Series Issues: The Flash 1×13 – The Nuclear Man

(Source: The CW)

(Source: The CW)

Spoilers coming at you.

Alternate title: Barry can’t handle hot stuff

Finally DC’s Firestorm origin story is explored here in detail. Dr. Martin Stein was fused with Ronnie Raymond during the particle accelerator incident, but also involved was a thingamajig from project firestorm. Now Ronnie-Stein is trying to find out what happened to him and how he can get back home.

Props to Dr. Harrison Wells for defining home here. Home for Dr. Martin Stein is Clarissa, his wife. Home for Ronnie is Caitlin Snow. Dr. Stein is the driving mind, but he’s becoming unhinged by his situation both mentally and physically. He tries approaching a former colleague only to explode in flames in the process.

Things are going from mild to hot for Barry and Linda Park, the reporter. Unfortunately, Barry has to become Flash more than a few times during their encounters. We establish that Barry can’t handle spicy food. There’s more for him to handle later as things get hot and heavy the next date. With Firestorm on the loose he has to awkwardly break the mood. With both the ability to fire up and fly, Firestorm outmatches Flash but as he drops him from a great height, he’s cautious enough to catch him and break his fall into a car.

I actually like that Barry’s and Caitlin’s next approach is to grab Stein’s wife Clarissa and approach him when he’s cooled down. In a typical comic book showdown, they’d go into battle over a misunderstanding each other’s motives. This was a lot more logical approach.

After the usual “running some tests” approach, Dr. Wells concludes Ronnie-Stein is going to go nuclear and that their only choice is to kill the host. Caitlin has very short (too short!) one on one with Dr. Wells asking him – or telling him, more likely – to find a different solution in the time left.

Unknown to the rest of the team, Cisco has been recruited by Joe to help him uncover clues to Barry’s Mom murder. Cisco manages to find images captured in an old mirror. That show the alleged two speedsters in battle. A new blood pattern is detected falling onto the walls. Joe suspects this is Wells, but Cisco doesn’t want to hear it. Later on, Cisco actually gets back to Joe. The blood is from an adult Barry Allen. It would make sense that the future Flash got hurt in the battle with the Reverse Flash trying to protect his mother. This doesn’t exonerate Wells at all.

Meanwhile, Barry is trying to mend things with Linda who has asked Iris about him. That conversation went two different ways. From Iris point of view, she was asking Linda to give Barry some time to get over an unrequited love. But Linda figures pretty quick that Barry was hung over Iris, and tells him so over the phone. Iris gets a bit of a scolding from Barry, and surprisingly this conversation is pretty mild. Neither go nuclear. To be fair, Iris doesn’t really deserve the scolding but we’ll leave that to the internet forums to feud over. Things go even worse for Barry when the “police emergency” excuse he used is confirmed as false by Linda. So it’s up to Barry to end up showing up at Linda’s workplace and doing the wildest thing he can think of to get her to give him another chance.

Meanwhile, back at the secret room in STAR Labs, Dr. Wells is seen arming himself with a regular gun as Plan B. However they do come up with a late scheme involving a device that could potentially separate Firestorm into his two components. Firestorm has escaped to a remote location, hoping to kill himself without hurting anybody. With no time to lose, Caitlin insists on coming along with Barry to active the device. After zooming over there, Caitlin gets one more moment with Ronnie-Stein before she puts the device… which when armed looks very much like Firestorm’s insignia on his suit from the Comic Books.

It seems that Firestorm will go nuclear anyways and Flash has to zoom away with Caitlin as Ronnie-Stein explodes. In an undisclosed location somewhere, the explosion is detected and a General orders his forces to move.

Highs:

  • The Firestorm origin was handled really well. The drama of the two men’s past lives is the highlight here. The actual superhero persona is secondary.
  • That being said, I did appreciate the nudge to the original Comic Book suit look. We might still see that evolve. Perhaps as a containment suit of sorts?
  • Joe West is acting like a detective. He’s been closer to acting like one than Arrow’s Quentin Lance. Quentin Lance still is more of a detective than Gotham’s Jim Gordon. Jim Gordon has his work cut out for him to catch up with his Comic Book version.
  • You really empathize with Barry Gordon as he navigates the foreign waters of romanticizing Linda Park. That being said, he’s doing really, really good by just being himself.
  • Best line of the show belongs to Cisco, after Cherry makes eyes at Joe: “Dude, I won’t judge you.”

Lows:

  • I’m not sure if the showrunners are setting up Iris to become the jealous type or the idea is that Iris is now going to be pining for Barry. The whole one-sided crush in reverse is a bit too Friends-Rachel-&-Ross for me. I’m aware Iris West in the Comic Books becomes… Ok, on second thought that might be a too much of a spoiler? In the end, it doesn’t really need to be that way, right?

(Source: The CW)

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