‘The Flash’ Season 2 Episode 19: Back to Normal

The Flash Season 2 Episode 19
Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West, Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen in ‘The Flash’ (Photo: Katie Yu © 2016 The CW Network)
The CW’s The Flash season two episode 19 brought back Killer Flash and introduced a super strong meta-human with a fatal genetic mutation. The episode titled ‘Back to Normal’ aired on April 26, 2016 and was the first to show Barry minus his speedster skills. Poor Barry wasn’t handling the return to doing everything at a normal pace well, and giving up his speed for Wally’s release made it very difficult for Team Flash to protect the city and work on figuring out a way to get Caitlin back from Zoom on Earth-2.

The Recap:

Barry’s old morning routine was racing to work after picking up coffee and then powering through his case files. His new morning routine looks more like that of the rest of us…slowly getting dressed, taking the crowded bus to work, standing in a super long line at the coffee shop, followed by hours of tedious paperwork. Needless to say, Barry’s less than enthusiastic about the way life is now that he’s no longer a speedster.

At S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) vibes and determines Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) is in Zoom’s lab and she’s okay for now. They have to get her back but have no idea how. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) blames Barry (Grant Gustin) for all of their current troubles, including the fact Zoom can now come through the breach anytime he wants. Wells takes off to find his daughter before Zoom (Teddy Sears) can get to her, tracking her by way of cellular dead zones that she leaves behind because people from Earth-2 vibrate at a different frequency. He takes a laser gun in case he runs into someone from Earth-2 that he has to take down.

On Earth-2, Caitlin’s chained to a bed and won’t eat. Zoom tells her she has to, but she won’t talk to him until he takes off his mask. Jay complies, but Caitlin’s still not willing to carry on a real conversation. She calls him Hunter, and that causes him to flashback to his childhood. He tells her she’s not there because he needs something from her, she’s there because he loves her. He’s willing to wait for her to once again be in love with him. He takes off her chains and says she’s free to look around the lab. He takes off and Caitlin tries to talk to the man in the mask. Just then Killer Frost makes her presence known, saying, “Well hello doppelgänger of mine.” Killer Frost’s locked in one of Zoom’s cells and Caitlin looks stunned to see her.

Back on Earth-1, Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) visits Joe (Jesse L Martin) at the station, wanting to know more about The Flash. He wants to know what their connection is to him, but Joe won’t say who he is. Wally’s fine with that, but he’d like a meeting with The Flash. Joe, however, doesn’t think that’s possible right now.

Harrison tracks Jesse (Violett Beane) down to an apartment she’s sharing with another young woman. He tells her they have to leave because she’s not safe on her own, but she refuses. “I’m in danger because of you!” says Jesse, telling him everything is his fault. She also tells him she’s afraid of Zoom and she’s just as afraid of him. Harrison leaves the apartment in tears. Driving away in a van, he’s distracted and doesn’t brake in time to avoid hitting a meta-human in the middle of the road.

Barry’s hanging out at S.T.A.R. Labs watching the news reports of petty crime on the rise throughout the city. Cisco turns off the TV, telling Barry to stop watching the news. Cisco then gets an alert that Wells has been in an accident, and the dash cam shows him being taken away by someone.

Back on Earth-2, Killer Frost and Caitlin Snow are getting to know each other, with Killer Frost wondering why Caitlin doesn’t show off “the girls.” She says, “I mean, you’ve seen our body, right?” Killer Frost’s extremely annoyed by the continuous knocking by the man in the mask, telling Caitlin she doesn’t know who the guy is but Zoom must need something from him or he wouldn’t be locked up. Caitlin wonders what Zoom needs from Killer Frost, but her Earth-2 doppelgänger has no idea what Zoom’s up to. Killer Frost wants to make a deal: if Caitlin frees her from the cell, she’ll help her get home.

Back on Earth-1, Barry collects evidence from the crash scene with help from Iris. They figure out it was a meta-human that Wells hit and that it’s probably from Earth-2. Iris grabs the laser gun and they head off to find Jesse.

