Ho ho how did that hour pass by so quickly?!
There were some nice family moments, some romance and the possibility of a betrayal looming on this fairly full midseason finale.
All in all, The Flash Season 2 Episode 9 was pretty entertaining, but didn't leave viewers hanging or worried over the fate of their favorite characters over the holiday season. Honestly, that's kind of nice.
"Running to Stand Still" managed to incorporate three (THREE!) villain of the week type fellas as well as the current big bad and still had story for all of them. That's a pretty big feat these days.
Weather Wizard got the bright idea to come back and kill The Flash after watching The Round the City Humiliation Tour to which Zoom treated The Flash. Mardon figured Flash would still be reeling from his humiliation and rather easy to pick off as a result.
Of course, he still wasn't confident enough to do it on his own, so he plucked Captain Cold and The Trickster out of prison to help him out. Personally, I would have asked them if they were on board before doing them they courtesy of breaking them out, but hey, free get out of jail card for Captain Cold, who later pulled his support of the whole project.
While he wasn't willing to go beyond the pale to become a hero just yet, Cold did warn Flash what was lying in wait for him. That was kind of nice and made me wonder if when he joins the Legends he'll tell tales of his brief brush with heroism, "hey, I almost acted heroic when I warned The Flash about ne'er do wells out to kill him!"
It was quite an elaborate plan, mostly staged just so Mardon could make it snow and Trickster could play Santa and be as Grinch-y about it as possible while putting the lives of 100 random children in jeopardy. They could have just as easily mailed a bunch of bombs or dropped them off in various locations without all the pageantry. But where's the fun in that?
Patty was having a super difficult time with Mardon's return to town because he killed her dad. She shared the entire story with The Flash and admitted it was her teenage unruly behavior that really did him in, and her plan for vengeance is all that has gotten her through the last four years.
Barry sure understands that story, but he's not The Flash, so trying to balance what he knows about her between his two lives was a little challenging, but he mastered it like a champ. Patty, too, has a masterful plan in place for how she would stop The Flash from interrupting her plans of killing Mardon when he was caught, and when he talked her off the emotional cliff, the two of them brought Tickster to tears!
Well done, kids, well done.
There were a lot more tears going around, as Iris finally broke her silence about Wally. And it's only been two weeks! I loved that she gave us that timeline, because it's sometimes hard to tell. Really hard.
When she went to Barry about it, he was all set to talk about himself (again), but she just interrupted with her tears and let it all tumble out. The two of them went to Joe together, and just like Iris let Joe slide on Francine being alive, Joe didn't even skip a beat when Iris said she didn't tell him the news straight away. They are such a functional family. They really talk and share when they finally do talk, and that's what keeps them straight in each other's eyes.
Joe is such a great father and had some really interesting questions about that fact. How can he consider himself as such when he left Francine for the good of Iris, and always "felt" when she was in trouble, but never even had an inkling that another child of his was out there somewhere?
He was being way too hard on himself, but we wouldn't expect him to be any other way. He'll likely grapple with that more as the future unfolds. What isn't at issue is how he feels about Barry. To ensure there was no doubt he'd always consider Barry his son, he gave Barry the watch given to Joe by his own father as a Christmas gift, because he always wanted to give it to his son one day. And now he has. Awwww.
But seriously, seeing Wally West at the door, kind of unsure of himself and whether or not he should have gone over on Christmas was really heartwarming. It wouldn't be a Christmas episode without at least a misty eye! It was a bit of a bummer that was all we got of the newest West, but I suppose we should let them have some privacy.
Or maybe you had already eeked out a tear or two when Barry forgave Harrison Wells? Were they doing that for dramatic effect just before Harry decided to partner with Zoom and "fatten the calf" to help Barry achieve more speed so he can, in turn, him steal it? Because I don't see that as nearly in the same category.
No, it's not ideal that Harry has been thrust into the situation he is in, but it's hard to blame him for choosing to do what he did. And if they happen to find a way to get Jesse before Zoom steals Barry's speed, are we sure Harry wouldn't turn tail and side with the good guys again? I think he'd rather be on the side of good, which makes him a whole heap different than Harrison.
That doesn't mean I like what's going to happen.
In the meantime, we can enjoy a nice, relaxing holiday season knowing that when we return to The Flash, Zoom will be trying to steal Patty away from Barry because he's about to tell her his secret identity, and that makes her a target (how very Arrow of Zoom!) You can get a look at what lies ahead in the video below. It sound like Harry is warning Barry to me.
Here's hoping all of our holidays go the way of Caitin and Jay's. Have you heard of mistletoe? Well... Suddenly his yellow-bellied behavior a while back doesn't matter to me one little bit. They put the cheer in Christmas, don't they? They're adorable together!
Meet me back here on January 19, 2016, for The Flash Season 2 Episode 10. Don't forget, you can watch The Flash online anytime via TV Fanatic.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.