Review: ‘The Flash’ S02E16 – “Trajectory”

By March 23, 2016
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On this week’s episode of The Flash, we learned that Beyonce has many talents, sometimes you need to cut the apron strings and you should never listen to the voices in your head. Let’s take a closer look at “Trajectory,” shall we?

The episode opens with the team trying to increase Barry’s speed so that, when the time comes, he can defeat Zoom. This involves running really fast and using the momentum to leap across a massive canyon. Shockingly, it doesn’t work, and Barry would be nothing than a red stain on the ground had it not been for Cisco and his drones.

Defeated, the team heads back to the lab, where Cisco decides that they need some down time, to recharge and suggests a club. Jessie manages to convince her dad to let her join, in the spirit of getting to know the gang. Sparks fly between Jessie and Wally at the club, that is until the watch/monitor that her dad made her wear starts acting up and embarrassing her. She tries to remove it, and runs across a recording her dad made about her kidnapping. As the rest of the gang hang out, Barry and Iris wax poetic about being married in the future and on Earth-2 (please, God, no!) and how weird it is, when a speedster races through and robs the place. Barry chases after this new threat, but basically gets left in the dust. Gotta work on that speed there, Bar!

As the police and the forensics team check out the crime scene, Barry worries that people are going to think it’s him, especially when a photo of the red lightning goes viral. Iris is then tasked by the new editor at the paper to write up a piece about being duped by the Flash. I mean, seriously, people, we’re going to actually go here? With all the meta-humans and stuff running around, we automatically jump to that conclusion? Back at the lab, Caitlin finally fesses up about the Velocity-9, proving that there is another way to create a speedster. Barry is angry that no one told him, but Caitlin assures him that the serum is deadly. When Cisco touches her, he vibes to a cryptic scene with Zoom, before the alarms go off, indicating that the new speedster in town is on the move. At this point, my money’s on Jessie Quick!

Barry goes out and pretty much gets his ass kicked again, as she punches him and leaves him in the dust. And yup, looks like I was right, and we’ve got a female speedster in our midst, although it’s not Jessie Quick. Back at the lab, the team is of course, curious and bombards Barry with questions. Caitlin realizes that it could possibly be a colleague of hers at Mercury Labs, Eliza Harmon, as she needed her assistance in creating the serum. Caitlin and Joe pay Eliza a visit, and we get an awesome Law And Order joke! Eliza, of course, denies knowing anything, but we can all see that’s pretty much a ruse. Which is substantiated when we see her in the lab having a conversation with the voice in her head, who is trying to convince her to do the unpredictable and fun thing. Much like the little devil on the shoulder in cartoons. When the real her suggests that they should save the little they have for an emergency, the bad Eliza tells her take it, because they know where to get more.

In the meantime, Barry manages to slip away with the last vial of Velocity-9, but Harry confronts him about it. Barry freaks out and tries to justify it by saying that it’s leveling the playing field. Harry calls him on it, but when Barry scoff, he suggests that Barry be like Jay instead. That does the trick, and Barry drops the vile and it smashes on the ground. Just as the team is about to get to work on finding a way to capture the female speedster, she breaks into STAR labs and locks Barry in one of the containment cells, before holding the rest of the team hostage. She introduces herself as Trajectory, and insists that they hand over the Velocity-9. When she shoots at Cisco, he ducks but has another quick and cryptic vibe of Zoom. When Caitlin tells her that there is no more V-9, she threatens to shoot Jessie, because, why not. Harry steps in and tells her they will make more for her, she just needs to wait.

In the what’s the point department, we get an entire secondary story arc about Iris and her boss and this whole Flash newspaper article. Of course, Iris is reluctant to write it and asks Scott out for coffee as a way to stall and kind of get him off her back. He mistakes it for a date and then is completely embarrassed when she tells him it’s not, and leaves.

