And, so we return to another annual Flash Christmas episode! This year it’s called “Don’t Run,” although, luckily for us, Barry pretty much ignores that advice until the very final moments of this midseason finale. Barry’s decision to follow his own advice actually sets up a really great cliffhanger to tide us over until January, so I guess we can forgive him for that.

Before launching into the main thrust of this article, I do want to take a moment to appreciate the love story that has been going on throughout Flash this season between the Thinker and the Mechanic. Their relationship runs wonderfully parallel to the vows and dedications that we’ve seen Barry and Iris finally consummate after all these years, and the strength of their devotion to each other actually has me rooting for this baddie couple and even feeling pathos for some of the more extreme actions that they have taken in order to be together.

Yes, yes, I know they have ulterior taking-over-the-world motives as well, but I can almost— almost—let those go! Besides, this also led to such a great twist reveal in the final moments of this episode.

Beyond the Thinker and the Mechanic, “Don’t Run” brought us the return of Katee Sackhoff’s totally badass Amunet Black (you might remember the column where I gushed about her awesomeness a couple weeks back), and cements the working relationship between these characters. This is a nice confirmation flowering from some seeds that had been planted in earlier episodes. Plus, if you’ve been reading this column for a while, you know that I love it when The Flash mirrors things from comic book continuity on the screen, and the Thinker and Amunet Black are canon co-villains!

In “Don’t Run” we were also introduced to yet another meta. Kendrick Sampson (who you might have seen kicking around some other CW shows) plays Dominic Lanse, also known as Brainstorm. I really loved the addition of this character to the cast, even if it’s only for a short while, and I think it is nothing short of tragic what happened to him at the end of the episode. I’m actually kind of hoping that he gets a bit of rehab and maybe joins Team Flash by the end of the season.

Too much? If you agree or disagree you can hop right into the comments section and we can talk about it!

As with many DC characters there has been more than one iteration of Brainstorm to grace the DC Universe. Much like a hero of a similar name, Firestorm, his second incarnation is the one that we are going to spend the most time with in the #DCTV continuity.

Fun fact: The original Brainstorm (Axel Storm), was actually a Justice League villain who mostly did battle with Superman. That means there is definitely crossover potential with Supergirl that could be really fun. Don’t forget that The Flash and Supergirl are the two shows that tend to crossover the most!

The Dominic Lanse version of Brainstorm—a.k.a. the one we see in “Don’t Run”—was actually introduced in the New 52 and was conceived to fight Michael Holt, who you may recognize by his superheroic name: Mister Terrific! This, of course, leads my brain down the road of another crossover potential with Arrow that I think would be really cool! Especially in the wake of Curtis working with Team Flash more actively during the “Crisis on Earth-X” crossover.

This latest comic book version of Brainstorm was effectively taken out through the use of T-spheres, which leads me to believe that science may win the day over the traditional superheroics (or more familiar speedster traits) that we are used to seeing the Flash employ against his big bads toward the season finale. The implications of having to use brain over brawn and celebrating the fact that The Flash is populated entirely by genius level intellects is very exciting. The formidable brain power on this show sets it apart from Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow, and now that the show is in a place where we can explore that, it’s prepped to explode into a different stratosphere.

2017’s holiday season gift to fans of The Flash was a twist that I certainly didn’t see coming and I think it succeeded in creating a cliffhanger that’s going to leave all of us in speculation until the second half of the show returns in the new year!

If you haven’t hopped down to the comments section yet please head down there now and let me know what you would like to see from The Flash in 2018!

Ashley V. Robinson covers The Flash as a part of the #DCTV Couch Club. You can find her on Twitter at @AshleyVRobinson and on the Jawiin YouTube channel. The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW.