The Flash 1.14: Fallout
The Flash continued its road to greatness as this week's episode dealt with - literally - the fallout of the explosion at the end of The Nuclear Man. The explosion we last saw Barry and Caitlin running from wasn't the nuclear holocaust teased last week but the rather spectacular splitting of Ronnie Raymond from Dr Martin Stein. Well's device worked and Caitlin got her finance back...
...At least for most of an episode. The interesting thing about Firestorm - the metahuman / project that merged Ronnie and Dr Stein - was that they remained connected even when they were physically separated. That came in handy on a number of occasions throughout the episode, particularly when Martin Stein was captured by General Eiling.
Dr Stein using Morse code to signal to Ronnie his location was a clever move, even more innovative - and brutal - was Ronnie carving the message in his arm; something Dr Stein felt. It was a whole new twist on the twin effect - one twin is in pain and the other one feels it. Just as interesting in their symbiotic relationship was the need to merge in order to unleash their full Firestorm powers. Firestorm is certainly the most interesting meta human in the show so far and I hope that despite both characters leaving at the end of the episode to escape the military and find the answers they need to permanently separate, we see more of them in the show.
Clancy Brown was certainly having fun as the aggressive military general Wade Eiling. He might come from a long line of military generals out to control the superhero populace - the latest being General Talbot in Agents Of SHIELD but he served as a worthy adversary not just for Ronnie and Dr Stein but Barry Allen too. Since their last encounter he had developed some cunning anti-Flash devices. I particularly liked the spike bomb that was attracted to the Flash's kinetic energy. It was a great use of giving this non-super powered enemy an edge of Barry Allen.
The mystery of Dr Harrison Wells became the highlight of the episode, playing both sides as he shopped Dr Stein to General Eiling and then taking up the fight against him. The ending confirmed everything we have guessed before; Wells is the Reverse Flash. The final scenes in the sewer where Wells / the Reverse Flash captured Eiling opened up plenty of exciting possibilities and teased more of Grodd. I am looking forward to seeing this intelligent, talking, aggressive gorilla - obviously a product of Star Labs - coming to the fore but I like the way he has been teased so far. As for Eiling, we last saw him dragged away by the gorilla nemesis. Is he dead? I guess only time will tell.
Fallout was perhaps the strongest episode of The Flash yet, the two part nature of the Firestorm story line giving the story room to breathe while developing several key plots, particularly those around Wells. Even the small moments were intriguing. Detective Joe West bringing Barry back to his childhood home and revealing that an adult Barry was there his mother died continued to drive that story line forward. Even Iris got a more interesting plot this week as she begun digging deeper into the mysteries of Doctor Wells and Star Labs. And she desperately needs something to do. Barry keeping his secret identity from her is quickly turning her into another Laurel Lance from Arrow. At least Candice Patton keeps her likeable and engaging each week.
Compared to Arrow, The Flash is probably in a stronger place then its predecessor was half way through season one. It helps that it has a shared universe to build on, while the super-powered heroes and villains adds a spark to the storytelling without needing to get too gritty. There is still a while to go yet, but for one an enjoying every minute of the ride.