TV Recap: The Flash “Running to Stand Still”


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Running to Stand Still Plot:

Weather Wizard returns to break Captain Cold and The Trickster out of Iron Heights, but Barry is determined to not let that happen. Meanwhile, Joe and Iris meet Wally West.

The Flash went into it’s mid-season finale with more weird Zoom theories, a brand new character, and a completely nutty villain plot. Let’s look at them one at a time.

“Merry Christmas”

Obviously meant as a nod to this moment from the end of the original mid season finale, Zoom had a minute or two of screentime in Running To Stand Still and he used it solely to antagonize Harry. First chasing him through S.T.A.R. Labs and then taunting Harry with his captive daughter, Zoom finally got an ally in Earth-2 Harrison Wells. His identity and motives are still unknown, although Harry did get out the incredibly awkward line “You’re fattening him up, like a Christmas goose” which seems to suggest that Zoom is following a plan very similar to that of Earth-1 Harrison Wells.

I was leaning towards Earth-1 Jay Garrick, but now I’m starting to be more inclined to think Zoom may be Earth-1 Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before (and I am not by any means taking credit for this theory) but around the middle of last season the Weather Wizard was about to destroy Central City with a tsunami right as Barry managed to go back in time and prevent the tsunami from ever happening…but what if he didn’t? What if Barry Allen went back in time and prevented the tsunami in a second timeline but in the original timeline, Flash disappeared and Central City was destroyed? That Wells/Eobard may still be around and could have made his way to Earth-2 through some crazy method. Who knows how? Magnets? Could be. All that matters is, in the current continuity Barry just forgave Wells/Thawne and there is a clear possibility that another Wells/Thawne is still running around Central City looking for revenge. It would explain why all of the Wells tell Barry not to mess with time. Why would Harry even know about that, anyway?

Where’s Wally

The Flash -- "Running to Stand Still" -- Image: FLA209b_0097b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Candice Patton as Iris West, Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West and Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Flash — “Running to Stand Still” — Image: FLA209b_0097b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Candice Patton as Iris West, Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West and Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

This winter finale’s big surprise is a last minute introduction to Kid Flash aka Cartoon Justice League Flash aka Wally West played by Keiynan Lonsdale (that actor you would have to have seen in either Dance Academy or Divergent to recognize). He enters at the tail end of a very emotional episode for Joe, who is finally made aware of Wally’s existence after Barry’s insistance that Iris let her father know he has a son. I would say that it Wally showing up this episode is out of nowhere, but I don’t really care because KEIYNAN CAN SING! He hasn’t sung on the show yet, but he adds another voice to a roster that includes Grant Gustin, Carlos Valdes, Jesse L Martin, Tom Cavanagh, and possibly even Melissa Benoist in the future. All I’m saying is that the Music Meister has to exist on one of these Earths and we’re bound to bump into him eventually.

Rogue Nation

The Flash -- "Running to Stand Still" -- Image: FLA209A_0027b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart, Mark Hamill as James Jesse/Trickster and Liam McIntyre as Mark Mardon-- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Flash — “Running to Stand Still” — Image: FLA209A_0027b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart, Mark Hamill as James Jesse/Trickster and Liam McIntyre as Mark Mardon– Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

The central premise of this episode involved the Weather Wizard freeing Captain Cold and the Trickster in an attempt to kill Barry with some Christmas flair. Flash fans read that sentence and see Trickster Episode Trickster Episode Trickster Episode! And Trickster episode it was. Mark Hamill brought some much needed levity back to the show that’s sophomore season has been plagued with self doubt and angst. Trickster also clashed beautifully with not only Barry but Weather Wizard and Captain Cold in a manner that really holds true to the complicated internal politics of Flash’s primary villain group. If Cold is too heroic in the post-Legends future, maybe a certain psychic Gorilla could step in and get the Rogues in shape considering how busy someone may or may not be as a Jedi wizard.

As far as the Rogue’s actual plan, it was pure nonsense. I’m going to attempt to explain it with the actual events of the show in regular text and my corresponding thoughts in italics. (In a format I am admittedly borrowing from Rob Bricken) Here we go.

Weather Wizard breaks Cold and Trickster out of jail.

Makes sense.

The three of them get in a fight and then the other twojust  let Captain Cold leave.

Strange but I’m still on board.

Trickster makes a weird video message pointing Flash to a warehouse filled with explosive dreidels, which only doesn’t kill Flash because he learns to fly.

Not a great move, but still acceptable.

This is followed by a scene where Weather Wizard nearly ices Trickster for trying to kill Flash without consulting him, that didn’t make it to air.

Probably should have been in the episode. Replace the crying Joe scene with that.

Agreed. Then Trickster, dressed as Santa, gives out a bunch of bombs to kids in the center of town days after escaping from prison while Weather Wizard tricks Barry into going to the center of town by pretending to kill himself and then flying away.

Hey did Barry forget he could also fly? Also they probably could have just told Barry to go there and he would have shown up. That happens all the time.

Then the Rogues tell Barry to let them kill him or they will detonate the bombs and kill 100 random families.

This plan is starting to come together.

The S.T.A.R. Team is able to find the bombs by apparently just going door to door with the line “Give me your toys” (which admittedly should have been “Give me your presents.” Kids have lots of toys.)

And they find one?

Not only do they find a bomb but they are able to send all of the other bombs into Earth-2 because…wait for it…magnetism.

That’s plain old insane. Here are the two big problems. Number one, this plan only works because all 100 bombs appear to only be in ten houses that are all on the same street. Central is supposed to be a really big city and every single one of these bombs are within about fifty feet of each other. Number two, the bombs are sent to somewhere in Earth-2 and then they just explode but we never get a look at where that is. It seems like the S.T.A.R. team easily could have just sent the bombs into the air or even the water. Who knows what kind of problems they could cause for Earth-2?

Then Barry promptly whoops Weather Wizard and Trickster and Patty super-staples Barry to the floor before pulling a gun on a defeated Weather Wizard.

And some of the other cops stop her?

Nope. They just let her attempt to murder him.

Does Barry phase through the trap to stop Patty?

As usual, he forgets he can do that. It doesn’t matter because Patty heroically decides not to execute Weather Wizard so everything’s fine.

Yikes.

It’s a fun episode but it makes next to zero sense. Zero. Also there is a little subplot where Caitlin really wants to get a piece of Garrick and then she does. Merry Christmas.


Matthew Nando Kelly is an incredibly cool and handsome staff writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he focuses on film, television, music, and video games. Matthew also has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he discusses pop culture related brackets with fellow Pop-Break writer DJ Chapman. He has an unshakable love for U2, cats, and the New Orleans Saints. His twitter handle is @NationofNando. Did we mention how handsome he was?

Matthew Nando Kelly is a cool and tough Senior Staff Writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he makes pop culture brackets with fellow writer DJ Chapman.