The Flash: The Nuclear Man

“You are the spice champion of Central City."

This episode is non-stop mayhem. When Firestorm becomes a killer, Barry has to take down someone with the face of a friend... but the situation rapidly proves far more complex. Meanwhile, there's peppery love, exciting explosions, hope and sacrifice.

This episode is a ton of fun from the get go. Barry’s getting ready for a date with Linda Park, and uses superspeed to model potential outfits for an unimpressed-looking Detective Joe (do I sense a tinge of I-wish-Barry-was-going-out-with-MY-daughter in Joe’s expression? Possibly.) The date is hot; she’s gorgeous, he’s fly, there’s spicy tacos and a flower.

Sadly, Barry gets no peace during this happy event. First Cisco calls him to stop a robbery. Then Joe calls him to rescue a jumper. Barry manages, and gets a hot kiss out of it–and a second date.

Then Ronnie/Martin shows up, asks for help from Quentin Quale, and explodes. Then Iris finds out about the date and we see a flare of jealousy, but she doesn’t explode. Yet. You can see it coming, like a slow train-wreck of predetermined love. (I’m rapidly turning into a Caitlin/Barry shipper. She’s shown some real depth lately.)

The next day Cisco begins ribbing Barry, making him worry if his speed will play havoc with… ahem… things that shouldn’t require speed. Caitlin plays scientist and concurs, but before they can discuss this further, calls come in. Before you know it Cisco is playing detective with Joe, and the team’s beginning to investigate Firestorm. Wells, Barry and Caitlin decide Ronnie’s not in control - Caitlin even calls Stein a vampire. They can’t let him run loose any longer. I don’t know how they can be determining this, but safety first.

This leads to a flashback. We see Barry meeting Stein, who notices how young and innocent he is for a CSI operator. They exchange quotes from Einstein, and we see the accelerator explosion. It looks almost like a ghost of flame is coming straight for Stein.

The team begins their hunt for Ronnie at Stein’s home. Stein’s wife recognizes Ronnie’s body; he’s been stalking her. There’s a flashback or two. Ronnie’s apparently one of those vampire-type stalker guys who protects women for their own good while seriously creeping them out. *eyeroll*

Meanwhile, Joe and Cisco are looking for evidence. They discover that Barry’s home’s been co-opted by a hottie named after a drink; this is never good, and I’m immediately suspicious, but she seems to be after detectives, not hiding information from them, so hey. Even Joe needs a happy. Things get exciting when Cisco finds out the new owner kept some furniture; the mirror behind one, coated with silver nitrate, might contain images that could reveal who killed Barry’s mother.

Oh, detective!
Date Two with Linda is well planned but she has other ideas. Barry enjoys them. Am I being subtle enough? I await with bated breath news of his couch-speed. Unfortunately we shift back to Wells and Caitlin. This scene is less titillating, but Wells again confuses the hell out of me. He promises Caitlin support in bringing both Ronnie and Stein back. Is he good or is he evil? Maybe he’s both and we’re seeing two different Wellses? But the touching moment is interrupted by Ronnie’s arrival: the signature Firestorm blazes and lands at Stein’s home.

Which prompts Caitlin to text Barry and interrupt his slightly nervous experiment in moving fast, giving us the opportunity to enjoy some shirtless scenes. Grant Gustin isn’t my type, but he’s clearly been working out. I’m honestly not sure if he’s happy or sad he has to leave Linda. The mixture must be painful.

Barry gets to Firestorm, but no communication really happens; instead Firestorm inexplicably tries to flame on, carries Barry on his first flight, rescues Barry from the fall, tries to attack him again, then stops when Caitlin intervenes. Anyone sensing that there’s more than one mind at work here? Maybe Stein’s mind hasn’t completely taken over.

Back at the Allen home, Joe’s ejected Sherry and gone non-alcoholic; Cisco’s not only managed to develop the back of a mirror into a photograph, but ten of them. And he’s done even more: he’s made a 3D Holograph machine specifically tailored to the space to make those photographs real. He says it’s just for kicks, but the hologram reveals the location of bloodspots. They now have actual evidence someone else, someone other than Barry’s dad, was there last night.

You kick ass, Cisco.

Barry, unaware of all of this, heads to the Picture to meet up with Linda and apologize. She’s not exactly pleased about his leaving, but she’s trying to be cool about it–when he has to leave again. This leads to an interesting moment with Iris in the office. Yeah, it’s becoming clear Iris has feelings there. It’s clear Linda sees something, too.

Caitlin’s still pursuing Ronnie and manages to bring Stein’s wife to him; they recognize and speak to each other, and it’s clear both Ronnie and Martin are there, but Martin’s in the ascendant and this is causing some heavy psychological trauma. Firestorm asks for help. Barry’s glad Firestorm’s caught – but in a minute he gets a call from Linda; she wants to call it. The last ‘police emergency’ excuse got busted, and she thinks he’s hung up on Iris anyway.

Barry confronts Iris for interfering in his relationship. He really likes Linda. Iris is being coy, but it’s clear she meant to even though she says she didn’t mean to. When Barry says “Look, I don’t have those feelings for you anymore,” you can see hurt in her eyes.

Cisco’s completed the blood analysis. West wants to compare the sample to Wells’ blood. He comes out to Cisco–who’s inflamed. He doesn’t want to believe Wells is a murderer. West tries to convince him, but no luck: Cisco’s on Wells’ side.

Firestorm's getting tested by Caitlin, and we get another awesome shirtless scene! Why is it superheroes are all hairless, though? Amell does a great job in this scene pulling off being Stein in Robbie’s body. He has some of the mannerisms right on. Wells deduces that the cells merged together in Firestorm’s body are rejecting each other; this is what’s creating heat. He worries Firestorm is going to go nuclear.


