After a several week long break for no apparent reason, Flash returns with “Trajectory.” Before I get to the review, I’m going to take a moment to point out something that’s really getting annoying to me about a lot of current hero shows and movies. This is a mini-geek rant, so if you’re not interested, feel free to move on. Secret identities seem to be falling out of favor with most heroes, something I really don’t like, but that’s another issue. The ones that still have a secret generally have reasons for it. But over and over, we keep seeing so-called “masked” heroes in public with their masks off. If the hero wants to keep their secret, keep the mask on. If the actor playing them is so desperate to get their face on screen at all times, don’t sign on to play a hero who wears a mask. It’s a stupid trend no matter how you look at it, and it comes up several times this week. Ok, rant over. On to the review.
The STAR Labs crew have been trying to help Barry get better and faster, in case he manages to find Zoom again. As the episode begins, they’re out at a deep canyon, trying to get Barry to pull an Evel Kineval and speed-jump across it. It’s an interesting idea for training. Not terribly effective, but interesting. Later, the team takes a much needed break and goes out clubbing. Jessie even talks her father into letting her go with them.
Of course, you can’t be a hero and get a night off. The club they meet Iris and Wally at gets robbed. By a speedster. In red and yellow. So not only is night off interrupted, but Iris’ rabidly anti-Flash editor gets more ammo for his… crusade? Vendetta? Whoever the new arrival is, they are faster than Barry. The news just keeps getting better and better.
While Joe works the case, and Scott the angry editor trashes Flash to his staff, Jessie goes to confront her dad. Wells made her wear one of his meta-human detecting watches, and she somehow triggered a recording of his diary, including him confessing killing a man at Zoom’s bidding to keep her safe. Jessie is not happy.
The team tries to figure out where the new speedster came from. This gets Caitlin and Wells to tell the others about the Velocity 9 drug. I hadn’t realized they were keeping it a secret. Once again, cue pointless secret keeping. Barry is annoyed, especially as he’s been working so hard to get faster. Caitlin defends her choice by pointing out the V9 was killing Jay.
In a few rapid scenes, Cisco gets a “vibe” about Zoom that doesn’t look good. Barry clashes with the other speedster again, and gets a good enough look to know this one’s female, which Cisco seems to really enjoy. Their hunt to find the new speedster leads to a friend and former co-worker of Caitlin’s- Eliza Harmon.
On the show, Eliza works at Mercury Labs, Tina McGee’s tech company that is STAR’s sort of rival, although STAR doesn’t really seem to be a business per se. Caitlin asked for her help when she and Jay were working on Velocity 9. In the comics, Eliza Harmon had a short-lived career as a speedster called Trajectory. You can probably see where this is going.
Eliza proved to be too smart for her own good, and worked out the Velocity 9 formula on her own. She’s also suffering from what appears to be a soap opera favorite- multiple personality disorder. Eliza and Trajectory argue with each other a bit, which is not encouraging.
Iris goes out for coffee with her boss. It’s a bad decision on many fronts and neither one of them are happy with it. There were some serious mixed signals, possibly helped along by Iris’ amazingly work-inappropriate outfit. While that train wreck careens along, Wells and Barry argue about shortcuts in general, and Velocity 9 in particular.
Trajectory joins the long list of people that have gotten into STAR Labs with no apparent effort. She even manages to easily snag Barry and toss him in one of the Pipeline cells. Barry is not having a good episode here. Trajectory takes the STAR crew hostage and demands more Velocity 9. They don’t have any, but Wells offers to make more when she threatens Jessie.
The bad girl gets her new drugs, but wonders if it’s a trap. She tests it on Jessie and then leaves. Jessie goes into seizures, which is when we learn that Earth 2 has different blood types than Earth 1. Wells rigs up a filter to use his blood to help clean out her system. Jessie later lectures him on caving to the bad guy’s demands so easily. Trajectory decides the best way to celebrate her new haul is to attack one of the major bridges in the city. Why? She’s nuts.
There’s the inevitable showdown between the two speedsters. Barry manages to find a way to beat her and pushes his powers further than he has so far. Well, she more or less beats herself, to be honest. The show ends with Cisco’s powers revealing something that no one wants to be true, and is going to get ugly for them later. This ends with Barry running off to tear off his mask and scream in the canyon they were training in earlier. Remember my rant at the beginning? Jessie also makes a decision that likely has Wells wanting to go somewhere and scream, too.
What I liked: Cisco is always entertaining. Caitlin is at least aware of some of her flaws to mock herself about them. Barry really wants to be a hero and stand up for everyone (apparently on every world). I also wonder if they snuck in the start of a secret origin for Jessie, since she has powers in the comics. Well, some version of her does, as Wells doesn’t exist in the comics. The writers dug deep to find Trajectory, I’ll give them points for that.
What I didn’t: Aside from by bit about the masks, the episode has its flaws. Why were they keeping V9 a secret? I can see not wanting Barry to take it, but wouldn’t it be helpful if he at least knew it existed? Iris’ mess at work was just kinda painful to watch. Trajectory wasn’t a really interesting villain.
I’ll give this one a very low 3 out of 5. Nothing was really horrible, but the show overall has been really good and this didn’t rise to that level.