Wells comes to and discovers he’s been captured by Griffin Grey (Haig Sutherland), a name he doesn’t recognize. Griffin says he was one of Wells’ mistakes, and Wells tries to explain he’s not that Dr. Harrison Wells. Griffin wants him to fix what the particle accelerator did to him which was made him super strong. Being strong was fun at first but then Griffin learned it’s making him age at a super accelerated pace. He’s only 18 but looks like he’s in his 30s. If Wells can’t fix him, then Griffin will just have to kill him.

Jesse returns with Barry and Iris to S.T.A.R. Labs, regretting she ever left her dad. Cisco says the fingerprint Barry found at the crime scene belongs to Griffin Grey, a high school senior who went missing six months ago. Cisco compares his photo with the photo taken from the dash cam and they’re a match, although obviously Griffin has aged a lot in six months. Cisco wishes Caitlin was there to analyze the cells and Jesse steps up to help because biochem was one of her majors. (She had five majors in college!) Barry heads out to check the police database.

On Earth-2, Caitlin’s trying to figure out how to free Killer Frost. Killer Frost tells her about her powers, and they compare childhoods. Killer Frost had a brother who died, which turned her mom into a b*tch. Caitlin’s mom was the same way, but she never had a brother. Caitlin explains she’s going to heat up the glass cell wall and make it crack.

Wally visits Joe again and asks once more to meet The Flash. He really wants to thank him because he thought he was going to die and The Flash gave up his powers to save him. He needs a face-to-face to tell him how much that means to him, and Joe finally agrees to set up the meeting.

Barry tells Cisco and Jesse that Griffin’s been spotted breaking into a warehouse. He grabs the laser gun, leaves Jesse at the lab, and heads out with Cisco. Joe meets them there and they spot Griffin in one of the aisles. They demand he lets Wells go, but he refuses and hurls heavy objects at them. Barry shoots and misses, but Griffin connects with a barrel, knocking Barry down. All the effort of tossing heavy objects around makes Griffin age into a senior citizen in front of Barry’s eyes, but Griffin’s gone by the time Joe and Cisco come to Barry’s aid.

Iris fixes up Barry back at the lab while Jesse explains Griffin’s genes have mutated. The more he exerts himself, the faster he’ll age. They need to get him to expend energy as soon as possible. Everyone but Barry and Iris leave to go work on a solution. Barry reminds Iris she was the first person he saved after he got his powers. He saved her from oncoming cars while they were on a walk, and now he doesn’t even know who he is. She tells him, “Suit or no suit – that guy is a hero.”

Wells is putting chemicals together while Griffin talks about all the things he missed because of the particle accelerator accident.

On Earth-2, Caitlin throws the switch and takes a sledgehammer to the wall. It works and Killer Frost is free. The man in the iron mask gets Caitlin’s attention and Killer Frost uses that opportunity to try and freeze her. She misses, and Caitlin’s upset because she thought they had a deal. Killer Frost says she needs to kill Caitlin after realizing the only reason Zoom’s keeping her alive is because they look alike. With Caitlin there, Zoom won’t need Killer Frost. Killer Frost sends an icicle at Caitlin but Zoom races in, intercepts it, and stabs Killer Frost through the abdomen. She was right. Zoom doesn’t need her and now she’s dead. Jay warns Caitlin if she tries to set the man in the mask free, he’ll kill him too. And off he goes, leaving Caitlin once again.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs the team is still working on trying to track down Wells. Jesse comes up with the idea to try to zero in on Wells’ watch which should be alerting since he’s in the presence of a meta-human. They find its signal and learn Wells is at Central City’s amusement park. Jesse and Cisco worked on the lining of The Flash’s suit (with a little assist from Felicity) and it will protect Barry. But, they could only protect the chest area of the suit and it will only absorb one of Griffin’s super-strong punches.

