The Flash “Back to Normal” Review (Season 2 Episode 19)

The Flash has a good habit of quickly burning through its plot, keeping the show from falling into lulls that often; even in an off-episode, things are still usually happening. However, not even the Scarlet Speedster is immune to the post-defeat mope episode, a staple of the Arrowverse and superhero television on the whole. On the one hand, this is a necessary evil, letting our heroes work through their failings before finding a second wind. On the other, well, The Flash has had a lot of episodes like “Back to Normal,” to the point that it’s hard not to be a little antsy for the show to get going again.

I don’t know, maybe it’s as simple as it being a bummer to watch Barry Allen mope. With Oliver Queen and Arrow, the brooding is par for the course, but Barry is an inherently more optimistic hero; whenever he loses faith, the show essentially loses its spirit. And on the whole, this was a fairly mirthless episode, with the kidnapped Harry also being made to face his own guilt and failures. Even the ending was fairly dark, with Griffin’s powers ultimately aging him to death.

Again, I get it. With his powers gone, Barry’s going to struggle with the possibility that he’s human for good. But the “having no speed” plot is awfully similar to the “I’m not fast enough” plot we’ve seen before, and in every case, he’s found a way. Plus, there’s not really a show if Barry Allen doesn’t have his speed, so it’s more a matter of when than if in regards to him getting his powers back. Well, unless things take a huge left turn and Jesse or Wally get speed powers next week instead, but that’d be pretty nutty.

Meanwhile, Caitlin’s captivity on Earth-2 provided a surprisingly fun adventure, despite the grim settings. Really, it was just great to see Killer Frost again, and Danielle Panabaker seemed to be having a lot of fun playing the two vastly different version of Caitlin against one another. Seriously, though, can we please find out more about that poor tapping Man in the Iron Mask?

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!