Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 2, Episode 19 - Back To Normal

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Left powerless in the wake of his latest encounter with Zoom, Barry Allen is blindsided when a  metahuman named Griffin Grey mistakes Harry for the Earth-One version of Harrison Wells and abducts him, hoping Wells can cure his condition. As the newly discovered Jesse Wells works with Team Flash to find Harry, Wally West confronts his father with a request regarding Joe West's connection to The Flash. Meanwhile, on Earth Two, Caitlin discovers she's not the only captive Zoom's keeping and plans an escape...


Numerous The Flash comics where The Flash is rendered temporarily powerless, the Silver Age Superman comics (using Harry's unique watch signal to track him seems to be a nod to Jimmy Olsen's special watch for summoning Superman) and the 2006 The Flash series (character of Griffin Grey).


Why doesn't Wells try and use his chemistry knowledge to create something that will disable Griffin rather than watering down a placebo in a bid to stall for time? Granting that Griffin seems canny enough to recognize the formula if Wells tries to create chloroform or sulfuric acid, it still seems highly out of character for Harry not to try and fight his way to freedom.

By the same token, Team Flash seems awfully quick to utilize a plan that will almost certainly end lethally for Griffin Grey. If they have enough time for Felicity Smoak to send them material to create a reinforced Flash costume, surely they have enough time for Cisco to devise a reinforced hand-cuff gun like what they used to trap Zoom in last week's episode. Or something else similarly non-lethal!


Danielle Panabaker steals the show this time around. Between Caitlin being more than just a damsel in distress and playing opposite herself with another vampy turn as Killer Frost, Panabaker's scenes are the most fun part of the episode.

On that note, Bart Sears does a damn good job of making Hunter Zolomon even creepier without the mask. He manages the neat trick of looking like a confused boy as he experiences his flashes of the past, even while acting like the creepiest of stalkers in how he talks to Caitlin.

Keiynan Lonsdale has a great moment when Wally explains why he feels the need to thank The Flash in person for saving his life. It really opens Wally up as a character and shows something of the good heart the character should have.

Violett Beane hasn't had much to work with in previous episodes, her character primarily existing to give Harry motivation for his actions. This episode flips the script, with Jesse having to work to save her father and Beane proves more than capable of keeping pace with the rest of Team Flash.

Tom Cavanagh is always a delight as Harry Wells. In this episode, however, we get to see something we haven't seen a lot from him - honest regret for his actions. Well, the actions of another version of him who wasn't really him, but the sentiment is there all the same.


The opening montage in which Barry deals with the petty annoyances of a morning at work that his speed used to help him deal with is inspired and well-directed. Nice use of Desmond Dekker's Israelites as background music too.

The special effects for Zoom saving Caitlin from Killer Frost are well-executed and the scene is well-directed.

Flash Facts

In the comics, Griffin Grey was the roommate of Bart Allen - the second Kid Flash (formerly known as Impulse) and the fourth speedster to be called The Flash. Grey gained the powers of super-strength, energy manipulation and fast-healing after being caught in a bomb blast. Dubbing himself The Griffin, he tried to establish himself as a costumed crime-fighter but soon learned that his powers were draining his life-force and aging him prematurely. After abducting Jay Garrick in a bid to study how the elderly speedster had stopped aging, he died after staging a bridge-bombing in a bid to regain the favor of the city.

The DCTVU version of Griffin Grey has the same weakness as his comic-book counterpart. His powers are limited to super-strength and enough endurance to not be hurt by walking into a moving car. He was a junior in high-school at the time of the particle accelerator explosion and disappeared when he was a senior, due to his powers making it impossible for him to pass as a teenager.

Joe, Cisco and Barry confront Griffin at Ace Chemical. In the DC Comics universe, Ace Chemicals was the name of the company in Gotham City where the man who became The Joker was exposed to the chemicals that bleached his skin .


