“The Fire Next Time” Review of S8 E8 of THE FLASH

This episode is not just about innocence. It’s about innocence when no one else believes in you. How do we treat those who have paid their debt to society? And, how quickly do we doubt them at the first sign of trouble? You’ll get a lot of flashbacks (no pun intended) to Henry Allen, in yet another solid episode for Season 8 of THE FLASH. Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

There is a mystery that both starts and ends this episode. An unknown meta kills the manager of a bar, and all signs point to a recently released meta known as Jaco Birch, aka “The Hotness”. Jaco is quickly brought in, arrested in front of his son, Harold. That should end it, nice episode, thank you Flash. Except…

The way Jaco reacted made Flash doubt that “The Hotness” really committed the crime. For much of the episode, Barry may be the only person who believes in Jaco’s innocence. All the evidence seems to point Jaco’s way, and his escape from the CCPD doesn’t help things one bit.

All Jaco wanted when he got out of Iron Heights was to live an honest life and be the kind of dad his son deserves. But, this isn’t the way things are going, and everything Jaco does makes him look worse. The one witness against Jaco is killed in the same way as the manager, and it looks like Jaco is going down for 2 counts of first degree murder.

But, Chester finds evidence that shows Jaco could not be the one. There is someone out there with cold fusion powers doing the killings. Jaco’s powers absorb heat to create his burns, but he has no way to use cold fusion. This is someone else’s doing, and Jaco truly IS innocent.

Jaco confronts a Social Services van carrying Harold to foster care and is ready to attack in order to avoid losing his son again. Flash and Frost arrive just in time to stop him and to let him know about the evidence that will clear his name. That’s good, except Jaco’s powers have inadvertently caused a potential problem for all of Central City.

His heat absorbing powers have drawn enough heat and magma from deep inside the earth that a potential volcano has been formed. Flash convinces Jaco to work with him to save the day. Flash vibrates down to connect the water table to the lava stream, and Jaco absorbs the released heat, saving everyone.

In the end, Jaco is cleared and reunited with his son. That reminds Barry of his own work to save Henry Allen, and later the West family gets together to reminisce about Henry’s life.

Now, there is one thing missing in all this, of course. WHO really did do the killings? Barry realizes that they may be dealing with a new meta – a serial-killer meta, and that’s where we leave it for tonight.

NOTES:

  • There is a subplot that carries this theme of trust and second chances forward as well. Allegra is paired with Taylor to interview a social media influencer. But, Allegra bails on the interview to talk to someone she knew from prison. This friend is having trouble getting any work outside of custodial jobs – no one will give an ex-con a chance. Allegra writes her story, and it gets published ahead of Taylor’s social media interview. That sets up Taylor as an arch-rival for Allegra, and she promises to “destroy” Allegra soon.
  • Barry brings back the famous board with all the connections while trying to solve the murders and clear Jaco. It’s a nice nod to early times with this show.
  • Nothing much this week as to Iris’ time sickness – likely we will see more on that soon.

SUMMARY:

A solid episode, one that drives home some thought-provoking themes about second chances for those who have made mistakes and paid their debt to society. It’s an interesting twist that we clear someone without revealing who the big bad may be – but that also means we didn’t rush the storying about clearing the innocent, and that made for an excellent tale. I’ll give this an 8/10. Of course, that’s my opinion – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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