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Recap / The Flash 2014 S 2 E 9 Running To Stand Still

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It's Christmas time again, and Weather Wizard has broken The Trickster and Captain Cold out of prison so that they may team up to get their greatest Christmas present of all: the death of The Flash, and with Barry still weakened from his terrifying encounter with Zoom, they just might get it. Meanwhile, Iris and Joe prepare for the arrival of a most surprising guest: Wally West.

Tropes

  • Alliterative Name: This episode has Mark Mardon aka Weather Wizard, Captain Cold, James Jesse and the debut of Wally West.
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  • Alternate Self: Averted. Jay says that there is no Trickster on Earth-2. Caitlin says "he's one of a kind".
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: Just like last year but this time the Flash faces The Trickster and Mardon.
  • Artistic License – Physics: The explanation of how Team Flash managed to get rid of the bombs doesn't even pretend to be based on real science.
  • Ax-Crazy: James Jesse, as usual.
    Jesse: Deck the halls in body parts from a girl named Holly~
  • Bad Santa: The Trickster dresses up as Santa as part of the Evil Plan.
  • Berserk Button: Barry doesn't take finding Snart in his home well.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Mardon and Jesse. While Snart was broken out to make the team a Terrible Trio with Mardon as The Brute, Snart as Big Bad, and Jesse as Evil Genius, Snart bails out early on, leaving Mardon and Jesse to carry out the chaos.
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  • The Bus Came Back: Mark Mardon and James Jesse make their Season 2 debuts several episodes in, while Leonard Snart returns after five. Jesse Wells also returns after missing two episodes.
  • Captain Ersatz: Hamill's portrayal of the Trickster in this episode is essentially a live-action Joker. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
  • Christmas Episode: For Season 2.
  • Continuity Nod: Once again, an Evil Counterpart to Barry says "Merry Christmas."
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: As soon as Barry's team eliminate the bombs, he immediately stomps the Trickster and the Weather Wizard.
  • Dead Man's Switch: Snart has incorporated one into the cold gun. If he lets go of the handle, the core will go critical and explode.
  • Debut Queue: The episode is for Wally West.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: The Trickster hijacks the telecommunications systems in order to send a message to lure the Flash into a trap.
  • Dramatic Irony:
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    • Patty at one point tells Barry that she doesn't have time to get him up to speed [on Mardon]. He notes how ironic this is, quietly.
    • Harry chastises Barry for having changed the timeline in the Mark Mardon incident. The thing is that Harry is alive because Barry did another timeline change that negated a deadly wave launched by Vandal Savage.
    • Patty is also consumed by avenging her father, mirroring Barry's past obsession to avenge his mother and save his father.
  • Enhance Button: Team Flash uses this to determine a reflection in Trickster's eyes and figure out his location. Of course, STAR Labs could plausibly have the technology to do this, given the other superscience the team has used...but that doesn't justify Patty also doing it on a police station computer.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Flash insists that Snart's Pragmatic Villainy listed below is really this. It's up to the audience to decide who is right. Snart didn't had any benefit from warning Barry of The Trickster and Mardon's plan.
  • Event Title: The title refers to Mardon and James' Evil Plan for The Flash.
  • Failure Gambit: Turns out, Zoom hasn't really been counting on the villains he sends through killing the Flash — they're to drive him to get stronger and faster, so that when Zoom kills him, there's more Speed Force for him to feed on.
  • Freudian Excuse: Defied by Iris. When Cold brings up his bad childhood Iris says that they've all had them and that he should get over it.
  • Get a Room!: Cisco tells Jay and Caitlin to kiss already.
  • Heroic BSoD: Just as Iris predicted, Joe loses it when he learns about his son. This puts Joe MIA for most of the episode.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: The end of the episode reveals that Zoom hasn't been engaging in Bond Villain Stupidity, but has been pushing Barry to get faster so that Zoom can steal Barry's powers.
    Harry: You're fattening him up like a Christmas goose.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Luckily averted thanks to Flash convincing Patty that Mardon can't take away any more of her loved ones; plus killing a criminal is not worth going to jail and losing everything Patty worked for since her father's death.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Patty revealed that she felt guilty for letting her father getting killed by Mardon because she ditched out on helping her dad deposit the money at the bank.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Apparently, one of the constants in the multiverse is The Godfather.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Iris tells Barry and Joe about Wally.
    • Barry finds out about the Mardons killing Patty's father.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The Trickster attacks Flash with exploding dreidels.
    Trickster: Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel. I made you out of C4!
  • Irony: Meta example: Word of God claimed that the Race Lift of the TV Wests was the reason why comics Wally is given a Race Lift upon returning to the DCU. Yet it took this long for them to introduce TV!Wally?
