Talk about a holiday send-off! “The Flash” faces his most dangerous adversaries in Season 2 mid-season cliffhanger introducing yet another long-anticipated member of the Flash Family!
There are still many of us catching our breath from this year’s 2-part crossover event that (dare we say) was legendary! Some in the popular lexicon of network television production may be under the illusion that the “superhero” genre is on the inevitable “outs”, but if anyone needs a reminder about what makes for good serialized drama and adventure in primetime, you don’t have to look any further than at The CW’s hit series The Flash.
Going now into its mid-season slumber, no one can argue that CSI investigator Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) hasn’t earned a little r&r. In his super-heroic secret identity that Allen is trying very hard to maintain, the Flash has faced a cadre of new enemies including a threat from the parallel world of Earth-2 named “Zoom” that nearly crippled the Scarlet Speedster. If it wasn’t for the timely arrival of his father Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) the Flash may not have gotten up to speed!
Along with his friends at S.T.A.R. Labs he helped send the intelligent ape named Grodd through a breach and into a “gorilla city”. The Flash also teamed up with his Star City allies including the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) to challenge the merciless immortal Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) whom we are pretty sure we haven’t seen the last of yet…certainly not after Dark Archer (John Barrowman) helped himself to remnants left from the 2-part class of titans.
So if Barry chooses that he needs some time to use his speed force to get some holiday shopping done, we’re not going to judge him. Unfortunately some of his most dangerous adversaries have a different idea all-together…and these rogues mean to rub-out the Flash! In Episode #9 of Season 2, “Running to Stand Still” a prison break at Iron Heights has the Weather Wizard (Liam McIntyre) and Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) unlikely allies alongside a wildcard named Trickster (Mark Hamill).
Now that Mark Mardon is back in Central City, Det. Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten) is looking to exact her revenge on the man she blames for her father’s murder. While the Wizard and Trickster plan their attack on the Flash, Cold drops in on Barry and Iris (Candice Patton) to let him know that he’s in danger. Flash asks Cold to help him take on the rogues, but Snart declines — he’s not into playing heroics (at least for the meantime). Cold sets for parts unknown.
Meanwhile Iris has revealed to Barry that she has a brother named Wally, and that it’s about time she told her father Joe (Jesse L. Martin) the truth about him. Joe doesn’t take the news very well, but before anyone has the time to cope with it all, the rogues attack unleashing a plot against the Flash that has everyone rallying to save the day! The highlight of the episode one would suspect was the return of the Trickster, the role reprised by Mark Hamill from the “original” The Flash 1990 series.
Though the Trickster’s maniacal gambit pays off in true comic-book style, the villain single-handedly distributes hundreds of bombs into the unsuspecting hands of innocent (though greedy) children throughout Central City! The Weather Wizard prefers to take a more direct approach and attacks the Flash with an arsenal of bad weather, including blizzards and lightning. Barry attempts to stop him using the “weather wand” Cisco (Carlos Valdes) had developed in an “alternate” timeline.
All the episode’s action plays out beautifully and is well integrated into further realizing this “comic book” world that our heroes, but the strength in the arc this week is provided by the revelation from Iris to Joe that they have an additional family member. Candice Patton hasn’t been given moments like this often to play, and her Iris is at her most vulnerable when tell her father (and Barry) about Wally West. It’s both tender and engaging to see the show return to its emotional base.
The relationship between Barry and Patty is beginning to grow and take on a whole new depth that is really coming together. It’s nice to see how comfortable Grant and Shantel are at playing intimate…it’s really endearing the character with fans. As the show takes its well earned winter break, fans are again left to ponder as the cast comes together to celebrate the holiday season and the West family welcomes home Wally, where in all this was Henry Allen? Fishing again?