Barry Allen you “crime-fighting, lady-slaying machine”. Romantic life can be tough when you’re a superhero; but even tougher when the former fiancé of one of your closest friends is about to go Nuclear. How will Barry and Team Flash save the day, and what new mysteries will arise? Find out in this week’s closer look at “The Nuclear Man”
Adventures In Dating – Barry & Linda:
So if last episode didn’t have you already LOVING Linda and hating Iris, this episode sealed the deal. Barry’s preparation for the date was hilarious, especially Joe’s “If you change one more time I’m gonna shoot you” line. Though as funny as that scene was, that was how cute Barry and Linda were together. Linda’s a big time reporter and doesn’t like to waste time. As I spoke about last time, her forwardness with Barry is incredible and is exactly what he needs to come out of his shell. Sadly, work and . . . Iris can complicate matters.
Being the Fastest Man Alive really complicates matters when it comes to dating; but sexual jokes aside, its growing increasingly difficult to have a ‘night out’ while also trying to save Central City. Thankfully Barry is so fast that he can zip away to save a suicide jumper and zip back before Linda notices; but when bigger threats come up like Firestorm, Barry is off in a flash – after an awkward exit of course. Throw in Iris telling Linda about Barry’s prior love – her – things go south fast.
Barry is of course pissed about this and explains to Iris that he doesn’t think of her like that anymore, which adds to Iris’s growing feeling of ‘maybe I missed out’. Though thanks to some surprisingly good advice from Firestorm Stein, Barry decides to seize the day and win Linda back by threatening to eat the hottest chili pepper known to man if she doesn’t go on another date with him – referencing their first date where she took the crown as Spice Champion of Central City and said “I never bluff”. Seeing Barry immediately turn down Iris’s offer to ‘talk to Linda to make things right’, and instead actually fight for the girl was amazing. I know Oliver told Barry a while ago that ‘people like them’ don’t get the girl, but I love these two together! Hopefully work won’t get in the way too much.
The Curious Case Of Firestorm:
As you could guess from the episode, this episode’s main character focus was the “Nuclear Man” himself Firestorm. Aside from having ridiculous fire powers, he’s also a grammar nightmare. Are we talking about him? Them? It? However we might try to refer to Firestorm, the actual amalgam of Ronnie and Dr Stein (Ronnein? Steinnie?) seems to be following the basic laws of Darwinism by pairing the strongest mind with the strongest body. Considering Stein’s level of intellect and achievement even makes Dr Wells jealous, you can be sure Stein is usually the one on control of this merged body. Though despite his intellectual prominence, Ronnie still has quite a bit of say in his body.
The majority of what we’ve seen of Firestorm has all been Stein driven mad by the constant other voice in his head (Ronnie). The only time we’ve seen Ronnie assume full control was when he saved Flash from The Reverse Flash. Though this episode gave us two more. The first most certain of which is when he kissed Caitlin at the end of the episode; but also seemingly when he saved Flash earlier in the episode from himself. We’ve seen Ronnie’s Firestorm save Flash once before so when Stein’s Firestorm dropped him, there’s a good chance that the Firestorm who saved him was Ronnie yet again. Though regardless of who’s controlling the new Firestorm entity, it is still Ronnie’s body and it’s going to reject any invading force like a disease.
We learned through the flashbacks that Dr Stein had the Firestorm matrix with him while at STAR Labs. It was this matrix that not only fused the two together; but also allowed for them to stay fused as the Firestorm project was all about transmutation and fusion. Though over time the Firestorm matrix would begin to weaken; and after two battles with / alongside the Flash, those powers weakened so much that Ronnie’s body was now starting to fully reject Stein’s mind. This would of course mean Ronnie’s freedom from Stein, but also the annihilation of everything around them in one fiery nuclear explosion. The only chance is to forcibly split them apart BEFORE their excited particles can – or kill him.
Wells of course opts for the ‘kill’ option first but then decides to use his stolen Tachyon device and convert it into a Quantum Splicer. Sure it might set his timetables back a bit; but if Firestorm goes off there might not be a time table. As for did the device work in time, well we’ll have to look at that final moment. You can clearly see Ronnie standing safe and sound a moment before the blast. Was the ensuing blast just the resulted left over energy or did Ronnie and Stein truly die? Well considering the military still wants to recover Firestorm – and we know he’s set to appear some more – Ronnie’s still alive. Whether he’s still fused with Stein or not is another story; but we’re sure to him at least Ronnie again.
