The Flash Season 1 Eps 14 (TV Show Review)
CW’s The Flash has full-on moved into the second half of its debut season, and by all account it is doing a terrific job. The mid-season finale changed a lot of things for almost all the characters and the show’s return from its break has been nothing short of phenomenal. Of course, there are the occasional hiccups (which show doesn’t have them?) but by and large, The Flash has been a tremendous success for comic book properties, showing explicitly that you can have humour and seriousness at the same time without compromising or overdoing either. That really is what The Flash is all about.
This week’s episode, “Fallout“, picks up from where the last week left off, with Firestorm set to go nuclear and Barry and Caitlin racing to avoid the fallout. Well, it turns out that Harrison Wells’ quantum splicer did its trick after all and the good guys are able to separate Ronnie from Dr. Stein. But of course, the tale isn’t done because General Eiling is on Firestorm’s case and much of the episode deals with the back-and-forth between them, and we learn that General Eiling knows far more about what goes on at STAR Labs than anyone thought he did, and he also comes prepared for every eventuality. Almost. As great as the episode was though, the stinger at the end was beyond awesome and incredible. Totally fangasmic in the best way possible.
It is a staple of superhero properties that the armed forces never trust the heroes and the villains, even if they are working together. And thus, the representatives of both sides are often at loggerheads, especially when the armed forces characters are completely devoted to what they think is the best for the hero or the villain. We have seen it come up time and time again with different characters, whether that be Superman or Lex Luthor or Green Arrow or Amanda Waller and the Suicide Squad and so on. Thus is borne some great drama and the execution is quite obviously very important as well.
And so we have one of the “army bads” of The Flash, General Wade Eiling, make his full and proper comeback in this episode, which sees him going full-on after Firestorm in an effort to replicate the same technologies and powers that birthed the character and keep him going. It is a very, very intense issue for all involved since Ronnie and Dr. Stein have some lingering resentment with the other after their… shared experience and are struggling to accept the world that they have come back to, some 14 months or so since their accident. That’s a hell of a lot of time to go on without any significant interpersonal interaction, locked up in your own body without control, or driving someone else’s body, as it were.
That’s why I loved this episode so much. We got to see Ronnie spend some quality time with Caitlin, trying to get their lives back in order while Dr. Stein does much the same thing with his wife, though it also turns out that the formerly pizza-hater has now turned into a pizza-lover thanks to some bleed-through of Ronnie’s personality. Interesting thing in this episode was that the writers didn’t show the reverse, that Ronnie had “suffered” some bleed-through from Dr. Stein’s personality while they were both Firestorm. Might or might not be significant, but I think it is important to show that while Dr. Stein’s mind was indeed dominant as Firestorm, he was the “guest” there rather than the other way around.
In the comics, scenes with Firestorm show the secondary entity as a disembodied head speaking to the body-dominant. In the show, the secondary entity is always a disembodied in-head voice. It would have been really neat from a visual perspective if the director and productions department had gone the comics route, but I suppose this makes more sense since it is lower budget and more time can be spent on the other things. After all, it is a super-kick for me a viewer to have a flying hero in the show and to see both Firestorm and The Flash team-up to take down General Eiling.
And that’s the other thing you see, the episode is also about accepting change, embracing it fully rather than running away from it. This happens in several ways. First of all is the whole thing with Ronnie and Dr. Stein, with them learning to co-exist as Firestorm and “sharing”. Then there’s the arc with Joe and Barry discussing Nora Allen’s death and what happened on that fateful night. We as viewers have always known that there were two speedsters in the Allen home that night, future-Barry as The Flash and someone else as the Reverse-Flash. But the characters themselves didn’t make that connection until the mid-season finale when Cisco saw both now-Barry and now-Reverse-Flash fighting together and noted the coloured lightning coming from both of them. And this is something that he shared with Joe, proof of which they finally had last week when they managed to do some techno-doohickey in Barry’s old home to find out what had really happened. This raises some obvious questions about time travel of course, given some other proof that is discovered and so we have here yet another opportunity for a superhero show to delve into this ridiculously dangerous concept.
Comic fans know that Barry can time-travel and that he has indeed done so on a few rare occasions, but that it also involves a LOT of effort, not just on his part but those around him as well. And given everything that has been happening of late, I’m of the opinion that the season finale is going to have to do something with time travel, which would be incredibly sweet. As a superhero show, The Flash hasn’t shied away from taking some risks, and this is the ultimate risk for the show to take, since time-traveling Barry is something that a lot of the fans of the character definitely want to see happen and thus there is an incredible amount of pressure on the executive producers and the directors and the writers and everyone else to make sure that the execution matches those expectations.
But as I say, the show hasn’t disappointed so far, and doesn’t look to in the future, so I have a lot of hope for all of this.
The only thing that is kind of tripping me about the show right now is the weirdness going on with Iris and her new job. The paper’s star reporter is looking into what really goes on, and went on, STAR Labs and he manages to rope in Iris for this investigation since she clearly has some connections there. And I find Iris’… enthusiasm really weird since she is secretly investigating her friends without any real motivation other than curiosity. Did Barry’s brush-off to her last week set her on this path? Is she going to get her reporter street-cred by betraying her friends like this, investigating their secrets and laying them out for the world? I’m really not sure whether I like this whole sub-arc, because while I like Iris as a character, her characterization hasn’t been the best till now, especially of late.
And then there’s the stinger. If there’s one character who has been built-up since the start, and whom we have got only a teaser look at so far, it is Gorilla Grodd, one of the greatest and bestest villains of the Flash, and the show has had its own take on the character, clearly. Last time, we saw him attack a bunch of city workers or something in the sewer tunnels beneath Central City. This time, we get to see him do a hell of a lot more. And of course, Reverse-Flash aka Harrison Wells and General Wade Eiling are also involved. Gobsmackingly fangasmic moment. The production team has done a right-incredible job with the character, and I can’t wait to see Grodd in his own episode.
So much to look forward to in the coming weeks! Well, next month that is since the show is going to take a frustrating month-long break now, which breaks my heart.
Posted on February 20, 2015, in Review Central, The Flash, TV Show Reviews and tagged Aaron Helbing, Action, Andrew Kreisberg, Arrow, Barry Allen, Ben Sokolowski, Caitlin Snow, Candice Patton, Carlos Valdes, Central City, Cisco Ramon, Comics Television, Crime, CW, Danielle Panabaker, DC Comics, Detective West, Dr. Martin Stein, Drama, Eddie Thawne, Fallout, Firestorm, Flash, General Eiling, General Wade Eiling, Genre Television, Geoff Johns, Gorilla Grodd, Grant Gustin, Green Arrow, Greg Berlanti, Grodd, Henry Allen, Iris West, Jesse L. Martin, Joe West, John Wesley Shipp, Keto Shimizu, Killer Frost, LGBT Characters, LGBT Villains, Linda Park, Malese Jow, Martin Stein, Mystery, Nora Allen, Oliver Queen, Professor Zoom, Reverse-Flash, Review, Review Central, Rick Cosnett, Robbie Amell, Ronnie Raymond, Scarlet Speedster, Science Fiction, Steve Surjik, Superhero Fiction, Superhero Television, Superheroes, Supervillains, Television, Television Adaptation, The Flash, The Flash Season 1, The Flash Season 1 Ep 14, Tom Cavanagh, Tony Woodward, TV Show, TV Show Review, Vibe, Victor Garber, Wally West. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.