WARNING MASSIVE SPOILERS BELOW
Episode 13, The Nuclear Man.
Notes before reading: I am NOT a reviewer, I'm merely a huge fan of the The Flash comics, and like to believe that I know the series and the characters incredibly well. This review is made purely from the standpoint of a fan, who wants to see his favorite Flash characters hit the big screen in a creative fashion, and that I do this review for no reason other to get my thoughts out. If you agree, more power to you, but if not, honestly, it's fine. Not at all a big deal. Rather inconsequential, even.
This time we have an epsiode about the long hinted at Firestorm! Known in the comics by his tangline, The Nuclear Man. So because of that we'll be looking at it's relvance to the character and what it reveals about him. We're looking at Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein, the original and possibly most well known version of Firestorm.
The episode kicks off with Barry, prepparing for his long awaited first date with Linda Park. He is constantly dressing himself at superspeed, trying to decide on an outfit. Going between the mirror and Joe in order to decide what to wear, and how to wear it. In the end it's good to see just how heavily he relies on speed, to see how important it's become to him. Especially if it's for something as simple as a date.
When he arrives everything is a mix between rocky, and great. Which was good to see, because while Linda was a well inversed, independent, outgoing girl, Barry is just the opposite. He's shy, sheltered and inexprienced. It's really good to watch Barry step out of his comfort zone, and become the guy he needs to be in order to be with her. Aside from a few minor interuptions, the date goes well, and they decide on a second one.
Now comparing the relationship of Barry and Linda, to Linda and Wally, it couldn't be any more different. Which is what makes this epsiode so great, well this scene in particular. Because as opposed to Wally and Linda who have both been in and out of relations, were fine with moving fast, had no problems moving quickly, that's not Barry. Barry's awkward, a fledling to dating. It was great to really get to see the difference, to see how Barry's a Flash, but he isn't Wally
The conflict of the story begins to unravel, as Catlin and Harrison goes over the facts about 'Ronnie" specifically how they came to be. Describing their situation as a result of Darwinism, in which their current form was the result of choosing the superior mind, Stein and the superior body, Ronnie. Ending up with current mashup they were having trouble with. The footage does rise a problem however, as Harrison begins to speak of the side effects of F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M., and the possiblity of him becoming dangerous. Catlin disagree's, but they're interrupted by the news, where Stein attacked his further collague, still acting like a "discount human torch". The crew agree's that they need to go after him, to Catlin's dismay.
Their only problem, is that they have no idea how to track him. Harrison mentions that Stein was still a man, and not crazed metahuman like the others that they've dealt with. He reasons that he's still a normal man, with a logical mind. He wanted hat they wanted for Ronnie, to go home. And they knew where he would go, when was scared, afraid. He needed to go to the one place where he would be understood. Catlin quickly caught on, realzing that he must've meant his wife. With the stakes raising even higher, they knew what had to be done.
They move to the Central City Police Department to let Barry know of their choice, where he begins to explain how amazing the date went, and that they plan to go out tonight. The two scientists begin to question if they're moving to fast, but Barry disagre's and claims that it's perfectly fine. However they turn out to mean fast in a completely different way, claiming that he may be too fast at the wrong time if he gets to excited. Barry dismisses that idea as well, claiming that he could keep it under control, but begins to worry.
Now in the comics, they rarely ever address the "Fastest Man Alive" crack we're all familar with, though Wally talks about it a few times during his former run as the scarlet speedster in the pre 52. Caliming that the most important thing about speed is control, which is kinda the same point they made. The greatest part about the show is that it gives a classic character, in mordern light. So naturally they had to get to this, epscially with such a passionate character like Linda Park on the show.
While the rest of the Flash crew move on, Joe confronts Cisco. Claiming that he wants to try reivestigate the murder of Nora Allen. Wanting to see if Cisco's technical expretise can help him notice something that he didn't see before. At first Cisco is hesitant, especially because of what he just did behind everyone's back that caused Pied Piper to escape, but reluctantly agrees, hoping to help Barry. Joe gets a warrant, and the two are off.
Barry invites Linda over, for their date at Joe's house. He begins to quickly lay out his night plans, but naturally Linda has a better idea. Moving quickly she pulls Barry in, and the to begin to get very intimate. However Barry works through it awkwardly and becomes nervous, causing him to viberate during their kiss(though to Linda's pleasure) he admits he's worded about going to fast, but she tells him to relax and attempts to resume. However before things can head down their intended path, Barry is whisked away by his Flash activies. (Un)forunately for him.
Now we get to the long awaited match, The Flash v.s F.I.R.E. .R.M. The Flash crew pulls their trap, attempting to capture Stein, however he quickly dons his 'flames"(Even going as far as to say flame on.) Barry speeds in trying to reason with him as normal for him. But naturally he's not interested, and tries to fight him. However despite his superior mastery of his powers he's not able to pin him. He escapes, causing a very morse feels, as the Flash crew struggles to recover.
