Previously on The Flash, ‘The Reverse-Flash Returns’
THIS is the show I fell in love with.
It had action (Barry rescuing Wally West), heart (every scene between Iris and Wally, Cisco and Barry, Wells and Barry, and Joe and everyone), and advanced the Zoom storyline, which had been lagging for no good reason.
Meta-Human of the Week
Joe Monteleone met a gruesome end in a vat of tar just as the particle accelerator exploded. Two years later, construction done on the location unearths him and his new ability to transform into tar. He immediately goes about the business of getting revenge on the men who killed him.
Need For Speed
Joe is so busy trying to be Wally’s friend, he’s neglecting to call his son on the fact that he’s still drag racing. Iris has no such qualms, and confronts her brother at dinner. When that goes nowhere, she decides to show up at the scene of one of his races under the guise of learning what Wally finds so appealing about it, but she’s really gathering info so she can shut the down the races.
Despite telling Joe she’d give him time to reach Wally, Iris confronts the man responsible for the races and threatens to publish an article about his many shady dealings if he doesn’t close his operation.
As luck would have it, Wally’s next opponent is on Tar Pit’s shit list and he shows up to do damage to the asphalt just as Wally takes off in a race, and… well, hold that thought.
Greed For Speed
Wells has used Turtle’s brain juice to create something that will allow him to siphon Barry’s speed via a device hidden in The Flash suit. Wells is already feeling remorse for what he’s about to do, and it doesn’t help that Barry is doing that thing where he’s totally adorable and refuses to take no for an answer when he asks to help Wells research.
Even though Wells is being a complete dick (Seriously. He was like Eastwood in Gran Torino, minus the old white man racism), Barry does assist long enough to figure out a way to close the breaches. The two test Barry’s invention and it works. Hooray! Bro hugs for everyone; whether you want one or not, Wells. At this point, Wells is feeling like shit on a stick for stealing some of Barry’s power earlier and delivering it to Zoom.
Their breakthrough celebration is cut short when Barry receives a call from Iris. The Flash arrives at the drag race and saves both Wally and his opponent from certain death, but thanks to Wells’ device, he’s not fast enough to stop a shard of glass from piercing Iris’s shoulder. (This whole scene was wonderfully shot.)
Earlier, Barry was willing to brush off the fact that he ran slower, but now that Iris is in the hospital because he wasn’t fast enough…
Wells listens to Barry agonize over this before admitting his betrayal. Then he puts his hands behind his head like he’s going to be arrested – like anyone on Team Flash cares about civil liberties. Nope. He gets a Black Fatherhood punch in the face and thrown in Meta-Human Gitmo.
After Tar Pit is neutralized, Wells drops an “I told you so” here and a “I told you I wasn’t shit” there, and then asks to be sent back to Earth-2 to deal with Zoom on his own. Barry can close the other breaches and be done with Zoom (and him) for good.
But that’s not what a true hero would do and Lord knows everyone on Team Flash has fucked up royally at least once – side-eye’ing you, Cisco. Barry officially welcomes Wells to the team and says they’re going to Earth-2 to save his daughter.
The Flash S2E12
First off, Rachel Talalay directed the entire fuck out of this episode. Intellectually, we knew and understood that nothing would happen to Iris, but emotionally? Talalay made you feel as though Iris could very well die in that scene. It didn’t hurt that both Candice and Grant nailed it as well.
If you want to see more of her fine work, check out Doctor Who’s “Heaven Sent” episode. Flaw.less.
I was so glad that Wells didn’t completely go through with his plan. I was hoping that he’d either confess or pull an okie doke on Zoom. I was not interested in another episode of Barry licking his wounds because Wells fucked him over again. Plus, if the fantastic Tom Cavanagh is going to have any future on this show as Wells, it would be hard to justify having him around after that kind of betrayal. Although, are we just gonna smooth skip over the fact that he murdered Turtle? Okay.
I saw some people on Twitter upset that Francine’s death/funeral happened off-camera. I predicted this on the podcast last week, and I’m okay with the fact that we didn’t see it. Let’s face it: The show hasn’t spent any real time developing that character. We never even heard her – in her own words – explain how and why she kept the family apart for 20 years. An on-screen death wasn’t earned for this character, and while I believe that the actors involved have the chops to pull off the complicated mix of emotions such a scene would require, I don’t feel like it’s something I needed to see to feel or understand.
Not since Wells’ first “Run, Barry. Run!” in the pilot have I been this emotionally invested in an episode: the awkward dinner where Iris put Wally on Front Street, Joe’s confession that he IS trying to be Wally’s friend because he doesn’t want to mess it up, Barry’s adorable insistence on working with Wells, Wells’ internal struggle, Joe’s reaction to almost losing both of his kids in one night, and Cisco’s concern for Barry’s health were all examples of how fantastic this cast is when given a storyline filled with events and people we actually care about. (I am not going to mention she who shall not be named.)
I’m sure I’ll rave plenty about this episode on tonight’s podcast.