People from different Earths vibrate at different frequencies. This causes them to leave cellular dead zones wherever they go on another Earth. Harry is able to track Jesse by following the trail of these dead zones.

Cisco developed a crash-assist style-device for the STAR Labs vans. This allows him to tell where the van has been and to see what happens should something damage it.

The carbine cell Zoom used to trap Barry Allen proves equally effective at containing Killer Frost.

When examining the crash site where Harry disappeared, Barry concludes that the STAR Labs van hit something strong enough to exert an equal amount of force back onto the van.

The device Caitlin rigs up to free Killer Frost operates by running an electrical current through a cable, which heats up the carbine in the cell window. This, in turn, will speed up the electrons, weakening the molecular structure of the window as they move faster and faster.  Once it heats up enough, it should become as fragile as glass and easily breakable.

Griffin Gray's genes mutated, with the functional myostatin of his cells being essentially gone. Myostatin is a protein which hinders muscle development in the body, causing excessive muscle growth in animals lacking it - i.e. super-strength.

As a result of his super-strength, Griffin is also suffering from oxidated stress - the protein and DNA in his body are being ravaged by oxidants. In short, the more he exerts himself using his super-strength, the faster his body wears-out and he ages.

Jesse is able to locate her father, tracking the signal on his metahuman-detecting watch. Since the signal is meant to go to a server that doesn't exist on Earth One, it just keeps sending the same signal over and over.

Jesse and Cisco upgrade the lining of Barry's costume using the same compound Ray Palmer used in developing his ATOM suit - dwarf star alloy  It is super-strong yet super lightweight Unfortunately, they only got enough material from Felicity Smoak to cover the chest-piece of Barry's suit and their best guess is that it will only be able to absorb one of Griffin Grey's punches.

Dialogue Triumphs

Killer Frost: (upon seeing Caitlin)  
What do you know? I can still pull off brunette!

Jesse: (To Harry) I may be afraid of Zoom but I'm just as afraid of you!

Caitlin: So what does Zoom need you for?
Killer Frost: THAT is an excellent question, Caity. You know, I've been asking myself the same thing. But it doesn't matter now. I'm not gonna stick around much longer.
Caitlin: Wait - I thought you said your powers don't work inside that cell?
Killer Frost: They don't. You're right. So you're gonna help me get out of here.
Caitlin: Why would I help you?
Killer Frost: Listen, honey. There is no way you're making it down that cliff all by yourself. So let's make a deal. You. Get me out of this box. And I'll help you get home. I might even throw in some wardrobe tips for free.

Harry: Look. I'm sorry this is happening to you, but there's nothing I can do to fix it.
Griffin: Well, that sucks. Because if you can't figure out a way to help me, Dr. Wells, you're going to die soon too.

Wally: Look, I've been reckless my whole life. Racing cars. Pushing limits. I did everything at full speed without a care in the world. But it wasn't until Zoom took me that... that I really thought I was going to die. And I WAS going to die... if The Flash didn't do what he did. He gave up his powers to save me - a guy he didn't even know! No one's ever done anything like that for me before. I need to tell him how much that means to me.

Griffin: How do you sleep at night? Knowing you've destroyed so many people's lives?
Harry: I don't.

Killer Frost: You know, once I saw you, I realized why Zoom didn't kill me. Because I look just like you. Now... he won't need me anymore.
(Killer Frost throws an icicle at Caitlin. We see time slow down as Zoom enters the room, phases through Caitlin, grabs the icicle, and drives it into Killer Frost's chest.)
Zoom: No. I don't.

