'The Flash 2×16 Roundtable: Discussing 'Trajectory'

Every week, Fangirlish writers will be discussing new episodes of The Flash and sharing their thoughts, feelings, and speculation about the hour’s hot topics in a little something we like to call Fangirlish Roundtables.
Today, we’re breaking down episode 16 of The Flash, “Trajectory,” where we discuss Barry being betrayed by a mentor once again, the show’s first female speedster, and whether WestAllen is going at the right pace.

What were your overall thoughts on “Trajectory?”

ALYSSA

I feel like we’ve finally gotten to a point where The Flash has found its footing this season. While the show seemed stuck in a sophomore slump early on, following the events of the Earth-2 event the show has really taken off. Of course I feel like that has to do with the show finally moving forward with the big Zoom arc. With that said I really enjoyed this episode. It wasn’t anything special, but it existed as a means to kick-start the final run of episodes and the team’s showdown with Zoom. It also did what the show does best and brought up some good moral issues for Barry that continue to help him grow as a hero. It was also refreshing to see this week’s villain of the week, Trajectory, serve a greater purpose when it came to Team Flash uncovering the truth about Jay Garrick being Zoom. It showed us the dangers of Velocity-9 and also just how dangerous Zoom is with that kind of power.

LIZZIE

It was okay. Not the best, not the worst episode of this season. They were some fun moments, like when everyone went to the club and Cisco and Caitlin attempted to dance, but all in all, it was a bit slow for me. And when I say a bit, I mean it was somewhat of a filler episode until the end, when Barry and the team finally figured out what Jay was Zoom. Which, also, felt like kind of a cop out. The audience already knew this, so it wasn’t really a big reveal, and to end two consecutive episodes with the same “shock” was anything BUT shocking.




Still, I’m glad it’s out there. Maybe we can now start dealing with it. And by we I mean Barry and Caitlin, in particular, though Wells has his reasons as well. But mostly, I want to see how Caitlin takes this. I want to see some reaction out of her. Any reaction will do, at this point. She’s been suppressing for too long.

LYRA

I think it was a confusing and a round about way to reveal to Barry & Co. that Jay was in fact Zoom. There could have been a better way to reveal that tidbit without using a tired out storyline like the one that befell Trajectory. Despite that, I understand that they needed something to propel Barry forward and into Supergirl’s world next week. Now comes the real battle to knock down Zoom and figure out what the hell is going on.
P.S. When are we going to get some Caitlin time? That girl is hurting big time and holding it in like a trooper because there’s work to do. She’s going to pop soon and Killer Frost might finally start rearing it’s head. *crossing fingers* Here’s hoping!
The Flash -- "Trajectory" -- Image FLA216c_0022b -- Pictured: Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

We got to see the clear frustration with Barry and how we can’t seem to get fast enough than these enemy speedsters, and it’s proving to be fatal in some instances. What were your thoughts on how Barry considered taking a shortcut to level the playing field and how he decided against that?

ALYSSA

The Flash is really playing with Barry’s morals this season, and this whole thing with him pushing himself to be faster than Zoom is definitely something that is testing his character. We’ve seen the stress on Barry when it comes to getting faster and watching people he cares about die and blaming himself for their deaths. Yet all around him Barry sees these villains – Zoom and even this week’s Trajectory – taking shortcuts when it comes to getting faster. So for one moment we saw Barry consider taking the Velocity-9. This just goes to show that despite Barry being a hero he still has a lot to learn. And that’s refreshing because all heroes, wherever they are in their hero journey, are always still learning. But the thing that makes him a hero is that he doesn’t take the easy way out. He does what’s difficult because it’s the right thing to do. This is a lesson that Barry has to learn this season, and ultimately it’ll be the thing that helps him defeat Zoom in the end.

LIZZIE

Why are the bad guys always faster? I mean, I know why, but WHY? I understand Barry’s frustration, and I share it. Barry’s a sweetheart, but Barry can’t and shouldn’t be a sweetheart 100% of the time. We need him to be tempted to do these things, and we need him to make dumbass choices every once in a while, because, if not, where’s the journey? Where’s the growth? But also, and this is key, the reason we love Barry is because he is that nice kid that Joe raised. Deep down, even when Barry makes wrong choices, we don’t want him to be fundamentally changed. And, thinking about taking the shortcut and then not doing it is not only human, it feels like very Barry.

