‘The Flash’ 2×19 Review: ‘Back to Normal’ (aka Heart of a Hero)

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While the superheroes of DC television might be costumed and some super-powered, that’s not what makes them the heroes that we’ve come to love, respect, and relate to. No, a superhero isn’t a superhero because of the powers or the suit or the cool moniker. A hero, at its core, is within.

As the title of Tuesday’s The Flash points out, it’s “Back to Normal” for Barry following a traumatic ending to last week’s episode that saw Barry’s speed taken from him and injected into Zoom. So Barry found himself back to who he was before the Particle Accelerator explosion turned him into The Flash.

So here we had Barry wallowing a bit as he felt completely and utterly useless – and unheroic – as he could do nothing to get Caitlin or Wells back after they’d been taken. Barry’s losing his speed caused him to second guess himself; to second guess the hero that he is. Barry didn’t think he could be The Flash without his powers.

While Barry Allen might’ve lost his super speed he hasn’t lost the heart that makes him a hero. That drive that forces him to do whatever it takes to protect those that he cares about.

“Suit or no suit. That guy is a hero,” Iris told him in a heart-to-heart that Barry really needed to hear. Being a hero isn’t all about the glamour of the job. It’s also about the rough times, like Barry is experiencing now. But heroes keep fighting just as Barry will keep fighting.

A hero isn’t the costume that they wear or the powers that they have. A hero is the person that they are when you strip away all of those things. The person that is willing to sacrifice, to inspire people in a way that others cannot. A hero is a symbol of hope that stands up when times are tough and fights for the good of humanity. When it comes to being a hero, there isn’t a dress code.

WHAT’S ON OUR MINDS

Caitlin and Killer Frost are Polar Opposites

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Something that I wasn’t expecting but was more than pleased with was to see Caitlin come face-to-face with her doppleganger on Earth-2. Well, face-to-face through a nearly impenetreable prison – unless you’re the uber smart Caitlin Snow. The dynamic between the two was obvious – they were good and evil versions of each other, much like Cisco and his doppleganger. At first it appeared as if the two Caitlins were going to team up to escape. Well, our Caitlin was – she even broke Killer Frost out of her cell – but Killer Frost being the villain she is was not. There was a reason that Zoom was keeping her locked up. It’s because she looked like Caitlin, the woman that Zoom claims to love. So with the real Caitlin being here there was no need for the cheaper model. So Killer Frost planned on taking Caitlin off the board – until Zoom raced in and saved Caitlin and then killed Killer Frost. Wow, this show is killing some really good characters. Is it weird to wonder if a Lazarus Pit exists on Earth-2?

Wells and Jesse Reconnect

One of the more intriguing relationships that has emerged in the back half of the this season has been the relationship between Harrison Wells and his daughter Jesse. There’s no doubt that family is the heart of The Flash and we’ve added another family dynamic that has my heart. Ever since we saw the lengths to which Wells would go to save his daughter when Zoom held her captive, we’ve how Wells loves her more than anything in any of the worlds he’s been in. But with that overwhelming need to protect her he’s pushed her away. He did some questionable things, including killing someone in her name to protect her, and for a while that was something she couldn’t live with. Since Wells lost his wife, he literally swore on her grave that he’d never let anything happen to Jesse. So when Zoom took her something inside of him broke. But after losing her father for a day, she saw exactly why he would react that way. So then it came down to the overprotectiveness of it all. Wells vowed to not suffocate Jesse in return for Jesse vowing not to run away again.

Is WestAllen On the Immediate Horizon?

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When it comes to romance more often than not it comes down to the sweet, at times torturous thing we call slowburn to get two characters to a place where they need to be before they can be together. Barry and Iris are an example of that. We’ve watched for two seasons as the two danced around the “more than friends” territory of their relationship. They were either with someone else or not ready to be together. But from the looks of things – at least from Iris’ perspective – that might’ve changed. We’ve seen that Barry wants that relationship with Iris, but it’s been Iris that has taken a little longer to get there, which is perfectly fine. But now it appears as if all the pieces are there and ready to be assembled.

Zoom Loves Caitlin?

One of the questions following last week’s “Versus Zoom” was why Zoom ultimately chose to kidnap Caitlin and bring her back to his lair on Earth-2. Was it because he felt she was a weakness and he didn’t want to give the team the chance to use her against him? Turns out, at least according to Zoom, he took Caitlin because he loves her. That’s right. Zoom aka Hunter Zoloman aka Jay Garrick aka evil incarnate is capable of love after everything that he’s been through in his life. But to be honest I think he honestly believes that. Even though he wasn’t being himself completely with Caitlin back when he was just Jay, Jay felt what it was like for someone to care for him, to love him. So of course there’s a draw to that. But ultimately, as I suspect, Caitlin might prove to be Jay’s downfall.

No, But Really Who the Hell is the Man in the Iron Mask?

When it comes to mysteries there’s none more infuriating right now than the mystery of who the hell is the man in the iron mask. It’s starting to really bug me. Obviously he’s someone important for Zoom to keep him locked up – and also because the show keeps emphasizing him to the audience. They want us to remember him. They want us to feel the need to know who he is. They want us to react a certain way when his identity is revealed. My guesses have gone everywhere from John Diggle of Earth-2 to Wally West of Earth-2, but at this point I’m probably dead wrong.

Wells is Gonna Do What Now With a Particle Accelerator?

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Anytime there’s a post-credits scene you know that something major is about to happen. So as Barry and Wells chatted about how ultimately they were going to get Barry’s speed back, I never imagined that Wells would suggest what he did. That’s right: he wants to create another Particle Accelerator explosion. Now hopefully this is a contained version of the explosion, but regardless it doesn’t sound like something that’s safe for anyone involved – notably Barry. But with The Flash being about, well, The Flash, I think Barry’s chances of surviving this – and getting his speed back – is likely.

NEXT TIME ON ‘THE FLASH’

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on the CW.

What were your thoughts on “Back to Normal?”




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