Firestorm, time travel AND the re-reemergence of Grodd? Things are starting to happen a lot faster on The Flash – pun intended – despite there still being approximately 9 episodes until the Season Finale. Though with everything that is being set up – in this episode and the past few since the Midseason Finale, I have no doubt that the writers will be able to keep raising the bar for this season. So let’s throttle back and take a closer look at this week’s episode “Fallout”.
The Various Types Of “Fallout”:
As you may know, “Fallout” doesn’t just refer to the physical repercussion of a nuclear blast – like we saw at the start of the episode – but can also be the “adverse side effects” of any situation; and they were everywhere you looked this episode. For starters, we our course have Firestorm and not just the physical ‘fallout’ of him being separated back into Ronnie and Stein; but also the mental and physiological repercussions of their fusion not only with each other; but also the Firestorm Matrix.
As you can imagine, sharing a body can get a little annoying; but with Stein overshadowing Ronnie’s mind – while still having to put up with Ronnie’s background thoughts and fears – the two aren’t exactly the best of friends after this. Though the side effects of their time together are just beginning as we lean the Firestorm Matrix has as well been divided between them and now seeks to be whole again. Whether one being or two, both Ronnie and Stein are not only still connected; but can also feel everything the other is feeling, which for now makes their role as Firestorm pretty permanent.
Besides the physical and mental ‘fallout’ of Firestorm, this episode also began to set up some cues of a future ‘fallout’ – or perhaps past. The fact that Time Travel was introduced in an episode called “Fallout” should be very telling to everyone where this is going – even if you don’t know much about The Flash. With Barry’s decision to change the past, we know this is going to cause many “adverse side effects” for the present.
Turning A Future Failure Into A Past Victory?:
So how can Barry actually Time Travel? Well with there being a lack of Giga Watts in Central City, Barry would have to run so fast that the build up of Kinetic Energy would allow him to literally punch a hole through the space time continuum. Easier said than done right? Though as Barry learns of his presence at his mothers murder, he realizes that this means something much more than just Time Travel.
He doesn’t know when, but sometime in the future he is able to travel through time back to the night of his mother’s murder; and when he does, he will loose. Barry has dedicated his entire life to finding who killed his mother and left the blame for his father; but with this revelation Barry learns that even with all of his powers, he will still be powerless to stop it. There’s no what-ifs; he will loose; but what if he didn’t?
Now that Barry has the photos of that night, he will study them to make sure he doesn’t loose the next time… or is the first time? – time travel is murder on the English language. Though even if Barry succeeds in saving his mother, he could still loose in the long run. The hints have already been set up and if you look closely, you’ll see that a world with Barry’s mother would lead to a VERY different future.
What This Dystopian Future Would Look Like:
If we look back and start putting together the puzzle pieces, we can already tell a future in which Barry’s mother lives would lead to a future that has repercussions on not only the local Flash universe; but the entire Arrow-verse as well.
- If Barry’s mother lives and his father is innocent, then Barry would have no need to pursue his high studies and continued search for ‘the impossible’
- If Barry didn’t loose his parents, he’d never go to live with Joe ‘ who has called him the light of his life’. With no Barry, will we find a darker Joe.
- If Barry’s not working in Central City as a CSI – and depending on Wells timeline – Barry might not develop his powers from the STAR Labs Particle Accelerator explosion.
- Since Barry went to Starling City to explore more reports of ‘the impossible’, that’s why he met the Arrow crew. This would not happen in the new timeline and THUS, Barry wouldn’t be there to save Arrow’s life when he was poisoned in Season 2.
- With the Arrow dead, Slade’s group would have continued and possibly destroyed all of Starling – or ARGUS would have decimated it.
Firestorm Fired Up:
Stein and Ronnie might not be the biggest fans of each other; but when General Wade Eiling returns with more desires of using people as human weapons, they have no choice but to join bodies one more. Though this time around, they accepted the merger and knew they had to work together and accept each other’s differences. Because of this Firestorm is now a much more complete being with the Quantum Splicer helping keep the fusion stable.
