Family | The Flash “ Running to Stand Still” Review
The holidays are afoot in Central City, and “Running to Stand Stand Still,” was a great episode to usher in a new year. The Flash has done a fantastic job of keeping its episodes equal parts serious and comical. Unlike its network counterpart, The Flash is able to pivot from a dramatic scene to a comical one without missing a step.
This mid season finale provided us with one of the least likely team ups: Mark Mardon, Captain Cold and The Trickster. This group works because they play so well off of one another. For every eerie laugh The Trickster provides, Mardon and Cold complement it with stone faced dialogue.
The episode revolves around the idea of Mardon getting revenge for The Flash killing his brother, the original Weather Wizard. While Mardon doesn’t have a rock solid plan, he does realize that the trio may not be able to defeat Barry individually, but he is sure they can do it as a team. Well, that trio quickly turns into a duo as Captain Cold wants nothing of it; plus, he still “owes one” to Barry. I do understand how this makes sense, but I wish he had some more screen time. I absolutely love Wentworth Miller and his portrayal of Captain Cold. I’m sure they’re saving him for ‘Legends,’ it’s just a shame since he is one of my favorite villains.
In this episode, The Trickster played Santa and gave kids presents with bombs in them. Of course he did! The plan is to force Barry into the position to where he can’t save everyone, but that’s why he has his STAR Labs crew. In the meantime, Barry agrees to let Mardon take out his revenge on Barry to save all the kids. The spectacle is quite intense, but I do admit it pales in comparison to the beating that Barry took from Zoom just a couple episodes prior. Just as Barry is handed off to be killed by The Trickster, the STAR labs crew pulls through. With the help of Wells especially, they create a device that allows the bombs to become magnetized and get sucked into one of the 52 breaches across Central City.
That plan works quite flawlessly, but a much larger plot line now looms. Patty has been hot on Mardon’s tail ever since she found out that he was the one who killed her father. Seeing her blame herself since she was the one that should have been at the bank is a near tear jerker. That is if we didn’t really see the way the episode was going to play out for her from the beginning. When she has the opportunity to kill Mardon, Barry talks her down from it, and all is fair in Central City once again.
I’m not one to say that she should have killed him, nor that it would fit her personality trait. It’s just that the scene was blindingly obvious from their first interaction. It also wasn’t plausible for Barry to reveal himself as The Flash, even though it would have been a great scene to do so, because then two more Villains would know that Barry and The Flash are one in the same.
With all the action and insanity in the episode, it pales in comparison to the West’s subplot, Joe specifically. Barry and Iris finally tell Joe that he does have a son after various hints of what it would have been like for Joe to have a son. All these scenes are so sad, yet Barry perfectly explains that he is Joe’s son. They dynamic between the two is perfect, and the two actors play off one another so well. The scenes felt so genuine, but, there’s always time for a Christmas miracle.
While at their small Christmas get together, Wally West knocks on the door, and Joe gets to see his son for the first time ever. Holding back a tear was nigh impossible when you think of the magnitude of the reveal. Not only does Joe get to catch up on tons of lost time with a son he never knew he had, but another speedster is about to join the foray.
The final mentionable plot line deals with Zoom and Wells 2. Wells will obviously do anything for his daughter, but are we to believe that he will betray Barry? Zoom wants to take Barry’s speed force to become exponentially more powerful. Yes, he will probably get his daughter back at one point in time, but is it worth making Zoom infinitely more powerful and destroying Barry Allen?