Well, it’s Team Flash without the Flash 1 and metahuman 0 in the Tuesday, April 26 episode, “Back to Normal,” but how long with Barry be without his speed? Given Harry’s proposal at the end of the hour, maybe not too long. In the meantime, however, Barry’s a regular person, Caitlin is Zoom’s prisoner and the Man in the Mask is still a mystery.
Now that Barry is The Flash without the speed, he has to take the bus to work, wait in line for coffee and say goodbye to a mug when it falls off his desk – and improvise when it comes to fighting metas. Harry goes off to find Jesse, thanks to the fact that they create cellular dead zones since they vibrate at a different frequency, but Jesse just throws him out of her new apartment and blames him for everything that has happened. She can’t forgive him for killing a man, and she’s just as afraid of him as Zoom, she says. But as he’s driving back, a metahuman, Griffin Grey, stops his van with his body and yanks him out of the vehicle. The particle accelerator explosion gave him super-strength, but it also accelerated his aging. He’s only 18, but he’s going to be dead in months, and he wants Harry to fix him – or he dies.
Without his speed, Barry has Iris drive him to Harry’s van. And while the team may be down Caitlin, with her father missing, Jesse is back and biochem was one of her majors. (One of her five majors. “That is not common anywhere,” Iris informs her.) The first attempt to stop Griffin doesn’t go so well; he throws barrels at them and Barry gets taken down, but he does see him age right in front of him, giving them something to work with. His genes have mutated, Jesse explains, and the more he exerts himself, the faster he ages. If they get him to exert too much energy, he’ll become old and weak.
While Cisco and Jesse work up something to help Barry since he can’t just be a human punching bag, Iris checks in on how he’s doing. He tells her about the first time he saved her – the first time he saved anyone – and how it was like the world froze and they were the only two people in it. He didn’t know what he could od yet, but he knew he could save her. Now, he doesn’t know who he is anymore or who he’s supposed to be. “Barry, you’re supposed to be the same guy you’ve always been. Suit or no suit, that guy is a hero,” Iris tells him.
Thanks to Harry’s watch, they’re able to track him to the Central City Amusement Park, and thanks to Felicity giving them dwarf star alloy (what Ray uses for his suit), Cisco and Jesse upgrade the internal lining of his suit, so Barry can absorb one of Griffin’s punches. Hopefully that’s all he’ll need to stop him. Their timing couldn’t be better since Griffin figures out that the “cure” Harry supposedly comes up with for him is nothing. With Iris operating the lights at the park, Barry faces off against Griffin, taking the one punch they hope will stop him and a few more as well, but in the end, Griffin does go down – and looks 18 again.
Harry and Jesse are reunited and have the talk they need to, as she explains that she’s bearing the burden of being the reason he killed the man and he tells her that he couldn’t protect her mother but swore to protect her. When Zoom took her, he snapped because he couldn’t lose the only other person he loves. Having sat through one day when he was missing and coming to realize what he was willing to do to find him, she gets why he did what he did to protect her, but it can’t happen again. And so he promises to be the kind of father she can be proud of if she promises not to run away again.
Barry may still be without his speed at the end of “Back to Normal,” but Harry may have a way to fix that. He’s going to create another particle accelerator explosion. Uh-oh.
Meanwhile, Zoom holds Caitlin captive in his lair, convinced that, given enough time, she’ll come to feel the same way he does about her. (That would be called Stockholm Syndrome, Hunter. That’s not love.) When he leaves her uncuffed, she takes the opportunity to look around and sees the Man in the Mask knocking but is too at a loss as to who he is and how to help him. More importantly, for the time being, she comes face to face with her doppelganger, as Zoom has Killer Frost locked up in a cell.
If the Man in the Mask is here, Zoom must need something from him, the villain informs her, so what does he need from her? Killer Frost says she’s asking herself the same thing, but once she convinces Caitlin to help her escape her cell in exchange for her helping her get home (with some free wardrobe tips thrown in for fun), she turns on her. (She is a villain.) “Is everyone on your Earth this gullible,” Killer Frost asks.
See, she realized that Zoom’s been keeping her around because she looks like Caitlin, and now he won’t need her anymore. But Zoom intervenes and saves Caitlin, killing her doppelganger. She should thank him, he says, but she just wants to go home. Fine, he eventually agrees, but that’s just because he’s decided to start measuring his success by counting the number of Earths he conquered and he’s done with Earth-2.
Elsewhere in the hour, Wally figures out that Joe knows the Flash and is pretty much ready to beg him to set up a meeting. He wants to thank him for saving his life, he explains to his father, especially since he gave up his powers for him, for someone he doesn’t even know. (Oh, just wait until he finds out the truth.) By episode’s end, the meeting does happen, and Wally thanks The Flash and tells him he’s not going to waste the chance he now has.
“The Flash” season 2 airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 19 “Back to Normal”?