Review: The Flash 2×21 – The Runaway Dinosaur

The Flash offers up a fantastic hour of television that is as moving as it is entertaining…

 

Given that it was directed by self-confessed comic book fan Kevin Smith and written by X-Men: First Class’ Zack Stentz, this was unsurprisingly a grand superhero story. A familiar one to fans of the genre perhaps, but a great variation on it all the same.

Ever since gaining his speed powers by accident, Barry has become increasingly weighed down by the responsibility. Here though he makes the choice to get his powers back and comes to terms with his regrets in the process. It is brilliant that The Flashas such a level of commitment to its characters that Barry is still reeling from the events of the last season’s finale – when he chose not to save his mother – when other shows might simply neatly tuck it away. The climax of the plot – the reciting of The Good Runaway Dinosaur children’s book – was also surprisingly moving, due to some effective writing and a (as always) stellar performance from Grant Gustin.

Meanwhile, back in STAR Labs, the accelerator explosion has had the unforeseen side effect of bringing Girder back to life. This plotline really brought into focus just how much Iris has grown as a character since Girder was last on the show. In season one, Iris’ big problem was how we were repeatedly told how amazing she was by Barry and Joe without ever being shown that ourselves. Here, however, she is brave, clever and funny and basically the Barry replacement figure.

Confining Zoom to the final scene was definitely a good move, as it gave the other parts the room to breathe and the character is always best when seen in small bursts. Now, though, he has gathered an army of metas ready to take Central City. If the next episode is as good as this one, we can’t wait to see what happens.

 

Speed Thoughts: 

  • Yay, Barry’s dad is staying! That’s good because a) John Wesley Shipp is always a warm presence on the show and b) because the whole reasoning for him staying away never really made any sense.
  • Kevin Smith fans will note a cameo by his frequent collaborator Jason Mewes as the guy who has his (mother’s) car stolen by Girder.

 

Rating:

flashrating4-5

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