FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 2×09 – “Running to Stand Still”

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The Flash
(2×09 ) –
“Running to Stand Still”
Written by: Andrew Kreisberg
Directed by: Kevin Tancharoen
Okay, we’re back.  No more crossovers or Legends prep, just some
good old Flash goodness before we go into the Christmas Break.  And speaking of being back, Zoom is chasing
Wells through STAR Labs.  Well, it’s a
bit generous to call it a chase, it’s more like he’s toying with his food.  When Zoom finally corners Wells he wishes him
a “Merry Christmas.”  Awwww,
Zoom! You big softy!
At Jitters, Iris and Joe are
taking a break from Christmas shopping and playing a fun game called “Joe
unknowingly drops a mega guilt trip about Wally.”  This is not the first time they’ve played
this game and it seems Iris is tapping out because by the time she finds Barry
she’s nearly in tears.
Barry happens to be doing
something think we’d all like to do: bask in the presence of the greatest woman
who has ever lived.  That’s right:
After Patty leaves, Iris
explains everything to Barry (and for those of us that might be rusty after
three plus weeks without the West family drama being addressed) about Francine
leaving and being pregnant with Joe’s son. 
The guilt is eating her alive and she doesn’t know what to do.  Barry tells her that she really doesn’t have
a choice.  She owes it to Joe and Wally
to tell him.  He then tells her he’d be
there when she does. 
Over at STAR Labs, Caitlin
and Jay are trying very hard to win the 2015 “Worst at Flirting”
award.  As reigning 2014 champion, Cisco
is unimpressed and tells them to get over themselves before he decides to seek
out Wells.  Unsurprisingly, Wells seems noticeably
shaken up by his run in with Zoom.
Outside Iron Heights Prison,
there seems to be a freak snow storm and before you can say “Everybody
CHILL!” Mark Mardon come onto the scene and take out the guards.  He quickly seeks out Captain Cold but instead
of taking him out the front door, Mardon continues his shopping spree by
picking up The Trickster!
Barry and Joe are on the
scene, pointing out that their Christmas has been pretty much nuked three years
running.  But what makes this especially
bad is that Mardon breaking them out means Patty could become something of an
unstable element.  Patty is already on
the scene and she is the kind of calm that anyone that has dealt with a truly
furious woman will recognize.  Patty is
blaming herself for them not anticipating this and when Barry tries to talk
with her she says that he can’t understand. 
Barry and I both find this a little ironic.  This lands Patty in the Mel Gibson range on
the “Cop on the Edge” Scale.
At an abandoned toy factory, Mardon explains his
proposal.  With the beating Zoom handed
Barry a month back, Mark feels it’s well past time to kill the Flash and he
needs their help.  Trickster is all in,
but Cold seems a little wary.
Back at STAR Labs, Barry has gathered the team to
plan their strategy and Cisco hits upon the idea of creating a weather wand
with Barry’s encouragement.  This draws
Wells’ attention and Barry explains that Cisco had created the device in the
previous timeline last year and it’s time they built it again.  Jay offers to help and he and Cisco head off
before Barry leaves to give Iris some moral support.
At the station, Joe arrives and Iris tells him
everything about Francine and Wally.  Joe
is heartbroken and leaves without talking to them about it.  Barry takes Iris back to the West house and
finds Captain Cold.  Leonard offers up
some information about Mardon’s big plan but not enough to risk his neck.  Barry asks for his help catching them but
Snart leaves instead.
Barry finds Joe at STAR Labs, and Joe is hounded
by the guilt of not being there for his son all these years.  As a man that’s defined himself by how hard
he works at being a father, not being there for Wally is crushing.
At the Police Station, Patty is looking through
files to find Mardon and nearly gets herself on the wrong side of Captain Singh
but the Trickster interrupts with his own special brand of Christmas
Special.  Team Flash is watching the
broadcast at STAR Labs and with a little photo enhancement find evidence of
where Trickster’s hideout is and Barry heads there.
It seems Patty pulled the same trick because she
beats him there.  The Trickster shows
himself to be inclusive to our Jewish friends with some C-4 Dreidels and Barry
has to improvise.  He uses his tornado
arms trick to get them out of there through the skylight.
