Warning: this review contains spoilers. You can find my all of my reviews of The Flash here.
The Flash returned from a month-long hiatus with “Trajectory”, a strong outing that progressed the Zoom plot even as it focused on a separate villain of the week.
Between Flash, Reverse-Flash, Jay Garrick, and Zoom, and potentially Wally West and Jesse Quick, there are a lot of speedsters on the show—much like in the comics. I would have worried that bringing in Trajectory would be one speedster too many, but luckily, The Flash knows how to make wild comic book scenarios work, and this episode pulled it off. Mainly by using Trajectory in a way that explicitly tied into Zoom and Jay Garrick by way of Velocity 9. Plus, it was nice to see a female speedster for once.
Barry often has his own mini-arcs to go through in each episode, and “Trajectory” was no different. This week, his dilemma revolved around him wanting to use V9 to increase his speed and therefore his odds of defeating Zoom. This despite Caitlin and Wells’s warnings that the drug was killing Jay. And Wells’s assertion that, “You lose a chunk of your humanity every time you compromise your values.”
So aside from being an entertaining villain to watch Flash battle with, Trajectory was a character who ended up serving the plot. Her stealing V9 showed us, and Barry, the kind of damage the drug can do. Its addictive nature and its effect on the mind. Sure, the scene in which Eliza was talking to herself was a bit cheesy, but it got the point across. And Barry ended up defeating her without the use of any enhancement, in a great climactic sequence on that bridge.
All of this is particularly relevant now that we know Zoom’s identity. Jay used Velocity 9, and in fact admitted that Velocity 6 made him sick and robbed him of his powers. Could it be that he got addicted and his mind was affected by the drug, in the same split-personality way as Trajectory? It would certainly make sense, though I hope if it ends up being the case it wouldn’t feel too repetitive after seeing Eliza’s story play out.
In fact, the similarities between Eliza, Zoom, and Jay were noted by Team Flash when Trajectory took another dose of V9 and ran so fast that her lightning turned blue. And one thing I appreciated here was that the characters didn’t act stupid for the sake of stretching the mystery. They followed the facts they knew to their natural conclusion, and used Cisco’s powers to verify that yes, Jay was Zoom. It was a very strong final scene, as the team realized they’d been betrayed (again), and Barry put on his best Oliver Queen face. That scream of anguish at the very end was brutal.
But for us viewers, the mystery is being slowly revealed much as it did for Reverse-Flash last year, and it’s great. So Jay used the drug, and was dying, which finally explicitly explained why he needed Barry’s speed. Did it make him evil or was he rotten to begin with? That remains to be seen. And was it Velocity 6 that did this to him, or are those effects exclusive to Velocity 9? Because V9 was just invented, so time travel shenanigans would have to take place for V9 to be involved. We’ll see.
Elsewhere, a decent subplot involved a rift between Wells and Jesse, who discovered that her father had murdered someone in an attempt to protect her. I can see some viewers complain that she’s being unreasonable, but for a teenager to shoulder that much responsibility, the knowledge that people are dying or endangered in her name, and seeing her father go down a dark path… it’s not easy. So I understand why she left. She was shuffled off more organically than Henry Allen was, at any rate. Though I’m sure her story is not over.
The only subplot that wasn’t so great was the one involving Iris. Which is unfortunate because her character has shown improvement this season. But that side story didn’t really impact anything that was going on in the episode. So her new editor is a J. Jonah Jameson type, but unlike Jonah, he’s neither entertaining nor getting anything done that affects the Flash in any way. He’s just there to spout opinions and debate with Iris, who resolved the issue a bit too easily. If you’re going to show Iris struggling between her loyalties to the Flash and her job, commit to it. And if they’re setting up Scott as a love interest for Iris, make him important to the story somehow. But then again, maybe that’s coming soon.
I half-expected a tease for Flash’s appearance on next week’s Supergirl, but none came. Which ended up being a good thing, considering the way “Trajectory” ended. Still, I’m really excited for that episode.
Rating: 4/5 (Great)
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