villains to Barry as a Christmas gift, so I think they're even, since he owed Barry a favor from back in the day.
A bunch of other stuff goes down, in which Star Labs sends 100 Christmas gift bombs through a breach using a hand-operated drone (which now the entire Flash fandom wants for Christmas) and magnetic power, saving 100 families' lives, and the Star City Christmas tree lighting. Something like Rockefeller Center with metahumans.
Then the West Christmas Eve party.
Patty gave Barry a matching sweater, although do we really need two sweaters like that on this earth? Must be true love.
Oliver Queen found out about his long-lost son in last week's crossover. This week is Joe West's turn. This story line is getting kind of repetitive, if you ask me.
Two reasons I'm temporarily putting up with this:
1. Wally (Wallace) as the new brother brings an interesting dynamic into the West household and potentially new and original story lines to The Flash season 2 narrative. Keiynan Lonsdale is a talented dude who sings, which makes an encore karaoke episode even more likely.
2. Joe West in Dad Mode is drama done right on an otherwise sunny show. His reaction to Iris' and Barry's news about Wally - fitting and so in character that they told him together - and the realization that he'd unknowingly missed Wally's entire youth...well, admit it, that had you reaching for the tissues, too.
"Making up for lost time" is a phrase invented by somebody who never actually had to do it.
This was Joe and Patty's night, although nobody spilled any secrets to Patty. Watching the episode 10 promo, it looks like writers aren't going to string her along much longer.
The Flash season 2 continues to suffer from overbooking. Fewer parallel plots, fewer villains, and fewer people on screen in general would be great. (Jay Garrick and Caitlin snow under the mistletoe? Too soon.) Too much predictable dialog that honestly we the fans, who know the show just as well as the writers, honestly, could've written ourselves.
Too, too, too is are my reviews of last week and this week in 3 words.
But at least the broad elements of the writers' long game are becoming more clear, if you can avoid getting distracted by the day players. Harry saving his daughter from Zoom sets up another very personal revenge motif.
You go after me, that's one thing. You go after my kid and you are finished.
Yes, I believe Harry agreed to work with Zoom to steal The Flash's speed to save his daughter, but I also think he'll play both sides until the ultimate showdown in the season finale. When, for better or worse everybody will know everything about everybody else on the show.
And will pick a lane, or be forced to. No Earth-3 to hide.
The Flash season 2 resumes on January 19 with episode 10, "Potential Energy."