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I May Destroy You
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"Back to Normal" gives fans -- and Barry -- a chance to catch their breath, taking a step back from the action that has filled this high-speed second season.
The Flash has yet to find a female character whose potential it hasn't squandered this season.
Barry Allen may have lived for years without being the scarlet speedster but "Back to Normal" forces him to readjust to life lived at an average pace.
Back To Normal isn't grim and gritty, exactly; it's just kind of a bummer.
Yes, Barry is still a hero without his speed.
I appreciated that this episode didn't go overboard in its portrayal of Barry. He may be depressed, but he didn't waste time wallowing in self-pity.
If there's one bright spot of the episode, or subplot that should come close to delighting most devoted fans, it's the chance to see Danielle Panabaker not only play double-duty as both Caitlin Snow and Earth-2's Killer Frost, but do so simultaneously.
Sure, this episode was a nice break from the formula, but with Zoom looming, Central City needs a Flash.
I would have liked to spend more time exploring Barry's state-of-mind past self-pitying and sad because I think there is a lot of narrative meat there.
Watching Barry struggle and adapt to the painfully slow pace of normalcy gives the character another shade of complexity. The whole point of "Back to Normal" is to show that Barry's speedy life, in many respects, is easier.
I kept waiting for something in "Back to Normal" to matter. After last week's episode, I assumed we'd get a filler episode, but I figured there would be one or two moments or revelations to make it worthwhile.
It wasn't a great episode. It was fun and it was serviceable and it bridged the gap between this week and next but I don't know about you, but I'm ready for the real action to begin.
"Back to Normal" is an apt title for what feels like a quiet episode after the non-stop action and drama of Season Two, but it works for that precise reason: it gives us a chance to breathe.