LYRA

It’s natural for Barry to doubt himself. He’s human. No matter how strong we make ourselves out to be we’ve all experienced a lack of faith in ourselves like Barry. And like him it takes time for us to process all our options before landing at the best one. The right one. There are no short cuts when it comes to Barry’s powers (and life in general.) It’s about hard work and getting better. Now that he’s seen the destruction of shortcuts caused with Trajectory, he won’t make the same mistakes. He’s got this.

While we learned in the last episode that Zoom is actually Jay Garrick the team learned this at the end of the episode – and once again Barry found himself betrayed by his mentor. How do you think Barry is feeling after this and do you think it’ll affect him moving forward?

ALYSSA

Once again my heart breaks for Barry Allen. But I knew this was coming. While I thought it was going to be Earth-2 Wells and his betrayal – which actually he stopped from becoming a betrayal – Barry needed to be tested when it comes to trust. He’s trusted two people in these two years of him being the Flash – Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne/Reverse Flash and Jay Garrick/Zoom – and both have ended in a betrayal that has left Barry emotionally destroyed. While the ending of him screaming at the end of the episode might’ve felt a little dramatic, once you look past that you can’t deny the hurt that has been embedded within Barry. Barry is someone who feels with everything that he is and being betrayed by two people that he has looked up to and put his trust in is something that has greatly affected him. The challenge for Barry now is going to be how he lets this affect him. Is he going to push people away and fold back into himself, like we saw in the season premiere, or is he going to turn to his team for help in his time of need? The season premiere and season finales are greatly linked as we see a problem presented and then solved. I feel like this is it.

LIZZIE

He’s not feeling good, that’s for sure. I think Barry is going to go through a crisis, a more real and definitive crisis than the one we saw after Wells. Because once you can write down as a fluke, but twice? No way.




So, this has to change Barry. There’s no going around it. He has to become withdrawn, he has to distrust people, and he has to, not show his dark side, but be affected. And not just for one episode while the team talks sense into him, no. This is a fundamental change. Barry is too damn nice and good and trusting, and that’s what we love about him, yes, but he’s The Flash. Being a superhero means paying a price – you lose your innocence. You see so much of the bad that you start to become jaded. You know, for a fact, not everyone is nice, not everyone’s worth saving. And Barry wasn’t there, and maybe he isn’t yet, but now, for the first time, I feel like he’s on the way.
I don’t want Barry to change, but in a way, I do. He needs to. The Flash needs him to.

LYRA

It’ll kill his hope but also drive him even harder to destroy Zoom. Barry’s still in the beginning stages of his journey. It’ll be a while before he becomes so hardened that things like this won’t affect him, where he won’t take it so personally. Until that happens he’ll use the loathing he’s experiencing to push his own boundaries and speed. That’s all that matters now, the mission to destroy Zoom. He’ll deal with his feelings of betrayal later.
The Flash -- "Trajectory" -- Image FLA216b_0172b -- Pictured: Allison Paige as Trajectory -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Trajectory was our first female speedster on the show. What were your thoughts on her and her motivation behind subjecting herself to the effects of the Velocity-9?

ALYSSA

I enjoyed getting to see a speedster – and a female one at that – that was created as a product of the Velocity-9. It really showed us first hand the ultimate effect that this stuff can have on a speedster. But most importantly it led Team Flash to the revelation that this was the stuff that Zoom must’ve been using to get faster – and to give him that blue lightning, something that Trajectory also had. Now, who was someone else they know that used that stuff? Jay Garrick. With Trajectory it kind of felt like her presence served a significant purpose as it led the team to the revelation of Zoom’s true identity, and I really liked that. Because we can only take so much of the random villains of the week that don’t serve a greater purpose – especially this late in the season.
With that said, it was interesting to see how dangerous the Velocity-9 is and how it can ultimately change the kind of person you are. We saw Eliza take the Velocity-9 because she was so far behind with everything and it served as an initial means to stay on track. But then the serum itself brought forth a greater problem: it made her someone obsessed with being the fastest and gave her a sense of being above the law. When Barry gave her a chance to save herself, Eliza ultimately couldn’t let go of the addictive serum and it proved costly as she evaporated into nothingness. It just goes to show you: it’s not about being the fastest so much as it’s about being the smartest. Something Barry should keep in mind.

