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The Flash – S2E19 – Back to Normal

Previously on The Flash, “Versus Zoom”

There’s at least one per season – an episode that just doesn’t work for me. Considering The Flash has a 23-episode season, one stinker isn’t bad at all. And even when an episode disappoints, it’s still better than most. And yet, I simply didn’t care about the events that took place in “Back to Normal.” For an episode that follows a major character being kidnapped by the season’s main villain, I expected more.

Images: The CW

Every superhero show has one episode where the hero loses his powers (with no real idea how they’ll get them back) and has to learn to readjust to life as a “normal” person. For Team Flash, a powerless Barry Allen is actually a good thing. Everyone has an opportunity to step up and prove themselves a valuable member when trouble comes. And trouble always comes.

This week, Wells tracks Jesse and finds she still wants nothing to do with him. I’ve said before this story line is pretty weak. Sure, be horrified that your father killed someone, but you were also held hostage by a psychopath for months. If there’s one person in the world who would and should take someone out to get you back, it’s your dad. Jesse, have a seat. Wells indulges this, again, but when he leaves her apartment he’s kidnapped by a meta-human, Griffin Grey. Grey is a high school senior who looks like a middle-aged man thanks to the particle accelerator explosion. He has super strength, which speeds up the aging process every time he uses it. He demands Wells figure out a cure. Since everyone thinks Earth-1’s Wells is dead (and he is), why is this happening?

Jesse works with Cisco, Barry, Iris, and Joe to get her father back. When she’s not whining about the audacity her father had to do anything to save her life, Jesse is quite likable and competent. She makes for an excellent addition, especially with Caitlin off-world. The way she and Iris were seamlessly utilized is the kind of writing many us have wanted for Iris since season one. They’re both smart and gutsy. It was nice to see them helping to rescue someone instead of needing rescuing.

Speaking of which, it doesn’t matter that Barry doesn’t have his powers or that they’re too distracted to think of a way to bring Caitlin back because she doesn’t seem to be in much danger – Cisco reports as much when he vibes her in a cell in Zoom’s lair. Hunter is a psychopath in love and has no plans to hurt Caitlin. This essentially makes Zoom a joke.

When he leaves her alone to do who-the-hell-knows-what (No, seriously. Where the hell does he keep going? Does he have a day job?), Caitlin meets Killer Frost, who survived after helping Barry escape and is now occupying the cell across from the man in the iron mask. She strikes a deal with Caitlin: Use her brains to figure a way out and Killer Frost will help them both escape. Of course, Killer Frost goes back on her word once she’s free and tries to kill Caitlin, only to find herself stabbed with her own ice spear by Zoom.

I enjoyed Killer Frost a hell of a lot more than I like Caitlin, so I was sorry to see her go – even though that vocal fry crap was a bit grating.

Perhaps the most frustrating development this week was Wally West not piecing together that his foster brother is The Flash. They even went so far as to have him mix up what Zoom said about why he was taken last week. “Someone he cares about, cares about you.” Wally tells Joe that Zoom said someone The Flash knows cares about Wally – he’s smart enough to figure out that’s Joe and wants Joe to set up a meeting with The Flash so he can thank him for his sacrifice. Maybe if he’d heard/remembered what Zoom actually said he’d figure out that his father is also The Flash’s father, not just working with him.

The bright side of this is seeing Wally make the mature decision to not just thank The Flash for saving him, but he vows to not squander the second chance he was given. No more drag racing and living on the edge, I guess.

Even so, Joe doesn’t tell Wally the truth and tries to talk Wally out of wanting to meet The Flash. At first I thought this was because The Flash doesn’t have his powers and Joe didn’t want Wally to know that, but Wally already knows (he knew the terms of his release). So, why are they still not telling him? It would be one thing if they’d written Wally as someone who can’t keep a secret or someone with a personal grudge against meta-humans, but he’s neither.

I suspect things will improve next week as Wells’ near-death experience and desire to live up to being the kind of father Jesse’s deserves leads him to suggest recreating the explosion that gave Barry his powers the first time – that couldn’t possibly go wrong. And Zoom decides to bring Caitlin back to Earth-1 so she can witness him conquer it.


  • Zoom phasing through Caitlin to save her life was pretty awesome.
  • Barry dropping these bars and not even knowing it. He tells Iris she was the first person he saved when he got his powers. “I didn’t know what I could do, but I knew I could save you.” #WestAllen
  • Tom Cavanagh acted his entire ass off this week.
  • Two of the three blackest line deliveries on TV this week were in this episode. Iris: “Girl, no. That’s not common anywhere.” And Joe: “Cause they crazy.” (The blackest delivery goes to Strand on this week’s Fear the Walking Dead: “I know you not running on my deck.”)
The Flash S2E19 = 7.5/10
  • 6.5/10
    Plot – 6.5/10
  • 8.5/10
    Dialogue – 8.5/10
  • 7/10
    Action – 7/10
  • 8.5/10
    Performances – 8.5/10
  • 7/10
    Meta-Humans – 7/10
User Review
4.5 (2 votes)
About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, “The Twin Prophecies,” and a collection of essays titled, “Blog It Out, B*tch.” Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she’s totally fine with that.

