The Flash "The Runaway Dinosaur"

written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)

Sit Barry… Sit…

Right after the explosive end of the last episode, Team Flash thinks Barry died and both Jesse Wells and Wally West were knocked out by the wave of dark energy the escaped Barry’s disintegrating body. When Cisco touches Barry’s disheveled suit, he vibes on Barry alive and well in a vortex-like world of swirling winds and lightning strikes. While Team Flash thought Barry died… he actually was transported into the Speed Force by the Speed Force… it’s a little trippy.

Sit Barry… Sit…

The Speed Force created a world familiar to Barry; his childhood home, the town he protects, and the people in his life. The Speed Force was hoping to create a world familiar to Barry to help put him at ease, this is the culmination of the last two powerless episodes… how he gets his power back to once again become The Flash is in this world. Throughout the entire episode he is forced to chase down a black shadow around Speed-Force-Central-City.

Sit Barry… Sit…

Back in the real world, Girder (guest star Greg Finley) comes back… well in a way he comes back. In season one, Girder was killed by Wellsobard, but the dark energy that spread from Harry’s new particle accelerator reanimated a formerly dead Girder. To tackle this newfound member of the walking dead, Iris volunteers as bait when Team Flash realizes that Girder is retracing his steps from when he first made his appearance… for example the scene when he tried to hit on Iris back in season 1. Interesting little tid bit for fans of the CW show iZombie, Greg Finley played a zombie on that show last season as well.

Sit Barry… Sit…

There was a lot going on this episode, the Speed Force parades all manner of people in front of Barry from Joe to Iris, his father and his mother. This is Barry’s proving ground, his chance to prove to the Speed Force that he is worthy of the power and worthy to be the Flash. Of course we know that Barry gets his powers back, he was shown to have his speed on Arrow during Laurel Lance’s funeral.

Sit Barry… Sit…

Directed by Kevin Smith, “Runaway Dinosaur” ended up being my favorite episode all season. As a geek icon, we all know who Kevin Smith is and how big of a fan he is of DC Comics and The Flash. Throughout the entire episode, we hear the Speed Force constantly utter the phrase “sit Barry, sit”… something of a direct opposite to whenever anyone says “run Barry, run!” It took me a minute to really grasp it, but before I knew it I found that to be one of the most poignant pieces of narrative this entire episode.

Much like the episode’s namesake, Barry grew up loving a children’s book titled… you guessed it… The Runaway Dinosaur. The characterization of the Speed Force hit a heart wrenching point when Nora Allen appears before him as the Speed Force. Now, this is a point of discussion and one that makes me wonder if they are planning to bring the idea of Barry actually being the conduit that generates the Speed Force into the show’s overarching narrative. The appearance of Nora near the episode’s end make me wonder if in fact after Nora’s death she become intertwined with the Speed Force, it could explain one reason why future Flash from the finale last season told Barry to turn back. Also, it should be noted that Nora was the only one among the Speed Force denizens who didn’t confirm with Barry that she wasn’t real.

So of course, we all know Barry gets his speed back… I mean who else could contend with Zombie Girder? So with that… we only have two episodes left… so run Barry, run. The finale is going to have some big shoes to fill following this amazing episode.