“Tar Pit” Ep 2.12 of THE FLASH (Review)

NOTE: This review is posted just as THE FLASH is beginning to be aired on the West Coast USA – if you haven’t seen the episode you may want to wait and come back to this article.

A classic villain from Wally’s days as the Flash in the comics universe – Tar Pit – gets the TV treatment in the latest episode of THE FLASH. It’s handled well…but even so there are far bigger developments in the West family and Team Flash that impact a world of relationships. Want to know more? Just follow us after the jump!

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD

This version of Tar Pit, like most all metahumans in THE FLASH is a result of the particle accelerator accident two years ago. Joseph Monteleone was marked for death at that time, and dropped into a boiling pit of tar by people he has previously served with in juvenile hall. Just as he was dying, the particle accelerator accident occurs. Nope, not an instant return…but when he does return he has the power to turn himself into a flaming creature of asphalt. He goes after the people responsible for his “death”, bringing him squarely into the sights of Team Flash.

Strangely, there is a tie-in between this tale and Wally’s illegal street racing. The organizer of the races was responsible for what the other young criminals did to Monteleone, and eventually Tar Pit goes after him as well. THAT happens smack in the middle of one of Wally’s races, bringing the Flash in to save the day…almost…

You see, Iris has been investigating the races in an attempt to get Wally out of this dangerous business. She’s there, and she is the one who called Barry in. But, as a piece of flying glass is headed her way, Barry is too slow to stop it – and the glass hits Iris, critically injuring her.

Wait…Barry was too slow?

Yes – that’s exactly it! Zoom has given Harry a device that can steal Speed Force energy from Barry, and he has collected about 2% of Barry’s Speed Force potential for Zoom. That slowed him down just enough that he could not get to the flying glass in time. Harry has been wracked with guilt already, cooperating with Zoom only to save his own daughter. But…

He can do this no longer. Harry Wells confesses to the team what he has done and removes the device from Barry’s suit. They initially place Harry in custody, but Barry later convinces them to help Harry instead. After all, they now have the means to close the breaches…but first…

We are preparing for next week’s trip to Earth Two!

In the meantime, Joe has decided that just being Wally’s friend isn’t who he is…that he needs to be a real father to Wally. And, to Wally’s credit, he finally decides to give being part of the West family a chance.  That leads us to…

SUMMARY: This episode gave us a great basis for Wally’s relationship with Joe and Iris. We understand his motivation better, and he is becoming a more fully developed character. This should be good…though I don’t know how he will react if/when he learns who Barry really is. The acting on the part of all the Wests was stellar this week, and I’m glad to see this as a running subplot for the season. I’m also glad to see Harry Wells coming clean with the team about his involvement with Zoom. This has been a great source of dramatic tension, but it didn’t need to be stretched out any further. The timing is just right to have Harry tell the truth and work with the team on a more honest basis. Finally, we got a version of Tar Pit that makes as much sense as possible given the all-metas-come-from-the-particle-accelerator origin of most bad guys in the series. This takes me back to the “Smallville” TV series meteor shower – it explains everything. Still, I liked the way he was introduced and the special effects used to bring him to life. All this adds up to another very good episode of THE FLASH.

What do you think? Add your comments below!

2 thoughts on ““Tar Pit” Ep 2.12 of THE FLASH (Review)

  1. Steve

    The show continues to improve upon the terrible groundwork laid by DC comics for the new Wally West.

    -Perhaps most importantly, they shift the responsibility for Wally’s moral guidance to his family instead of Barry Allen. This avoids the cringe-inducing moment of a white cop being brought in to control the behavior of a black teenager who, in the opinion of the cop and his other white relatives, cannot be expected to control himself. The basic character beats are the same -wally is still engaging in illegal activity- but because it’s his family reigning him in and because they are all positive black chatacters, it no longer reads like something out of Rudyard Kipling.

    -The clues supporting Wally West as Zoom are more overt now. The blue of his car’s nitros matching the blue of Zoom’s speed force in the recaps. Wally’s desire to be the Fastest Man Alive (an acceptable substitute to the classic Wally’s desire to be The Flash). The way he associates speed with fond memories of his mother. At this point it’s clear that either Wally is Zoom or we are supposed to believe he is.
    -i also would like to point out that at this point in the series, Barry Allen has had little to do with Wally’s character arc, proving that Didio’s assertion that you need Barry Allen to have Wally West was always nonsense. TV Wally has already replicated a lot of classic Wally’s motivations without the presence of Barry Allen. This makes Wally feel like the hero of his own story, unlike the hollow sidekick DC’s editorial staff created.
    -again, this version is still not the classic Wally West, but i think “not super racist” and “has a trace of agency” are two traits that put him well-above the version in the comics. I am hopeful future writers of the comics will take more cues from the TV show, and less cues from the editors and past writers that made the new 52 version such a trainwreck.

    Reply
  2. Hammed Abdulkadir

    Hi,

    I believe I’m the only person on earth wondering what happened to Barry Allen’s lost 2% of his speed force. Though Harrison Wells confesses to stealing the power it is never again addressed nor given back to Barry. Does that mean Flash will continue to be forever slower than previously, i’m just curious…..

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *