As with Gotham, a quick series synopsis for anyone not watching the show already. And if you’re among those people tsk tsk.
A spin-off of Arrow based on fellow DC Comics hero the Flash, who here is Barry Allen with a dash of Wally West and just a pinch of Bart mixed in, The Flash follows Central City CSI Barry as he fights crime using his speed based superpowers that he awoke from a coma with after being struck by lightning the night a major Particle Accelerator was turned on and subsequently exploded. Barry uses his speed to help people, while hoping to solve the mystery of his mother’s murder. He is aided by Joe West, the cop who raised him after his awesomely stunt-casted dad was falsely sentenced for his wife’s death, Professor Harrison Wells, the pariah scientist behind the failed particle accelerator, and Wells’ only remaining staff at STAR Labs, Caitlin Snow and Cisco Ramone.
CW’s The Flash 01×14 – “Fallout” Review
Here There Be Spoilers!
So I have the odd luck to be starting my first week of Comic Book TV reviews in a week where Flash is the latter half of a two-parter. Last week’s episode had the A Story of Caitlin, Cisco and Barry finally tracking down Firestorm, AKA the Burning Man, who is the result of Caitlyn’s presumed killed in the Accelerator explosion fiance Ronnie Raymond merging with Professor Martin Stein, who was on his way to see Wells the night of the explosion to get help in hiding his research from a corrupt secret division of the US Army. The B story involved Barry getting over his near lifelong unrequited crush on Joe’s daughter Iris by dating Iris’ fun confident co-worker Linda Park. The episode ended with a last ditch attempt to separate Ronnie and Professor Stein seemingly failing as Firestorm exploded into a mushroom cloud with Barry struggling to outrun the explosion while carrying Caitlin, and the leader of the afore-mentioned corrupt army division, General Wade Eilling, being alerted to the explosion and mobilizing a team to go and capture Firestorrm. (Eilling’s secret army unit is hellbent on capturing and controlling Metahumans like Flash and Firestorm to create living weapons for the army. He was responsible for the creation and death of a previous villain of the week, Plastique).
Before I get into this week’s conclusion, I’ll note a few points about last week’s episode I’d have expounded upon had I had this gig last week.
- I like Linda Park here. I like the actress playing her. And it’s REALLY nice to see them finally moving Barry away from his creepy crush on Iris who is kinda basically his sister given they grew up together in the same house raised by Joe. Adding that backstory with Barry and Iris in this adaptation, for me at least, always gave Barry’s unrequited crush an incesty vibe, on top of the irksome “Friend Zone” undertones of it. While part of me is disappointed that Wally has been cannibalized and smushed into Barry, I’m liking the strong way they’ve written Linda so far.
- On the other hand I was exceptionally annoyed that Iris, who had spent the first half of the season painfully oblivious to Barry’s not so well hidden feelings, then ignored him for weeks in-show after he finally told her so he could let it go and move on when she decided to move in with her boyfriend Eddie “Red Herring” Thawne, decided to inexplicably cockblock Barry by telling Linda Barry wasn’t ready to date because he had feelings for someone else. It seemed catty and out of character for Iris to suddenly be so petty and jealous over a guy she sees as brother. Thankfully Barry called her on it, but it should never have happened. It was a rare example of utterly BS writing in an otherwise generally well-written show.
- I love the visual nod to Firestorm’s original comics costume in the way the Atomic Separator McGuffin Thingy attaches to Firestorm’s chest.
- For a TV budget the Firestorm effects are pretty damned good.
Alright, onto tonight.
We open with Barry JUST BARELY outrunning the explosion and Caitlin worrying how much radiation they were just exposed to. Cisco however notes from back at STAR Labs that the geiger counter in Barry’s suit is registering normal. Barry runs Caitlin back to the blast centre and they find Ronnie and Stein successfully separated.
Back at STAR they run tests on the pair, who argue about who had how much control and who owes who for surviving their year living as a Nicolas Cage tribute on the streets. The two can’t get way from each other fast enough.
Later Joe tells Barry about he and Cisco discovering blood at the scene of his mom’s murder last week, which came back as belonging to an adult Barry who at some point in the future finds a way to go back in time to that night and try (and fail) to save his mom from the man in the Yellow Suit.
I pause the episode for a few minutes to wait for the instinctive “Oh my effing God please not Flashpoint” migraine to pass, then I resume the episode.
Cisco sends Barry to talk to Stein about the time travel shenanigans because OF COURSE Stein wrote papers about time travel a quarter century ago. Everyone burn some incense for the Gods of Plot Convenience! Except Stein is acting odd, hyper excited and craving pizza like Ronnie, a food his wife assures us he hated before the accident.
Meanwhile Ronnie is at Jitters with Caitlin proposing they leave Central City together when the goddamn Army shows up trying to capture him, and as much as I love this show I am literally screaming “and how the **** are you going to spin armed US military shooting up a crowded coffee shop in public when the media come calling?” at my TV. Subtlety is clear not Eilling’s strong suit.
Stein senses Ronnie’s jeopardy and tells Barry to go save him. But Eilling is prepared this time and nails Barry with a spike bomb that makes sharp magnetic spikes shishkebab anything putting off kinetic energy. Caitlin luckily pulls up in her van to drive Barry and Ronnie off.
More lab tests reveal Ronnie and Stein aren’t 100% seperated, and Barry takes Caitlin and Ronnie to crash at Joe’s house. Everyone nervously covers up Ronnie by pretending he’s Catlin’s cousin, which makes Iris suspicious, and makes her rethink helping a colleague at her workplace who thinks Wells is hiding something about STAR labs.
Wells drugs Stein and hands him over to Eilling solely to set up the end of episode stinger. Barry and Ronnie go to rescue him, after Ronnie uses their strengthening bond to figure out where Stein is being held. Once again Eilling is prepared for Barry, because the producers forgot to tell Clancy Brown he’s not playing Lex Luthor again.
While Barry is busy saving himself from Eillings toy, Ronnie and Stein realize the only option is to willingly remerge into Firestorm, which they do willingly, and doing so by choice balances it out, with Ronnie still in full control of the body and Stein’s disembodied voice giving him advice. Firestorm kicks military ass, and Barry comes back to punch Eilling out before another of his little toys disables (or worse), Ronnie. Ronnie and Barry race back to STAR Labs.
The episode proper ends with Ronnie and Stein leaving for Chicago together to run from Eilling.
The Stinger though seems to prove that unnecessary as Wells, in his Reverse Flash get-up, kidnaps Eilling and runs him into the sewers where a couple city workers got killed a couple weeks ago. Wells tells Eilling he “protects his own”. Then as Eilling hers low growling grunts behind him, Wells says he’s introducing him to an old friend of theirs. Eilling hears a voice talking directly into his brain telepathically, and turns to see what’s coming. And as the episode ends, Eilling shouts “Oh dear God!” at the shadow approaching him. The voice in his head responds simply…
“Not God… Grodd…”.
And you’ll excuse me now while I look for the top half of my head because I squeed so hard right then that I blew the top of my head off like Tex Avery in shock.
Overall this week’s episode is in it’s usual top form. Barring that glaring “Um… don’t you guys think SOMEONE is going to notice you all shooting up our Starbucks expy?” moment, there’s really not much I can complain about. Except for Flashpoint. Barry said he plans to change history and save his mom. And my brain hurts just thinking about that trainwreck. But other than that, top form. A-.
Tags: DC Comics, Firestorm, Flash (Barry Allen), The Flash