Flash recap/review – The Man in The Yellow Suit
I’ve got to say, this one gave me some chills.
Episode 9 of the Flash really moved things along, and I was really surprised that they leapt this far this quickly. I’m happy they did, as I imagined that they were going to drag out the “Barry’s mom’s murderer” story-arc over several seasons. But here we are, with characters coming out of the shadows much sooner than I would have anticipated.
The episode started off with Barry chasing our mystery man in yellow through the city, then the show jumps back a day to Barry and Joe decorating the Christmas tree. While I can see it being a nice tease for people, I personally find the jumping around in the story a little annoying, in this instance. It ruins any sort of surprise that would come with the appearance of the man in yellow to Barry, which should be a momentous occasion in the show. The appearance of Barry’s mother’s killer should be a heart-pounding moment for the audience, akin to what Barry is feeling, but the teaser at the beginning gives the audience some insight that Barry doesn’t have, thus taking some of the shock away. Minor nitpick, but I understand why it was there.
This episode sure did give Barry and Iris some development, starting with Barry’s gift to Iris, presenting her with a replica of her mother’s wedding ring, then later him confessing his feelings to her! I still think that his crush is a little creepy, as they were essentially brother and sister for several years growing up, but whatever. He put himself out there, propelled by the knowledge that Iris and Eddie are moving in together, and now he… waits, I guess? I must say, I was annoyed by his little speech that he gives her, saying that he has to say how he feels, because he cannot lie to her. OK, so when is he going to tell her about him being the Flash, then, I wonder? I know that Joe told him not to tell Iris, but Joe’s an idiot for asking him to do that. Really, really dumb. Especially now that she’s been directly threatened by one of the metahumans, it makes even less sense to keep Barry’s secret from her! Tell her, you jackasses! You’re all adults, tell her! She’s in, like, so much danger! Tell her! OK, I’m done.
This episode gave us a really good look at the Speed Psycho- er, nope, the man in the yellow suit. He shows up at a lab where tachyon research is being done, which are particles that can theoretically allow faster than light travel. One of the doctors is able to isolate himself and a prototype tachyon device is being held, keeping it from the attacking man in yellow. The man in yellow stares the doc down, and he looks pretty awesome. The costume work in this show, especially for things that shouldn’t look very good, is fantastic. Like, better than Man of Steel good.
Upon investigation of the incident by the team, it is decided that the device is needed to try and lure the man in yellow into a trap, and that a force field created by the device will be able to theoretically hold him. Problems arise when the Professor in charge of the research denies them. Faced!
While this is happening, Caitlin is stalked in a parking garage by a mysterious man, who retreats when she sees him. She thinks she recognizes him as her DEAD FIANCÉ RONNIE, and follows him. She corners him, he turns to face her, and his head and hands burst into flame. At this point, one would assume that she would run and scream or call for help or at least try and talk to him. Instead, she walks away, around a corner, and leans against a wall. I…um, OK. I have no words. She then enlists Cisco’s help to try and track the man down. They eventually do, using a geiger counter, and Ronnie grabs Caitlin’s neck, saying that he’s not Ronnie, and then just the word “Firestorm.” I guess he’s not all there just yet. Dying will do that to a guy.
There was a nice flashback in this episode where we saw some of Barry’s mom. Barry is a frightened young boy in his bed and his mother tells him that he’s not afraid of the dark, but of being alone in the dark, and he shouldn’t be because she is always with him. It was a very touching scene, made all the more poignant by showing that this was the night she was murdered. It was very well performed, and present day Barry seeing the man in yellow after reminiscing about it makes it all the more resonant. Barry gives chase and we wind up in a football arena for a battle. This was a fantastic scene, as the two fought on the field and chased in the stands, the man in yellow always ahead of Barry, always faster and dodging every blow thrown by Barry. It was riveting, and the effects were, as usual, great. The man in yellow left with some foreboding words as Barry demanded to know who he was: “You know me. You’ve always known me. I’m always one step ahead. It’s your destiny to lose to me, just as it was your mother’s to die.” I loved this exchange, as Barry struggled to fight the mystery man and struggled to understand why the man was doing what he was doing. The man in yellow left Barry beaten and bloody, and it was earned, as opposed to other times in the show when I’ve thought that Barry should’ve been able to handle things no problem. He beat Barry when Barry was doing his best.
So, the group still needs the tachyon device, and Joe and Barry try again with the professor. She refuses once more, but Barry basically blackmails her until she relents. Sketchy, Barry, but way to go! So as they are going to use the device, Joe and Dr. Wells tell Barry that he shouldn’t be present when they try and trap the man in the yellow suit. What? Like, really? So you’re going to try and trap a bad guy speedster, the fastest man alive (faster than Barry), unsure if it will even work, and you don’t want the good guy speedster there in case, because of his…state of mind? Even though all he wants to do is catch the guy? Sure, it’s personal for Barry, but should something go wrong, there literally is no plan B. Sigh… anyways, something goes wrong. The man in the yellow suit is successfully captured for a moment and they question him. “Dr. Wells, we meet at last.” He states that he’s not like Flash – some would say he’s the opposite, before grabbing Dr. Wells and beating the hell out of him inside the forcefield. They turn off the forcefield and Barry comes to try and fight the Reverse Flash, saving Dr. Wells, Joe, and Eddie. The fight takes them outside and Barry is about to lose when he is saved by -gasp!- Ronnie! Ronnie burns the Reverse Flash, who escapes, before flying away himself. The fight between Flash and Reverse Flash was, once again, excellent. The effects on this show are really really well done and I hope they keep it up.
Later, Joe tells Eddie that the Flash is a hero who saved their lives that night; Wells promises Caitlin that he’ll bring Ronnie home; Cisco has the revelation that there were 2 speedsters there the night Barry’s mother died (time travel, perhaps? Was Barry there?); and Joe tells Barry that Barry brightened his life and “don’t lose that light, Barry. The world needs the Flash, I need Barry Allen.” It was a touching moment between not-so-adoptive father and not-so-adopted son. I really like their relationship when they have heart-to-hearts, now if only they weren’t so stupid about Iris…
The show wraps up with a tag showing Dr. Wells (using a Flash ring! Squee!) opening a secret compartment in his secret room that has a secret Reverse Flash suit in it! Even though the Reverse Flash and he were in the same room together! And the Reverse Flash beat him to a pulp! …OK then. I assume the writers have a plan for this, because as of right now, it makes little sense. Damn compelling, though! Is he the Reverse Flash? Seems that way, at the moment! But how? What are you up to, Dr. Wells?!
So, in summation, I loved this episode. It propelled the story along by leaps and bounds and gave us some excellent character moments. I don’t like how my biggest complaints were surrounding Iris, as she could be a really strong character if she were brought into the loop. The writers need to make her more proactive and impacting on the story. She shouldn’t be molly-coddled by the rest of the characters, there’s no call for it, AND IT MAKES NO SENSE. Other than that ongoing problem, this has been the best episode yet of this thoroughly fun show! Watch it!