This latest effort from The Flash largely focuses on Firestorm and his/their issues. And as teased at the end of last week’s The Nuclear Man, General Eiling (Clancy Brown) is back to cause chaos in the way that only he can – where there’s the possible chance to make some advancement, no matter how unethical, to the tricks up his military sleeve, he’ll be there snarling through dialogue.
Fallout is a great episode in the way it handles the dynamic between Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell) as they struggle with the realisation of bonding together to become Firestorm. Initially it’s a happy separation for the two as they survive the risqué finale of last week’s episode, and now they can attempt to go back to some sort of normalcy, Stein with his wife and Ronnie with Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker). The only thing is, it soon becomes apparent that their break up has not been quite as clear cut as they originally hoped for.
As for Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), Fallout sees him being let in on the fact that an adult version of himself was present at the death of his mother. Upon finding out about this, the harsh truth hits home hard: no matter what he does to prevent his mother’s death, Barry is destined to fail. Talk about a bitter pill to swallow. But with Barry finding out that time-travel is within his powers, he seeks out some advice from Dr. Stein… and the whole process is later entertainingly explained by the logic of famous movies. That’s sure better than any heavy science lesson we remember, at least.
With General Eiling’s arrival back on the scene, The Flash finds out the hard way that Eiling has brought a new toy with him – a truly brutal device that has horrific-looking consequences for the Scarlet Speedster. The Sultan of Speed barely makes it out in one piece when he and Ronnie have to go and rescue Stein. Also, it has to be said that it was an impressive way of further elaborating on the link between Ronnie and Stein by utilising arm carving and Morse Code here. And as the episode goes on, the two Firestorm co-pilots become fully aware that they need each other. Plus the bonding and separating process is seemingly becoming less traumatic with even passing transformation.
Along with Ealing wanting Firestorm for his own needs, it’s additionally revealed here that he is also fully aware that Barry Allen is The Flash. That was a tad of an unexpected one, although sadly DC’s The General may not be coming back any time soon, if ever again. As yes, following on from previous teases, we again get to see Gorilla Grodd. This time Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), in complete Reverse-Flash get-up, hands The General over to Grodd for the enhanced gorilla to do who knows what to. Remember, this is the same Eling who has carried out certain experiments on Grodd previously. Chances are that things didn’t end well for The General, although he could still return at some point if the show so chooses.
With Fallout, The Flash gave a perfect example of how well written the show’s dialogue can be at times. As ever, the back and forths between Barry and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) are at the centre of this, and it also has to be said that Victor Garber as Martin Stein has added a great deal to the show, too. For now, though, Stein and Ronnie, the combined Firestorm, have seemingly departed Central City. Here’s hoping we see Firestorm again soon, and the character has vastly improved with each passing episode. Still, the voiceover element of Firestorm did come off a little cheesy when that was introduced in this episode.
Elsewhere, Iris (Candice Patton) continues to be left to one side as if the show doesn’t really know what to do with her. What they are doing, mind, is playing her up as a little bit of a dick, if we’re honest. This time out, she’s thinking that there’s some sort of conspiracy behind Harrison Wells. Obviously she’s correct in this assumption (we guess that’s that journalistic “gumption” that she’s previously talked about), but Iris has often come across as massively unlikable in recent episodes. Even though the show as a whole, as mentioned, is generally excellently written, it seems as if Iris is getting the Laurel Lance treatment in The Flash. Katie Cassidy’s Laurel has started to improve in Arrow’s Season 3, so let’s not write Iris off just yet.
Fallout was another well delivered episode of The Flash, and some of the Firestorm elements, both in terms of visuals and in character development, were fantastic to see. Additionally, there was a nice blink-and-you’ll-miss-it reference to Coast City… the home of one Hal Jordan, aka Green Lantern.
Life as a viewer of The Flash is good. Gorilla Grodd is seemingly inching ever closer to making a big splash in Central City, then there’s the prospect of time-travel on the very close horizon, and we’ve still got the whole ‘Man in the Yellow Suit’ pickle to see play out. There’s definitely worse ways to spend a Tuesday night.
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