LIZZIE

Maybe it’s just that she didn’t get enough development, but I was a bit meh about the whole thing. The most interesting part about her, for me, was that she was Caitlin’s friend, because, WOW, CAITLIN HAS OTHER FRIENDS. After that she was just a villain-of-the-week in a somewhat lackluster episode. There was no depth, and I didn’t feel a connection. Add that to the fact that she was gone too fast, and…well, I can’t’ say I’m going to miss Trajectory.
I do have to add though: It was about time we got a female speedster.

LYRA

Her story was a little weak willed in the beginning. We’ve seen this story before a million times. The ones that feel like they can’t get what they want in life go to extreme measures and end up destroying themselves. Part of me wishes it was something grander that pushed her to do all of this with Velocity-9. As Trajectory her only purpose was causing trouble and pushing her limits. For once she was in control and it was exhilarating. Boring! I have to admit that I loved the part when she injected herself with that final dose of Velocity-9. Everyone expected her to give into Barry’s honest words but she was too far gone. She chose the side of power and paid for it. That was what made her different from anyone we’ve seen before on The Flash.
The Flash -- "Trajectory" -- Image FLA216b_0025b -- Pictured (L-R): Violett Beane as Jesse and Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

In this episode we got a glimpse of Harrison and Jesse Wells’ relationship, and we saw Jesse’s shocked reaction when she learned of the terrible things her father had and had been willing to do to protect her. What were your thoughts on that argument? Was Wells in some way justified in his actions?

ALYSSA

I really enjoyed this storyline in the episode because it presented an issue with two distinct and appropriate sides. Here we had Jesse questioning her father’s morality with what he was willing to do to protect her – both when she was being held by Zoom and in the present – and then you had Wells’ motives behind doing these bad things in order to save his daughter. They were both justified, which is what made this storyline so intriguing.
Obviously Jesse didn’t understand how her father could do those things – like threaten to kill – just to protect her. In fact, she told him that she didn’t want him to. She didn’t want to be the source of this big moral dilemma for her father. But in the same instance she doesn’t yet understand what it means to be a parent. How the only thing that matters is protecting your child. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. It just is. So, yes, Wells was justified, as I’ve said before.




But then there was also the issue of Jesse feeling suffocated by her father’s constant hovering. Even thought they had escaped Zoom and Earth-2 it didn’t change Wells’ overprotectiveness when it came to his daughter. It was extreme, and I understand where Jesse was coming from, but once again that’s what it means to be a parent: you worry about your children. But at the same time Jesse is an adult – I mean, I assume so – so she made the decision that she felt was best for her and she took off to lead her own life. For now.

LIZZIE

Oh, Jesse. You silly girl. I was so mad at her by the end of this episode I briefly contemplated if she should go out into the world, meet a guy, get pregnant and maybe, then, she’d be able to understand what a father would do for her kid. Which, yeah, drastic, but that’s how much she got on my nerves.
Mostly, my problem with her is that I couldn’t understand her. I mean, she’s a kid, she’s younger than our heroes, yes, but she’s not twelve. The spoiled brat act is not something she should be pulling at this point, especially when she spent MONTHS ON END on a cage being threatened by Zoom. You’d think she’d be a little more grateful for the fact that there’s someone in her life willing to do anything for her. And I don’t mean she has to condone or agree with what Wells did or was willing to do, but I do think she has to, at least, try to see it from his point of view. Give him the benefit of the doubt.
To add insult to injury, she leaves at the end of the episode, out into a world she doesn’t know, carrying a blood type no one else in the world has, and just …ready to be independent, or whatever. Except she doesn’t have to abandon everything to be so. MOVE OUT OF THE LAB. Get your own place. Make friends. Don’t just run away. Running away is for cowards.
Oh, and did I add that I have no sympathy for Jesse? Did I?

