Episode 113 may be titled, “The Nuclear Man,” but there are other story threads that also take significant steps forward in one of the stronger episodes of this excellent series. More after the jump…
SOME SPOILERS AHEAD
There are three major storylines in this episode – the S.T.A.R. Labs team attempting to find and help Firestorm, Barry’s budding relationship with Linda Park (and Iris’ reaction), and Joe’s secret investigation into the death of Nora Allen. We’ll hit the title thread for Ronnie/Martin last…just because there is so MUCH fun in the other story threads.
Barry goes on a date with Linda, and for once he is on time. Still, he keeps getting calls asking for help from The Flash. It is absolutely hilarious watching him deal with the emergency calls at top speed, just so he can get back to his date without being missed. There is a second date, one that begins rather, uh, intimately…but is interrupted by an emergency call. That puts the date to a rather unfortunate end, and this budding relationship is in danger of ending. Linda goes to Iris for advice…who basically gives away the situation between her and Barry. Barry is livid and declares he no longer “feels that way” about Iris, and goes about trying to reignite that relationship with Linda in a way that only Barry would think of doing.
I know there is some controversy in the Flash fandom about Barry and Linda, and I get it. Still, I like how this is playing out right now. It is only in part that Barry is getting a life – I actually like the dynamic right now between Barry and Iris. Candice Patton is delivering a great performance as Iris, and seems to have upped her game with this episode.
The second major storyline (and the one that will most directly lead to next week’s episode) is the investigation into Nora Allen’s murder. Joe has recruited Cisco to analyze the old Allen house. Cisco is a somewhat reluctant investigator, particularly when Joe tells him of his suspicion of Wells. But, Cisco does find something truly BIG in the investigation – proof that an adult Barry was on the scene!
One thing presented a problem to me in this thread. As much as I liked other aspects of this show, I didn’t care for the cheesy and over-the-top stereotyped over-sexed divorcee’ who presently lives in the old Allen house. I think it was meant for comedy relief – but the joke sort of ran into the ground quickly and truly wasn’t needed for the plot to move forward. Still, the investigation itself was very cool, and the pseudo-science explanation for getting the images from the past was just wacky enough to work for the show.
That brings us to Firestorm. Barry actually met Professor Stein on the day of the accelerator accident as they were both riding the train. Stein had a device (the F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. matrix?) with him as the accelerator blew up. The S.T.A.R. team eventually tracks Firestorm down with the help us Stein’s wife and convinces him to come to S.T.A.R. for help. Problem is, time is very, very short.
Firestorm is in danger of truly going “nuclear”, as in exploding in less than two hours. Wells believes the only hope is for Firestorm to die before he can explode, but he is convinced by Caitlin to try another way. He sets up a “quantum splicer” with parts from the tachyon prototype he uses as the Reverse Flash. Still, it doesn’t prevent a major explosion…one that attracts the attention of General Eiling, who is now after whatever remains of Firestorm!
SUMMARY: The payoff to the mysterious appearances of Firestorm was handled exceptionally well in this episode, as was the budding relationship between Barry and Linda (not to mention Iris’ reactions to Barry and Linda). Joe’s investigation may be finding out things we as an audience already know, but it does drive the storyline sharply forward, leading us to TIME TRAVEL – possibly as soon as next week! All in all this was one of the stronger episodes of THE FLASH. Can’t wait for next week!