Episode Title: Fast Lane
Original Airdate: 2-2-16
After last week’s episode all about goodbyes, this time around the Flash family is going the completely opposite direction and finally welcoming a couple new people to their extended families after a bit of betrayal. All while having to deal with a guy who’s been stuck in tar for two years and eventually is able to use his powers to look a little like a live action Clayface.
Before I get to the Barry side of things I’m going to talk about the whole West family dynamic. Things have been a little bit wonky now that Wally is in the picture, but they have slowly been coming together. But the big divide between them is the fact that Wally has been street racing, almost like he’s addicted to it since he claimed it was just for his mother’s medical bills and she has passed away so those have stopped (though technically it could still take him a while to pay off all those medical bills as well as her funeral bills, but that’s not something that’s addressed in the show). It’s not until the unthinkable happens… or when it comes to a show like this the unavoidable happens and somebody gets hurt during one of Wally’s races. It just so happens that it’s Iris that gets hurt due to the involvement of a metahuman tossing Wally’s car at one of his would-be killers. But what I do love about that scene is how the show is able to take this moment that would be a little obvious if that’s all there was to the moment, but it’s also the culmination of three other subplots all at once. There’s this West family drama with Wally’s street racing, but there’s also the plot where Harry has stolen a small percentage of Barry’s speed without telling anyone and so Barry isn’t quite fast enough to save Iris in time, and there’s also the metahuman of the week that’s getting in the middle of it all. But of course, through this minor tragedy Joe finally steps up to being more of a father figure to Wally and Wally starts to truly accept Joe and Iris as his family.
Meanwhile, Harry has been having his own issues with Zoom and has taken it upon himself to steal some of Barry’s speed as leverage against his daughter. And through it all, Harry has been keeping everyone away until Barry finally starts to try and work with him. You know, since Barry has some extra time to himself since he’s no longer dating anyone. Harry keeps pushing back until he finally gives in and essentially confesses to Barry, from the audience’s perspective at least since he tells it as a hypothetical even though he and the audince both know it’s not hypothetical at all. I always have to give it to Grant Gustin as well for making Barry so damn likable every step of the way, there’s no way that Harry couldn’t fall for the guy and finally break down and confess what’s been going on the whole time. Though he could have chosen a better moment to confess rather than when Joe walks through the door while he’s in super-protective fatherly mode when he just messed with two of his kids. But like Wally being accepted into the West family despite his mistakes, the episode ends in a nice moment where Harry is finally accepted into the Star Labs family and I can’t wait until next week’s visit to Earth 2 and a good long look at Killer Frost.