The Flash 2×21 Roundtable: 'The Runaway Dinosaur'

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 21 of The Flash, “The Runaway Dinosaur,” where we discuss an important lesson Barry learned, WestAllen’s progression, and what happens next with Zoom and his army of metahumans.

What were your overall thoughts on “The Runaway Dinosaur?”

ALYSSA

While the pacing of the episode was slower than what we’ve been used to as of late, this episode showcased the power of The Flash: the human emotion that comes with Barry and his loved ones. This episode relied heavily on the emotional aspect of Barry Allen as he fought to find his way home. Anytime you can take a moment to really explore the hero as the person it’s a true treat. I’ll be honest, anytime I see Barry’s mother I know that there will be waterworks, as was the case with this episode. Grant Gustin is just so amazing when it comes to fleshing out who Barry Allen is and playing certain relationships. He’s one of those actors that can make me cry on the spot with his emotions. But I also really enjoyed the lesson that Barry had to learn in this episode: there are some tragedies in the universe that no one – not even the Flash – can outrun. And instead of folding on yourself, you need to move forward and not be a victim to that.

LIZZIE

I’m of two minds regarding this episode. For one, I really enjoyed the parts of the episode that didn’t have to do with the speed force, even the Zombie meta. I think Cisco is always funny and it was great to see Iris get in on the action. However, I’m not sure I really enjoyed the speed force thing, mostly because it felt to me like the easy way out. If that was ALL Barry had to do, then …what was even the point of the whole angst? And how exactly did he get his speed back? Was it just about accepting his mother’s death? What does that have to do with the speed? I don’t get it, and no one’s explaining it to me.

LYRA

This episode was the most backward way to get Barry’s ‘speed force’ with a loving touch of WestAllen. Something that’s changed so many people is a living being that has done nothing to prevent the death of hundreds? Nope. Not buying it. If anything I could’ve used less Barry running around and more Zoom scheming and trying to bring Caitlin over to the Dark Side. Am I the only one that feels like there was something missing with that conversation they had?

The Flash -- " The Runaway Dinosaur" -- Image: FLA221b_0142b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Candice Patton as Iris West and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
The CW

For most of this episode, Barry found himself stuck inside the Speed Force as he had to learn an important lesson: You have to be able to accept that the universe is going to throw tragedies at you that even The Flash can’t outrun. What were your thoughts on that?

ALYSSA

It was definitely a lesson that Barry needed to learn. We’ve seen how Barry’s been guided by his past tragedies: his mother’s death and his father’s imprisonment. But this season we’ve also seen him carry the guilt of Eddie and Ronnie’s deaths. Barry is one of those heroes that carries the weight of the world on his shoulders even though that weight doesn’t belong there. That’s something that really affects Barry, as we saw earlier this season. But Barry needed to understand that the bad things that happen are a part of life – they’re unavoidable. As the Speed Force told him, there are some tragedies that the universe will throw his way that even The Flash can’t outrun. But his job as a hero is to be able to keep going in spite of those hardships. That’s what makes him a hero.

LIZZIE

The speed force sure was a good therapist. I still don’t know what that has to do with the speed, but as I said, very good at therapy. Cheap too, unless you consider that you have to be disintegrated to get there. And also, the speed force raised a good point – life as a superhero is, at best, a dangerous business. Potentially lethal, at worst. If you can’t handle it, then you better not do it. Barry, of course, has heard this advice before, but hey, that’s one of those until you live it you don’t really understand things. You gotta live your life not afraid of the tragedies, but cognizant that they can’t happen, and superpowers don’t mean you can fix everything. That’s just not how it works. And I think Barry finally understanding that is a big step towards the hero he’s meant to become.

LYRA

I wasn’t sold on this whole “Speed Force” being like God in the The Flash universe. Since when has the ‘speed force’ been a sentient entity? They introduced something to us without hinting that this force inside Barry, was so much more. It felt disjointed and thrown together to make Barry cry again. They know how much it gives us the feels.

We saw Barry and Iris take a significant step in this week’s episode as they both want to explore a future with each other. What are your thoughts on WestAllen moving forward?

ALYSSA

Barry and Iris are in a really good place in that they’re finally ready to be together. When it comes to slowburns it’s never something that takes place instantaneously; it’s something that gradually occurs, as we’ve seen with Barry and Iris. This episode did a nice job of setting up that exploration, and we got to see just how important these two are to each other. They’re both ready to see what a future together might hold. While there are certain circumstances that trump this storyline – the whole Zoom trying to take over the world – I can see The Flash exploring Barry and Iris in season three where they can really examine how they transition from friends to significant others.

LIZZIE

This is the first time ever that I’m not just, meh, whatever about WestAllen. I really like what they’ve done with this pairing the last few episodes, which is, make them partners, have them confront their feelings in an adult and mature way. For all the talk of destiny, it doesn’t feel to me like Iris is just giving in to the inevitable, but instead like she’s finally willing to try something that, if it works out, could be for life. And that’s even bigger than destiny. That’s a choice she’s making, the same one Barry made two seasons ago.

LYRA

Impressed that both of them had a clear and adult conversation about where their relationship is going. They’ve come to a place where they’re both available emotionally and physically. No matter how fast Barry is, slow and steady sometimes wins the race. It gives them a solid ground to build their relationship on. Can’t wait to see more.

