The Flash “Running to Stand Still” Review : Christmas in Central City!
A few Flash villains team-up for the holidays to try and defeat Barry once and for all this week-and that includes the glorious return of Mark Hamill as the Trickster! (Just in time for Star Wars: The Force Awakens!)
Captain Cold, The Trickster, and new threat Weather Wizard break out of jail and decide to join forces to take down National City using smart methods and the holiday spirit (in some really funny and bizarre ways). Meanwhile, Iris and Joe West have some family business to take care of when Iris reveals to Joe that Francine had a son-his.
There is a LOT of plot points and characters in this episode, so much that no one thing can be explored in great depth but it all balances out very well with humor, drama, action and furthers the series with new reveals. Seeing The Trickster again is a real treat and he’s hilarious, giving us what we love about Mark Hamill from both the previous Flash series from the 90s and his voice role as the Joker (the one and only Joker) from Batman: The Animated Series. I kinda wish they kept him for a solo episode instead of this one, but it’s great to see him nonetheless.
The Weather Wizard is a good threat as well and the actions of Captain Cold continue to make him the most interesting of all the villains on the show thus far. But the real drama comes from the reveal that the Wizard killed Patty’s father and that is what drove her to become a cop in National City-to hunt down metahumans and kill the Weather Wizard. This is a great story as well, but like The Trickster, there is a part of me that feels this should have been saved for its own episode.
And that is the main flaw for the mid-season finale is I think it tries to do too much and even though everything is done well, you get this sense that they could have done more with it. Each of the villains, Patty’s story-it’s all over too quickly and I think they can bring them back for more depth.
However, what makes this episode good is the story of the Wests, where Joe takes in that he has a biological son-and the fact that he has seen Barry as his son for his entire life. This story works very well and Joe West, being the mentor of the series and the man who always seemed to know what to do, becomes vulnerable and we care for him that much more as he goes through this surprise. I liked what they did here and can’t wait to see what Wally West adds to the table.
Finally, there is a scene where Barry apologies to Harrison Wells and gives forgiveness to his Earth-1 counterpart to himself. I liked this moment a lot and everything about it worked. It’s smart to see Barry have a prejudice like this and try to move forward with it and this Harrison Wells is actually a bit likable and has a great backstory. This area works very well.
“Running to a Stand Still” has its problems but still gives us the great things that make The Flash a special show. It’s a nice cap for the mid-season and leaves us satisfied for the time being. Can’t wait to February!
Fun Notes (SPOILERS):
-Wally West! Holy Crap, I actually didn’t see that coming! That is cool, we have all 3 Flashs on the show!
-Bring back Mark Hamill soon! He’s great.