…So, I really want pizza. Anyone else, anyone? Just me then. Okay.
We pick up right where last weeks episode left off, Barry and Caitlin running from the nuclear blast that was Firestorm. Having survived and learning that there is no radiation from the blast, Barry and Caitlin head back to find what happened to Ronnie and Dr. Stein. Lo and behold, they find them both alive and well, if their clothes are a little worse for wear. They bring the two back to S.T.A.R. Labs and discover that apart from a slight fever, both are in perfect health. Stein returns home to his wife and Ronnie and Caitlin spend some much needed time together. While this happens, Joe takes Barry back to his old home and tells him what he and Cisco discovered about the night of the murder. Naturally confused by this, Barry goes to the one person he knows that can give him some insight into time travel, Dr. Stein. The two talk in fancy science terms for awhile, and we discover there is still a connection between Ronnie and Stein, via Stein sensing that Ronnie is in danger. Barry goes to the rescue, and after some military induced acupuncture goes horrible wrong, he is able to escape with Caitlin and Ronnie. They learn that General Eiling is still after the F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. project. Ronnie and Caitlin lay low with Barry and Joe for awhile while Stein hides out at S.T.A.R. Labs. Things go pear shaped when Wells sells out Stein to Eiling, because he is a dick like that, but then pulls a 180 and helps to rescue him. Through their connection, which continues to grow stronger, Ronnie is able to communicate with Stein and he and Barry go off to save him. Barry pulls Stein out just before Eiling shoots him, but before they can escape Barry is hit with a phosphorus chemical that starts to burn. To put it out he has to put himself into a vacuum, leaving Ronnie and Stein to get away on their own. When escape is no longer an option, Wells tells them to merge together again, the two do so, but instead of fighting it they accept it, and thus Firestorm emerges, and kicks all sorts of ass. With their new found abilities, Stein and Robbie decide to leave Central City, seeking out an old colleague of Stein’s who they think will be able to help them better understand their powers. The share a sweet goodbye with their respective loves and fly off. (to be seen again in the Firestorm spin off) We close out with Barry telling Joe he will learn everything about what happened the night his mother was murdered so that when he goes back he can stop it, and with Wells, in his Reverse Flash outfit, kidnapping Eiling and throwing him to Gorilla Grodd.
So yeah, this episode was freaking amazing. It feels like most of last week’s episode was build up to this one, and the pay off was fantastic. Ronnie
and Stein’s animosity towards each other was well founded, but not annoying. Having spent a year living in the same body is bound to leave some less than friendly feelings behind, but it was played more just left over anger over missing a year of their lives than as actually hatred towards each other. Stein’s adopting Ronnie’s love of pizza was hilarious to watch play out. The build up to their willing merge was well paced, and quite funny. The small bits of banter between the two while they were merged was well placed levity in the more serious moments, and Stein’s insistence on calling his companion Ronald was also a nicely added in character trait for him. This episode, and last weeks, are essentially a backdoor pilot for the Firestorm spin off that CW has been talking about since late in development for Flash, and after this, I seriously think it could be great. Robbie Amell and Victor Garber play off each other well, not the best I have seen, but the whole young man/old man dynamic they have could lead to some truly hilarious moments for the two.
Barry’s learning of his eventual trip through time was a nicely done subplot for the episode, and did help to remind us that even though he may have taken a back seat plot line wise this episode, he is still the main character. He ran through the emotional gambit after this reveal, starting with shock over the impossible news, acceptance of it and a desire to know more, sorrow over the idea that he is destined to fail his mother, and finally setting on hope that he will be able to save hiss mother’s life. This was short, but great. Allowing Barry’s story to progress, but still giving in a big enough role in the main story so he can continue to do the hero thing he have come to know and love.
Caitlin was interesting to watch here. She was overjoyed to have her fiance back, as is to be expected, but at the same time, she has rebuilt her life without Ronnie in it, so his sudden return leaves her wondering what will happen. Add in Ronnie’s desire for them to leave Central City behind, and you have a Caitlin worried for the future. But, this did not drag anything down. Everything about this felt natural in how it played out, with Caitlin having to once again readjust her life with the return of Ronnie, and in the end, being accepting, and almost happy, at his leaving. As she said to Cisco, she had built a life she was happy with, and Ronnie not being able to stay in it, while upsetting for her, didn’t take anything away from it. Instead, she is just happy he is alive and is looking forward to him returning to her life. It was sweet, and sadly may have killed any chance of a Barry/Caitlin romance which I was hoping for, but hey, can’t have everything.
We were treated with a subplot of Iris at the newspaper and being encouraged by her partner to find out what is really happening at S.T.A.R. Labs.
This was uninteresting, and frankly unneeded. This probably stems mostly from the simple fact that Iris is still just not an interesting character. I see this particular plot leading to character drama as she tries to figure out what Barry and his friends are doing at the burnt out lab. We will see her digging, probably a confrontation between her and Barry as she digs to deep and close to the truth, before finishing with her discovering that Barry is the Flash, and maybe some shoe horned in romance between the two. Yeah, pass. Seriously, I have said this before and I am going to say this again, Iris is the Laurel of this show, and they have taken far to long to do anything interesting with her character, so she is basically now just dead weight. No offence Candace Patton who plays the character, she does it well, she just has an uninteresting character.
Overall, this was a fantastic follow up to last weeks episode, gave us great character moments, and added a new superhero to the universe that is being built between Arrow and Flash. There was a fantastic continuation to Joe’s investigation that will lead into one of Flash’s more out there super powers, time travel, and what is a major story for Flash in the comics. Heck we may even be getting a new show to help expand the world, we will see how things go with the proposed Firestorm spin off.
Sadly, we have a month to wait till the next new episode, where it appears Well’s secrets will be coming to life, so until that happens,