The Flash Season 2 Episode 19
Grant Gustin as The Flash (Photo: Katie Yu © 2016 The CW Network)

Wells hands Griffin the cure, but Griffin’s smart enough to know Wells hasn’t really been working on something that will actually fix him. Wells admits there isn’t a cure and Griffin punches Wells, knocking him across the floor. Right at that moment Griffin’s security cameras alert him to the fact he’s got unwanted company. Joe, Barry, and Cisco have reached the amusement park, with Iris and Jesse in the van monitoring Griffin’s movement. Iris switches on all the lights, temporarily blinding Griffin and giving the speed-less The Flash time to get in a few good punches. Griffin throws a metal amusement park car at Joe and Cisco, knocking Joe down. He then takes off after The Flash, hair now completely grey and face wrinkly. The Flash throws another punch but misses, while trying to tell Griffin they can help him. Griffin says it’s too late and sends The Flash flying with a punch to the chest. He aims for The Flash’s head but the blow barely misses. He tries again, aging with each failed punch. Barry takes one more punch to the chest and hits the ground, but the punch also marked the end of Griffin who dies from accelerated old age. Once dead, he returns to his 18 year old self.

Jesse races in and frees Wells and the two hug it out, apologizing for how they treated each other.

Jesse and Harrison are back home and Jesse tries to explain that she feels a huge burden because she’s the reason he killed a man. He understands and knows he’s done something unforgivable. He tells her when her mother died something inside of him broke. He swore on her grave that he’d protect Jesse and when Zoom snatched her up, he snapped. She gets it but wants assurance that he won’t snap again. He promises that he’ll be the kind of father she can be proud of if she promises to never run away again. It’s a deal and they embrace again.

And now it’s time for the meeting between Wally and The Flash. Joe leaves them to it and, from a distance, Wally thanks him for saving his life. “I’m not going to waste this chance that you’ve given me. Thank you,” says Wally. The Flash says, “You’re welcome, Wally,” and leaves. Well, that was super short and pretty anti-climatic.

On Earth-2 Jay thinks Caitlin should be thanking him for saving his life after Killer Frost tried to kill her, but Caitlin just wants to go home. Jay says, “No. Stay.” She tells him she wants to leave which once again gives him flashbacks to that night when his dad murdered his mom. Caitlin begs to go home and Jay says he’s just made a decision. Instead of counting his success by the number of his victims, he’ll count it by the number of Earths he conquers. “You want to go home? Let’s go. After all, this Earth has already been brought to its knees,” says Jay, laughing maniacally.

At S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry and Wells are early risers and Barry admits he has no idea how to get Caitlin back without his powers. Wells confesses he doesn’t believe he’s paid for everything he’s done but he thinks he knows a way to help. He’s going to create another particle accelerator explosion so that Barry can get his speed back.

The Review:

What a waste of a terrific character! Killer Frost was one of the most interesting meta-humans introduced this season on The Flash and, unfortunately, the writers chose to get rid of her far too soon. Danielle Panabaker was fun to watch in both roles, and it’s a shame we won’t get to see Killer Frost and Caitlin attempting to get to know each other better (and comparing more horrible mother stories) in future episodes.

Zoom/Hunter/Jay revealed himself to be obsessed with winning back Caitlin, which might lead to his eventual downfall. And while Caitlin was away dealing with the craziness of Zoom, Jesse Quick stepped up to take her place analyzing clues for Team Flash. It’s great to have Jesse back involved, but hopefully her presence doesn’t mean Caitlin will be off with Zoom for more than a couple of episodes. Team Flash needs to reunite and get back to working together to stop meta-humans from creating havoc in their fair city. Season two’s definitely much darker in tone than season one and it feels like it’s about time to add some lighter moments back into each episode.

Season 2 Recaps: Episode 1 / Episode 3 / Episode 4 / Episode 5 / Episode 7 / Episode 8 / Episode 10 / Episode 11 / Episode 12 / Episode 13 / Episode 14 / Episode 15 / Episode 16 / Episode 17 / Episode 18