“Running to Stand Still” – Review of Ep 2.09 of THE FLASH

The mid-season finale is here, with some interesting reveals…and one reveal that doesn’t yet happen. Don’t worry, you WILL see Wally West (finally!) in this episode of THE FLASH! For the rest, follow us after the jump…

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD

Mark Mardon is back…and in Iron Heights, no less. But, he’s not a prisoner – and pretty soon neither will Len Snart or James Jesse be in their cells. Mardon wants to kill the Flash, and he recognizes the benefit of three against one. A whole new kind of “war on Christmas” is on its way!

At the same time, we find that Zoom has been communicating with the Harrison Wells of Earth Two…but about what? Stick around, you’ll know by the end of the episode (and this article, of course).

There are two other storylines going on here, one involving Patty Spivot, whose father was killed during a robbery by Mark Mardon before he became the second Weather Wizard. Patty blames herself – she had ditched working for her father that day, causing her dad to be the one going to the bank that day. She believes she should have died in his place, and she became a cop to track down and kill Mardon (wow, her entire motivation for being an officer was to commit legal murder – do we really want to go with that?).

The other concerns a young gentleman named Wally.

Iris can’t deal with holding this secret in anymore, and she asks Barry for advice. Together they tell Joe – and this scene shows just why I’m such a big fan of Jesse L. Martin. If you’ve seen him in the “Rent” movie or on “Law & Order” (among other places), you know he is a tremendously talented actor. Here is another great example – you see every heartbreak, every bit of shock, hurt, pain, and more as he hears that he has a son that he never met. As good as this episode is, it’s worth watching just for this scene alone. At the end of this show we will finally (and briefly) meet Wally, who has news that we…won’t hear until next episode (though it’s pretty easy to guess what that news will be).

Back to the main tale, we find that Len Snart has no appetite for murdering Barry, and he visits the West house before leaving town (presumably) to let Barry know about the plot. That leaves Mardon and Trickster to go after The Flash on their own…and okay, Mark Hamill’s performance as Trickster is ANOTHER reason that would stand on its own for you to want to see this episode. Hamill’s James Jesse is sheer perfection.

Weather Wizard’s and Trickster’s plot involves making Barry choose to allow himself to die in order to stop 100 bombs randomly given out by “Santa” Trickster from exploding, killing families all across Central City in the process. This is resolved with the help of Cisco and Wells and some of the most insane pseudo-science since “reverse the polarity” came into being…but in the end it doesn’t matter, as the story was still highly entertaining. It’s what comes next that caught my attention.

Patty Spivot shows up just after Flash beats the bad guys, and fires a weapon at…the Flash! She immobilizes him to prevent him from stopping her main objective – killing Mardon in revenge for her father’s death!

Now, THIS was the moment I expected Flash to reveal himself in order to stop her. It would have been a little cheesy and predictable…and even though it is far past time for Barry to come clean, I’m glad it didn’t happen here. That would have been a bit trite…instead the Flash talks her down in a way that brings even Trickster to tears (which actually was a hilarious way to end the scene).

Finally, we find out what Zoom has been talking to Wells about. He wants Wells to help Barry gain maximum speed…and then to help Zoom steal that speed! It’s the only way he will keep Wells’ daughter Jesse alive. Wells agrees, at least for now – and we are now ready to go into the second half of Season Two with all sorts of story threads that should be quite interesting.

WHAT WENT WELL: Two performances were simply outstanding – Mark Hamill as The Trickster was deliciously over-the-top, and Jesse L. Martin’s performance as Joe West was possibly his best of the series so far (and that’s really saying something). We get another look at a potential Rogues get-together, and that’s always a great thing. And, we finally get to see Wally West, however briefly.

WHAT HAD ME SCRATCHING MY HEAD: The pseudo-science that got rid of the bombs was a bit wacky, though I really did not let that bother my enjoyment of the show. The other item that REALLY had me scratching my head is the idea that Patty Spivot became a cop specifically to commit murder and get away with it. The idea that she wants revenge isn’t new, nor is it bad that she wants justice. But, the idea that she got on the force specifically to kill bothered me. I’m glad her better nature prevailed…and that leads me to WHEN WILL SHE LEARN ABOUT BARRY BEING THE FLASH? It looks like that may finally come next episode…but it has already been too long.

BOTTOM LINE: This was a solid episode of THE FLASH, with stellar performances by Hamill and Martin, and some significant reveals regarding Wally and Harrison Wells. My only real complaint is that we now have to wait a bit for the next episode.

Now, what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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