The Flash returns for the final lap of this season with a determination to up his game and his speed abilities in the latest episode, “Trajectory.” As this installment unfolds, Team Flash is still feeling the fall-out from Jay Garrick’s death and this episode begins with Barry trying to increase his speed enough to make a jump across a canyon and falling short. While Barry’s efforts are noble, they are taking a toll on him and the rest of the team. Even Caitlin agrees they all need some downtime. So, Barry and his crew are off for a well-deserved night off at a local night club. What should be an evening of relaxation though is ruined by a robbery committed at super speed. When Barry gives chase to the high-speed perp, he discovers this new speed demon is a woman, who goes by the name Trajectory, and she is actually faster than him.
The big question is how anyone else could have become a speedster. The answer is Velocity 9. Caitlin tells Barry how Jay took the drug to stop Geomancer while he was on Earth-2. Barry is not happy to hear that there has been a drug that could have been increasing his speed all along and it was kept from him. Caitlin and Harry both tell him that the drug has a downside and that while it helped restore Jay’s speed, it was also killing him.
Joe and Caitlin follow-up on the one lead they have, an old friend and colleague of Caitlin’s from Mercury Labs, Eliza Harmon (Allison Paige), who Caitlin enlisted to help create Velocity 9. While she comes across as being innocent, she is not. In fact, Eliza is hooked on Velocity 9 and is using it to cut loose herself. Meanwhile, Barry is debating using the drug. Harry catches him with the last vial of stuff and manages to remind Barry that there are no easy short-cuts. He appeals to Barry to be better than this new speedster and not use this cheat. While Barry takes this advice, Trajectory needs another hit and comes calling on S.T.A.R. Labs to get it. After locking Barry in the Pipeline and taking Joe out, Trajectory threatens Jesse (Violett Beane) to get what she wants. To save his daughter, Harry agrees to make a new batch of V-9 for the villainess.
After getting the Velocity-9, Trajectory tests it on Jesse, to make sure it isn’t laced with a tranquilizer. The pure V-9 sends Jesse into shock and it is only a blood transfusion from Harry that saves her. Once Jesse is stabilized, Team Flash uses a tracker that Caitlin put in the drug to locate Trajectory and they find that she is in the process of wearing down a bridge with her speed, jeopardizing two hundred people in the process. The female speedster eventually causes the bridge to collapse after Barry gets the civilians to safety. The Flash is faced with the same type of chasm as the one at the beginning of the episode, but this time Barry has what he needs to make this leap of faith: motivation to stop the bad girl. Barry makes the leap easily and takes down Trajectory long enough to try and talk some sense into her. Sadly, Eliza isn’t listening. She injects herself with the Velocity-9 and speeds away. As she builds up speed, her lightning turns blue and then she begins to evaporate, leaving only her costume behind.
Trajectory’s death makes Barry and the others start wondering. Her lightning turned blue, just like Zoom. Yet Eliza’s lightning changed color because she was dying, because her cells were deteriorating, suddenly it makes sense: Zoom is dying too. Throughout the episode, Cisco has been vibing Zoom, and he reveals it always happens when he is around Jay’s helmet. Touching it now, Cisco sees Zoom again and learns that he and Jay are indeed one and the same.
“Trajectory” is a solid episode that examines the addictive and destructive properties of Velocity 9, the speed drug that was introduced during Mike Baron’s run on The Flash in the late 1980’s, during the Wally West era. Guest star Allison Paige is the poster child for this “Just Say No” campaign and she does play a fun villain. Hopefully, they can find a way to bring her back for a rematch with the Flash.
The episode also explores how readily some people are to believe the worst in Central City’s hero as Iris’ new editor, Scott Evans (Tone Bell) is ready to think that the Flash could go from “streak to freak” for no reason at all. Iris is ready to defend Barry, knowing he really is the decent man that he is, which causes some friction, but also some sparks to fly. It appears Barry has a new rival and it will be interesting to see where this storyline goes.
This episode also sees the departure of Jesse Wells as she heads out to explore the brave, new world she is in. Her decision to leave is prompted by a recording she discovers with her father threatening to do whatever it took to get her back. It is hinted that this is just the tip of the iceberg for things that Harry has done to alienate his child and drive her away. There is more to this backstory than we’ve seen so far. Beane is supposed to be back as Jesse Quick (and her injection of the Velocity-9 scream origin story to me), so hopefully we will be filled in on this father-daughter history by the end of the season.
Finally, in the last minutes of the episode, the biggest of the big reveals is made to Team Flash: Jay Garrick was Zoom all along. The team has been mourning Jay for two episodes, now it will be interesting to see their response to getting played. Trust me, kids! It’s just gonna get more interesting from here! As it is, I see this episode being the perfect launching point for the final episodes of Season Two of The Flash and I give it a 4.0.