Last time on The Flash…
Yeah, things got left in an interesting place.
After the concerns over the instability of FIRESTORM, this week picks up right where last week left off. On the one hand, it does feel a bit abrupt how fast this episode turns things around from last week, but it honestly makes up for that, so it’s a minor stumbling block.
Despite the impression last episode left off on, Ronnie and Professor Stein have split. The result of this makes up the bulk of the plot for this week’s episode, and it’s a worthy continuation of last week’s storyline.
I have to say, now that we get to see both of them interacting, I’m really liking the show’s take on Ronnie and Stein. Amell and Garber are both well cast in the parts and now that we get to see them both bouncing off of one another, they have an enjoyable dynamic. It has me looking forward to the return of FIRESTORM in future episodes.
Alongside the developments for Ronnie and Stein, this week – as last week’s stinger suggested – marks the return of General Eiling as an antagonist. I’ll admit, I like what they’ve done with this character in his few appearances. He’s far from the deadliest enemy on this show, but he’s definitely sharper than he at first lets on, and Clancy Brown’s performance further adds to his standing out as an enemy.
It honestly makes me a bit sad that, from the way this episode ends, we likely won’t be seeing him again. At the same time, it make some sense. He’s a character you can only take so far.
In the middle of all of this, we also have several developments regarding the running story of the death of Barry’s mother. Following up on last week’s revelation, Joe decides to let Barry in on what he and Cisco have found out.
The result is honestly one of the best turns Barry’s had as a character since the show’s return. Learning of his coming presence in the past, we see him wrestling with the idea that he may be destined to fail to save his mother. Both the writers and Gustin handle this well, so it doesn’t feel overly dramatic or drawn out.
In the end, even the conclusion feels an appropriately Barry Allen response – even though he may be destined to fail, he’s still going to try and prevent it. It’s part of what makes Barry a likable protagonist on this show – he’s optimistic without feeling naive or dumb about it. He knows the odds aren’t great, but he’s still going to try all the same.
Meanwhile, this week made the reveal that everyone has seen coming for a while now regarding Harrison’s connection to the Reverse Flash. For a twist everyone has seen coming, the way the series pays it off here is still a Hell of a note to end the episode on.
It’s also one of those moments that further shows why Tom Cavanagh has made for a great villain character on this show. He can slide between mentor, ally, and antagonist almost effortlessly with no real sense of a personality shift. Despite different demands, it is always the same Harrison Wells, and no one suspects him.
With FIRESTORM on the run and Harrison teaming up with Grodd, this episode ends with a number of new plots moving forward. I suspect it may be a while before Harrison and Grodd make their move given we still have several more episodes until the finale, but for what we’ve seen so far, I’m willing to wait.
In the meantime, I’m already looking forward to next week’s episode – the name of which is currently not showing up on the usual information sites (I’ll update when we have it).
-Strong conclusion – for now – to the Firestorm arc
-Good development for the STAR Labs Team all around
-While I accept it as necessity, the reveal that Raymond and Stein survived is kind of rushed
-Iris is left in a bit of a holding pattern this week, albeit on that could go places in the future.