This is good to see because it shows how Barry truly feels about what they do. He's not some night in shining armor, or some super powered protector. He's a man doing his best to help others, and that's it. It's nice to see Barry evovle into the silver age Flash we all know and love. At first his different demeanor seems disappoitning compared to the original, but it's defintely better to see the boy before the man. Another downside in this fight his firestorm, they're attempting to push the transmutation, but seemingly not enough, as all he's done is shoot fire and propell himself. Which has been a real let down, considering what the comics Firestorm can do.
We go back to Cisco and Joe, who are able get back to Barry's home which has a new tenant, and a sutry one at that. Despite the obvious distraction, the two are able to get some decent work done. Discovering some blood left behind, two samples. Joe becomes optimistic figuring that they can find the two speedsters who were there night. Along with the blood they find a mirror, containing an image of what happened, or general image. Cisco goes to process the blood, finding two matches, but refuses to do more when Joe asks him to run a cross refrence on his prime target: Harrison Wells.
Reaching the end of the episode, Barry and the other two members of the team decide to go after Firestorm once more, having tagged him with a trcker. When they find him he's ready for another fight, but his wife is able to conince him to let S.T.A.R. labs help. He goes with them where they run disgonistics, and Harrison gives interesting insight on his condition. Specifically that he is constantly heating up, and within a few short hours he would blow, as in nuclear. He reasons that they only way to stop him, is death. WHile he and Catlin argue Barry and Stein have a heart to heart. Stein reveals that he can hear Ronnie, plaguing his thoughts. Guding his actions like a concious he can't turn off.
It's an interesting take. Because as opposed to them openly hearing one and other like in the comics, we see see that Stein is bothered by Ronnie's presence instead of happy for it. Along with this, normally it's stated that if Firestorm were to die, then his suit would rupture and he'd go nuclear. But here it's the opposite, where being together means the possiblity of mass destruction. It's similar to the previous Superior Spider-Man storyline, where Peter Parker is still in his body that Doc Ock is in control of, where Peter prevents him from going overboard.
Now with Central City newspaper we see Iris and Linda. The two Flash lovers having a heart to heart, Linda wants to understand Barry's dating life, but Iris kinda meanders through it, unsure what to say or do. Though she explains that Barry has always been alone and has never actually been with anyone. Linda seems worried that whoever he used to love he still has feelings for, causing her to consider ending the relationship. Though Iris does encourage her to simply give him some time. It's a little funny to me, that the Flashes wife in the comics is given her nephews wife in the comics advise on how to win over her "husband". The show really knows how to push boundaries, which is nice.
In the concluding moments we see Cisco having processed the blood for Joe, and finding a match. Joe is delgthed and questions if one belongs to Harrison, but shockingly it doesn't. In a somewhat forseen plot twist the other speedster was Barry Allen. Or at least a older Barry Allen, who might've come from the future to save his mother, and subsquently failed. Joe is shocked, as is Cisco as they begin to poder the possiblity of time travel.
Then the Flash crew attempts to find Ronnie, whose wandered outside of Central City in order to explode in peace, with only minutes left to live. Harrison uses part of his tacions to create a gene splixer, with Cisco's help in order to seperate Ronnie and Steing, preventing the blast. Barry offers to run him the device, Catlin offers to go along. Pressed for time, he's unable to deny her and the twoo speed there. At first he's upset to see them, but Catlin explains the plan and he's willing to try it. Before hand however, we see the first Ronnie/Catlin kiss, provided by Stein, who claims it's from him. In a massive plot twist the device fails, and they go nuclear. Barry does however, managed to out run the blast. Giving the speedster another speed feat for his universe.
In the end we see Barry trying to rekindle with Linda, who refuses to even speak to him. Claming that he can't be serious about them, and that she understands that. Barry disagree's, unable to let her go. So he goes as far as to pblicly humilate himself in order to win her over. At first it becomes a game, but upon seeing that he's serious she takes him back. Iris is one of the many witnesses, but it anything but happy. While Wally/Linda may be gone, Barry/Linda is still veyr much alive.
High Light of the Episode for me.: Cisco's revelation that Varry was there the night Nora was murdered. And what it means for the Flash. It means that somehwo, somewhen he learns how to travel through time.. He possibly follows the same timeline as Flashpoint, where he goes to stop Reverse Flash from killing his mother, and he fails in this world. Or maybe he slips up and ends up stuck in their time, like in the current New 52 things for certain, it opens up an amazing possiblity for next weeks episode. As well as us knowing that Harrison wasn't there, whatever Reverse Flash he is, he didn't kill Barry's mom. Really looking forward to see this develop and grow.
Overall Rating:While not exactlyshowing me what I was looking for, it did give some amazing insight on other things. Barry in particular, and considering that the show is about him, it's acceptable. But as far as F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. goes I give this an 7.5 out of 10.