The Flash Season 2, Episode 9 Recap And Review: Running To Stand Still


Suppose you were cooking up your own mid-season finale for The Flash. You’d probably take ongoing developments with this season’s subplots, add in the Rogues and finish the recipe with the debut of an important character from Flash lore.

If that sounds good, you’re in luck, because that’s precisely what it looks like we’re getting in “Running to Stand Still.” Action, emotion, and hopefully a cliffhanger or two to debate over the next month or so … I’d be good with that.

Agh, but then there’s going to be a long wait for new episodes. Let’s not think about that and just enjoy the ride as we sprint through Season 2, episode 9.

Not-So-Fast Recap: Harry Weels runs through S.T.A.R. Labs, and we soon see why: he’s being chased by Zoom. Held by the neck by the villain, Wells says he can die, but his daughter Jesse is innocent, and he asks Zoom to let her live. After a long pause, he says … Merry Christmas?

‘Tis the season in Central City, with Iris West able to locate a Flash figure (but no Green Arrow). Joe West wonders what he should get Barry Allen, and his daughter suggests a nice watch like his dad once bought him because he was regularly running late. Iris seems a bit distracted, though.

After Barry and Patty Spivot say goodbye after some, um, affection, Iris wanders into his lab. She almost breaks down telling Barry about what’s bothering her, and it’s the knowledge of her brother. Wally. Wally West. Aw yeah!

At S.T.A.R. Labs, Jay Garrick and Caitlin Snow discuss how to close the breaches between worlds, and Cisco Ramon notes the sexual tension in the air (“Just kiss already!”). Jay jokingly says he doesn’t know what Christmas is, and Caitlin awkwardly invites him to the Wests’ shindig. Cisco leaves them to find Harry, who appears just as he’s headed to find him and insists everything with him is fine.

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The snow is really coming down outside Iron Heights prison, but not because of Jack Frost. Weather Wizard is generating the bad storm, using it to free Captain Cold and the Trickster.

Barry and Joe investigate the scene the next morning, and since Mark Mardon is involved, he’s forced to tell Barry about Patty’s connection to the villain. She doesn’t want to talk about it, ironically to protect Barry. Maybe he should just tell her his secret? Damn near everyone else knows.

The Rogues regroup, with Cold wondering why Weather Wizard broke them out. Mardon figures that the three of them could take out the Flash, especially since he knows about Zoom’s recent victory over the Fastest Man Alive. Figuring the Flash is vulnerable, he likes their odds, but Trickster is forced to play peacemaker when tempers flare between the other two. Is Snart in or out?

Team Flash is already busy working on finding the bad guys, and Cisco is suprised when Barry seems to already know his plan to come up with a wand to neutralize Weather Wizard. Barry explains about his first jaunt back through time and that the wand will work. Jay offers to help Cisco create it. Best of both worlds. Heh. Barry says he needs to take care of something …

And it’s to be there when Iris tells Joe about Wally. He takes it hard, though Barry thinks he’ll be alright once he has time to process it. To his surprise, Captain Cold has broken into the West house, though he only wants to talk.

After a bit of banter, Cold says he’s just playing Secret Santa by giving the hero a heads up. Barry doesn’t completely buy it, asking Snart to help him stop the others. Cold says he has no interest in being a hero, though Barry counters by saying he’s doing a lousy job being a villain.

From that talk, Barry goes to see how Joe is holding up. Not well, as it turns out. He’s beating himself up for not doing more to hep Francine, and he wonders aloud who taught his son to be a man. Barry does what you’d expect, pointing out that Joe was a great dad to him and would have been to Wally if he had only known the truth.

Patty and her fellow police get a surprising TV message from the Trickster, who lays down a challenge for the Flash. Is there a clue to his whereabouts in the video? Jay, Harry and Cisco figure it out, and the Flash speeds off for a doll factory. Patty is already there, but the two of them soon find themselves under assault by remote-controlled, explosive dreidels. I wouldn’t make that up.

Flash is able to save them both, and outside the factory, Patty confides in him about her guilt in her father’s death. Specifically, she decided to goof off the day he was killed, forcing him to bring his store’s deposits to the bank instead of her. Now she’s ready to get the justice she’s long sought, even though Flash offers his opinion that even getting Mardon won’t make things better.

Later, Barry can’t get in touch with Patty, though at least the weather wand is done. And just in time, too, since Trickster has set up shop as a department store Santa. And elsewhere, we see a meeting between Zoom and Wells, with the latter telling the former that he needs more time. Oh crap, he was a mole all along?

There are more immediately pressing matters since the team has located Weather Wizard — who can now fly. The Flash chases him down by running along the sides and roofs of buildings, but when he has Mardon cornered, the villains reveal their real plan. Trickster has given 100 present bombs to random children. Either the Flash lets them kill him in public, or the bombs go off.

Barry agrees to let them beat the crap out of him, but his team is already working on a plan, albeit one I don’t really understand. They’re going to find one bomb and send it through a breach above the city, using magnetism to attract the other 99 bombs. Alrighty then.

Needless to say, the plan works, and as soon as Flash gets the word the bombs have been disabled, he’s able to defeat the villains in seconds. Patty arrives a moment later, but she shoots Flash with The Boot (from the season premiere!) and looks like she’s going to kill Mardon. Fortunately, Flash is able to convince her to do the right thing, and she decides to arrest Weather Wizard. Even Trickster thinks it was a beautiful speech.

Later, Joe tells Barry that his meeting with Francine went better than he expected, and he’ll get a chance to meet his son. He gives Barry the watch, saying that he bought it for his son. Barry then sees Wells in another room and uses him as a proxy to forgive the Earth 1 Wells. All the feels. Barry invites Harry to the West house, but he replies that he can’t celebrate Christmas without his daughter.

The Christmas party provides Jay with another chance to mess with Caitlin’s head as he acts like he doesn’t know what mistletoe is. The briefly kiss before Patty shows up, followed by … Wally! Wow.

And one final scene, of course. Zoom tells Wells his time is up. Harry says he knows what Zoom is up to: he wants Barry to become faster, more powerful, fattening him up like a Christmas goose. Zoom complies with Harry’s request to see Jesse. She’s okay, so Wells agrees to help Zoom steal the Flash’s speed.

OMG Moment of the Week: In terms of special effects, there was an awesome moment where the Flash ran across a spinning helicopter blade during his crosstown pursuit of Weather Wizard. In terms of emotional impact, though, nothing topped Wally making his first appearance. Goosebump city.

#SnowJay Alert Level: Condition Red! Though it looked like Jay expected a longer kiss under the mistletoe … It was funny that Cisco commented more than once on the obvious attraction between them.

Next: The Flash Season 2, Episode 8 Recap: Legends of Today

Final Thought: Maybe not quite as explosive as a mid-season finale could be, but that’s only because we’re all conditioned from last season not to trust Wells — any Wells. It’s not surprising that he’d agree to go along with Zoom since it’s obvious he’d do anything for his daughter. Now the big question over the winter break is why Barry doesn’t just tell Patty the truth. It’s kind of silly for her not to know when everyone else does.