Harry: When your mother died, honey... something inside me broke. I couldn't protect her. And I swore, I swore on her grave, no less, that I would protect you. And then Zoom took you, and I snapped. I just snapped! I couldn't breathe, I... I couldn't lose the only other person that I love.
Jesse: Yeah. Yeah, I get that. I understand why you did everything you did to protect me. I mean, you were only missing one day and I would have done anything to find you! But, I mean... I need to know that - that's never going to happen again, okay? Every time I stay out late or get in trouble, you can't track me down or hurt someone because you're trying to save me.
Harry: Yeah, but... you're in danger.
Jesse: I know!
Harry: (stepping closer to her, taking her shoulders) Okay. I'll make you a promise. I promise you I will be the kind of father that you can be proud of if you promise me you'll never run away from me again.
Jesse: (laughing) Okay. Okay. Deal. (hugging him) I love you.
Harry: (hugging her back) I love you too.

Caitlin: Please. Take me back to my Earth.
Zoom: You know... I've always measured my success by counting the number of victims I've had. But... now I think I'm going to widen my scope. Start counting the number of Earths I conquer instead. You want to go home? Let's go. After all, this Earth has already been brought to its knees. (giggles manically)

(Barry enters the lab and looks mournfully at The Flash costume. Harry comes in behind him.)
Wow. You're here early.
Barry: Yeah. I couldn't sleep.
Harry: Me neither.
Barry: I know that we just took down Grey without my powers, but... I have no idea how to get Caitlin back without them.
Harry: We can't, Allen.
Barry: Then what are we going to do?
Harry: Gray... Gray kidnapped me because.. he thought I was Harrison Wells from... this Earth. And I know he was talking about another guy, but I just... I can't help but think... I still haven't paid for what I've done.
Barry: What does that mean?
Harry: I thought... when you, when we... closed the breaches that I could just forget about everything I've done. But I can't!  But I realize... what I can do. You are going to get your speed back, Allen. And I'm gonna help you do that.
Barry: How?
Harry: (chuckling) By creating another particle accelerator explosion.

Dialogue Disasters

Every line where Jesse is referred to as Jesse Quick. Yes, ha-ha, we know where this is going...


Cisco uses his Vibe powers and Zoom's helmet to check on Caitlin and confirm she's alive.

Killer Frost is seen for the first time since 214. Zoom was apparently unable to kill her because she reminded him of Caitlin. He did, however, imprison her in a cell like the one he used to contain Barry.

Cisco is able to match the fingerprint and blood-sample Barry found at the site of Harry's kidnapping to Griffin Gray. He also ages the picture he got of Harry's kidnapper and matches it to an age-adjusted picture of Griffin Gray.

Griffin Gray is 18 years old and was a Senior at Central City High School. He had a girlfriend named Jenny, whom he planned to marry and have kids with.

Bio-chemistry was one of Jesse Wells five majors in college. She seems surprised that having that many majors is uncommon.

The Earth Two Caitlin Snow was a victim of the STAR Labs particle accelerator explosion, but she was not employed by STAR Labs, At the time of the explosion, she had just flunked out of medical school and was living with her mother, who became a frigid narcissist after the death of her brother, Charlie.

The Earth One Caitlin Snow never had a brother, but says that her mother is also a cold-as-ice bitch, like Killer Frost's mother

Barry refers to the first time he saved Iris from being hit by a car, back in The Pilot.

Griffin Gray is skilled enough at chemistry to recognize it when Wells spends half an hour diluting a formula.


Earth 2 - Zoom's Lair.

Untelevised Adventures

Harry somehow knows that he and his daughter are not the only people from another Earth hiding out on Earth One. This seems to be more than a reference to the Earth Two version of Dr. Light, last seen in 205.

The Fridge Factor

Averted, as Caitlin makes a good attempt at escaping her imprisonment with Zoom. It might have worked if it hadn't been for her evil doppelganger...

The Bottom Line

Another villain-of-the-week episode where the action is secondary to the subplots. Thankfully, some of the least developed members of the cast get some much needed development and it's fun watching Caitlin interact with her evil twin. Unfortunately, the script tries to do a little too much and some aspects (like Wally's "Full Speed' monologue) work well while other's (Barry's speech about time stopping and it just being him and Iris) fall flat. These few flat moments are entirely due to the script, however, and the entire cast shines with what they have to work with.

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