Patty is furious that Mardon set a trap for Flash
and didn’t bother to show up, when Barry asks Patty why she explains that not
only did Mardon murder her father during a bank robbery but her father was only
there because she’d blown off work that day. 
She’s devoted her life to being able to catch Mardon so when the day
came she could kill him legally even if it destroyed her life.  Officially going full Eastwood on the
“Cop on the Edge” scale, she leaves Barry behind to continue her
search.
The next day, Barry is still trying to get a hold
of Patty when Jay presents him with their Weather Wand.  Meanwhile, Trickster is dressed as Santa giving
away special presents at the mall. 
Later, Cisco manages to catch Mardon using his powers near the Central City
Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.  Barry
goes after him and chases Mardon, when he catches him it turns out to be a
trap. 
The gifts Trickster has been giving out all with
full of bombs set to blow on Christmas morning. 
Mardon offers Flash a choice, let Mardon and James kill him or the bombs
blow up.  Fortunately, Wells has a PhD in
mad science, he’ll use the bombs and the breaches to essentially find and
dispose of all the bombs at once.  All
they have to do is find one bomb.  After
Cisco, Jay and Wells have taken care of we get a very cool tribute to this
moment from The Dark Knight:
As Trickster is about to kill him, Cisco tells
Barry the bombs are out of play.  Barry
subdues the men, just as Patty arrives on the scene.  She disables Barry then pulls her gun to kill
Mardon.  Barry manages to talk her down
and the day is officially saved.
Later at STAR Labs, Joe catches up with Barry and
explains that he’s talk with Francine and worked through a lot and before long
he will get to meet Wally.  But first he
has a gift for Barry, the watch that Joe’s father gave him when he was a
younger man.  A gift from father to
son.  Joe leaves and Barry promises to
catch up to him at the Christmas Party.
Barry is along and sees Wells working on the
treadmill, he takes a moment to talk to Eobard and address the message he gave
Barry at the start of the season.  Barry
vows to finally let his hate go and try to be happy then invites Wells to the
Christmas party.  Wells declines, he
can’t celebrate while Jesse is being held by Zoom.
The rest of the team gathers at the West home and
Patty arrives to make peace with Barry she also vows to tell him what happened
with her father.  The doorbell rings and
when Joe answers it he’s face to face with his son.  Meet Wally West.
Somewhere in Central City, Wells is waiting for
Zoom, when he arrives we learn that Zoom has made him an ultimatum.  Jesse’s life in exchange for the Flash’s
speed.  Wells has finally put it all together,
Zoom has been using villains from Earth-2 to force Barry to get faster and more
powerful, essentially fattening him up for dinner.  Zoom confirms this and gives Wells a moment
with his daughter to sweeten the deal and Wells relents.  He vows to help Zoom take Barry’s speed.
Now that was an episode of the Flash! And after
last week it was just what the doctor ordered. 
We got West family drama, Patty, Zoom, Mark Hamill and the introduction
we’ve all been waiting for two seasons for. 
It was just plain satisfying.
Mark Hamill of course chewed on the scenery to
wonderful affect and managed to tease us with the Joker without tumbling over
the line.  Meanwhile, Liam McIntyre did
an admirable job of not being run over by Hamill and Wentworth Miller was used
well in a scene that seemed to only be there to get Cold out into the open for Legends.  It should also come as no surprise that I
enjoyed every scene with Joe and Jesse L Martin managed to pluck at my
heartstrings with precision but where this episode really shined was with
Patty.
I may make a bit of a meme about how much I enjoy
Shantel VanSanten as Patty but that’s only because she’s been so much fun thus
far.  So for her to turn around and show
the other side of the emotional range was satisfying.  She showed herself to be more like Barry than
we might have realized in that she buries pain with positivity.  I made the character more endearing.
This was a great send off for the first half of
the season and a great set up for what is to come.
Three Things We
Learned This Week:
1)     
Captain Cold is now at large.
2)     
Joe and Iris have met Wally.
3)     
Wells has betrayed Barry to Zoom to save his
daughter.
Three Questions:
1)     
Wait, Cold was just in gen-pop? Shouldn’t he be
in the same type of cell as Trickster?
2)     
Did Barry tip his hand a little too much to
Patty at the end?
3)     
How exactly is Zoom “feeding” off
speedsters?
Just another guy on the internet.