Back at the lab, Harry and Caitlin finish the V-9 and give it to Trajectory. Ever suspicious, she suggests that they probably added a sedative to it to slow her down, but the two of them deny it. To test her theory, she injects Jessie with it, before taking off with the extra vials. (See, I told you Jessie Quick would be making an appearance!) Jessie starts convulsing because the V-9 is too pure. They give her a blood transfusion to flush the serum out of her system. When she wakes up, she and Harry have a frank discussion about his overprotective ways, although it doesn’t look like he’s going to stop anytime soon. You know, given that he’s her dad and all and would sacrifice everything else to keep her safe, as a parent should be willing to do! Anyway, Caitlin then informs the team that she actually put a tracker in the serum and they find Trajectory trying to bring the bridge down. Barry races to the scene and manages to pull the people out of harm’s way. Trajectory takes objection and tosses Barry aside, before taking off. She brings the bridge down behind her and the only way for Barry to reach her is to jump the river. This time, he makes it, going faster than he ever has and manages to immobilize Trajectory. When she goes to inject herself with more V-9, Barry tries to talk her out of it, but she doesn’t listen. She mocks Barry and is running away when Barry notices that the lightning around her is turning blue. As she speeds away, she basically disintegrates, leaving nothing but her costume behind.

As the episode comes to a close, Iris turns in her story, which is about the Flash stopping a female speedster. She and Scott then do a tiny bit of flirting. Harry finds a message from Jessie, in which she tells him that she’s leaving to discover the world, without her dad looking over her shoulder, and is seen getting on a bus for Opal City. Caitlin explains that Trajectory basically evaporated because of the cellular degeneration cause by V-9, which gets Barry to thinking about the blue lightning. They finally put two and two together and realize that the blue means that Zoom is also dying of cellular degeneration. That’s why he needs Barry’s speed. He’s looking for a cure. As the pieces start to fall into place, the team slowly begin to realize that Zoom could be Jay. Their fears are confirmed when Cisco uses Jay’s helmet to vibe and sees Zoom take his mask off to reveal that he is in fact Jay.


Okay, I was going to accuse this episode of being filler… good filler, but filler nonetheless, but I can’t rightly do that after that ending. While I wasn’t overall a fan of the Trajectory storyline, although I enjoy the fact that we got a very powerful, female villain, I loved the fact that it slyly led to a number of interesting revelations from the team. Sure, we already knew that Zoom was Jay, but it was interesting to see the way that everyone reacted to the confirmation. The way that the writers made the piece all kind of fall into place was actually pretty masterful. I’ve been down on the series when it has strayed from the main story arc of the battle with Zoom, because, honestly, the filler episodes have all been kind of meh so far this season. This episode showed that a deviation from the main arc can still be very impactful when done right.

I also thought that the Harry and Jessie stuff was done really well. Of course, that may be because I would be highly entertained watching Tom Cavanaugh read the phone book, because he’s just that good. I’m not too familiar with the Flash comics, or the character of Jessie Quick, so I’m not sure if Opal City means anything or not. I’m assuming so, because the showrunners don’t usually put anything all willy-nilly like in the show. You can let me know in the comments what it all means.

Overall, this was a really good episode. As I mentioned, I love the fact that the reveal was made at this point in the season and not as a season ending cliffhanger. I’m still kind of disappointed that jay turned out to be Zoom, because I actually really liked him. Well, at least the Jay he portrayed on Earth-1. I guess we know where he went and what he was doing, when he was supposed to be out pouting over losing his speed and the team’s insistence on going after Zoom. Kind of a conflict of interest, wouldn’t you say? The show is getting really interesting as we gear up for the final episodes of the season. Hopefully the momentum keeps building and the last handful of episodes are just a surprising, and entertaining.

The Flash airs every Tuesday night on The CW.

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Erin Parisien
Erin is a writer, a comic-book geek, a movie nerd and a pop culture junkie... all long before it was cool! She's the senior Editor and a writer over at and can always be found behind a keyboard, because it's all about the words. Follow her @erin_the_novel over on twitter.