“The Fury of Firestorm” – Review of Ep2.04 of THE FLASH

In an episode with significant developments on almost every front, this week’s show centered on the idea of second chances. Whether it was “second chances at life, at glory, at family, (or) at love”, the idea of overcoming fear and embracing our opportunities was the thread that bound this episode of THE FLASH into another great installment of our favorite superhero show.  Click below and we’ll have more just after the jump.

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD

Second chances as a theme describes almost everything about the creation of the new Firestorm. There are two possible matches for Professor Stein…and of course the first choice is a bad one, creating one of our villains of the week. The second choice…is in need of a second chance himself. Jefferson Jackson (known as Jax to his friends) was a star high school football player whose career was ended when he was caught in the energy wave of the particle accelerator explosion. His chance at college was gone, and he presently works as a garage mechanic. He turns down the offer to become Firestorm at first, triggering an uncharacteristically bitter and angry response from Caitlin…who later regrets her actions and goes back to apologize, finally convincing Jax to return with her to S.T.A.R. Labs. That was just in time, as the other match, Henry Hewitt, shows up to attack them both! We’ll come back to this, but first let’s talk about the other second chances in the show…

Barry is certainly infatuated with Patty, and Patty Spivot is obviously wild about Barry…but they aren’t getting together quite yet. Patty asks for Barry’s help in checking on some shark teeth found in an alleyway, tied to a report about a “Shark man”.  Barry isn’t very helpful, which isn’t really like him.  But, Barry is still holding back, in part because he is still getting over Iris. Joe spends some time in this episode trying to convince Barry to give this a shot, not to let his feelings for Iris stop him from exploring a new chance at love with Patty.  That nearly happens…except for another villain appearance near the end of the show (hang on, we’ll get back to this as well).

Perhaps one of the biggest developments comes out of Francine West’s attempt at a second chance with Iris. The first meeting with Iris does not go well – Iris wants nothing to do with her mother. After Francine reveals that she has only months to live, Iris agrees to meet with her again…this time revealing that her investigation into Francine’s life has found a son, born eight months after leaving Central City…Wally? Possibly, but we don’t have a name yet. Iris is furious that Francine hid this son from them all these years and walks out again. This second chance did not go well at all, but we obviously have more to learn here…and while Wally as Iris’ brother instead of her nephew would be a definite change from the comics, this still could be huge. Stay tuned and keep your fingers crossed.

We pay a visit to Mercury Labs, with a break-in by someone who looks exactly like Harrison Wells. This looks to be the Earth-2 version of Wells, of course, but within the continuity of the show our characters have yet to figure that out. All they know is that Dr. McGee saw someone who looked exactly like Wells walking and taking some of the lab’s equipment. This plays into the ending of the show…but first let’s go back to that battle with Hewitt…

The new Firestorm and the Flash team up to take down Henry Hewitt, who gained some amount of power in the failed merger attempt with Stein. He has serious anger management issues and is becoming more powerful the angrier he gets. Flash and Firestorm team up to take him down, but for once this season nobody is killed. They take Hewitt to the Pipeline for now, and the new Firestorm team leaves for Pittsburgh to train and hone their combined power set. This gets them off the main storyline for now (probably to set up for Legends of Tomorrow), but not before Stein tries to convince Cisco to tell the rest of the team about his own “Vibe” powers.

Joe talks to Barry about Patty once again, saying, “That was one helluva leap of faith that kid took, merging with Professor Stein. There’s a lesson somewhere in there for you.” Barry is finally about to talk to Patty…but…

Remember those shark teeth? That’s shark, as in King Shark, who attacks Barry in the name of Zoom. He is about to get the best of The Flash when Patty steps in, unloading her pistol in a futile attempt to stop King Shark. But, there is one more bit of help coming…from a hooded figure wielding an electric charge weapon…and of course when he pulls back that hood you see the face of…

Harrison Wells!

SUMMARY: There were several excellent performances in this episode. Candice Patton’s Iris continues to evolve as a character, and this was one of her strongest performances yet. We’re seeing a stronger and more confident Iris, even as she deals with situations that would be heartbreaking for anyone. Shantel VanSanten’s Patty Spivot has tremendous on-screen chemistry with Grant Gustin’s Barry, and even an old Barry/Iris fan like me is looking forward to seeing this develop further. And, Franz Drameh’s casting as Jax is perfect – he hits all the right spots in his first appearance…it’s a shame that he is written off for now, though it will be great to see more of him in “Legends of Tomorrow”.  The only odd spot for me was Caitlin’s outburst when Jax first turned down the opportunity to become Firestorm. It was particularly out of character, though her later apology was certainly more in character and brought about Jax’s return to S.T.A.R. Labs. Other than that, the script was pretty much on point the whole episode.

This was an excellent episode, introducing us to new characters while pushing forward the development of the present cast…and dropping some strong hints about what could be coming down the line.  Almost every character faced some sort of second chance in this show…but it doesn’t take a second viewing to know that this was a great show.

Now, what do YOU think about this episode of THE FLASH? Leave your comments below!

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3 thoughts on ““The Fury of Firestorm” – Review of Ep2.04 of THE FLASH

  1. Steve

    It’s pretty telegraphed that Zoom is Wally from a different dimension. I think the only time we’ll see this Wally with speed will be as a villain.

    Reply
  2. Kelson

    I’ve been fighting a cold all week, and watched this episode with a fever that felt like my head was burning up. It seemed appropriate, all things considered.

    Caitlin’s outburst made sense to me. She’s desperate to save the life of someone who, in a way, is the only connection she has left to her late husband, and she’s frustrated at not being able to convince someone to save his life. But joining someone through the Firestorm Matrix is a lot more of a commitment than, say, donating bone marrow or even a kidney. It’s a major lifelong commitment and they were asking him to choose right now.

    Reply

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