Series 2, Episode 4
The Fury of Firestorm.
So, query, where was Jay during this episode? He went upstairs at the end of the last episode, and then this episode picks up where that one left off (more or less) and he's nowhere to be seen. Did he just go out for a very long coffee or something? Is he going to wander back in and be like "Oh, hey, guys, what's going on? What? Stein's gone? I loved that guy!"
Like, I know you have a fairly large cast, Flash writers, but you can't just forget about one of your cast members. Even if you just have him in the background of the S.T.A.R. Labs scenes, or helping to hold Stein down during his convulsions, he needs to be somewhere.
In this week's episode, Stein starts to become increasingly unstable, as he has gone too long without merging. The team attempts to find another person who can fuse with him, and land on two candidates - scientist Hewitt and mechanic Jefferson 'Jax' Jackson. When Hewitt proves incompatible and flies off the deep end, Jax is forced to step up, merging with Stein to become the new Firestorm. Meanwhile, Patty is on the hunt for a Man-Shark, Iris meets with Francine, and Earth-2 Harrison Wells steals a powerful weapon.
|Also, the Firestorm-y stabilisation device suits him.|
This episode is, obviously, a Legends of Tomorrow tie-in. We got one last week with Arrow, with Sara being resurrected in the Lazarus Pit, so I suppose it was The Flash's turn. Well, its second turn, because the third episode was kind of a Legends tie-in as well. I'll be honest, I'm getting kind of annoyed with all the set-up episodes we're having for this series, because it should be able to stand on its own without large amounts of build-up episodes.
But the episode itself was solid. In a way, it felt like the early Firestorm episodes from the last series, where the principle threat was that Ronnie and Stein exploding unexpectedly. As with those episodes, people were constantly in danger of exploding this time, and that was nice - I'm always a sucker for episodes where the problem is some kind of natural event, rather than really being a villain (because while Hewitt is the villain of this episode, he only really starts villaining in the third act of the episode).
I do like Jax, even if it did feel that the writers were kind of over-pushing 'he's a peppy teenage hero who just wants a higher purpose to aspire to!' (yes, I know that he's twenty), which is the role that Ronnie had in the comics, before his character was kind of retrofitted to be a) A science-y type, and b) Extremely wooden, because he's played by Robbie Amell. It's kind of a tired, worn out character archetype, and I hope they build on it a bit both later in the series and in Legends.
|"He was enraged, like a shark. Then a hell-beast ate them."|
But thank god that we have a Firestorm who can act, though. I have always adored Stein, but Ronnie was just so flat. It's no wonder that Caitlin moved on to Jay so quickly, Jay actually emotes. Franz Drameh puts on an excellent performance as Jax, and I do look forward to seeing more of him.
This wasn't a very plot-heavy episode, but we did get Iris finding out she has a brother - who I presume is Wally, and I'm guessing that Kid Flash!Wally, which we know we'll be getting at some point this series, will be an Earth-2 or Earth-3 version of him. Or possibly this universe's Wally will meet with a particle accelerator accident. The sky's the limit.
We also got Earth-2 Wells skulking about, stealing things, and eventually revealing himself to Barry by defeating Man-Shark with an energy blast. I admit to having no idea as to what's going to happen here: My original thought was that Earth-2 Wells was also actually Thawne, but now I'm not so certain. I'm hoping that we find out either way next episode, because this slow-burn plot has been burning a mite too slow for my tastes.
|It's lucky that Hewitt was a black dude, otherwise Caitlin would have come off|
as incredibly racist.
(Man-Shark appearing was also a rather unexpected twist, even if he did get taken out after about twenty seconds. It was more a joke than anything, and a way to have Wells introduce himself without having him take out the main villain of the episode, but it was set up well, and it did get a slightly startled laugh out of me.)
The preview for the next episode seems to suggest that this may actually be the genuine Wells article - but then, we also know that Wells lies. It will also see Jay returning after his short and odd absence, and the arrival of Doctor Light as the metahuman-of-the-week, who according to Jay wasn't a threat on Earth-2 - it seems to be Kimiyo Hoshi, the superheroic Doctor Light, rather than Arthur Light, the supervillainous one.
That should be a good episode, I'm looking forward to it.