Last episode ended with a bang…or rather a nuclear explosion as Firestorm blew up while Barry and Caitlin sped away just ahead of the blast wave. Could that really have been the end of Firestorm? Not a chance! That’s where we pick up in Episode 114 of THE FLASH, “Fallout”!
SOME SPOILERS AHEAD
That major nuclear explosion had…no residual radiation! As Barry and Caitlin inspect the blast crater they find that Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein have successfully separated! As everyone returns to STAR, General Eiling and his troops arrive at the blast crater – and from their analysis Eiling realizes what has happened here.
Over the course of the episode we realize that being separate doesn’t mean they are no longer connected. Their brain waves have synced…and when one feels something so does the other. For now, they have a short, somewhat tense discussion about their earlier battle for control when combined, and they agree to go their separate ways. That works, but only for a while, as General Eiling has plans to weaponize the F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. matrix and captures Stein…with the help of Harrison Wells!
General Eiling has proven to be a very formidable adversary for The Flash, with multiple weapons developed to neutralize both his and Firestorm’s powers. At first, this threat wins Wells’ help – he would gladly give up Stein to protect Ronnie and Barry. But, when he realizes the strengthening bond between Ronnie and Stein, he sends Barry and Ronnie to rescue Stein…and he later deals with Eiling as only Wells can (more on that in a moment).
Meanwhile, Joe shows Barry the holograms at the old Allen house, the ones showing two speedsters. Grant Gustin’s reaction when Barry sees his mother is amazing – a great mixture of wonder and sadness in his face that makes this scene work. Still, there are a lot of implications here. One is that time travel is possible – and both Wells and Stein agree that this is possible. Stein is enthusiastic about this, having done extensive research over the years (I loved Stein’s almost Doc Brown moment talking about the “space-time continuum”). But, does this mean that Barry is fated to fail? And, what about the fact that Joe was investigating Wells when all this came to light? We get the reactions in this episode, along with Barry’s defense (once again) of Wells.
In another significant thread, Iris is still trying to make her mark as a journalist, and her somewhat-jerky mentor is challenging her to investigate S.T.A.R. Labs (after all, she has the connections there). She catches on that Ronnie (who Iris is told is “Caitlin’s cousin Sam”) is the “burning man” she photographed for her blog in an earlier episode, and she realizes her friend Caitlin has not been fully honest with her. Iris agrees to investigate the lab, setting up some interesting story lines for future episodes.
Back to Firestorm – as Barry and Ronnie rush to rescue Stein, Cisco hands Ronnie the splicer, in hopes that it will help them control the merge and to be able to split once again later on. For Wells’ part, he tells Ronnie and Stein that their best bet is to accept the merge, that not fighting over control may make the difference. Of course, it does – Ronnie controls the body with Stein as an advising voice in his head, as in the comics version of the character. After the battle, both Ronnie and Professor Stein realize they can’t stay in Central City and head to Pittsburgh to get help from a colleague of Stein’s in honing their skills. That takes us to the…
EPILOGUE: Wells puts on the yellow suit and takes Eiling out of his HQ to a remote location…where another guest is ready for him. Eiling’s last words were, “My God!” The reply, in a low growl… “Not God, Grodd!”
- We’ve been building up to Firestorm for most of the season, and it’s a bit of a shame that we finally get Firestorm and then watch him leave so quickly. I feel a bit like Caitlin did in describing her situation to Cisco, that he was dead and then he wasn’t and then he was back and then he wasn’t and then…you get the idea. Still, I get the feeling we will see Firestorm again somewhere down the road, and this two-part story was a good payoff to all the mysterious appearances earlier in the season.
- Wells’ and Eiling’s relationship came to a head in this episode, but not before we got some interesting reveals. One expands Eiling’s connection to Grodd (when torturing Stein, Eiling made reference to having done that earlier to the “gorilla”). Another is how willing Wells was to betray Stein in order to help Eiling…that is, until the danger spread to Well’s core team.
- We finally get the concept of time travel introduced, meaning we will likely see something more this season (yay!). But, it’s still left up for debate as to whether Barry is fated to fail, or whether he will be able to change fate (and what will happen to the Flashpoint universe when he, no wait!)
- Just as an aside, I loved Cisco’s 4th wall break when he referred to the Mist and added, “Dude, that was like in week 3!”
SUMMARY: A good episode of THE FLASH that finally gives us the payoff to the Firestorm storyline. We end up with Firestorm’s departure (for now at least), but not before establishing a Firestorm more in line with the classic comics version. Firestorm’s uniform is cool (the comics version of the uniform sort of screams 1970’s, so I’m okay with this one), and the chance to see some time travel in the near future has me very pumped up for what lies ahead. Hope you enjoyed it as well – please leave your comments below!