There is so much to talk about last night’s THE FLASH that I don’t even know where to start. While “Fury of the Firestorm” had plenty of action, what really stood out to me was the characters’ struggle with their own issues. So, of course, the team was on a mission to find a match for Dr. Stein’s half of Firestorm, but what really drove this episode was everyone’s own motivations – not only towards saving our good Professor, but also towards character and story development.
“Fury of the Firestorm” was first and foremost an episode that lay the ground foundation for the rest of the season. We saw Barry letting go of his love for Iris and willing to move on with his life and pursue something with Patty; Dr. Stein finding his new match and leaving to learn more about Firestorm with his new partner; Jax embracing the superhero aspect, despite not having his dream life of professional football player; and Iris dealing with her mother, who decided to show up after twenty years because she is dying.
Wow. That was a lot and I didn’t even cover everything.
So, let’s start with the Firestorm mission, which was the main plot of the episode. Dr. Stein is pretty unstable and about to croak if they don’t find someone compatible for him to merge with soon. Despite Cisco’s attempts to come up with a device to help stabilize him, it only buys him some time. Caitlin had been doing some research about possible matches for him and she found two suitable candidates: Henry Hewitt, a scientist and physicist and a very accomplished one at that; and Jefferson “Jax” Jackson, a mechanic that had given up on going to college after he busted his knee and couldn’t play football anymore. Both were affected by the dark matter wave and had their DNA rearranged like Dr. Stein and Ronnie.
They split the team and Caitlin seeks out Hewitt, while Barry and Dr. Stein went after Jax. They find him working on a car and he wants nothing to do with anything even remotely related to what happened that night when the particle accelerator exploded. So they go back to Star Labs empty handed, only to find that Caitlin managed to bring in Henry Hewitt and the guy is over the moon about the possibility of becoming Firestorm. He also thinks he is the best thing on Earth and, to quote Cisco, has an ego the size of Texas. They try to merge, but nothing happens, so Hewitt leaves completely pissed off and unaware that his dormant abilities had just been awakened. His powers are similar to Firestorm and he goes a little ballistic with them.
Dr. Stein is deteriorating fast, so they manage to convince Jax to come in and try to merge with the Professor in order to save his life. Turns out he is a perfect match and the kid is a quick study, so they immediately find and take out Hewitt, puting him in a nice, cozy cell in the pipeline.
What was interesting about this particular plot was that, sure, it was a way to bring Firestorm back and it will serve as a launch platform for LEGENDS OF TOMORROW. That was the obvious lesson, so to speak. But there was a more subtle nuance to this and it was all about Caitlin. She was the one insisting that they had to go with a scientist and that it would be a perfect match for Dr. Stein. But I think she was just having a really hard time letting go of Ronnie; after all, this was his legacy. So it was only natural that she wanted someone that was even remotely similar to her late husband. But still, the way she went about it didn’t sit well with me, especially when she basically called him a failure because he didn’t want to be a superhero. Fortunately, she saw the error of her ways and apologized, but it was still a surprising turn for sweet, mild-tempered Caitlin Snow.
Meanwhile, Iris is dealing with the fact that her mother, Francine, decided to parachute into her life after twenty years, saying she only wants to get to know her. When Iris tells her thanks, but no thanks, she goes after Joe and tells him she has McGregors disease and is dying and the only reason she decided to seek them out now was because she wants to get to know her daughter in the little time she has left.
Iris doesn’t take this lightly and decides to do a little digging of her own. Francine is indeed sick, but that’s not what was surprising. Turns out was pregnant when she left Joe and Iris behind and had a son. Iris confronts her mother and asks her brother whereabouts, but then changes her mind and tells Francine to stay the hell away from them.
Here is what I think: they didn’t introduce this storyline just to give Iris something to do. There is another iconic character that is supposed to show up this season and he goes by the name of Wally West. Said iconic character has the same last name as Iris and Joe and has already been cast: Australian actor Keiynan Lonsdale, who could definitely play Iris’ younger brother. Now, Francine shows up out of the blue and is conveniently dying; and Iris just happens to dig up information on her and finds out she has a long lost brother.
Coincidence? I don’t think so.
Meanwhile, Wells shows his handsome face again. He breaks into Mercury Labs, where Caitlin used to work, and the director responsible tells Joe and Patty that she saw Harrison Wells there. Joe makes Patty promise she won’t tell Barry anything because Wells was the one who killed his mom and that would only open his still fresh wound and it would not end well. She says she’s terrible at lying – and she definitely is as Barry totally knows something is up the moment she starts talking.
But Barry is completely smitten with her, which is so adorable. But he confesses to Joe that he can’t help but compare her to Iris and it doesn’t feel the same. Joe says that Iris will always be his first love, but they are friends now and he shouldn’t keep his life on hold because of that. The wisest move would be to move on and take a chance on someone new. And he is totally going to go for Patty and I love it.
And that brings us to the final scene. A shark man – that Patty had been investigating the possibility of his very existence – really does attack The Flash and she sees it and tries to rescue him by shooting the monstrous shark man hybrid. It doesn’t work – it only pisses Sharky off – and he turns to attack her when someone shoots him with a ray of energy (maybe?) and Sharky goes down.
Turns out it was Harrison Wells. Saving people. What?
THE FLASH returns with an all new episode on November 3 at 8/7c on The CW.