WARNING MASSIVE SPOILERS BELOW
Episode 14, Fallout.
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.
So this episode we have the reconcile between Firestorm and his respective wives, in addition to this we have Barry and Joe pondering over the thoughts and ideas of time travel, while Iris grows more suspicious of S.T.A.R. labs. Due to it's title, we'll be looking for the results of every episode up till now, specifically last weeks episode.
It starts with Barry and Catlin being shown out running the nuclear blast, meaning that Barry can in fact out run a nuclear explosion, even while carrying someone, meaning his max speed he can likely move even faster. However after careful examination, it's shown that their was no radiation at all, causing them to go back and see if the machine worked, at least to some extent. And for the first time all season, Stein and Ronnie are separated, and happy about it.
It's good to finally see Ronnie, and get to explore his character a bit more. As all we've known of him is from flashbacks and from what Catlin and the others have said about him. It's good to see his reaction to Stein and their situation. Speaking of it as unforgettable and unbelievable. Like playing a game without getting a turn on the controller. Stein refutes him, however claiming that Ronnie was to emotional and immature to handle F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M.'s power and that he should be thankful he was in control. The two their part ways, hoping to return to the loves of their lives.
Now comparing the partnership to that of the comics, at the moment it seems painstakingly difficult, rather than work together it's a fight for dominance. Where the power is a curse plaguing their lives and not a gift saving it. Also unique to this version of the character Stein is the sensible one, where as Ronnie is the hot head in need of control. Whereas of the pre 52, Stein was the emotionally detached one and Ronnie was the bond that held them together.
Things speed up quickly, as Barry meets with Joe. Joe goes over what he and Cisco were doing, at first Barry is a skeptic but begins to follow what he's saying. Now wondering if he can time travel, but more importantly if he was destined to lose to The Man In Yellow and destined to lose his mother. He then goes to confront Harrison with his theory.
Harrison begins to go over all the time travel theories available, such as those used in the popular films like "Back to the future". However it becomes clear that they want a specific answer, and Harrison is unable to present one, claiming that it was to theoretical to be certain, but they did know someone who knew more, Martin Stein.
Barry speeds off to meet with Stein, though his wife answers the door. She's predictably hesitant to give him up, but he eventually does turn up, though with a desire for pizza.(Gained from being bonded to Ronnie.) when he retrives it the two begin to discuss theorems, and find that time is a "highway" if you can somehow get onto it, you can ride it. Into the future, or into the past. As it turns out Stein and Ronnie share a mental link, and Stein becomes afraid when Ronnie is being attacked by the government, in fear for Catlin's life as well as his own.
The Flash then speeds off, intent on saving his friends from this rogue government sect. It's also one of the second times that we General Eiling, a government official interested in metahumans, most currently Firestorm. At the moment it seemed that the Flash had the upper hand, until Eling revealed a weapon, needles attracted to kinetic energy, effectively pinning the Flash until the Flash crew arrives and whisks the out of harms way.
This is great to see because it shows the Flash's weakness other than slowing down. Being out thought and out played, like in a game of chess. Similar to the comics where the Rogues use gadgets to keep up with their powered adversary. It's particularly good because it shows the need to keep him in the moment, because when things happen in an instant, it's almost fast enough for him. It also shows them taking into account that The Flash's powers are more than just speed, but motion as well. Making it a great turning point.
They recover quickly, but all begin assessing the threat differently. Ronnie for example is now worried, having originally intended to leave Central City rather than stay where the insanity was. But finds that the insanity is now trailing him. Barry is able to recover, but maybe a little to quickly, as it takes a while to remove the needles as he healed around them. Harrison once again shows his darker side, when Eiling reveals that he knows the Flash's identity, prompting him to offer Stein in fair trade, him being the half who understood Firestorm.
