For all the comic book shenanigans that I love about The Flash, the thing that keeps me coming back to the show is its warmth and heart. Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow are fine and dandy (I couldn’t get into Arrow but Legends is pure silver age delight), but neither of them radiate love like The Flash does. “The Runaway Dinosaur” might just be the best episode the series has produced since the season one finale, and that has everything to do with Nora Allen.
Season one’s driving force was always Barry’s mother, leading to an emotional climax that is one of the best in all of filmed superhero history. Season two has struggled to find that same through-line, but it may have finally done so with an episode all about letting go of last season’s main arc. The stuff with Barry in the Speed Force isn’t revolutionary by storytelling standards, but it feels revolutionary for The Flash. Hinting at a bigger world, focusing so tightly on Barry and why he (and only he) is The Flash is all grade-A comic book writing, but Grant Gustin takes it to a whole other level. The dude kills it in this episode, and has cemented himself as the once and future Barry Allen in my mind. Ezra Miller is doomed right out the gate. He doesn’t stand a chance.
And how great is it to have Henry around for real? I sincerely hope they aren’t building him up just to knock him off, because John Wesley Shipp fits so perfectly into Team Flash that I get upset knowing that he could have been there this entire time. Don’t kill him, Berlanti. Don’t you do it!
Thank the Speed Force for these last two episodes. I was praying that The Flash got its shit together in this last run of episodes for the season, and “The Runaway Dinosaur” looks to be doing just that (an army of metas? Where was this all season?!?). If these last few episodes continue this kind of pacing and build, I think season two is going to redeem itself in an enormous way. It kind of already has.
Favorite moment: I could try and be cool or funny here (honorable mention to Cisco and Harry’s synchronized, “Plan H.”), but I cried like Kevin Smith when Barry and his mom read The Runaway Dinosaur. That is a pinnacle moment in the show’s history
Unfavorite moment: Do I take the easy target and go with the shoehorned Jason Mewes appearance? As unconnected as that felt, the entire Girder plot was so extraneous and dumb that I gotta go with it. We could have had more focus on Wally and Jesse’s impending speedster powers and some more time with Team Flash figuring out what happened to Barry (or believing he was dead for a longer period of time). I know the show loves its formula but this was a good enough episode that it could have deviated from it.
Next Episode: Invincible