Ever since the beginning of this series, we’ve been waiting for this…”The Man In the Yellow Suit”! Now that we have hit the mid-season finale, we finally get a throw-down between Barry and…whoever is in that yellow cowl. But, that’s far from all that we get in this episode. We find the reappearance of Dr. Tina McGee, and some significant events for the personal lives of just about everyone concerned, as we turn to our review of Episode 109 of THE FLASH!
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!
Some spoilers (not all, but some) ahead!
There are multiple threads running through this episode.
- Barry’s unrequited love for Iris takes a spotlight here – his Christmas gift to her is a replica of her mother’s wedding ring on a necklace (the original was presumed lost years ago). Strangely enough, everyone except Iris…even Eddie…can see how Barry really feels. Barry does finally confess his love, but far too late, as Iris is preparing to move in with Eddie.
- Caitlin has spotted someone she thought had died in the particle accelerator accident – yes, it’s Ronnie Raymond, back from the (presumed) dead, but with no real memories…and an ability to burst into flame. He does play a role in the end of this episode (watch the episode to see what I mean). I really like how they have slowly built up his reappearance in the series. And, it looks like we will have more of Firestorm as the series progresses after the mid-season break.
- Dr. Tina McGee (with Amanda Pays reprising her role from the 1990’s FLASH tv series) has a major role in this episode, with her research on tachyons playing into the plot line…and a device her lab has created plays a major role in what happens next. She obviously has a distaste for dealing with Harrison Wells – and that may be for very good reason.
- And, of course taking center stage is the appearance of the Reverse Flash!
The Reverse Flash first appears at Mercury Lab, looking for something…but what? He kills several guards at super speed and leaves without succeeding in his search. As Barry and Joe investigate they realize that this may be the person that killed Barry’s mother. Later, after Barry and Iris speak at his lab, he looks across the rooftops to see…the Reverse Flash watching him! Their chase leads to a very one-sided fight. It goes all over town and ends at the football stadium where the Reverse Flash taunts Barry – he knows everything about Barry and seems determined to beat him…but not to kill him.
Later, they use a prototype device from Dr. McGee’s lab to set a trap, one using a force field designed by Cisco. It does work…for a while. Then, the Reverse Flash pulls Harrison Wells into the trap with him and begins to beat him horribly. He eventually gets away, and Wells has managed to survive the assault. Barry runs in to try and save everyone, but is losing the battle until…well, until someone else ends that fight (for now).
In the epilogue you WILL find the identity of the Reverse Flash – not spoiling it here as you have either already seen it (in which case my spoiling isn’t necessary) or you have yet to see this ending (in which case you REALLY should see it).
There were a lot of aspects to this episode that fit the category of “Finally, it’s about time!” We finally see Barry confess his love for Iris, even if it may be far too late. We see Ronnie’s official return to the storyline, with a great re-introduction of him as Firestorm. Someone other than the viewer finally notes that there are TWO blurs…not only in THIS fight, but in previous sightings of the Reverse Flash. That of course means that there have been TWO speedsters all along in these appearances (does that mean we have a time travel story for Barry coming up?). And, of course, we finally get a battle with the Reverse Flash…along with the reveal of his identity in the epilogue. This has been a season-long build-up, and the payoff was handled exceptionally well.
The fight scenes with Barry and the Reverse Flash are not perfect…a bit jumpy in order to give the super speed effect but lacking in conveying the force of the blows. Still, the chase parts of those scenes were handled very well, and overall the effects worked. The real impact here is in the personal story lines and the exceptional acting all around. Barry and Iris’ scenes were pitch perfect, as were the scenes between Barry and Joe, Caitlin and Cisco, and Harrison Wells and just about everyone else. That’s without mentioning how great it was to see Amanda Pays as Tina McGee once again.
The best part of this episode is that we haven’t wasted all the energy of the series with this big reveal – there are still unanswered questions that can move this series forward. Whether it’s the Reverse Flash’s next move, or what happens with Firestorm, or whether anything happens between Barry and Iris, there are a lot of questions that should make for some very interesting episodes once we return from mid-season hiatus. See you then!