  • Kick the Dog: To coerce Wells into helping him, Zoom brings Jesse to prove she's alive. As Wells is comforting his crying daughter and promises to not let her be taken away again, Zoom instantly takes her back to Earth-2 and demands Wells to comply.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Joe reveals to Barry the real reason he kept the truth about Francine was because he had given up on her and thought it was better for everyone she Get Out!. Now he admits he should have tried harder to get her back because his son had to pay for it by growing up without a father.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Mardon utilizes the wizard's wand just like the way his comic book namesake uses it: as a conduit for his powers.
    • The company that made the toy dolls The Trickster used for his bombs is called the Okamura Toy Company. In the comics, Hiro Okamura was the superhero Toyman (not to be confused with the supervillain).
    • Mardon's supervillain team of himself, Snart, and Jesse is a gag to the fact that the three of them were members of several iterations of the Rogues. Also related to this, Snart bails from the operation, which involves killing a bunch of people. Comics!Snart lived by a Thou Shalt Not Kill mindset, and this show's Snart was challenged by Barry to do the same in Season 1, so this may or may not be a sign of his transition.
  • Neck Lift: Zoom gives one to Harry at the beginning of the episode in a very scary fashion, with Zoom remaining disturbingly silent as Harry begs him to spare his daughter Jesse (who he's holding captive). Zoom lets Harry down, and then says "Merry Christmas" in an even creepier tone.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Snart refusing to join Mardon and Jesse robbed us from seeing a formidable evil badass Power Trio and proto-Rogues team.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Wally is entering the West house before the scene cuts to The Stinger, robbing the comic fans to see Jay Garrick, Barry Allen and Wally West together for the first time in live-action. Granted, they still have next year, but it would've been a great Christmas present to show it earlier.
  • Odd Name Out: Leonard Snart is the only one of the villains who doesn't have an Alliterative Name as a given name. He's also the only one who's not associated with the name "Mark" note 
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Team Flash, upon seeing that Mardon has learned how to use his powers to fly.
    • Jesse, on realizing that the Flash is about to kick his ass.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Barry notes that Snart is playing a lousy villain this week.
  • Papa Wolf: Joe recalls a time where, during a steak lunch, he got a feeling in his chest that something was wrong. He called Barry and Iris' school and learned Iris was ill. He brings this up to admit shame he never felt this way about his own son.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Snart doesn't join forces with the other two supervillains because he claims there's no profit in it. That, and he refuses to work with a lunatic like Jesse.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Patty is perfectly willing to disable the Flash and kill Mardon in cold blood if it means avenging her father. Fortunately, she gets talked down.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • Mardon and Jesse give Barry the option of letting them kill him, or them blowing up a lot of innocent people.
    • Zoom finally capitalizes on holding Wells' daughter hostage — either Wells helps him kill the Flash, or she dies.
  • Shout-Out:
    Cisco: Earth Two has The Godfather?
    Wells: Every Earth has The Godfather, Vito.
    • Cisco shouts "Magnets, bitch!" Amusingly it's something of a Call-Back, since in the Trickster's previous appearance, James Jesse revealed himself to be a big fan of the show.
    • The Trickster calls Mardon "Marky Mark."
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Snart and Iris go at it.
    Snart: Read your article on the disappearing middle class. Strong point of view, nice prose style.
    Iris: Yeah, well, who needs a Pulitzer when you have a homicidal maniac seal of approval?
  • Stealth Pun: Another not so subtle Actor Allusion is made to Wentworth Miller, as Snart is once again involved in a Prison Break.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Cisco does it in a glorious Breaking Bad Shout-Out that would make Jesse Pinkman proud.
  • Time Skip: The episode skips a few weeks from the Arrow Crossover as its now Christmas Eve.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Barry is pretty confident about facing off with Mardon again - until Mardon casually steps off the roof.
    Barry: Uumm...guys? He's flying.
  • Trapped in Villainy: Implied to be Earth-2 Wells' role from here on.
  • Troll: Jay feigns ignorance about Christmas and mistletoe just so he can be amused by Caitlin trying to explain them.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Snart opts out of Mardon's Villain Team-Up, warns Barry about his plans, and then leaves.
  • Villain Team-Up: Mardon breaks Snart and Jesse out of prison so they can work together to take down the Flash, though Snart doesn't go along with it.
  • Wham Shot: Wally showing up on the Wests' doorstep.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: There's no mention of the second Trickster, with Jesse seeming perfectly content to let his son keep rotting in prison.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Flash thought that, after subduing the Wizard and the Trickster, he was done for the night. Then Patty shows up, ready to get her revenge on Mardon.
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