It baffles me how an episode like Trajectory aired during the show’s second season because no matter how you look at it, this is one big disposable hour that’s also pretty boring.
There are so many things keeping this show from being good again, but the main issue with this season (and all the other CW superhero shows) is that it never diverts from its regular format. Every episode has the same story beats, pitting The Flash against a villain who is either stronger or faster than him (which really begs the question “why does The Flash still refer to himself as the fastest man alive?”), then the show throws obstacles in his face that he most certainly overcomes by hour’s end. Surely, to keep fans satisfied (sort of), the writers throw in a twist at the end, something to remind the viewers that the show hasn’t forgotten about its season-long arcs.
In this case, Team Flash meets a new weekly villain Trajectory, the first female speedster, and after some corny dialogue, cheesy storytelling and less-than-impressive fights, The Flash saves the city from her random villainous acts. Meanwhile, Cisco keeps “vibing” Zoom in an attempt from the writers to say “yes, you should still care about Zoom as this season’s Big Bad”, and with some help from Trajectory’s blue lightning, Team Flash discovers that Zoom must be Jay. It’s absolutely ridiculous on one hand, and ridiculously unexciting on the other. I completely dozed off when Barry was putting two and two together, so I might have missed how they all went from “who’s Zoom?” to “Jay is definitely Zoom!”. Regardless, though, of how the episode ended with the “reveal”, it just wasn’t satisfying to watch. Viewers already learned about this twist weeks ago (and it was equally unsatisfying), making this moment feel not only unearned but simultaneously boring.
If there’s one thing I enjoyed about this standalone-ish episode, it’s some of the amusing one-liners and zippy references. The opening teaser marked a huge resemblance to the first season with the entire team training Barry outdoors (although I did appreciate the new scenery), but once the witty dialogue is over, the show immediately regressed back to its predictable familiar beats. There’s nothing I hate more than an unnecessary weekly villain, but this week marked a huge step back and that’s, ahem, a “trajectory” no show must take.
– The less we speak of Iris’ atrocious subplot involving her boss, the better. I have never seen a worse subplot in years.
– Very cool shot of the drones saving The Flash. That opening teaser is better than the entire episode, to be honest.
– Hilarious bit: Earth-2 Beyoncé is a senator!
– The Jesse/Wally moment was ridiculous, but does the Metahuman-Alert going off the second Jesse meets Wally mean he’s probably a metahuman?
– A little advice to Harry: don’t make jokes about locking your daughter up after she’s been kidnapped for months by a super creepy, villainous metahuman.
– Cisco and Caitlin’s awkward dance moves were too childish. Major eye-roll.
– Someone made a Law & Order reference in front of Jesse L. Martin! Gotta love when a show makes a meta joke like that.
– Loved Trajectory locking The Flash up in the STAR Labs metahuman prison. For some reason, it’s satisfying to see him there for a minute, and that’s obviously not what the writers were going for.
– Of course Jesse’s life would be in danger in an episode where Harry is overprotective of her. Who didn’t see that coming, and why did the show get rid of her so quickly? We spent the entire first half of the season looking for her, damn-it!
– The CW and CBS hate us so much that next week’s episode is actually the one that explains how and why The Flash makes it to National City, one day after the Supergirl/Flash crossover airs. Sigh.
Red Blurs & One-Liners
Harry: Nothing in life is promised except death.
Barry: Edgar Allan Poe?
Harry: Kanye West.
Cisco: Well, you want to go faster. Maybe plummeting to your death is the motivation you need.
Cisco: If it makes you feel any better, Evel Knievel cleared a line of cars that was twice this long, and he didn’t even have superpowers. Unless you count that sweet-ass ride.
Barry: Do you hear yourself?
Cisco: What? Look, you’re gonna be fine. I’m 80% sure of it.
Cisco: 76. Like, a strong 72. I can’t stop, Caitlin, help.
Jesse: How’d it go?
Harry: Well, he’s not a red splat on the side of a mountain.
Cisco: That’s our new definition of success?
A boring and undeveloped weekly villain makes this episode easily forgettable.