‘The Flash’ Post-Show Analysis Season 2 Episode 21: ‘The Runaway Dinosaur’
Welcome back to Up To Speed, in which Flash TV show veteran Dylan Todd and newbie Ziah Grace break down the latest episode of The Flash, dispense some Flash Facts, and talk about what works, what doesn’t, and where the series might be headed.
This week, Barry is dead and having a miserable time of it, and Girder is undead and causing all kinds of trouble. "The Runaway Dinosaur" was directed by Kevin Smith and written by Zack Stentz.
Ziah: Hey Dylan, did this episode seem quicker than normal? Did it speed on by? Would you say that it went by in… a flash?
So we spend half of the episode in the speed force in a pretty good episode with some consistent weirdness going on. First off, what’d you think of Speed Force: Just Keep Forcing?
Dylan: Somebody on Twitter said that Barry was in the White Lodge --- a sort of opposite of Twin Peaks’ Black Lodge --- and that sort of fits, but instead of talking backwards about formica and garmonbozia, it was just The Speed Force impersonating all of Barry’s friends and family in an attempt to try and get him to get over himself.
Ziah: That’s kind of fun!
Dylan: It’s a fun idea, but of the two settings in the episode, this one captured my interest the least, mainly because it felt really overly-serious and drawn out. It did give us Oddly Subdued Joe West monologuing sagely at Barry while he grins like a maniac, so I’m okay with it.
Ziah: He definitely pulled off sage and all-knowing better than the rest of the actors, that’s for sure. He was sager than the produce section of the grocery store.
Dylan: He was the Ragin’ Sagein’, sitting in that chair, offering red pills and blue pills to Good Old Barry Allen.
Ziah: Speaking of reality getting changed, I am so delighted that this show’s solution to its problem of killing off old villains in earlier episodes has just become a shrug and some science-y handwaving. King Shark’s alive and being held by ARGUS for some reason? Sure. Girder comes back to life as a zombie? Great. Let’s get weird, Team Flash. What’d you think of this subplot? Was it Night of the Living Eh for you, or did you love it?
Dylan: It was a fun way to set up a threat for the Star Labbers while also playing off the history of the show. It’s funny, because I’ve been rewatching the first season with my kids and just watched the first Girder episode recently and I love that, even in death, dude loved sleeveless shirts and Hummers.
Ziah: Look when you have a style, you have a style. It’s why you’ll be buried in Dash Rendar gear and I’ll just hollow out a bear statue to crypt it all up in.
Dylan: I’m not sure who this Dash Rendar character is, but it sounds like some sort of Star Wars fanfic bull, to be honest. Speaking of a style, did you spot the Jason Mewes/Jay of Jay & Silent Bob fame cameo in this Kevin Smith-directed episode? Cuz that was his garish yellow Hummer Girder was making off with.
Ziah: I did not. Wait, do you think he drove the hummer? I thought he just smashed it up. Did we not get a scene of a zombie driving a hummer because I am so mad now. I’m so genuinely upset.
Dylan: He pulled the door off and was driving it to the West’s house. You could hear him screech up when he went to get Iris right after Joe smashed a perfectly good “World’s Greatest Dad” mug trying to activate his son’s meta-powers. So add “Driving While Undead,” to Girder’s list of charges, alongside “Grand Theft Auto” and “Exposing These Guns In Public.”
Also, this is the second time they’ve revived a season one villain for a season two story, the first being Pied Piper a few weeks back, and Ziah, what the hell happened to Pied Piper? They made a big fuss about how they amended the timestream and now he was a Star Labber and… nothing since. Not a peep. Not even a half-cooked line about how he’s on vacation in Opal City and can’t help. Does that seem weird to you?
Ziah: Don’t forget the Weather Wizard and the Trickster! But oh yeah. I actually forgot they amended the timeline to bring him back; in an episode that actually had a genuine Speed Force ghost thing wearing a Flash mask, too! Maybe he’ll come back in the next few episodes as Big Zoomin’ sics a whole army of evil metahumans on the city?
As to Girdylocks, I’m a little disappointed that they killed him, but at this point that means nothing, so fingers crossed that Undead Girder just shows up yearly now.