Back in the bunker, Firestorm, still shirtless, freaks out Cisco, who hasn’t realized he’s back. Wells lets them know any effort to separate the two men, Stein and Raymond, would result in a nuclear explosion, which is going to happen eventually anyway. He wants to kill Firestorm and protect the city. Cisco looks stricken: he’s just said Wells wasn’t a killer. We see Cisco begin questioning himself. Maybe Joe is right, and Cisco’s a cop at heart.

Barry’s bonded with both Stein and Raymond so he’s a little less freaked out by Firestorm. They chat, with Einstein quotes showing up again (this one I recognize) and Barry goes off to get the girl. He brings a red hot pepper to the Picture office and threatens to eat it unless Linda goes out with him. She calls his bluff, he gets all spicy with it, and they kiss in front off the office, agreeing to go out again.

Iris turns and glowers, walking away. Really, I want to smack her; she just moved in with a hot cop, you know? Dude, focus on the relationship you have, not the other side and the hotter pepper. Iris kind of reminds me of Regina from Once Upon a Time in this scene. And I really like Linda.

Wells has a moment in his secret office where he fondles both a gun and a chip. He has a conversation with Gideon where he talks about converting the Tachyon Prototype to a quantum splicer. Gideon warns his timetable will be delayed - but Wells insists. He seems to be deciding whether Firestorm will live or die. But before he can get started, Firestorm, aware he’s a danger, has escaped to save the city.

Wells finishes the splicer and orders Barry to take it with Caitlin to save Firestorm. In the meantime, Cisco has information for Joe. The blood isn’t Wells’; it’s Barry’s, but a Barry from today, not an eleven-year-old Barry.

Barry and Caitlin confront Firestorm and Caitlin convinces him to try the quantum splicer. Ronnie (specifically) gives her a kiss, Caitlin leaves the splicer on Firestorm’s body, but it seems to already be too late. Barry rushes Caitlin out of there - just ahead of the shock wave of a nuclear explosion.


We end on a cliffhanger as we see the military becomes aware of the explosion… and orders the deployment of FIRESTORM?????!?!??@??@?!!

Bits and Pieces

Totally not convinced by the whole survival of the fittest thing spouted by Wells. Stein may be older, but Raymond was a scientist in his own right and apparently a forceful personality. Does make me wonder if it’s a clue to Wells’ personality.

The pepper Barry brings in is, I think, actually the fourth or fifth hottest in the world - can anyone confirm?

What will Wells do now that his tachyon device is destroyed?

When will we find out how... ahem... quick Barry is in bed?

Quotables

Sherry: “Sherry. Like the drink."

Linda: Has he ever dated anyone before? Because he’s simultaneously surprisingly good at it and really really really bad at it.

Cisco: No no, I meant going too fast, hurrying. I mean you’re fast, but then there’s fast and there’s fast. Am I being subtle enough?
Barry: You’re really not.
Caitlin: Cisco’s right. With your increased blood rate and your increased heart rate, theoretically your increased speed could cause you to...
Cisco: You’re going to have to think about a lot of dead puppies.

Overall

An exciting episode! Great effects, developing maturity for the characters. Four out of four quantum splicers.

7 comments:

Patrick said...

I've got to wonder what their plan is for Iris right now, because they're making her pretty unsympathetic. It'd be one thing if she saw Barry moving on with another woman and started to realize what she had been ignoring right in front of her for so long, but she's been worse. I'm glad Barry went off on her. And where's Eddie been in all this? Have we even seen him since they moved in together?

Are they planning to have Iris mope around because she FINALLY realizes she should've hooked up with Barry, have her relationship with Eddie fall apart, etc etc? Because if they do all that just to bring Barry back to her....no. If they want Barry & Iris to be their endgame relationship, they've got some serious rehab to do with Iris, as much as they've got to do with Laurel over on Arrow.

Like you JRS, I'm a Barry/Caitlin shipper, which mostly started because I've liked Danielle Panabaker since before this show. Plus, she & Grant have been really good together in their one-on-one scenes. But I want to enjoy Barry & Linda for a while, because I was also a fan of Malese Jow before this show :)

JRS said...

Well, the interesting thing is that Linda and Iris are both the names of wives of people who were Flash in the comics - it will be fascinating to see which character actually gets there on the show.

Iris is here, however, becoming pure yuck for me as a character...

Patrick said...

Yeah, it's interesting that they're pulling from both the Barry Allen and Wally West incarnations of The Flash. I'm OK with it though, since I sincerely doubt this show's going to run long enough for them to realistically bring in a Wally West version of The Flash. :)

JRS said...

One thing I just thought was weird at first but was later confirmed by friend, SB, on Facebook - the moment when Linda and Barry first kiss, there's a mild glow, and she says how awesome that was! Yeah. He was literally vibrating with excitement.

Billie Doux said...

Didn't Barry say it was a ghost pepper? They're the hottest peppers on earth, I think.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhut_jolokia

PlatinumRosebud said...

It was great to see Victor Garber again. I missed Alias' Spy Dad.

I'm also a Ca-ry shipper, JRS.
They look good together.
Though Barry and Linda seems good also.
Barry needs a straight shooter who makes him see where he stands.

Gosh, a flirty divorcee for Barry's Sub-Dad? :)

Marianna said...

Fun episode! Poor Barry having to juggle saving the entire city with his dating life and not even able to explain what's so important. He's going to have to come up with a code/metaphor to explain without explaining. I was confused by the date count. I thought in the last episode Barry and Linda had a lunch date, but everyone was referring to the two dates in this episode as first and second dates.

By the way, the reason why shirtless men on TV are always hairless is it's a camera trick that being able to see the texture underneath the hair, such as collarbones protruding, makes 2-D images appear closer to 3-D.