The Flash: The Man In The Yellow Suit

"I'm not the fastest man alive. He is."

In which the MITYS, Reverse Flash, finally makes his presence known to our Flash; Firestorm/Ronnie makes his presence known to Caitlin; Barry makes his presence known to Iris; she makes her presence known to Eddie's apartment–and Cisco makes his presence known to absolutely nobody. Meanwhile, I'm still not quite convinced the man who has the yellow suit is the man who's wearing it: now we know time travel involved, isn't everything open to question?

Christmas has come to Central City, but the episode opens with the unusual as well as the impossible: Barry destroys some Christmas lights. Then we look closer, and we see it's an accident; he's chasing someone. It's the man in the yellow suit, Reverse Flash. And then we go back a day.

For some superheroes, with great power comes great responsibility. And sure, the Flash is here to help people. But this version of the Flash also has an immense amount of joy in who and what he is. He still sees the fun side of the power, and he's still super-sensitive. So when I saw him giving a symbolic ring to Iris, I winced. Eddie's right: friends don't give friends wedding bands. And this episode does have a hefty amount of emotional hand-wringing, but it doesn't take too much away from the story or the character development, thank goodness. In fact, I'm still undecided – the show may have actually pulled off the drama tonight as well as the special effects.

Caitlin's being tailed by an inexplicably still-alive Ronnie, who can burst into flame (the special effects actually make me think of how Firestorm was illustrated in some of the comics, which is awesome.

When Reverse Flash attacks a rival science corporation, Mercury Labs, in search of technology that might allow someone to be invincible, or go faster than light, the merriment ends; Christmas is suspended and everyone needs to go to work and figure out how guards died from a mysterious blur–which seems strongly reminiscent of our titular hero. Joe finally confesses all to Barry, explaining the threat to Iris as well–he figures since Reverse Flash had his cover blown, what's the point? (He's going to be wrong.) Barry's set for revenge. The team is nervous about his anger and what it'll do to his control (possibly because of what happened when Prism came to town, last episode) and asks him to sit this one out while they bait and trap Reverse Flash.

We find out Caitlin is an avid follower of Iris' blog–and that Iris is actually posting reports on more than just the Flash; she's been indexing postings that connect to impossible, meta-human type activities. She has some leads on a Fiery Person. I think it's revealing, though, that Caitlin goes to Cisco for help, not the Flash. And Cisco... in between his kid-masks you get these reveals of a serious adult, someone who knows pain and tries to deal with it. I think the interaction with the Arrow crew has already matured our cast in some ways.

Meanwhile, Our Hero finds out about the Impending Move In. As he wallows in depression, he sees Reverse Flash on a building across the street, and races to confront him. And is soundly beaten. At the same time, he manages to push Mercury into giving them access to their tachyon technology. Right on the heels of his departure, Eddie shows up - to push Joe into giving him access to Joe's investigation, convinced the Flash was present and responsible.

Caitlin and Cisco are hunting for Ronnie–and Caitlin's internal issues are evident. Amazing scene between our two C's as Cisco comforts a crying Caitlin, who admits she worries Ronnie should have died that say. Right on the heels of that, there's this incredible scene between Barry and his father–who isn't interested in being saved. He wants Barry to follow his heart and go after Iris. He wants Barry to live his life. More than his own imprisonment, he sees Reverse Flash as having stolen Barry's life. For a guy who hasn't appeared in many episodes, John Wesley Shipp manages to pull off the feeling of being this giant anchor in Barry's life. And Barry just kind of... pulls himself together emotionally and does the impossible.

He goes to actually tell Iris how he feels. Go, Dad. Barry's heartfelt confession seemed like the truth. Great acting by Grant Gustin. Iris also seems the most human of any point in the series. I saw a real and hurt woman looking back. Her lack of response to his confession really hit me.

The capture of the Reverse Flash, complete with Cisco's force field, seemed way too easy. I was thrilled when Barry showed up - but am terrified the Reverse Flash is going to go after Iris and Joe next. Barry's butt gets kicked again, and he's saved by Stay-Away-From-Me Firestorm, who asks Caitlin to stay away from him. (Hey, Ronnie, wasn't it you stalking her first?) Ronnie leaves.

All this confusion gets Joe to spill the beans to Eddie about the existence of metahumans, and some information about the Flash, though not his identity. Eddie agrees to keep his lips zipped.