The Flash crew is unaware at first, trying to keep Catlin and Ronnie safe, moving them to the West house where they're met by Iris, who has a reporter has been looking into the Flash crews actions, though unintentionally. They of course lie, claiming that Ronnie is Catlin's cousin, and from Coast City(Hometown of Green Lantern, for you comic fans!) and they try to move on from their. Meanwhile Stein is being tortured in order to figure how to make Firestorm soldiers. Of course he wants no part, and Ronnie begins to feel his pain.
Eiling tries his best to get Stein to open up to him, claiming that he had only used such methods with one other person, Grodd. Ronnie tries his best to locate Stein, but does little more than scream with the doctors agony. When the pain finally stops, he uses self inflicted pain to send a message, prompting Stein to send one back, leading to his location.
Now we see Barry ready for round two with the government, though a bit more knowledgeable about what he's up against. He brings Ronnie with him, who needs his counterpart back in order to be okay himself. Bringing the splicer in order to prevent them from becoming one again, which is interesting. Because normally they have problems coming together in the comics, and not coming apart. But nonetheless it is interesting to see this version unfold.
Barry is once again halted by their anti-speedster weaponry, which leaves Stein and Ronnie defenseless. Left without options the two bond again, however fully accepting one and other this time. Leading to the first legit Firestorm within the series. Ronnie in control of the body and Stein acting as the mentor, similar to the Firestorm comics in the pre 52. The two work incredibly well together and are able to easily dispatch the armed forces. But are once again stopped by anti-metahuman weapons. However by this time Barry is back in the game, and the two escape. Winning the day.
It's great to see this, to see the real Firestorm come out after all this time, as we're slowly progressing from what he was, to what he should be. And I can't wait to see further exploration of his powers and his abilities. Most notably transmutation, which is something that has been lacking throughout. But we're defintely closer than we were 13 episodes ago.
Iris has begun looking into S.T.A.R. labs, more specifically their involvement with the metahumans. Her partner at the firm kindling her curiosity, as she seeks answers to the questions no one has been asking aside from her father. As she sees "Sam"(Ronnie) as the burning man. Causing her to wonder what else Catlin and the Flash crew have been lying about.
In the concluding moments we see Cisco having processed the blood for Joe, and finding a match. Joe is delighted and questions if one belongs to Harrison, but shockingly it doesn't. In a somewhat foreseen 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 subsequently failed. Joe is shocked, as is Cisco as they begin to ponder the possibility of time travel.
Finally near the conclusion of this epic episode we see that Stein and Ronnie have far more control over their power than they ever did in the beginning. Separating freely without an major or even minor issues, much to the exuberance of everyone. However they do so with e heavy heart, conludingthat they endangered STAR labs, they decide to leave in order to better control their powers. But they leave in high spirits promising to return with a full handle on F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. Catlin being able to finally move on and move forward.
Finally reaching the end we see that while everything seems down things have done nothing but gotten better. Barry continues his activities and claims that he will in fact save his mother form the man in yellow. He will not be the Barry who failed but rather the one who succeeded, claiming their is still that possibility for him. Now while everything is well, tings go poorly for Eiling, as he's attacked by a yellow blur trailed by red lightning and he's taken to the swers. This reverse Flash is in fact Wells who has finally had enough of the general. The general is enraged, but has little time to dwell on as his mind is invaded by another sin from his past. Gorilla Grodd, Harrison bids him farewell, as the beast has it's way with him.
High Light of the Episode for me.: Definitely the best part of this was Firestorm's evolution. Seeing him go from the sad sack he was to the nuclear man of the comics totally makes up for it's past disappointments. As well as setting up for future storylines and episodes. However like last episode it doesn't slowly the spot, Gorilla Grodd's ultimate cameo this episode was definitely great to see, as we get a little more insight on what makes him, him and what he can do. Totally getting me ready for some gorilla warfare.
Overall Rating:Takes the spot as one of the best episodes so far, and was really good on both content and action. Keeping you in the story while also moving it forward. Throwing into the next episode with anticipation. Total rating is a 10 out of 10.