The mid-season finale didn’t disappoint on this week’s episode of The Flash. With four villains, a family reunion, and product tie-ins, Running to Stand Still made sure we head into the break on a high note.
RUNNING TO STAND STILL
Weather Wizard returns to break Captain Cold and The Trickster out of Iron Heights, but Barry is determined to not let that happen. Meanwhile, Joe and Iris meet Wally West.
So, Zoom wants to feed on the Speed Force. Something tells me Harry and Wally will figure out a way to reverse the particle stream to undo the bad things that the dark speedster has been cooking up all of these months.
With Zoom trying to absorb more power, The Trickster causing chaos left and right, and Captain Cold trying to be noble without actually doing a good thing, I wonder if we are starting to see the breakdown of the bad guys that will kick-start a Rogue War.
Regardless, it was still nice of Zoom to stop by and wish Harry a Merry Christmas.
Though he won’t call himself a hero, we all know that by the time DC Legends of Tomorrow arrives, Leonard Snart will join the side of good. This episode really focused on Barry’s continued attempts to bring Snart to the side of light, even though Snart continues to look out for Number One. Interestingly, during Wally’s run as the Flash (see what I did there?), Wally was able to convert a number of villains to the side of the angels including Pied Piper, Trickster and Captain Cold.
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) December 9, 2015
Mark Hamill returns as the Trickster this week, making this the fourth time he’s appeared in live action television as the villain.
This isn’t just saber-rattling. Mark Hamill returns to #TheFlash with a vengeance on TONIGHT’s Winter Finale at 8/7c! A photo posted by The Flash (@cwtheflash) on
The Trickster was created by John Bromme and Carmine Infantino and first appeared in Flash #113 in June 1960.
When Barry died during Crisis on Infinite Earths, James Jesse retired from crime to become a special effects master in Hollywood. Jesse later befriended Dan Cassidy (aka The Blue Devil) and relied on him to help him reform further.
Though we’ve talked about the Weather Wizard before, the main takeaway from this week’s episode is the Weather Wand. While the Weather Wand appeared in a previous episode, that timeline no longer exists. In comics, Mark Mardon’s brother, Clyde, discovered a way to control the weather before dying of a heart attack. Mardon took his brother’s notes and used them to make a wand that would generate weather, thus allowing him to commit all sorts of crimes.
In the television series, we’ve seen the Weather Wand used to depower the Weather Wizard, and this week we saw Mardon use the device to direct and enhance his powers. It will be interesting to see if the wand becomes the method Mardon uses in the future to channel his powers.
The Weather Wizard was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino and appeared in The Flash #110 in December 1959.
Why is Flash #110 an important issue to make note of this week? Because that was the year that the world was introduced to Wally West.
While we are in the break, it’s probably a good time to start to talk about Wally West. For many, Wally West was the Flash much longer than Barry Allen. Wally West was created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino in The Flash #110 in 1959. As the nephew of Iris West, Wally was enamored with the Scarlett Speedster, and while visiting the Central City police department to visit Barry Allen, Wally was struck by lightning and bathed in a chemical bath that gave him the same powers as his hero.
Wally donned a costume, and became the crime fighter Kid Flash! The original Kid Flash costume looked exactly like Barry’s, so in order to differentiate the two heroes, Wally’s costume was changed to yellow with red leggings and gloves.
During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Barry made The Ultimate Sacrifice, and in light of losing his mentor, uncle, and friend, Wall took on the identity of The Flash, thus becoming the first Modern Age Flash.
TID-BITS AND TIN FOIL
While Barry and Iris were dating, he was constantly late – mostly because he was saving the world as The Flash. It’s interesting that Joe is wearing a watch given to him by his grandfather, Ben West, because Joe was always late. With all the speculation about Earth-2 Joe West being Zoom, this may be another clue of what is to come.
The title to this week’s episode also happens to be the title of a U2 song from the classic (and best U2 album) The Joshua Tree from 1987. The song is about a heroin-addicted couple living in Dublin. While there is nothing in the song that aligns with this episode, one could extrapolate and take the addiction to heroin, and Zoom’s addiction to the Speed Force as being related.
Interestingly, 1987 was also the year that Wally West became The Flash in the pages of Flash Vol 2 #1.
As we have learned from our discussion on the Flashback podcast, everyone at Berlanti Productions reads this column every week and are intentionally inserting this connections into the show to drive me crazy.
Want another tin-foil hat moment? Running to stand still has its origins in the Lewis Carroll novel, Through the Looking-Glass. Is this another subtle hint that we will get to see the Mirror Master soon?
If you missed the not-so-subtle product placements in this episode, you should know that you can buy many of the Flash items in time for the holiday season.
While I can not find any Flash logo ornaments to hand on the holiday tree, The Flash Hallmark ornament has adorned the tree at the Major Spoilers HQ for a number of years, and can still be picked up through online and brick and mortar stores.
DC The Flash TV Series Action Figure
The seven inch figure went on sale at the San Diego Comic Con, and since its release in April 2015, the figure is increasingly hard to find. In the episode, Iris had to get her’s from a little old lady. If you can find it, expect the figure to go for $24.95 or higher, and in some cases you may be paying upwards of $50. Next year, make sure you do your toy shopping early.
Speaking of toys…
The toy distribution warehouse that Barry and Patty track The Trickster to was owned by Okamura toys. In comics, Hiro Okamura is a genius level teenager who created a giant Composite Batman-Superman robot to allow the heroes to destroy a giant kryptonite meteor that was threatening Earth. Thanks to his ongoing efforts to help the heroes, Hiro was named an honorary member of the Justice League.
Hiro Okamura first appeared in Superman Vol. 2 #177 in February 2002. He was created by Jeph Loeb and Ed MicGuinness.
IT’S CALLED A SECRET IDENTITY FOR A REASON!
Dr. Harrison Wells(deceased)
- Eobard Thawne (as Dr. Harrison Wells)
- Dr. Harry Wells (Earth-2)
- Dr. Caitlin Snow
- Dr. Cisco Ramon
- Detective Joe West
- Dr. Martin Stein
- Mrs. Clarissa Stein
- Hartley Rathaway (Pied Piper)
- Felicity Smoak
- General Wade Eiling
- Oliver Queen (Green Arrow)
- John Diggle
Bette Sans Souci(deceased)
- Dr. Henry Allen (out of prison)
Iris West(in another timeline)
- Iris West-Allen (in the future)
- Iris West (via spark touch)
- Leonard Snart (Captain Cold)
Detective Eddie Thawne(deceased)
- Ray Palmer (The Atom)
- Brie Larvan
- Laurel Lance (Black Canary)
Hannibal Bates (Everyman)(deceased)
- Gorilla Grodd
- Lyla Diggle (Harbinger)
- Jay Garrick (The Flash of Earth-2)
- Dr. Henry Hewitt
- Jefferson Jackson (Firestorm)
- Linda Park
- Malcolm Merlin/Al Sa-Her/Ra’s al Ghul
- Vandal Savage
- Kendra Saunders (Hawkgirl)
- Cater Hall (Hawkman)
- Thea Queen (Speedy)
And that should be everything! What did I miss? What did you catch? Use the comment section below to share your thoughts on this episode, and until next week – RUN, BARRY! RUN!
The Flash returns on January 19th in an episode titled “Potential Energy”
FLASHBACK: THE PODCAST
Want to hear Matthew Peterson and I sit down to discuss this episode in detail? If you are a Major Spoilers VIP, look for the Flashback Podcast hitting the VIP site very soon![signoff predefined=”PayPal Donation” icon=”icon-cog”][/signoff]