Dylan: Fun fact, courtesy of iZombie co-creator Chris Roberson:
I totally forgot that Girder was also a zombie thug on iZombie!
Ziah: But back to your Joe smashin’ stuff scene, he’s just thinking what we’re all thinking: Wally and Jesse’s got superpowers. They’ve got the speeding sickness.
Dylan: Oh yeah. I mean, we’re supposed to assume Jesse got them, because coma, but it’s obvious that Wally’s gonna get them. Otherwise we just spent an entire season listening to this dude go on and on about loving to go fast for nothing.
Ziah: If the internet has taught me anything, it’s that people love hearing characters want to go fast
Dylan: And get pregnant, too? I saw a picture of pregnant Sonic once. It was awful. The internet is awful, kids. Stay far, far away.
Ziah: Yeah, I’ll just print out these reviews and staple them to telephone poles in LA.
Dylan: Sounds like a pretty LA thing to do, if we’re being honest.
Ziah: So Papa Allen is staying in town now, probably just so viewers have constant reminders that Barry and Iris aren’t related now that they’re taking a train to Datin’ Town.
Dylan: I heard the Big Belly Burger in Datin’ Town is worse than the one in Central City. This squirrely dude in a skullcap who was with some husky guy in a trenchcoat shouted it at me when I was leaving a convenience store the other day.
Henry Allen sticking around could also mean that John Wesley Shipp is the legitimate Jay Garrick/The Man In the Iron Mask, which while obvious from a stunt-casting angle, has not a lot of actual clues to put against it beyond Henry’s offhand mention of Garrick being a name from his and Barry’s family.
Ziah: Or that he’s definitely gonna die. He’s dying faster than a guy with a trunk-full of white t-shirts going to a Grateful Dead concert.
Dylan: Oh yeah, I will put actual money on him biting it in the finale.
Ziah: Barry’s had Science Dads, Cop Dads, Criminal Dads, but now he’ll have a Deceased Dad! I think that’s Bingo.
Dylan: Dad Bingo: truly the khaki-est of all the Bingos. Speaking of Barry’s string of dads, what the heck is up with Twells that he can’t talk in a normal voice any more? He keeps doing this hoarse whisper-talk thing and it is driving me bananas.
Ziah: Dylan, what, no. Do you not love that? It is honestly one of my favorite parts. He constantly sounds like a hungover dad asking his children to be quiet in the morning, and it is delightful.
Dylan: Oh, I hate it so much. I’m trying to pinpoint when it started, because I’m certain it’s a fairly new development, but I wish it would end already. Please make it stop, Man Who Played Ed on the popular television show Ed. Plz.
Ziah: Well, speaking of ending already, did you find it weird that Zoom was basically just not involved at all?
Dylan: Well, he was gathering up his supervillain army composed entirely of former employees of those Halloween pop-up stores that set up in an old Blockbuster Video space for a month and disappear on November 1. Real Mike Skull-types, you know? Seriously, what a goofy-looking crew of bad guys that was. They looked like invitees for a costume contest where the theme was “Don’t Spend Over $7 On Your Costume.”
Ziah: Haha, oh yeah. I loved their Power Rangers villain-of-the-week style, though. I’m ready for it.
Dylan: I feel like that scene was supposed to make you feel a sense of foreboding, but all I could do was make up origins for these goobers as the camera panned over them.
Ziah: Still, though, that’s got to be the most number of supervillain-adjacent people on one of these CW TV shows in one shot, right?
Dylan: Not while they’re still airing America’s Next Top Model. (B-R-A-Z-I-N-G-L-E-S)
Ziah: Dylan, you are the real Top Model of this recap.
Dylan: Ziah, you are the Supernatural of this recap. I have no idea what that means, but there you go.
(Editor's note: The CW is no longer airing America's Next Top Model.)
So, next week, the penultimate episode of season 2! That means “second-to-last,” by the way! We have total supervillain mayhem! Central City in flames! Evil Laurel Lance! (RIP) Barry shouting “NO!” as Zoom punches a Breach open, I think? Cats and dogs -- living together! Mass hysteria!
Ziah: That feels like some classic Bear-Barr hijinx, yeah.
Dylan: It sure does. Until then, keep on Flashin’.