The Flash: The Fury of the Firestorm
October 28, 2015 6:27 AM - Season 2, Episode 4 - Subscribe

The S.T.A.R. Labs Team need to audition for a second Firestorm to merge with Dr. Stein before he dies/goes to another TV show. There are two possible candidates, whichever one shall he choose? (Hint: you can figure it out from the first scene.) In other news, Iris's mom is dying and Patty's looking for a shark man.

Okay, I didn't take notes on this episode, but isn't Firestorm just the weirdest freaking power to have to describe? I think Caitlin said it was something like you can merge fusion and fission or....something? Either way, WEIRD.

The two candidates for the job are both attractive and alliterative young men: (a) Jefferson Jackson, high school football star and 4.0 student until the blast injured him enough to ruin his hopes of college, and (b) Henry Hewitt, physicist and science nerd. Both Caitlin and Stein are leaning towards a fellow science nerd because wouldn't it be nice to have someone else to yak about science with during a merge, but again, given that the episode starts with Jax rescuing a kid as he gets hit by the blast, the episode is gamed despite Jax's original refusal to be a superhero and Henry's eager delight at the prospect. Henry can't merge with Stein but somehow comes down with fire powers anyway and turns out to be quite the angry young man with a temper and a sealed juvie record that Cisco should have hacked earlier. So Jax and Stein merge and have a showdown with Henry on the field, before flying off to Pittsburgh for "training."

In plots that I don't like so much, we find out that Iris's mom is begging to get back into her life because she's dying of some random disease you've never heard of (MacGregor's?) that kills drug addicts. Iris uses her reporter skills to find out that her mother (gasp!) birthed another kid 8 months after leaving, and where's her brother and why doesn't her dad know about this? "Stay out of our lives," Iris says forcefully, stomping out.

Oh yeah, and the shark-man Patty's been looking up shows at the end of the episode, muttering "Zoom wants you dead." While Patty's bullets won't take him out, the shark man is taken out by...HARRISON WELLS OF EARTH-2, previously off stealing something from the lab earlier. Ruh-roh!
posted by jenfullmoon (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
a) Is there some physics-based reason why only people with alliterative names can merge with Professor Stein?

b) I too had assumed Ronnie was over in Earth-2, but it looks like he's not coming back after all. I guess they lost the actor.

c) McGregor's is a fictional disease from the DC Universe. If I recall it's what Mr. Freeze's wife had or something. Not sure what it does, but if it simply kills you why not just give Francis leukemia? I imagine it probably drives you insane and gives you superpowers or something that will cause trouble later in the season.


And god damn it, now I want a Shark Man series. I want him to be like that guy in the old cartoons that got posted to the blue a couple weeks back about the guy who just got pissed off at every little thing and beat people up. Except he's a huge, humanoid shark.
posted by Naberius at 6:58 AM on October 28, 2015


Feels like every episode now requires some knowledge of the DC-verse comics for the newer people to make sense and not seem completely random.

Macgregor's is the disease that Mr. Freeze's wife, Nora, is dying from, thus him putting her in cryogenic freezing and thus, his accident.

"Tokamak", Hewitt's villain name, is a character from Firestorm's stories. He got his powers by trying to duplicate the accident that created Firestorm. In this show, it makes sense then for them to give him the same molecular transformation that Ronnie, Dr. Stein, and Jackson went through.

Jefferson Jackson, in the comics, is merely Ronnie Raymond's best friend in high school (in the comics Ronnie's only a teenager when he fused with Dr. Stein). I guess the actor really did leave and Ronnie is really dead, and they needed someone in-universe to step in for Firestorm to continue.

I'm still baffled by the inclusion of Iris' mother up to this point. It feels like melodramatic fluff because they can't think of anything for Iris to do while Barry and the team runs around fighting villains. Why not have her help with her investigative skills? Another tease with the audience about will they won't they with Barry now that Eddie's gone wouldn't be so bad (although Barry and Patty are kind of adorable). If they've really run out of things to do with her character they really should send her off a la Barry's dad.

I'm excited about Earth-2 Wells though. This should be interesting.
posted by numaner at 11:19 AM on October 28, 2015


I get the feeling that these shows are a lot more willing to move in directions that diverge from the source material so long as it keeps the fanbase happy. Felicity and Oliver in Arrow, for example. Since a lot of people reacted quite negatively to the Iris/Barry thing, whereas Barry/Patty is getting good feedback, I hope they run with that and let us all quietly forget that Barry was ever in love with his sister (yes, I know, not really, but damn, close enough).
posted by axiom at 12:21 PM on October 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


- I hope Barry's decline into cynicism - taking blood without asking, locking up a de-powered Hewitt "until he agrees not to talk" - is intentional and not a case of the writers losing track of the character.

- Looking forward to how Joe feels about being lied to all his life, though. Turnabout!

- I, too, would treasure a King Shark show. Give him a little dunebuggy to drive around in too. You just know Cisco would make a Jabberjaw reference.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:41 PM on October 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'll start off by saying I know next to nothing about football, so maybe I'm way, way off-based but I just don't feel the actor playing Firestorm's new half is physically imposing enough. I do realize quarterbacks aren't the biggest guys on the field, but Jackson seems especially small. I understand the casting problem is exacerbated by the fact they cast Victor Garber as a very, very tall Martin Stein, and it would be a trick to get somebody even larger, but I still feel it's a mismatch. Actually as much as I like Garber, I've never felt he was a very good Martin Stein. He's too confident, too self-assured and has too much physical presence compared with the comicbook version. And even if I ignore the height issue, I'm not getting a strong sense of physicality from the Jackson actor.

