With the 19th episode of Season Two, “The Flash” slows things down — way, way down. Once the fastest man alive, the Flash’s alter ego Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) enters tonight’s all-new episode, “Back to Normal,” without his super speed. But the lack of literal velocity doesn’t mean that new plot twists won’t be coming fast and furiously.
“I think the biggest tease is Barry and the team are dealing with the fact that Barry doesn’t have his powers anymore,” revealed executive producer Andrew Kreisberg during a press Q&A for the episode. “Quite literally, we’ve been at such a breakneck pace. I know the TV scheduling put a couple of arbitrary stops in there, but if you think about it, going from the Earth-2 saga to King Shark to the ‘Trajectory’ episode to the flashback episode to last week and all the revelations and Barry losing his speed, we’ve been pedal to the medal at a breakneck pace.”
“This episode where Barry loses his powers was literally designed to slow everything down and let everybody catch their breath,” he added.
To that end, the series returns to original form with the introduction of a new metahuman whose abilities were activated by the Particle Accelerator explosion. The new meta is Griffin Grey, inspired by the DC Comics character who appeared in the “Impulse” comic book and boasting a similar power set. Grey pays an unfortunate price for using his powers but deems it worth it in order to settle a score with Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh). Only he sets his sights on the wrong Harrison Wells — the one from Earth-2 — leaving a speedless Team Flash scrambling to intervene.
“We talked a lot about who would be a good villain for them to go up against?” said Kreisberg. “The idea that there was a villain who got the short end of the stick as far as their powers were concerned, and had taken Wells, and more than anything, we wanted this episode to have a profound impact on Harry. So there was a case of mistaken identity.”
Also expect to get some more intel on exactly what’s going on with Zoom and Caitlin after the villain unexpected whisked her away after stealing Barry’s speed, including a glimpse at what’s really going on in Hunter Zolomon’s head after so thoroughly duping Barry and the STAR Labs team.
“He kind of told them everything,” said Kreisberg. “The way he talked about Zoom, the way he sort of lost his powers. They kind of took a lot of it on faith, and I think a lot of that was because they wanted to believe it. Barry lost his mentor when Wells turned out to not be who he said he was, and Barry was looking for that partner. Then along comes Jay, who’s willing to share secrets and teach him and give Barry all that back. Caitlin for her part had lost Ronnie. So here was this knight in shining armor, sort of coming along to sort of replace him.”
“He was able to do it because they let their guard down and wanted to believe it,” the producer added. “Rather than get cynical and hardened and jaded by what happened last year, they were sort of, because they are the sweet, nice people that they are, they sort of wanted what they had lost back. So they let this fox into their hen house.”
“Back to Normal,” the latest episode of “The Flash,” airs tonight at 8 p.m. on The CW.
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