TV Review: The Flash (2×19) “Back to Normal”

Katie Yu/The CW
Katie Yu/The CW

Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of The Flash. To catch up on previous coverage, click here.

In an episode where the Flash and his powers largely sit in the dugout, other supporting characters get their moments to be fleshed out, both for better and for worse. Undeniably a filler episode as the season begins to set the path towards an explosive ending, the episode suffers from it’s deviation from the main plot while also giving the spotlight to other characters who aren’t Barry. Iris, Caitlin and Jesse are the characters who benefit the greatest from the development.

Caitlin, never a favorite character, get’s to have more fun this week as she gets to be a lone problem solver when left alone in Hunters lair as she tries to free Killer Frost from where he has her locked up. Danielle Panabaker is jarringly stronger as Killer Frost than her doppelganger and it’s hard to decipher whether this is due to poor writing fro the latter or just because it’s a role Panabaker gravitates towards. Caitlin is typically easily dismissed but giving her a purpose in the episode helps her. It’s nice also to see how her absence effects the Star Labs crew who are weaker because of it. I’m not sure I’m quite digging the undertones of Hunter relating Caitlin to his mother or the fact that Killer Frost was murdered, but I am interested to see Caitlin develop as a character away from her usual settings.

Jesse is a character that’s taken longer for me to warm to but there’s considerable growth this week as we get to see more of who she is beyond a crutch for Wells. She, just like her father, is a genius and is a huge asset to the team in tracking down this weeks meta-human. The added measure of the show using her comic book namesake “Jesse Quick” only makes her general intrigue rise because now the hint has been put in place. If there’s something that I consistently appreciate about the series (and it’s a long list) is how true they stay to the canon. They don’t have to and their CW counterpart Arrow certainly doesn’t, but despite some deviations here and there their reliance on the source material is a refreshing change of pace. They’re simply fleshing out these already supremely interesting characters.

Iris in comparison to the other two doesn’t have that much to do but it’s the little moments that really stick out, a personal favorite of mine being when she took Harry’s abandoned gun when she and Barry were tracking down Jesse. Her asking question after question at the start is one of the first time the show has acknowledged her journalism, truth seeking mindset and I’m growing increasingly more on board with her infatuation with Barry, especially as the roles are switched with her being the one pining. She is the one who has known Barry since before he was the Flash, through his best moments and his lowest, and if the show were to stick to the pairing and create drama outside of the romance, I would be ready to see the pairing come to be as soon as next week. The chemistry is there and so is their backstory, now all we need is a plot that doesn’t rely on romantic elements to sell it.

Wally is also increasingly becoming an asset to the show the more he becomes ingrained in the main storylines and he too gets a nod to his comic book likeness in the episode. His thank you to the Flash was a genuine moment that highlighted not just what’s great about Wally but also what’s so great about Barry.

Barry who sits passenger to his own show this week and while I was glad for the other characters to get their moments, I also felt that I was always waiting until the BIG revelation was going to be made about him getting his speed back. I’m glad the show stuck with storyline through the end but was even happier in the tag when Harry confronted Barry. He’s going to build the particle accelerator explosion again, he’s going to get Barry’s speed back and atone for the sins of his doppelganger.

Next week is going to be crazy. Do we have to wonder if there will be any other should be speedsters caught in the fire?


Barry was rightfully called out by Wells for being at fault for the mess that happened with Zoom but that doesn’t make his here moments any less so, it just makes him a fallible character, falling victim to poor, rash judgement just like the rest of us. This time him facing getting his speed back will be different. The first time it was an accident, something he called a blessing and then embraced. This time he’s knowingly walking into it, knowing that the repercussions could be greater than a risk. This is hero and boy am I glad to see him on my screen each week.

It wasn’t a great episode. It was fun and it was serviceable and it bridged the gap between this week and next but I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the real action to begin.





Exit mobile version