Finding Peace At Home:
One of the overarching themes of this episode was all about ‘Finding Peace At Home’. We saw how Firestorm Stein was drawn to go home to his wife in the beginning and even still watched over her occasionally. As for Ronnie, we’ve already discussed how he could appear once in a while; but even when he wasn’t present his memories were. The memory of him proposing to Caitlin burns the brightest in him minds and it is something even Stein remembers now. The whole reason to attempt this fision experiment was so that each man could have one more chance to be with the ones they loved – to be home.
Barry himself has been looking for a home this whole season and has found it with Joe and STAR Labs; but now he’s getting a chance to find a ‘home’ with someone he loves – Linda. This idea of Barry just starting to find his ‘romantic home’ was made all the clearer when we saw Firestorm Stein give Barry dating advice. As I just explained, Firestorm is the amalgam of two people VERY dedicated to their loved ones – wife and fiancé – so passing on that advice to Barry was a great moment for Barry finding his new home in the woman he loves and wants to be with.
A Cold Case Reopened – Barry’s Mom:
Admit it. When you first heard that Joe wanted to explore an almost 15-year-old crime scene, you were wondering HOW they could learn anything. Well the explanation of the silver nitrate on the back of the mirror and the two flashes causes FLASH exposures was simply brilliant. By going through this and then extrapolating the 2D image into a 3D projection, Joe and Cisco were able to actually view the night of the murder. As first hypothesized, there were two speeders there that night; and one was *drumroll* Barry. Wha… wha…. WHAT?!?!?!!?
We’ve known for a while that time travel was going to be involved in this show sooner or later – after all it is a usual Flash story point. It seems almost certain that this series will follow the Flashpoint story line of the comics – with a few awesome changes of course. So who was the other Speedster? Is Wells off the hook or will we find there’s a third Speedster out there? We’ll have to wait and see!
In A Flash – Easter Eggs, Quotes & More:
- First and foremost, let’s give a huge hand for Robbie Amell who not only had to act Ronnie and crazed Firestorm Ronnie; but also as Victor Garber’s Dr Stein. Bravo good sir!
- Dr Steins old friend Quentin Quale is a curious Easter Egg that could be a couple of things. There was once a character named Dr Anomaly who’s real name was Phineas Quale – could that be the brother he mentioned? The only other Quentin Quale (Quail) was an actual Quail in an old Merry Melodies cartoon. Random but hey, maybe someone on the show REALLY liked that cartoon.
- The person Barry and Linda were originally ‘scheduled’ to see on their second date was Mal Duncan, a jazz singer and pretty big hero in the comics. He goes by many names, Vox/ Guardian/ Hornblower but each time he’s a badass jazz musician. Barry’s got good taste.
- For anyone familiar with the Justice League animated series, the idea of The Flash status as ‘Fastest Man Alive’ hurting his dating life is all too familiar. A hidden joke in the animated series; but this episode fully . . . spelled out what Hawkgirl was talking about in the animated series.
- When Barry asks Firestorm to not “Flame On” he is quoting/referencing the famous Marvel counterpart to Firestorm, the Human Torch. Though famous for the Fantastic Four, the Human Torch was originally an android that developed sentience – an interesting mind/body dilemma just as philosophical as Firestorm’s two minds, one body.
- As we’ve seen before, The Flash has an affinity for maing subtle references with their street names. Well 52nd and Waid might seem simple enough; but could actually refer the famous Flash writer Mark Waid. As for the 52nd, the only thing I can think of is the famous New 52 comic line DC uses.
- The fact that Stein’s wife’s favorite color was ‘stripped’ because she could never choose was a CLEAR reflection of Firestorm himself. Firestorm is a mix of both Ronnie and Stein, thus a ‘stripped’ character in a sense.
- “Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is not giving the kiss the attention it deserves” – Martin Stein, Albert Einstein. Wise words from two men with STEIN in their name. Listen to it!
- That HILARIOUS moment when you realize both Arrow and The Flash have weird love triangle – or squares – involving Felicity: (Felicity – Oliver, Ray and sometimes Barry. / Barry – Linda, Iris and sometimes Felicity)
Next week of course brings us more revelations of Time Travel and just how Barry might be able to accomplish this. So stay tuned, Follow Me On Facebook and I hope you enjoyed this ‘Closer Look’.