Spoilers ahead for “Trajectory,” the latest episode of The CW’s Flash!
The short version: A new speedster shows up in town; Barry learns about the existence of Velocity 9; Harry’s daughter Jessie goes on the run; Barry jumps over a big hole; and Team Flash finally realizes the uber-Big Bad Zoom is actually their old pal, Jay Garrick.
A super-fast mystery woman
Though the episode deals with a whole lot of bigger-picture arcs, it’s framed around the appearance of a mysterious new speedster who is waaaay faster than The Flash. She comes out of nowhere and basically just causes trouble and commits a boatload of petty thefts. The gang can’t figure out why a speedster with this power level took two years to actually surface (since they are under the impression you can only tap the Speed Force by way of particle accelerator accident).
Turns out, Caitlin has been keeping a secret from the rest of the gang. She never told Barry about the development of Velocity 9, which Jay used to battle that earthquake guy so generic and terrible I can’t even remember his name (seriously, that guy was so lame), while Barry was off having his adventure on Earth-2 chasing Zoom. Barry is briefly tempted, of course, but seems to have overcome the draw of Velocity 9 within the beats of this episode.
Surprise, surprise — this mystery woman is actually a Mercury Labs scientist, all jacked up on Velocity 9 she reverse-engineered after helping Caitlin develop the initial batch. The injections have messed with her mind so much that she’s developed an alternate personality named Trajectory (as Cisco notes, the crazy ones always name themselves). Using her super speed, she decides to cut loose and have some fun, basically. She also tries to destroy a bridge and kill a bunch of people ... for no reason at all, really? Yeah, that seemed like an obvious plot contrivance just to create a final act faceoff. But, it was still fun, so I digress. Barry also got to jump over the literal valley that’s been holding him back. On the nose? Sure. But still a nice moment.
Sadly, Trajectory’s obsession with Velocity 9 turned out to be her downfall. Barry tries to talk her down, but she takes one final dose ... which has her traveling so fast her lightning turns blue, and she literally disintegrates due to the cellular degeneration caused by the stuff. Yeah, Jay always said it was dangerous — turns out he was right.
Speaking of Jay ...
The gang finally figures out Jay is Zoom
It was actually kind of refreshing for this reveal to come so quickly, after the producers let fans in on Zoom’s identity just a couple of episodes ago. We still don’t know the hows and whens, but Jay Garrick is Zoom. A future version? Alternate version? All the same? No clue. But, it’s Jay.
Team Flash has spent the past few episodes mourning the death of their Earth-2 pal, though Cisco has been getting some weird vibes of Zoom (which is the handiest Plot McGuffin ever, right?) every time he stands near Jay’s old helmet. But, they finally start to put the pieces together when Trajectory disintegrates in a fury of blue lighting — the same type of lightning Zoom produces. From there, the team connects the dots between blue lightning, Zoom, Velocity 9 and (finally) Jay. Thank’s to Cisco’s handy vibe, they didn’t have to waste an episode grappling with believing it. The band-aid has been pulled off, and we can get to the action of taking on Jay-Zoom
The moment is played well, and you can see the weight of the realization as they pulled that slow pan across the faces of every Team Flash member. The face off with Wells/Reverse-Flash was an emotional one last year, and this season’s climax could be just as gut-wrenching.
Barry and Iris, hmmmm
Comic fans are well aware that Barry and Iris probably should end up together, and we’ve already seen the traditional DC power couple married on Earth-2, as well as in a future prophesied by Wells’ time-traveling newspaper. During a bit of downtime before Trajectory showed up causing trouble, the two had a chance to decompress and talk about their Earth-2 versions.
They both seem to be getting more comfortable with the possibility of dating, though the show needs to introduce some fresh chemistry before they try to make the relationship a thing. Which, judging by Iris’ budding romance with her new boss (unethical much?), they may be planning to stick on the back burner, anyway. Heck, they need to just let Barry end up with Earth-2 Iris. She freaking rocks.
Is Harry’s daughter poised to become a speedster, too?
Ever since Harry’s daughter Jesse was introduced, fans have been wondering if she might eventually grow into the role of speedster Jesse Quick. After she’s hit with a dose of pure Velocity 9 during Trajectory’s attack (and quickly saved thanks to a transfusion), it seems the writers are almost certainly planting the seeds for Jesse to take on a bigger role down the line. Not to mention: They kept Trajectory’s costume after she disintegrated, so they already have a female speedster suit literally hanging in the closet.
After being relegated to the role of a (mostly) whiny daughter, Jesse actually got to take a step forward this week. She stumbles upon a recording of Harry talking about doing anything to save her, and has to grapple with the darkness in her father, and how his efforts to protect her have pushed him even further into the shadows. So, she decides to set out on her own, so she can live her own life and Harry can (hopefully) try to find some of his humanity. Her destination? Opal City, a classic DC city that has also been name dropped on Arrow. Oh, it’s also popped up on Supergirl, funny enough.
Lots of stuff! We didn’t get any tease to next week’s crossover with CBS’s Supergirl, though Barry Allen will be showing up in that alternate universe Monday night for a one-off adventure with the Maiden of Might. So, if you don’t typically watch Supergirl, be sure to set your DVR. The crossover, “Worlds Finest,” is looking crazy fun.
After that, Barry is back in action on his own series at the same Flash-time and same Flash-place, dealing with some time travel confusion and a freaky wraith creature!