Episode Title: Fallout
Original Airdate: 2-17-15
Continuing where we left off last week, we get to see a bit more into what makes Firestorm tick, and he (they?) will become the first metahuman of the series that is not a villain and also survives through the end of the episode. We get some more of Iris playing reporter, and the return of Clancy Brown as General Eiling. And on top of that, we get some discussion of time travel as Joe reveals his discovery from Barry’s old house. And finally, as usual it ends on a nice reveal though I still don’t think it means what some people will think that it means.
I’ll start off with the one aspect of this episode that I didn’t much care for, and that was Iris playing reporter. Or more appropriately, she gets handed every single bit of information on a silver platter by her mentor who didn’t care for her three episodes ago and has now suddenly taken a liking to her because she always seems to be at the right place at the right time. It didn’t so much improve her character, it just attempted to give her something to do to play a larger part in the show, and I didn’t feel like it worked as well as it could have if she had managed to come up with at least part of this plan on her own merits. But it was a minor part of the episode.
It was nice to see how Victor Garber and Robbie Amell played their respective halves of Firestorm. I thought it was a little bit of a stretch to have the wounds on one’s arm show up on the other, but aside from that bit I did like the connection that they shared. It was also a bit of technobabble when they had to agreeably merge in order to have more control rather than the disjointed experience they had the first time. It was also a little bit of convenient storytelling that the General just happened to have these weapons that specifically targeted Barry’s abilities and worked perfectly on their first try. Spines that were attracted to kinetic energy? And that acid missile? It just seemed a little too far into the comic book-y realm when he’s supposed to be a renegade (or covert) military officer. I generally like how the show embraces the occasional absurdity of the Flash’s rogues gallery, but for whatever reason these couple of moments irked me.
It’s definitely easier to discuss the handful of nitpicks that I had in this episode over the good parts because the good parts aren’t really that worthy of discussion. Overall, I did like seeing Ronnie and Caitlin together in their brief moments, and Victor Garber talking about pizza and time travel. I did especially like the time travel discussion overall because it is a selling point when they come up on the Flashpoint storyline. It’s the question of the inevitability of what has already happened in the past, but does knowing what happened mean that they have the ability to change those events, or as he theorizes is he destined to fail? And if he does succeed, will that bring about the alternate timeline that puts the world into a dystopian present?
It wouldn’t be a Flash episode if there wasn’t some tease at the end. We’ve already seen hints of Grodd, but we get to see him a little bit better this time around, and we also see the man in the yellow suit take off his mask to reveal… Dr. Wells underneath. But this isn’t exactly the big reveal that it could be because of a few things that we already know. We already know that Dr. Wells has the yellow suit, or at least a version of it. We already know that Dr. Wells has the ability to run at super speeds, but doesn’t have 100% control at the moment. We know that time travel is possible and Dr. Wells could have traveled back in time in order to rough himself up in the midseason episode. We know that the blood found at Nora Allen’s house did not belong to Dr. Wells, or at least not the DNA records of Dr. Wells that are kept at STAR labs which may or may not be the actual DNA records of the Dr. Wells in the show. We know a lot of information, but there are still enough pieces missing that the show could still go in a few different directions that does not end with Dr. Wells being Professor Zoom. But time will tell.