LYRA

*cracks knuckles* Let’s talk about how Jesse annoyed the living daylights out of me. She went from frightened daughter who wanted her father to rescue her to entitled child who hated what her father did to save her. Every single time she opened her mouth and condemned her father for what he did for her I wanted to shake her and ask her to open her eyes. Of course her father pushed the limits sometimes, but what else was he supposed to do? What other choice did he have when he looked at her begging and crying face? What he supposed to just sit there and wait? Watch her suffer? Watch her die? THE ANSWER IS NO! He tried what he thought was best until he found Earth 1 Barry & Co. She doesn’t give her father props for changing his ways and working together with his new friends to get her. He messed up at first but ultimately did better for himself, his new friends and his daughter.
Oh and let’s not forget her selfish decision to leave her father alone in a new world. If she wants her father to do better and become a better man, why not stay? Why not start over as a family and show your ONLY family member that you’re there for him? That you’ll stay by his side no matter what? That you’ll end Zoom together? She’s self-centered in her need to run away to build a life for herself. It’s not all about you Jesse! Grow up and see the reality of your situation. Like seriously, she ran away without proper identification, in a world unknown, with the only other person with her blood type miles and miles away. What part of that sounds like a responsible adult? Wells needs to go and find her and tell her these things. The only way they’ll get better and survive this new world is together. It’s the only way they’ll both get what they always wanted, a family. *drops the mic and walks off*

Iris got a new love interest in this episode, but the talk continues to be WestAllen. What are your thoughts on the Barry/Iris romance that the show has hinted at from the beginning? Do you think they’re moving it at the right pace or do you want to see more development there?

ALYSSA

Well we’re in season two of a show that could potentially be as long as ten, so it’s kind of hard to say at this point. I feel like I’m using Oliver and Felicity as a guiding point as for where development should occur. But Barry and Iris are vastly different. There’s already knowledge of Barry’s feelings for Iris, so at this point it’s more about where Iris is. Still it’s season two so we shouldn’t expect them to be together by season’s end. But with Iris now having knowledge about her being married to Barry in the future and on Earth-2 it’s just the catalyst that the show needs to kind of kickstart WestAllen.
But I don’t quite feel like Barry and Iris are to the point where they need to be as people to be with each other. I still feel like they have a lot of growing to do, Barry especially. Barry’s flaws have showed in his relationship with Patty as he couldn’t tell the truth. That’s Barry’s biggest struggle at this point is being completely honest. While Iris knows Barry’s secret he’s still not being completely honest there. But I’m hoping Iris’ gorgeous new love interest will help her character’s growth and her thoughts about being with Barry.

LIZZIE

I’m a canon girl, when possible, so I’ve been waiting for WestAllen. I haven’t been waiting with bated breath, but I’ve been waiting. Waiting. Waiting. But, in a way, I’m glad. I don’t want Barry to be the post-Eddie rebound. I don’t want Iris to be post-Patty rebound. When Barry and Iris do get together, and they will, I want it to be because they’re both at the place in their lives when they’re done exploring, done looking out into the world for other possibilities. I want them not to give into fate, but to embrace it. To say, yes, we’re married in the future, and in the other Earth, but in this one, I’m not choosing you because another me already did, I’m choosing you because I WANT TO.
And they’re just not there yet. But that’s okay. I don’t need fast. I need right. And this feels more and more right with every second.

LYRA

I think they’re developing everything perfectly when it comes to WestAllen. What happened with Eddie broke them. It stopped whatever feelings were between Barry and Iris of a possible romance because the wound of losing a friend and lover was too fresh. So they’re starting over. They’re becoming friends. I know it hurts to wait longer but that’s the first step for any possible romance in the future. With this rebuilding comes moving on with other people and sharing their lives with each other. Trust is being built once more but as adults who understand the world a bit better. Before you know it they’ll be so strong together that only the other understands the life they lead and the struggles/secrets that come with it. When that happens things will shift and change once more. The strength they draw from each other will pull them together, until a romance springs between them. When that happens, WestAllen won’t be because one of them has had a long standing crush on the other formed out of puppy love. It’ll be true, I can depend on you with anything and you make my day so imperceptibly bright, love. That’s what I want. That’s what I’ll wait to see.
What are your thoughts on “Trajectory?” Sound off in the comments to keep the discussion going!
Join us for another The Flash roundtable next Monday.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
 
 



 

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