Okay folks – you want Wally at his best? You want to see Kid Flash becoming the hero he was meant to be? You wanna see a race between Barry and Wally? You get ALL of that…and more…in an excellent episode of THE FLASH! BTW – Jesse L Martin absolutely nails a critical scene – and if you want to learn more, just follow us after the jump!
NOTE: This review is being published prior to THE FLASH airing in the Pacific Time Zone USA. If you haven’t seen the show yet, STOP NOW and come back later, okay?
We start with that race…and what a race it is! The course has been plotted through Central City, with sensors along the way so that Cisco and the full Flash team can track this super-speed contest. Just a couple of notes…Cisco is taking bets, giving HR a chance to give us two more Earth-19 “facts”. Al Capone was the Vice President of the United States on Earth-19, and Abe Lincoln is on their $100 bill. Barry wins the race – but only because he can phase through that last building while Wally has to run up the side of the building first. That becomes an important point in this episode…can Wally learn how to phase through solid matter?
First, though, we get an introduction to this week’s bad guy – Clive Yorkin, who can decompose people or objects with just a touch. We will eventually learn that he was activated by Alchemy (while Julian was under Savitar’s influence). Yorkin is out for revenge on the cops who brought him in…in the Flashpoint world. It takes time to piece that together, but it does put Yorkin on Joe West’s trail…
…and that comes to a first battle when Joe, Iris and Wally are at Jitters with Cecile and her daughter!
Fun fact about Cecile’s daughter – she’s a HUGE fan of Kid Flash! Wally is loving it. Iris mentions that Joe “knows Kid Flash”, and that brings up the question of “who is the greater hero?” But, the very awkward attempt to avoid answering the question is interrupted as Yorkin shows up, looking to kill Joe! Wally changes to Kid Flash and wins the battle with a little gestural cuing from Barry.
Iris tries to get Joe to stay at S.T.A.R. to be safe…but it finally brings up the subject of Savitar’s future attack. Jesse L. Martin absolutely nails the emotional response to hearing what could happen to his daughter, showing a level of emotion that was absolutely outstanding. It took me back to his performance in the movie RENT and his reaction after the death of Angel. Wow!
Later, Yorkin goes after Iris – and Wally is not able to keep him from touching her, starting a process that could kill her! Caitlin is able to stop the spread of the decomposition by using her Killer Frost powers, but has to get a lot of encouragement from Julian to keep from losing herself to that evil persona.
While the fight is on to save Iris, Joe goes to the last cop who is being targeted…oh yes, HOW did they know who that person would be? Cisco actually vibed to the Flashpoint universe and saw Yorkin’s arrest there! One of the early victims was Capt. Julio Mendez in the Flashpoint world (NOTE: Julio Mendez was also character in the 1990’s Flash TV series, and was played by the same actor here). Joe goes to the last potential victim and boards a train with her…and Yorkin sets up a trestle to fall and cause the train to crash! How to stop it?
Barry phases the entire train through the pile of rubble. You read that right.
I’ll rely on all of you fans as to whether Barry accomplished something on that scale during the Silver Age, but it was very cool here. Problem is, Barry is now out of it and unable to help Wally take Yorkin down.
Let’s take a step back here.
After Wally was unable to stop Yorkin from harming Iris, he was feeling all the guilt that comes with the situation. But, Barry and Wally had a talk that has needed to happen for a long time. Barry finally realizes that he needs to do more than just tell Wally what to do – he needs to encourage Wally, to empower him to be all that he can be. That plays into this final fight with Yorkin.
Back to that fight – the way to stop Yorkin is to phase some speedster blood into him…it would counteract Yorkin’s powers (yay for comic book science). This time, Wally is finally able to phase through him, stopping Yorkin cold. It’s a major accomplishment for Wally, who is finally coming into his own here.
NOTES: The upshot of this episode leaves us with some interesting developments. Kid Flash is finally being treated as more of an equal by Barry (about time). I love Wally’s (slight) overconfidence as Kid Flash – he’s having a GREAT time with superspeed and the fun is infectious. Caitlin and Julian look as if we are seeing the start of a relationship by episode’s end, and that’s something that should be most interesting, if very different from Caitlin’s prior relationships. And, we see the…
EPILOGUE – with Jesse Quick coming to Earth 1 to get help for her dad, who has been captured by Gorilla Grodd!
SUMMARY – A great episode overall, with particular kudos to Keiynan Lonsdale (Wally West/Kid Flash) and Jesse L Martin (Joe West) for their performances. We may not be any closer to a solution for that future battle with Savitar, but if Wally is going to be the key we at least see some real progress in his mastery of the Speed Force. And, if we’re going to Earth 2 again next episode, looks like we will get to see TWO versions of HR in one show – can’t wait for that! I’ll give this one a 10/10 – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!