Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Flash S2E4 The Fury of Firestorm (Spoilers!): Ummm Where’s Jay Garrick??


CW’s The Flash is simply fun television. It has action, great characters, and is starting to throw in some well-acted drama. This episode was thoroughly enjoyable and started thinning down Team Flash to a manageable number.  There was a noticeable absence tonight, Earth’s Two Flash, Jay Garrick. Where did he disappear too tonight? It was a full episode without Jay in it, but they could have at least mentioned that he was up to something and couldn’t help. Other than this absence it was a fun filled filler episode with some great teases to the overall season story arc.
The overall focus tonight was getting Dr. Stein stable again. Caitlyn did some voodoo science and determined two candidates who could possibly merge with Dr. Stein and become Firestorm.  This would have been a good place for Jay to make an appearance. The man helped stabilize a singularity to another dimension. I think he would have been useful in helping with Dr. Stein.  Just a minor nitpick in storytelling, but I thought his absence was strange. Two candidates are found, one a former football star, and another who is a scientist.  They obviously gravitate to the scientist, but Barry wants to make sure they check out both options.
Barry is starting to grow into a team leader, and he started to step forward in this regard tonight. This would be a reason why Jay was not shown tonight. They want to set Barry up as a leader, and didn’t want Garrick confusing this message. Barry wants to be cautious about being all gung-ho for one candidate for the Firestorm Matrix over the other. He makes sure they go and talk to both candidates. You can see Barry is a bit perturbed at Caitlyn when he gets back and she has already told Dr. Hewitt about Star Labs and all he could do after he becomes Firestorm. When it doesn’t work Dr. Hewitt is upset and walks out.  The team has to convince the former football star to become Firestorm. Barry again steps up and helps Caitlin realize not everyone is eager and willing to become a super-hero at a drop of a hat. This is the second week in a row where Barry has given great advice to his team. This week to Caitlin and last week to Joe about Iris and her mom.
The Iris’s Mom storyline still doesn’t seem to add anything of value to the overall arc of the season. I get where they are going with it now, the son they mentioned in the episode is Wally West. It just is taking an extremely long time to get to the payoff. Francine keeps hiding things from both Joe and Iris. First she just wants to be a part of her life, then she’s dying. Iris is the one who discovers the existence of a possible brother. Having Wally West being introduced to the show will be great, but I just wish they would get to the conclusion. The acting and scenes have all been well done for the show, but it doesn’t seem necessary. Francine should have started with: Joe I’m dying and I want to get to know my daughter, and by the way you have a son. We are going to get there, just wish the pace would pick up.
The pacing for the other aspects of the episode was great. Jax Jackson, the football star, decides to merge with Dr. Stein and become Firestorm. They have to quickly team up and fight Dr. Hewitt who has become a literal hot head. It was a great fight sequence, and the special effects for this episode were fantastic. The fire around Dr. Hewitt and Jackson as Firestorm was fantastic. We didn’t get much of Barry running tonight, but what we did was still well done.  Barry’s quipping and verbally jabbing at Hewitt was extremely effective and funny. I want to see more of Barry making fun of the villains and teasing them.  They should have him do this more to the main villains of the weak. Hopefully as Barry grows more as the team leader and in his own confidence we will get this.
Barry’s confidence with women is another area where the show could move quicker. He got some sage advice from Joe about going after Patty, and by the end of the episode he is finally ready to make his move. The chemistry between the two has been great and I would like to see a good relationship develop between Patty and him this season. I think eventually tragedy will strike, which will force the eventual union of Barry and Iris. Before Barry can go and try and start something with Patty, a killer Man Shark shows up and decides to take down Barry. The special effects for the shark were great. It looked fantastic. We finally get Dr. Wells revealing himself in the episode as he takes down the shark with tech he stole from another lab.
I’m still of the mindset that this Dr. Wells isn’t evil. He is just simply a brilliant scientist here to help. This is going to be a bitter pill for the team to swallow, but I’m looking forward to having Tom Cavanagh as Dr. Wells back on the show. We saw a bit of what next episode will be about in the tease for next week. It seems he will just be a scientist from Earth Two, but he also knows about Zoom, and wants to stop him. I wonder if Jay will be able to shed light on Dr. Wells and if he is the real deal. I’m also curious if the fact Joe hid Dr. Wells arrival back from Barry will affect their relationship. It would in Arrow, but hopefully it is minor plot point or one not even brought up next episode.

This episode was more of a filler episode with no true movement in the search for Zoom. We did get a new Firestorm, and Barry stepping up as the team leader of the group. It will be interesting to see what happens when Dr. Wells starts to help and how much Jay will step in. This season has been excellent so far, with no major missteps. The show is just fun and entertaining, and you can’t ask for more than that ever week. 

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