Cisco spills the beans about Firestorm, too, and Wells, with his usual creepiness, promises to bring Firestorm back into the fold. We see Joe and Barry bonding again, and Barry confessing his deepest fears. But there's still so many questions. The long-term effects of Barry's crush confession have yet to be explored. We know Wells has the Reverse Flash suit. We know he has some sort of abilities. But I'm not convinced he's the actual suit yet. Getting beaten up by RF... I wonder, actually, even more if this is a red herring. With time travel, isn't anything possible? What if he winds up making someone Reverse Flash in the future, using all the things he's taking from the people trapped in the Particle Accelerator Prison? Or he could be himself beating up himself in a nice little time loop? One of the closing realizations by Cisco is that both a man in a yellow suit and a man in a red suit were there when Barry's mother died. And that's a question, too. And what the heck is that ring Wells was wearing?

I was afraid they were pulling out the main villain of the season too early, but this seemed to work. It really did. The next episode isn't until January - BOO!

Bits and pieces

-The high-speed tree-decorating, and de-decorating; more nice little touches about the Flash's power.

-I love that Cisco recognizes his use of language is odd enough to require clarification about when and what he's naming people!

-I liked Christina McGee and wondered what her relationship was like with Wells. I think any officer would see her resistance of police support as suspicious.

-The chase through the center of the city through to the stadium - nicely done.


Joe: Okay, the only red-suited dude I want in this house right now is Kris Kringle, you got it?

Barry: I don't know who you are.
Reverse Flash: But you do, Barry. We've been at this a long time, you and I, but I'm always one step ahead.

McGee: If Judge Hankerson was gonna sign this, he would have done so already.
Joe: Look, I'm sure you don't want this investigation to get any more public than it's already been, do you, Doctor?
McGee: This has Harrison Wells written all over it in big, black letters. I am not giving you my tachyon prototype.
Barry: It was quite the tour of your facility, doctor. You were fine to let us dumb cops walk around, but I majored in physics and chemistry, and I saw a whole lot of stuff that Science Showcase Magazine would love to hear about. So should I call their editors directly or just leave a few posts on their website?
McGee: (angrily) You'll have the tachyon device within the hour.


Four out of four light-speed-conquering tachyon machines.


JimGfromWI said...

Another great episode. This is turning into one of my favorite TV shows. Great that they got Amanda Pays to be in this episode. I was hoping she'd have some scenes with John Wesley Shipp, and plus they just announced the casting of the Trickster from the original show - Mark Hamill. Like Amanda Pays, playing the same character from the original show. Very cool. Lots of cool Easter eggs from the comics too. The storytelling and the acting in this episode kicked it up a notch. I can't believe how good this show is already, in only its first season. Thanks for the awesome, quick review, JRS.

Jess Lynde said...

I'm with you, JRS. I'm not convinced the man with the yellow suit, is the man in the yellow suit. The hubby and I think Wells is/will be the man behind the curtain, and that Eddie will be the actual Reverse Flash. After all, the man in the yellow suit very purposely looked Eddie right in the eye and didn't kill him. It's gotta mean something. Especially since somewhere down the line Barry/the Flash is probably going to be responsible for Eddie losing his girl. He'd theoretically have an axe to grind.

But the question remains, why is Wells doing all this? Creating the Flash and then creating and/or becoming his nemesis. What outcome is he ultimately aiming towards? Is it good or evil? I like having the mystery for now. It is fun to speculate!

Mark Greig said...

There are two main Reverse Flashes in the comics - Professor Zoom (Eobard Thawne) and Zoom (Hunter Zolomon). I think Wells is a take on Zolomon, who didn't have super-speed, but the ability to manipulate his own timeline, which seems to be what Wells is doing here. Eddie will probably turn out to be the Reverse Flash who killed Nora West. I just hope the writers give him a better motivation for his villainy than "he stole my girl".

JRS said...

Mark, in the comics, isn't one of those supposed to be the other's grandfather?

I actually think Eddie will be trapped somehow. He is a good guy but tends to see everything in black and white.

Mark Greig said...

I don't think so. Thawne is the grandfather of Bart Allen (Kid Flash).

JRS said...

Hmmm! Thanks for clarifying...

Jess Lynde said...

