“Things You Can’t Outrun” – Review of THE FLASH Episode #3

I’m quickly going to run out of superlatives for this series…the best superhero show in years continues with Episode 3 of THE FLASH (technically episode 103, signifying the first season). The episode is very aptly named “Things You Can’t Outrun”, with an interesting villain revived from Starman’s rogues, and some neat twists and Easter Eggs dropped throughout.

LIGHT SPOILERS ONLY

The episode begins with a shootout between moving vehicles, one of them a Central City police car. Barry springs into action faster than the eye can see, and suddenly the other car is empty…and the perp is in handcuffs in the back of the police cruiser. The police officers claim credit, but Joe West knows better. When he talks to Barry about his not wanting all the glory, we get a great nod to the Silver Age comics…Barry states that he doesn’t “want a museum named after” him.

Okay, on to the main plot. A hitman named Kyle Nimbus was in the process of being executed by lethal gas (get it?) when the particle accelerator accident happened. Now, with the ability to turn himself into a poisonous gas, he goes after the people he blames for his trial and sentence…including the detective who arrested him, Joe West!

Barry’s first battle doesn’t go so well – how do you punch someone who can instantly turn to gas? He turns once again to S.T.A.R. Labs for help. For their part, everyone at S.T.A.R. are reliving the night of the accident, and are feeling the weight of the loss of Ronnie Raymond. Ronnie (who in the comics is one-half of Firestorm) was lost in the particle accelerator accident. In this continuity, he was an engineer (a “glorified plumber” as he referred to himself) who placed his life on the line to shut down the accelerator before it could kill everyone else. We see the impact on his fiancée Caitlin Snow and on Cisco Ramon, who had the unenviable task of sealing off the central chamber while Ronnie was still inside.

The big battle is in trying to stop The Mist before he can kill Joe, and you’ll have to see the episode to learn how that is resolved.  And, there is so much more, including Iris and Eddie deciding whether and how to tell Joe about their relationship. We can’t tell everything here, but there are a couple of moments that deserve a special mention.

At one point in the episode, Barry appears as the Flash in full view of Henry Allen…and he pulls off a classic Flash trick that dates back to the Golden Age and Jay Garrick, by vibrating his face so quickly that his identity is blurred. As for the second, Henry Allen tells Barry about how he learned to walk. I’ll leave it at that…but it is a very touching scene that explains a lot about what motivates the Flash in this continuity, and it gives another definition of “things you can’t outrun”.

And…once again at the end of this episode we get a revelation about the mysterious Harrison Wells. The writers seem to specialize in “What the…” moments at the end of each episode, and this one is no exception.

SUMMARY: This was another amazing episode of THE FLASH, with an excellent storyline and exceptional acting throughout. If you’ve missed this (or any) episode, grab the CW app on your iPad and check out the best superhero series that has come along in years!

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