After the way they downplayed it, I wasn't expecting Shark Man to actually appear. Throughout it all, I kept thinking, they must be alluding to the old Green Lantern foe (in another GL tip of the hat), but it seems this is a different character. I guess DC has a shark-headed bad guy to fill every niche.
posted by sardonyx at 1:02 PM on October 28, 2015


Sometimes I get the feeling that the writers of this show don't particularly like Caitlin as a character, or at least they don't know what to do with her and default to her being a twit. This was one of those episodes.
posted by homunculus at 1:47 PM on October 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


As was the last one, where she suddenly gets all giggly and silly over Jay Garrick and talks him into not going home to his own world once the cannon thing is working because he would be so useful here.

Note that as soon as Jay agrees to this - I mean literally like the very next shot - he disappears and has not been seen since.
posted by Naberius at 1:59 PM on October 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


The Francine and potential brother plot pretty much has to be leading to Wally, who I recall the writers saying was possibly in the plans in one of those post-season group interviews.

Man, I had a lot of ambiguous feelings and thoughts about how they handled Jackson, and how they used Caitlin in his narrative. On the one hand, I have limited expectations for what a show like this can and will do in terms of narrative, especially for characters of color. On the other, softballing the criticism does nothing to improve the situation. On third vestigial limb, actually my criticism does nothing anyway, so who cares. On the whole, I feel they did just OK, and maybe could have done better, and quite possibly will do better if Jackson gets to be in a few more episodes.

And yeah, dangit, Wells, leave Dr. McGee's stuff alone already.
posted by automatic cabinet at 2:00 PM on October 28, 2015


As was the last one, where she suddenly gets all giggly and silly over Jay Garrick and talks him into not going home to his own world once the cannon thing is working because he would be so useful here.

Oh yeah, that was painfully lame. I must have blocked that one out.
posted by homunculus at 3:11 PM on October 28, 2015


I believe that Robbie Amell (the actor behind Ronnie Raymond) tweeted that he'd be back on The Flash, or at least the DC TV Universe, at some point - although presumably as a guest.
posted by adrianhon at 5:35 PM on October 28, 2015


That was a lot of setup for stuff that isn't even happening in this show or anytime in the near future (Firestorm for Legends, Wally for later). And I agree with the Caitlin criticisms, both in the way she's being written--especially since I think she ought to be thinking Ronnie fell through to Earth-2--and specifically in her role in the Jax introduction.

But I kinda forgot all that with the stinger with Shark Man and Harrison Wells. Hey, this is what we're watching this show for!
posted by immlass at 9:49 PM on October 28, 2015


I'm so happy that they included this:
Patty: [looking at the lab analysis] Human DNA?

Barry: Yep. Definitely not a Man Shark. Not even a "Land Shark, ma'am." [laughs]
...because I'm old. And also because I can totally believe that Barry would have watched the classic 70s SNL skits. Also, we now know that there's SNL in the DC universe.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:59 PM on October 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Note that as soon as Jay agrees to this - I mean literally like the very next shot - he disappears and has not been seen since.

I assume he was in the bathroom. After all, those holding cells don't have toilets. And then after that, maybe looking for an apartment.

And hey, "War of the Americas"? Huh?

Calling it- Earth-2 Dr. Wells is actually one of the good guys..
posted by happyroach at 10:31 AM on October 29, 2015


Iris's mom is begging to get back into her life because she's dying of some random disease you've never heard of (MacGregor's?) that kills drug addicts.

They glossed over it; it really only impacts drug addicts who try to self-manage their addiction with cream ale as a substitute for the harder stuff.

Throughout it all, I kept thinking, they must be alluding to the old Green Lantern foe (in another GL tip of the hat), but it seems this is a different character. I guess DC has a shark-headed bad guy to fill every niche.

There's also Killer Croc for Batman!

...because I'm old. And also because I can totally believe that Barry would have watched the classic 70s SNL skits. Also, we now know that there's SNL in the DC universe.

Me too but I refuse to accept the idea that anyone doesn't know the Land Shark bit. I guess we'll know if Barry ever touts something as both a desert topping and a floor wax.

As was the last one, where she suddenly gets all giggly and silly over Jay Garrick and talks him into not going home to his own world once the cannon thing is working because he would be so useful here.

That was so fucking annoying because it was unnecessary. "Um hey Jay, you have drones over on Earth-2? Because we do and sending a killable person we like in there without doing some tests first is crazypants. Let's make sure stuff makes it through, k?"
posted by phearlez at 8:38 PM on October 29, 2015


I love how King Shark revealed himself by interrupting a sappy montage.
posted by brundlefly at 12:28 AM on October 31, 2015


(Is it just me or is Caitlin's hair and makeup looking way overdone this season? It's really sticking out to me, she looks more made up than anyone else on the show, so much so it almost looks like she's had Botox. )
posted by dnash at 11:15 AM on November 2, 2015


I noticed that, too.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:18 PM on November 2, 2015


Where the hell was Stein's wife? The man is very likely dying, you think you could maybe have her come to the lab.

Joe encouraging Barry to explore his romantic options feels pretty weird, especially after essentially acting like Iris is meant for Barry. Stay out of it, Joe. Hopefully it is the show reacting to feedback over the season break, but I'm not holding my breath.
posted by ODiV at 11:10 PM on January 2, 2016


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