Yeah, if RF does turn out to be Eddie, I hope "he stole my girl" is just part of it. Maybe Barry's Flash-ness will create difficulties for Thawne on the force. Task Force humiliations, and/or a rift with Joe. Something catastrophic to his career that when added to losing Iris would drive him to revenge.

TJ said...

Great episode! Best one so far. Thumbs up for the Fire-guy and the yellow Speed-guy.

Reading your great review JRS, and the comments, I feel I'm a bit at the outs. I have no comic knowledge whatsoever. So for me it's a show about characters. And do I care for them?

So far, I have LOVED Grant G as TF. He is amazing. But I have had difficulties with the supporting cast. Iris, her father, her boyfriend, TF's crew has been disappointingly uninteresting.

That changed today. Now I am suddenly feeling more for Caitlin and her Fireman (his name is Firestorm? I wouldn't know). He would be a perfect side-kick to TF! (And I don't think they cast the Amell cousins without having a cross-over Amell battle, so the fire-guy will stay, I'd say).

I'm not sure if the yellow Speed-guy is this seasons main villain. Don't forget about the Prison Break-guys - they are coming back for sure!

My non-comic-experience-view on Comic shows so far this season:

The Flash: Great Flash, not so interesting supporting characters. Some interesting villains/other characters turning up though...

Arrow: Love all the cast. More Barrowman please.

Gotham: Wonderful supporting cast who could run this show. Ditch the wooden lead detective couple.

MAOS: Great story-telling. Characters don't matter.

Billie Doux said...

I thought it was an excellent episode, and Barry/Joe you brought light to my life scene actually made me cry. I am starting to like Iris, now that I have a reason to like Iris. Caitlin and Ronnie just became interesting, too. And all this possible time travel stuff is fascinating. Four out of four stars from me, too.

J.D. Balthazar said...

Wells: "There must be balance to the force, the speed force that is."

Patrick said...

This episode was by FAR the best one yet in the series. The way they portrayed the Reverse Flash was awesome, he felt like a real threat to Barry, more so than anyone he's faced so far. Not just because he was as fast or faster than Barry, but because he was able to out-think and out-fight him. The glowing red eyes and over-processed voice were a tad much, and with Wells speaking in that voice at the end even when not wearing the suit, I'm curious how they're going to explain it. But I LOVED the out-of-focus effect they used for RF, it was handled just right. He didn't look like he was simply vibrating, and he didn't just look blurry. It had sort of a "quantum" effect to it. Y'know that thing about how are molecules aren't actually in one place, they're just technically more likely to be in one place than any other at any given moment? It's as if with RF, he's moving so fast that his equilibrium point is more diffuse, so he looks kinda blurry to us. All of the action scenes with the Flashes were fantastic, though RF's run sequence looked a little too much like Dash from The Incredibles compared to Barry.

The highlight of the episode for me was definitely the scene between Barry and his dad. John Wesley Schipp has done such a great job with very little screentime. I could care less what happens between Barry & Iris on this show, but I genuinely want redemption for his dad. Even if he winds up sacrificing his life to somehow protect his son, I will be genuinely upset if Barry doesn't eventually get his dad publicly exonerated.

I guess they had to tease SOMETHING with Wells and the yellow suit at the end, and it's good that we didn't actually see him IN the suit, so we can keep speculating. Especially since it appears that Wells is doing something to power up the suit and not himself, so theoretically anyone will be able to wear it and have RF abilities. I'm really hoping we'll get some solid answers about Wells before the end of this season, because so far all of the "reveal" scenes kinda boil down to "omg he's up to something!"

Anyone else get a kick out of Cisco wearing a Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock shirt? :)

Anonymous said...

I think that the red eyes of the yellow flash could have something to do with Bivolo (Flash vs Arrow). He can create anger (=> red eyes). Eventually he modifies Dr Wells so that he uses the yellow suit...
I think the yellow suit can be powered up to give the person who wears it RF abilities.

Marianna said...

We don't necessarily know that someone has to wear the yellow suit. It could be a robot that Dr Wells is controlling remotely. That would explain the entire tachyon sting operation he came up with to get it for himself. Honestly the whole time travel thing makes me nervous because the only time it doesn't become completely ridiculous in my opinion is when it's portrayed almost as a joke, which doesn't seem to be the case here.