6 Comments on The Flash – S2E19 – Back to Normal

  1. Hi you guys. I was dreading this episode since sad Barry makes me tired but it actually worked for me. I’m glad that Wells read Barry because he needed to hear it. His ‘plans’ never work so maybe they should all stop enabling him. But I loved the Iris-Barry work pair (more please). I’m confuse, was Jay-Zoom the ‘Jay’ that Caitlin hooked up with (yes Snowbarry fans, that happened too)? Wasn’t it another non crazy version of him? Because how/when did he get so into her? I don’t get this new outlet of his general crazy. Jesse needs to stop with her dumb concerns. You like breathing don’t you? How do you think you got & stayed that way? Ok, back to work. Love y’all & the podcast!

  2. Yes Nina to the black moments! I literally thought “that was so black” when Joe cause they crazy. For zoom to be some crazy killer, it rally didn’t make sense to me that he would just let Caitlin roam free like she wasn’t going to try to escape. If anything, Caitlin should have been trying to get the iron mask guy out. He seems to have some vital info about zoom. My theory is that it’s zoom’s father, James. Also, won’t the particle accelerator cause for more meta humans to be created? Is that how Barry gets his speed back ? And I was still confused on why this week’s meta human has super strength, like previous ones we seen before, but his strength comes with the caveat of reverse Benjamin button. I don’t feel like they explained the science behind why his strength was different from other people’s strength. This was not my fav episode but I was so hoping iris and Barry were going to kiss when he revealed he knew he could save her


    Besides the blackety black comments I think this show is lacking the shine and polish it had the last couple of seasons. Zoom as a villain is nice but even Mr. Sears fine ass can’t make this episode great. I don’t know what it was, but it was meh and it was not because of Barry’s lack of powers. Or at least I didn’t feel like it was. What the hell do I know? Anyway on to my questions:

    I don’t need my husband back in earth 2 so how in the fuck can we keep him in earth 1? Because Wells is an important part of why I enjoy this show.

    When in the entire fuck can I see Cisco get to work on those fucking powers? Seriously, it is pissing me off when Sway?

    Will Caitlin die? I sure hope so and

    Do we know or have guesses about how Barry will get his speed back? I think that Wally will help him get his speed back. I have no idea how he will but it would be awesome to integrate him into the team like that.

  4. FOR THE PODCAST: I actually liked this episode more then i thought i would. I really like seeing Barry, Cisco, Iris, Joe and Jesse team up and they made realize how much we dont need caitlin on this show. Speaking of caitlin i actually didnt mind her scenes with killer frost, i was lowkey hoping killer frost would kill her and then somehow return to earth 1 pretending to be her, but oh well. I didnt mind the metahuman, his story was actually really sad to me and i was hoping they would be able to save him ? i liked the jessie and harry scenes because with her he is not always being an asshole, he actually has heart when she is around. Its definitley bullshit that Wally doesnt know that Barry is The Flash but im ok because i really love how much this character has grown and his scenes with joe and BarryFlash makes me real excited about him becoming kid Flash. All the Iris and WestAllen scenes we are getting is EVERY.FUCKING.THING. We have to be getting a kiss and them being a couple by the end of the season right? Thats my feedback, can’t wait to hear your podcast.

  5. For the podcast.
    I agree with the recap. Kinda meh.

    Good part. All these Iris scenes and how seamlessly she works with the crew! And Harry called her West! Love it! Love any WestAllen they give me and it was great! Does he call Joe West or does he call him Detective?

    Why is Wally not putting two & two together? Why?

    They killed he wrong Caitlin! Killer Frost is fun. Caitlin is the opposite. Plus they don’t need her! Jessie did just fine and can stay once she stopped acting childish about what any parent who loves their child would do if forced.

    Ok. That’s it. Can’t wait to hear the podcast!

    Btw, was I the only one yelling WTF when Zoom confessed to loving boring ass Caitlin?


    I’m really okay if Zoom just keeps Caitlin forever. She sucks so bad. And all her privilege just gave Zoom the idea to destroy Earth 1! You know what? Keep her ass. Forever.

    I cheered when Jessie apologized to her dad. She was being ridiculous. How the hell do you get mad at your daddy for doing everything he can to protect you? And more importantly…did she even tell her roommate she was leaving? Rude.

    Wallace is getting more and more likeable. (Y’all know I ain’t callin’ that negro Wally) I don’t even have anything negative to say about him, other than the fact that he needed to say something real Black like his family did. YAS!

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