CW’s The Flash is one of those shows that most of us at What’cha Reading watch every week, but for some reason, never really talk about. It’s not that we don’t like it (we love it!), but sometimes it’s hard to keep track of everything when every week we are bombarded by new comics, press releases, and seemingly endless comic and entertainment news. The Flash has been amazingly consistent each week since its pilot and every week feels like you’re watching a mini-movie. The effects are mind-blowing, the production budget never feels like a television series, and the cast are perfect representations of their comic book counterparts. This week’s episode “Fallout” was the conclusion of the two-part episode that focused on Ronnie Raymond, the man known as Firestorm! Hopefully, you didn’t miss it.
In the aftermath of the particle accelerator accident (or was it?) Ronnie Raymond and Prof. Stein forged together and became Firestorm. Prof. Stein’s mind, proving the theories of survival of the fittest right, became the dominant mind and took over Ronnie. They shared an odd-couple like symbiosis and it wasn’t until the start of this episode that they were finally separated. The opening moments find Barry outrunning the nuclear explosion caused by separating the two men. He manages to get Caitlin Snow to safety and return them back to S.T.A.R. Labs. Later on, we learn that there is surprisingly no radiation found at the site, the pesky General Eiling (Clancy Brown) is still around, and that while Ronnie and Prof. Stein have been separated, they still share a psychic like connection.
While Barry helps reunite the Professor with his wife, Det. West and Cisco Ramon discover that the blood left on the wall the night of Nora Allen’s murder matches that of adult Barry. They still don’t understand what took place inside the home when his mother was killed, but they have fully concluded that there were two speedsters present – Reverse Flash and another Flash now known to be Barry! But how? When Det. West brings Barry back to his old home to show him, it stirs up feelings of failure within him. He believes that if he does manage to somehow become so fast one day that he’s able to travel back in time to try to save his mother, and was present the night she died, he obviously failed and that’s all he now represents – failure. Barry then brings up the ideas of time travel to Prof. Stein, who now shares Ronnie’s obsession with pizza. After he runs out to get him a pie faster than it could be delivered, the Professor tells him “space-time is a free-flowing highway.” He reasons that Barry one day will be able to time travel and believes in its possibility just as much as Harrison Wells does. (The sneaky Wells still hasn’t let on that he can walk, time travel, and is Reverse Flash.)
After Barry leaves, Prof. Stein nearly collapses. He senses something is wrong with Ronnie and he’s right. Back at the coffee shop, Ronnie and Caitlin have come under attack by the forces of General Eiling. They nearly manage to escape, but Eiling corners Ronnie. Before he can capture him, Barry as The Flash arrives, but Eiling shoots him with an explosive weapon that disperses countless needles. As Barry is left unable to move, Caitlin arrives in a van and is able to get them back to S.T.A.R. Labs. This is when the General tells his men to make no mistake about them being at war with metahumans.
Later on and after hundreds of needles are removed from Barry’s body, Wells secretly meets with Eiling. He tells him that humans will soon be at war with metahumans and how it’s just a matter of time. The General wants Ronnie and Stein so he could harness The Firestorm Matrix in order to weaponize it. After Wells returns to the lab, he shares a drink with Prof. Stein. Unbeknownst to the good professor, played wonderfully by Victor Garber, Wells has poisoned him. After he collapses, General Eiling shows up and takes him to an undisclosed location. Elsewhere, Ronnie feels uneasy and senses Stein is in trouble. They head to S.T.A.R. and Wells tells them how he was overpowered by Eiling and was unable to stop him from taking Stein. Vowing to end the conflict, Barry and Ronnie decide to save the professor. They hook Ronnie up to a chair to measure his vitals and connection to Professor Stein. He senses that he is being held in a cold room that is later revealed to be Facility #27 after Stein uses Morse code to signal where he is.
Back at the facility, the General tortures Prof. Stein and ultimately learns that he doesn’t need him alive to harness The Firestorm Matrix. He’s about to shoot him in the head when Barry run in and gets Stein to safety. Prof. Stein and Ronnie then merge with one another to become Firestorm, and this time it works as they are both willingly merging. While they hold off the troops, Barry faces off with Gen. Eiling and is hit with a new compound developed to stop The Flash. Wells, Cisco, and Caitlin inform him from S.T.A.R. Labs that he needs to run extremely fast to burn off the agent that has spread over his suit. After he manages to burn off the ion grenade effects, he returns home while Firestorm flies above him.
Ronnie and the Professor decide that it’s best that they leave in order to learn more about their abilities. They merge once again and leave, but not before telling Caitlin and Stein’s wife “We love you.” Before “Fallout” concludes, we find General Eiling back at a military base. Before he can even process it, Reverse Flash abducts him, races through the night, and brings him to a dark and familiar location. Reverse Flash reveals himself to Eiling and pulls off the mask showing that he’s really Wells. He tells Eiling that he can’t let him hurt Barry as he now knows that he’s The Flash. Telling him that he protects his own, he leaves him to… GRODD! We then see an upright, walking and talking Grodd grab Eiling and pull him away… in a flash!
As evidenced by the effects during the opening nuclear explosion, Firestorm, and Grodd, the producers spare no expense when it comes to CW’s “The Flash.” It needs it to as the character is a very effects heavy super hero. It really adds to the quality programming and adds to an already fantastically written and acted show. “The Flash” is one of the week’s best offerings and is a great way to introduce you to one of the brighter and more fun of superheroes. I could go on about Grant Gustin as Barry, but I have a feeling that you already know how great he is! It’s also really special when he has scenes with Jesse L. Martin’s Detective Joe West. There’s a real genuine affection that they both have and it shows. I also personally enjoy that as a surrogate father to Barry, Det. West is always looking out for Barry and his interests. It absolutely works that Det. West doesn’t trust Harrison Wells (as Diggle and Oliver Queen from “Arrow” don’t either.) The moment where Det. West tells Barry about testing the blood found at Nora Allen’s mother felt accurate. Not only as a Detective, but as a father figure to Barry, he would want to test everyone at S.T.A.R. Labs if only to see if Wells was involved as he suspects. It’s going to be a great moment when Barry learns that his mentor and friend, Harrison Wells is the Reverse Flash as he already has so much anger and hatred for him. Oh, and Grodd too. That’s just going to be cool.
“Fallout” gets five out of five stars. CW’s “The Flash” airs on Tuesdays at 8 PM. Check your local listings. And remember, “Impossible is just another Tuesday for us [at S.T.A.R. Labs.]”