Wow, so bringing in Kevin Smith to direct an episode of The Flash did not disappoint in terms of giving us one hell of an episode. “The Runaway Dinosaur” was pitch perfect in its storytelling, acting, and pacing. This episode significantly advanced our plot, while also solidifying multiple character positions. So, without further ado, let’s hop into the review!
To start, let’s talk about Barry Allen! Barry, despite last episode’s cliffhanger, is alive and well. However, he is trapped inside the Speed Force, and is forced to confront the death of his mother. The Speed Force, using locations and taking the forms of people that are familiar to him, speaks to Barry throughout the episode. It (they?) reveal that Barry has never truly accepted the death of his mother, Nora, and that it was preventing him from fully moving on and caused him to ‘reject’ his gift. The Speed Force also tells Barry that it won’t allow him to leave with his powers intact until he catches a mysterious shadow-y blur. Barry grows increasingly agitated by the conversations but eventually comes to a realization. Being unable to accept his mother’s death stopped him from seeing what good there was in his life. And in a truly touching moment of television, Barry is able to say the things to his mother that he wasn’t able to say previously, and accept her death for what it is.
Meanwhile, back on our Earth, Team Flash is being forced to deal with multiple “fires” all at once. The grief of potentially having lost Barry quickly subsides when Cisco has a sense that Barry isalive. The team also has to deal with both Jesse and Wally being hit by the particles from the Particle Accelerator explosion. Wally seems to be fine (and this leads to some hilarity with Joe a bit later, as Joe tests to see if Wally got super speed), however, Jesse remains comatose after Wells manages to resuscitate her. Henry, despite being incredibly angry at Wells’ plan seemingly going massively awry, agrees to care for her while Cisco and Wells figure out a way to bring Barry back from his entrapment within the Speed Force. At the same time as all of that, Cisco and Iris discover that Tony Woodward, aka Girder, a season one multi-episode villain, was not as dead as previously thought. Zombie Tony begins to stalk Iris, as he did in life, setting forth quite a calamity as the team struggles to find a way to stop him. Cisco and Wells devise a way to bring Barry back, only to have Barry refuse (because as previously mentioned, he was working with the Speed Force to regain his powers). The team is forced to deal with this, and as Tony closes in, Cisco, with Iris, attempt to bring Barry back again and are successful.
Together, the team deals with Tony, and Barry, through the use of his powers, is also able to awaken Jesse from her coma. What was most interesting about this section of the episode was the absolute range of emotions that once again came from the cast. Wells, Henry, and Joe all had brilliant moments, and it highlighted a chemistry that really took this episode and lifted it further (and showed why, at the moment, in this writer’s opinion, The Flash is the superior show to Arrow, Supergirl, or Legends of Tomorrow).
Finally, there was once again the side plot of Zoom and Caitlin Snow. Still using the CCPD headquarters as his current base of operations, Zoom has a conversation with Caitlin at the end of the episode where he gives her a choice. He says that he’s going to leave the room, and if she runs (presumably back to her friends), he would know and the next time he saw her, he would show her the same amount of mercy he would show them (i.e. none). Or, if she stayed, she would be spared any pain as he knows she has chosen him. Zoom then goes out and it is revealed that he has brought several meta humans from Earth-2 to begin his domination of our Earth. To me, this was an unnecessary scene in what was otherwise a phenomenal episode. We already know how evil Zoom is. If anything, I felt this scene would have been more impactful as a sort of flashback or rewind in the next episode, showing how a string of events led Caitlin back to Team Flash. Still, our final confrontation is set, and we should be ending this season with one hell of a bang.
All in all, this has to be my favorite episode of the season, and I truly hope that they not only bring Kevin Smith back for more episodes of The Flash, but also let him direct future episodes of Arrow as well! This episode gave us the best emotional releases, successfully wrapping up lingering pieces, while setting us up for what should be an epic final battle between a newly confident Barry and a double powered Zoom!