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