The Flash is going on a break, but teased a Reverse Flash reveal and Gorilla Grodd when it returns.
This weeks episode is called Fallout because it’s about what happened after the explosion at the end of last week’s episode. They’re using the word literally, and not making a video game reference, imagine that. The literal fallout is a surprising lack of nuclear energy and a surprising increase in the number of people standing out in the middle of nowhere. Basically, last week’s little experiment was a success. We all know that when you blow up matter it makes more matter; which is why we started with one body and got two.
As promised last week, General Eiling (Clancy Brown) makes his return. He also brought a few nifty new toys to use on Barry. He immediately shows up to threaten Ronnie and Barry. When that doesn’t go as planned he starts threatening Dr. Wells. He’s determined that Firestorm is the future of war and he will be involved in it. I do like that apparently General Eiling noticed that Barry took off his mask when Bette San Souci was dying. It seems like far too often little moments like that become plot holes rather than endearing.
We forgot to do something with Iris! How about that jerk at the paper goading her about Star Labs to see if he can get her to snoop. Surely she’s smart enough to see that he already knew she was connected before he started poking at her. Nope? Ok. Does she at least see that he’s goading her? Barely.
Flash and team need a safe place to hide Ronnie and the Professor now that Eiling is looking. It’s decided that Ronnie and Caitlin will crash at Barry’s house. They immediately have an awkward interaction with Iris, because that’s her purpose on this show now. Though there is a certain amount of truth in the Murphy’s Law nature of it being her night to cook.
After we wrap up last week’s main plot, explosions and splitting people, we go over into the secondary plot which was about Barry’s Mother’s murder. Barry gets the news that he was there the night that his mother died but as an adult. He realizes that he must have gone back in time to try to save her. He also realizes that he failed. Faced with the knowledge that he has to try but also that he will fail, Barry is a little brooding in this episode. Fortunately the brooding is kept to a reasonable level and it’s not Gustin’s forte. Besides, now that we’ve cast Victor Garber, for the whole episode, why not have Martin Stein be an expert in time travel as well. That should make Barry feel better. Sure it’s convenient but it’s not unbelievable. Physics covers all that stuff, right?
Speaking of casting, is it just me or do they have real issues with getting actors who can’t pull of smarmy and slimy? I have a lot of trouble with Dr. Wells and General Eiling. Both guys feel like they’re trying to be these greasy double-crossers and they just can’t pull it off. Tom Cavanaugh ranges from constipated to bored in his demonstrations of villainy. I am beginning to wonder if it’s the direction or a lack of it. With two notable excetions, none of the directors have done more than one episode. The voice of the show is coming entirely from the writers and actors, and the writers are working across two shows. I worry that the voice of The Flash is suffering without individual attention. While it’s not uncommon for a showrunner to start a show and move to the next one I would like to know more about how this spinoff is being handled concurrently with Arrow.
There were a few good quotes tonight. Here’s a few of my faves.
“I don’t suppose you moonlight as a pizza delivery boy.” Dr. Stein [Because the two jobs saving everyone are not enough.]
“I joined the military when I was 20 years old, professor, my father had me convinced that our greatest threat was the Soviets, our greatest fear nuclear war. Then came terrorism, and Ebola. And now it’s the age of Firestorm.” General Eiling [What a jump in concepts…]
“Like all matter it yearns to be whole!” Dr. Harrison Wells [He got just a little excited about Stein and Ronnie merging again.]
“You guys are like 10 seasons of Ross and Rachel but just like smushed into one year.” Cisco Ramone [Referring to Caitlin and Ronnie. Well put…]
The goal of this episode was to take Firestorm from guy with an identity crisis to full blown Dissociative Identity Disorder. In one particularly cool moment, we see Ronnie flying overhead while Barry runs. I hope we get to keep him as a character.
They wrap up with a few big punches and then promote their return on March 17th. I’ll be excited to see what they come up with. I know some people have trouble with this show, and I have discussed my own issues at length. That being said, I think the most troubling thing I saw tonight is the i Zombie commercial.