There’s only two episodes left on The Flash, and the stakes couldn’t be higher, so it was the job of this episode to return Barry not only to this world but also restore his speed in full – and maybe then some. And although “The Runaway Dinosaur” gave us all of that and more, it also returned us to a place we never thought we’d be. We didn’t think Barry’s memories of his mom could give us any more “feels”; but this episode might have just given us our biggest punch to the emotions yet.
So let’s take a Closer Look at the emotional rollercoaster that was The Flash “The Runaway Dinosaur”.
Runaway Dinosaurs & Creatures Of Habit – Barry & Girder:
As far as episode titles go, “The Runaway Dinosaur” initially sounded like one of the most non-sequitur random names yet. This week’s meta wasn’t a dinosaur and it’s not a famous expression, so what did it mean? Well as Barry awakens in his childhood home – in Speed World – we see a book on his shelf called “The Runaway Dinosaur”. Clearly the meaning behind this episode will come and it’s connected to this book. So as the episode begins to conclude we finally get our answer as it was Barry’s favorite book as a child and it details a baby Maiasaura wishing it was bigger, stronger, etc and it’s mother telling him that he’s perfect the way he is because he has a mother who loves him and will always be there for him.
If you aren’t a dino-nerd like me, then you should first know that Maiasaira means “good mother lizard” and having this motherly dinosaur tied to Barry and Nora’s relationship is the perfect foil. Through hearing this tale, we start to reflect upon Barry who no longer has that motherly figure in his life and so he’s always trying to be stronger, faster, etc to compensate for it. He’s always crushed by the guilt that he’s not good enough and focuses more on what he’s losing than what he’s gained. So by having this emotional reconnection with his mother, Barry is now able to put it all behind him and become who he’s meant to be (The Flash). Additionally, closing this out with Nora saying “Run Barry, Run” was a great bookend moment as it’s usually the paternal figures in Barry’s life who say that – Joe, Wells, Henry.
In a funny aside, Girder can be seen as a ‘runaway dinosaur’ as he was once dead (extinct) but now is running around causing unintended mayhem. Although making this connection actually reveals the other emotional aspect of this episode and that’s being a “creature of habit”. Just as Girder was a “creature of habit” trying to find Iris, Barry is a “creature of habit” in guilting himself over the loss of his mom. Thankfully by episode’s end, Barry comes to term with all this and admits to being a different “creature of habit”, and that is the man who will always come home when Iris calls.
The (Speed) Force Is Strong With This One – Barry, Jessie & Not Yet Wally:
Upon returning from the Speed Force, Barry is certainly more zen. He now accepts fate and how everything that’s happened to him – good or bad – has all had a profound effect on who he is now and where he needs to go. In all seriousness, he’s become a sort of Speed Force Jedi; and it seems he just found his student: Jessie.
Despite last episode resulting in both Jessie and Wally being hit by the wave, it seems only Jessie was effected as he went into a coma similar to Barry’s two years ago. Seeing him then awaken her with the telltale spark and speaking of the Speed Force confirms that Jessie Quick will indeed be the next speedster. So what was Wally, a fake out? Well not necessarily. On one hand, introducing two new hero speedsters could have been too much too fast, so having this be a fake out and saving Wally’s origin for later makes sense. On the other hand, Wally’s reaction could be latent and might not get awoken until later in the series. Remember how Cisco’s powers didn’t begin manifesting until much later. Perhaps Wally two will become a Speedster once the right catalyst is presented. The Speed Force is a sentient force so it clearly knows what it’s doing, and maybe Wally’s time just hasn’t come… yet.
In A Flash – Easter Eggs, Favorite Quotes & Other Notables:
- Cisco was on fire this week in terms of references and besides the obvious “The Walking Dead” one there was also ones to Young Frankenstein (“calling Girder’s brain Abby Normal”) and potentially Austin Powers (plans A through G didn’t work, so now on plan/preparation H).
- With Henry deciding to stay in Central City, I can’t help but think he just signed his death warrant. If that’s true, PLEASE let the Man in the Iron Mask be Earth-2 Henry Allen aka the real Jay Garrick
- Considering we know someone is going to die in the Season Finale, let’s have a Plan B and it could potentially be Caitlin. Zoom’s comment to her about showing her as much mercy as the others could be a forshadow as well as complete his transformation into his father since the past few episodes have been juxtaposing him and Caitlin with the night he saw his dad murder his mother. Hopefully this isn’t the case though.
- Favorite Quotes – Winner: (Cisco)
- “We pretty much invented trippy here” – Speed Force
- “Its not like a morgue morgue… moguish” – Cisco
- “Get behind ME!” – Iris responding to Cisco’s “Get behind me”
- “I’m so glad you’re back… because we’re about to die” – Cisco
- “Are you like magic now” – Cisco to Barry
Next week, Zoom’s finally assault begins as he’s brought a room of his Earth-2 friends – wait, he has friends? – to Earth-1 and plans to bring this world to its knees. And to keep things interesting, one of these metas is Black Siren, the Earth-2 version of Black Canary. Will she turn good and help Barry and rectify that awful Arrow move; OR is this just a cool cameo / mean tease. I’d really hope for #1; but right now Barry has bigger problems.
Was he returned with his initial speed at the start of Season 1? Does he have the speed he achieved whole facing Zoom last? OR does his new connection with the Speed Force make him even faster than he was before? I guess we’ll find out next week on the penultimate episode of The Flash.