The Flash S02 E21: The Runaway Dinosaur


In the last episode of “The Flash” Barry was blown away in a second particle accelerator explosion leaving only a burnt costume. Now we know he’s not dead, but where is he? What happened to Jesse and Wally? And how will Team Flash survive the return of Girder? Find out in my review of this Kevin Smith-directed episode, “The Runaway Dinosaur,” after the jump…


Once Barry is gone, the team finally thinks to look for Jesse and Wally, not realizing they’d been affected by the explosion. Wally wakes up easily enough but Jesse seems to be in a coma like Barry was at first. Nothing is left of Barry but a burnt costume and Cisco’s vibe of him trapped inside of a vortex – the Speed Force.


Barry wakes up in his childhood bed in his parents’ house after his mom had been murdered. Joe is there, in uniform, but says he’s not Joe. He keeps using the pronouns ‘we’ and ‘us.’ Finally Barry gets it, he’s talking to the Speed Force, and it’s chosen a form that he’ll be comfortable with.

The Morgue

Because Jesse is just like Barry after the accident, Cisco and Iris go looking for old medical records down in the basement. They find them, but they also find something else – Girder. The basement is called The Morgue not just because that’s where the old records are, but because it’s also a real morgue, and now, after S.T.A.R. Labs has been hit by multiple lightning strikes and a dark matter explosion, not everything down there is dead.


Dead metahumans from the Pipeline are also stored down there, and one of them, Girder, has been reanimated. Shambling around like a metahuman extra from “The Walking Dead,” Girder makes his way out into the city. His first stop, well, he’s been away for a while and he’s hungry, so Big Belly Burger. That’s where he smashes Jason Mewes‘ mom’s car. Nice cameo. Snootches.

The Gift

The Speed Force keeps talking to Barry in different forms – Joe, Iris, Henry, even Nora Allen. It seems like it’s mad at him, makes him see his mom’s grave, and weigh lives saved against her life. And they keep, annoyingly, telling him to sit. What they really keep telling him is that he has to work past guilt.


The message is almost the same one running through Marvel’s “Jessica Jones” in the later episodes. Guilt can be a power as much as a weakness. The Speed Force wants Barry free of his guilt over his mother. Finally, as Nora, it convinces him of this through his favorite book as a kid, “The Runaway Dinosaur.”

Deja Vu All Over Again

What’s left of Team Flash figures out that Zombie Girder is retracing steps from when he was alive, fighting the Flash, and pursuing Iris. So, with Iris as bait, they lead the rampaging dead villain back to S.T.A.R. Labs… where Cisco’s trap doesn’t work. They need the Flash…


So Cisco tries to Vibe on Barry one more time, this time bringing Iris with, and this time it works, and Barry comes through. He must, her voice will always bring him home. I’m so glad the show is finally embracing this part of the Flash mythos. The love of Barry and Iris is one that prevails beyond life and death and time and space.


Once home, Barry, as the Flash, defeats Girder, and awakens Jesse. I think it’s Cisco who asks, “Are you magic now?” He’d better be because the end stinger shows Zoom at the abandoned police station gathering an army of Earth-Two metahumans to take over, chanting “Our world!” over and over again. There are two episodes left, and they’re going to be tense…


As far as this one goes, I thought Kevin Smith did a great job of directing. It was one of the more emotional episodes and other than the Jason Mewes cameo (which I enjoyed), it had none of the usual Smith baggage along for the ride. My only complaint – I can’t buy a copy of “The Runaway Dinosaur” on Amazon…

Next: Invincible, featuring Katie Cassidy as the Black Siren!

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