This week’s episode saw the return of a season one metahuman, Girder, who was the literal walking dead. What were your thoughts on his return? Did it feel out of place to you?

ALYSSA

To be honest, it did feel a bit out of place with what else was happening in the episode. I understand that there needed to be another storyline aside from Barry being stuck in the Speed Force, but the whole Girder of it all just felt out of place to me, not to mention the whole literal walking zombie that he’d become. But I did like it because it allowed Iris to step up in Barry’s absence and get to be the badass she is. I mean in the end it worked out well when Barry returned with his powers and was able to defeat him – and it did have it’s funny moments with Iris and Cisco – but it’s definitely something I could’ve done without.

LIZZIE

No, I thought it was better than the speed force, to be honest. It wasn’t enough to carry an episode, but as a side story in an episode focused on something else, it worked. I mean, there’s only so many TWD of iZombie jokes one can make, after all.
I also really liked the side of Iris we got to see thanks to Girder, from her whole “GET BEHIND ME” thing to Cisco, to the volunteering to act as bait. Iris has been a silent bystander on Team Flash for too long, and it’s about time to got to show that she’s no damsel in distress, no. She’s a strong woman.

LYRA

I loved it even though i thought it felt out of place. I doubt that he’s the only thing that went wrong when they started messing with the ‘speed force.’ It’s also a funny Easter Egg because the actor just passed on his other CW show, iZombie. Kudos for all the jokes via Cisco. Perfect.

The Flash -- " The Runaway Dinosaur" -- Image: FLA221a_0241b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Michelle Harrison as Nora Allen -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
The CW

Seeing as Wally and Jesse were hit with that energy in last week’s episode, we assumed that they would become speedsters like Barry. But they both showed no signs of that. Do you think their powers are something that could show up later down the road?

ALYSSA

I mean I didn’t expect to see them develop these powers instantaneously. Just look at Cisco. It took him a while to develop and then recognize that he’d developed a metahuman ability. Also look at the timing – the end of the season – when there’s already so much happening and not nearly enough time to explore this storyline. Seeing as Wally and Jesse are speedsters in the comics, I believe that we will see them as speedsters on the show at some point in the future. These comic shows are good with teasing something that appears further down the road when it makes most sense and when you don’t see it coming. But whenever this does pay off I hope it’ll be satisfying.

LIZZIE

I don’t think it was casual, no. But I guess three speedsters at once is just too much. Maybe it was just about setting up the possibility in case it needed to be explored later; maybe it was about next season. Either way, they weren’t hit by that energy by accident and what happens from here on out with Team Flash will clearly affect them. Which is why I wonder – when are they going to tell Wally about Barry? When? At this point he’s got a right to know. I know they’re probably saving for a bit all dramatic sequence where Wally cries, Joe cries, Iris cries, Barry cries and we all cry, but we can do that this season. We really can.

LYRA

I’m going to throw my money down on Jesse being a speedster. Right now she’s at a pivotal moment where she still doesn’t understand what her father did, why he did it, and the resulting metahumans that came from his actions. She’s just a big ball of angst that ran away. Jesse needs to go through her own journey where she realizes that her father did the best he could and that heroes were also born along with the villains. Plus have you seen the actor’s twitter? Pic of a speedster! She’s ready to through on that onesie! As for Wally, maybe one day he’ll be a speedster, but not yet. He’s just getting accustomed to the family and the way the West family runs. One day!

So Zoom gave Caitlin an ultimatum – join forces with him or suffer the fate of her friends when all is said and done. What do you think happens next now that Zoom has assembled a team of Earth-2 metahumans to wreak havoc?

ALYSSA

While we didn’t get to see Caitlin make her decision, it’s pretty clear what that will be. Caitlin isn’t Killer Frost; she isn’t this person that Zoom thinks she is. When it comes down to it, Caitlin is a loving, caring, intelligent hero who will fight for what’s right in this world, and that means fighting alongside her teammates – her friends. With that said, Zoom is set to unleash his metahuman army on Central City, which will clearly keep Barry preoccupied considering he has an even greater battle in taking on Zoom. Zoom is all for taking over this world, but Team Flash – with a newly superspeed Barry Allen – is ready for the challenge.

LIZZIE

Caitlin’s not gonnna join him? Not unless she can figure out a way to wreak havoc on his plans from the inside. Jay has been trying to get to the side of Caitlin that might have become Killer Frost in another universe, but I don’t think that side is in control, not of this Cait. That doesn’t mean that the possibility doesn’t exist, it exists in all of us, but if she’s ever going to go down that path, it won’t be because of an ultimatum, it’ll be because of some catastrophic experience. This is not enough, and I don’t think Caitlin is going to say yes.
Which doesn’t bode well for her, or the rest of Central City, really. Zoom has certainly brought the party to them, as they say. And I have a feeling Team Flash is going to lose one of its own before this season is over and done with…

LYRA

Caitlin’s going to run away back to her friends. Zoom will throw his fists in the air and yell, “NOOOOOOOOOO!” Manly scream I assure you. Then he’ll zoom around Central City, reeking havoc and pain on it’s citizens. Good times!
What are your thoughts on “The Runaway Dinosaur?” 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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