The Flash returns from its short hiatus and introduces us to the first female speedster, Trajectory, played by the beautiful Allison Paige. The Flash team takes a bit of a break from their recent encounter with Zoom and heads for a night out of carousing at a local club. The fun is short-lived when another speedster crashes the party and robs all of the customers including Caitlin. Naturally the press, including Iris’ new boss, are quick to accuse The Flash of the crime despite the fact that he has saved the city from metahumans dozens of times.
Barry is trying to figure out where the new speedster came from and Caitlin finally reveals that she and Wells had created the Velocity 9 formula to assist Jay Garrick in fighting Geomancer while Barry was off on Earth-2. Caitlin relates that she sought assistance from a colleague at Mercury Labs named Eliza Harmon although Harmon had only a fraction of the formula. Harmon denies having any knowledge of what the formula even did but when Caitlin leaves, Eliza injects herself with the Velocity 9 which has had the effect of giving her a split personality. One is the sheepish scientist and the other is the aggressive criminal who calls herself Trajectory.
As is usually the case, Barry’s first encounter with another metahuman proves to be a disaster. The Velocity 9 makes Trajectory faster than Barry and she easily defeats him. A dejected Barry considers using the drug on himself but Wells talks him out of it, noting the potentially deadly side effects it can cause. Trajectory arrives at S.T.A.R Labs like a strung out heroin addict demanding more of the Velocity 9 drug. Wells and Caitlin make a new batch but not trusting the pair she injects Jesse, Wells’ daughter nearly killing her but almost certainly leading to her future alter ego as Jesse Quick.
Barry once again battles Trajectory through the streets of Central City but after taking another dose of the drug she runs so fast that like Zoom her lighting turns blue and she eventually disintegrates. Now, for a group of incredibly brilliant scientists, Wells, Caitlin, Cisco, and Barry can often be rather dense when it comes to things that are right under their noses. The gears click into place as they discover that the real reason that Zoom wants Barry’s speed is that he is dying from the effects of the drug.
Cisco has been vibing about Zoom throughout the episode tracing the effects to Jay’s helmet which they still have saved in a glass case. When Cisco picks it up he can finally see Zoom’s true Identity…Jay Garrick. Of course, we still don’t know if that’s Jay or Hunter Zolomon or of which world. You know this was the reason they did Crisis on Infinite Earths thirty years ago!
Trajectory was a disposable villain but she did play an important role in revealing Zoom’s motivations so in that regard her character becomes more important than several other one-shot villains. Allison Paige did a fine job of playing a Jekyll and Hyde-like villain who ultimately did not have the will power to resist the pull of the powerful Velocity 9 formula.
One aspect of the show that did not work was the sub-plot with Iris and her editor. They seem to be trying to turn this into a Peter Parker/J. Jonah Jameson type of relationship with Iris supporting The Flash and her editor believing he is a menace. It’s contrived and we’ve seen it all before. The writers are continually trying to find something for Iris to do and it keeps falling flat.
All in all an enjoyable episode with some important developments for the rest of the season.