Unlike last time, Ronnie remains in control of his body; but Stein offers guidance and support in the back of his head. Think of him like a second set of eyes – or the other voice in Yami Yugi’s head if you’re a YuGiOh fan. Due to the Firestorm Matrix, these two can’t stay separated forever; but they are now allowed more autonomy both divided and unified. With a lot still unknown about their condition – and Wade still a perceived threat – Stein and Ronnie head off to learn more from one of Stein’s old acquaintances.
The final thing to note of the whole Firestorm aspect of the episode was the graphics. The seamless fusion and diffusion of the two was incredibly well done. We’re sure to see him again this season; and hopefully next time he’ll return with an actual costume – whether from Stein’s friend or a side project of Cisco’s.
When we saw Grodd reappear in “Crazy For You” we assumed this was going to continue the slow and steady build up of this character’s full blown appearance. We. Were. Wrong! With Grodd appearing only two episodes ago, the build up is quickening and with 9 episodes left this season I’m certain we’ll see Grodd rise to full on threat by the Season Finale, making him a Season 2 main villain.
Though better than seeing Grodd and hearing him talk was the allusion to his most devastating power beginning to form, mind control. Before he grabbed Eiling and dragged him off – most likely to kill him – , Eiling complained about a voice inside his head. That was Grodd’s mind control powers slowly starting to form! In the comics, this mind control is usually achieved through a device; but it looks like this Grodd doesn’t need any training wheels. Considering last time showed him learning how to write and now he’s already speaking, it wont be long before his other abilities are up to par soon.
A final thing to note is that Wells – now completely confirmed as the red eyed Reverse Flash – knows where Grodd lives. Was Well’s the one who broke him out? Considering he was the one who created Grodd most likely. Though we have to wonder if Wells is working with Grodd like he has been with Barry. Why? No clue as of yet; but this could lead to some interesting confrontations if Grodd goes after Flash due to an aspect of jealousy/favored son angle – but again, too soon to tell.
In A Flash – Easter Eggs, Quotes & More:
- When Joe asked Barry if he’d been to his childhood home recently, he was ruling out that Barry hadn’t been there recently and his super speed caused additional exposures to be superimposed upon the mirror
- When Caitlin tells Iris that her ‘cousin’ is from Coast City, this is actually the comic home of one of the Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. Whether or not Green Lantern will become a part of the Arrowverse remains to be seen; but if the Flash – and possible inclusion of Supergirl series – has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is impossible.
- There are multiple references to The Flash being a TV show as Cisco and Barry comment of how ‘the impossible is just another Tuesday for us’ and the poison gas monster was “like week 3” – because The Flash airs on Tuesdays and the 3rd episode – “Things You Can’t Outrun” – featured the villain Mist.
- Between using his super speed in front of Stein’s wife and the flashback of him taking off his mask to console a dying Plastique, Barry HAS to get better at keeping this ‘secret identity a secret’ thing.
- The last time Wells told Barry “Run Barry Run” and it resulted in a tornado was in the “Pilot” when Barry had to reverse Weather Wizard’s tornado.
- Kinetic Needle Bombs. Ion Grenades. Will people on this show STOP looking up when a villain throws something at them. They don’t want to play catch, so run.
- Speaking of which, Barry covered in needles was quite similar to a Flash story line where the Flash went mad along with a bunch of quills sticking out of him – giving him the temporary title the Porcupine Man
- For all you FRIENDS fans out there, Cisco compares Caitlin and Ronnie’s relationship to: “You guys are like 10 seasons of Ross and Rachel but just smushed into one year”
After such an incredible return, The Flash has earned its brief break and will return March 17th where it appears the team will discover Well’s secret. With shots of there being two Wells – because he’s moving so fast – this could explain how we saw him and Reverse Flash talking in the midseason finale. We’ll find out soon, so stay tuned, Follow Me On Facebook and I hope you enjoyed this ‘Closer Look’.