The Flash Advance Review: "Back to Normal" Makes Slowing Down Feel Crazy

After several fast paced episodes involving everything from time travel to parallel worlds, 'Back [...]


After several fast paced episodes involving everything from time travel to parallel worlds, "Back to Normal" does the same thing that Barry Allen has been forced to do: Slows down.

Without his powers and with Caitlin in Zoom's clutches, Barry is feeling lost and helpless. So when a metahuman named Griffin Grey kidnaps Harrison Wells, mistaking him for his Earth-1 doppelganger, Barry is determined to save him. With powers or without. Meanwhile, Caitlin comes face to face with an unexpected, yet familiar face. And Wally starts asking his father questions about The Flash.

Teddy Sears gives a delicious performance this week. Now that he does not need to pretend to be Jay Garrick anymore, Hunter Zolomon has come out to play. Much like most of the cast has played two versions of themselves due to their multiverse doppelgangers, it's now Sears turn to take a familiar character and turn him into someone amazingly different.

Also standing out is Danielle Panabaker. Caitlin Snow has never been in such a precarious situation, and Panabaker rises to the occasion. Haig Sutherland as villain Griffin Grey gives an impassioned performance. And both Violett Beane (Jesse) and Keiynan Lonsdale (Wally) get to show different sides to themselves this week, and do so with skill.

But the episode's star is the one and only Tom Cavanagh. Harrison Wells of Earth-2 has been through hell, and this week he experiences some more of it. Possibly enough to change him forever. Cavanagh handles this with his usual grace and skill, making the beginnings of this transition seamless and smooth.

It seems strange to have slowed down so late in the season. But this episode does a lot to set up the last few episodes in terms of characters, instead of story. Paralleling Barry's new slowness, this change of pace is a welcome one, in that it is clearly the calm before what promises to be a very big storm.