The Flash S2x09 “Running to Stand Still”
The Flash wrapped up the first half of its second season earlier this week with a fantastic team-up of Barry Allen’s Rogues Gallery that had previously been formed on the series. The Weather Wizard, Mark Mardon, stepped back into the picture to bust out both Captain Cold and The Trickster from jail in order to use their help to take over Central City as Christmas reached its peak. It was a pretty fun, enjoyable episode that got the most out of Mark Hamill’s performance as the eccentric James Jesse, where the actor is essentially just playing a live-action role of his Joker from Batman: The Animated Series and the Arkham games.
Everyone was at the top of their game here and Hamill’s performance as the Trickster easily stole the show. Yes, some of the scenes may have been ludicrous such as the way that the story was resolved, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun whilst watching the episode. “Running to Stand Still” showed that fun could be had indeed. This was a lot more fun than the last time the Trickster showed up and that’s really something; with the Flash vs. Rogues storyline being very awesome to watch, even if it came at the cost of the lack of attention on Captain Cold.
The Weather Wizard and the Trickster unquestionably made a great alliance. Their team-up was handled well with a sort of reversal on the “good cop” and “bad cop” formula, with the Weather Wizard playing the bad cop and the Trickster playing the slightly more unhinged cop. The bombs were a typical calling card of the Trickster, something that wouldn’t look out of place for the Joker to pull, you know, just because he could. The action sequences that came with these two characters really worked well, and allowed Patty to come into the picture even if her storyline was fairly predictable. She was going to be faced with the prospect of murdering the killer of her father and yes, Barry was going to be the one to talk her out of it, but hell, just hurry up and show her that you’re The Flash, Barry. This has been kept secret for so long that Patty is now pretty much the only protagonist with a recurring role who doesn’t know his identity.
Wells got plenty of drama this week with his own confrontation with Zoom at the start and the end of the episode. He’s falling into the trap that the Wells of Prime Earth did, and slowly turning evil, unless of course it’s all a ruse and Wells is actually working with Barry to unmask Zoom. He’s still using Barry’s trust for his own aim though, and if Wells isn’t working with Barry, this is going to have a pretty traumatic betrayal of trust.
Everyone got plenty of things to do this episode. Keiynan Lonsdale cropped up as Wally West in a long awaited appearance of the character (if only for a brief momen). That storyline came into play a bit more as Joe wrestled with the knowledge of not being there for his son. The payoff of Barry being treated as his son worked well, thanks to the strong acting from Jesse L. Martin, and it’ll be interesting to see what comes next when the show returns from its midseason break. It’s also worth noting that both Martin and Patton had strong parts here, so hopefully the improvement in the West family drama can continue when Season 2 returns next year.
What did you think of this week’s midseason finale? I enjoyed it myself but admittedly, this season of The Flash has suffered a problem from leaning towards setting up Legends of Tomorrow at the cost of its own original arc. Hopefully, when the show returns next year it’ll allow us to get back on track, and it’ll certainly be interesting to see what happens regardless. There’s so many things that are reaching a tipping point here.