Last week, we left the Flash racing Caitlin away from the site where the fused Firestorm is about to explode with a nuclear blast. Of course they outrun the explosion, which turns out to be the energy released by the fission of Ronnie and Professor Stein. Perhaps not surprisingly, given their enforced conjoining, Stein and Raymond tend to snark at one another, though the chemistry between the two ensures it remains mild.
A late arrival to last week’s episode was General Wade Eiling, whose intent is to use meta-humans and meta technology to create an army of super soldiers. His previous attempt with Plastique didn’t go so well, so he’s keen to succeed with Firestorm.
Like last week’s Arrow, this episode had a lot more going on than normal, and felt a little crowded in parts. However, with a hiatus coming up, it gives us a lot to take away and ponder.
Despite their sniping, Ronnie and Martin manage to work together sufficiently well to give us a fairly recognizable Firestorm akin to the original comics. Although I wouldn’t expect to see Ronnie every episode, the episode does much of the groundwork of a backdoor pilot, leaving the way open for the CW to spin him off into his own show, or to build up a pantheon of heroes for future crossovers.
With ABC using the Agent Carter miniseries to fill the gap whilst Agents of SHIELD is off-air, it raises the question of whether the success of Flash and Arrow and the current appetite for super hero shows could lead to a similar approach on the CW, with minis of Firestorm, Atom, etc transmitted between runs of Flash and Arrow.
In the B story, Iris is helping Mason Bridge with his long-term investigation into the accelerator explosion at STAR Labs; counter-pointing Joe and Cisco’s investigation last week into Barry’s mother’s murder. However, with Iris steadily becoming the only main cast member who doesn’t know the Flash’s identity, it echoes Arrow’s similar position with Thea – will this be dealt with more quickly, and will the outcome be less benign?
With the discovery that an adult Barry was present at the murder of his mother, time travel became a part of the show, and this week Cisco explains the various extant theories by comparing them with films such as Back to the Future.
The ‘Harrison Wells’ seesaw swings once again this week, with our first proper confirmation that he is the Reverse Flash. However, this doesn’t really tell us anything new – although he’s a meta-human, his abilities are not yet explained, beyond what we know (the tachyon device only provides him with a brief speed boost). With several moments when he’s shown inadvertent concern for Barry, at odds with what we’ve seen of the Reverse Flash’s behaviour, it would suggest there’s more to come on this front. Might there actually be more than one Reverse Flash? The one who killed Barry’s mother (Eddie’s descendant Eobard?) and Wells himself (the Hunter Zolomon version created by Geoff Johns?). At this point, the evidence certainly shows Wells as manipulative with a murky past, but has also gone out of its way to show us that he appears to have a genuine concern for Barry’s well-being. Is this wholly altruistic, or something more self-serving to ensure that Barry’s future self ends up traveling back in time for the events of his mother’s death to play out as before? It’s probably a truism to say “time will tell”!
The secondary reveal that he worked with Eiling, and that both were involved with Gorilla Grodd is perhaps less surprising given what we’ve seen previously. That we have a intelligent giant telepathic gorilla as a future villain on a TV show is something to look forward to.