FULL EPISODE SPOILERS
I'm not feeling too hot tonight (-1 for bad pun), so I'm gonna keep this review pretty short so I can sleep/ eat/ hopefully not puke my brains out. As they say, the review must go on!
So if half of this makes no sense, I apologize in advance. Sound off in the comments where I messed up to help fellow readers. That's what friends are for, right?
To get into the episode itself, I thought it was a great one. There were little things I had flaws with, and those little things were also named Iris West. But we'll get to that.
I thought that the performances on every character's part were excellent. I especially liked seeing Robbie Amell finally get some lines other than "stay away" and "Firestorm." It was a welcomed change for his dialogue, trust me. They interacted very well and nobody felt out of place. Even Linda worked well in the episode, that came as a surprise for me.
Grant Gustin especially played Barry very well. His confusion over whether or not to be with Linda or return to S.T.A.R. Labs was very well done. You could clearly see the struggle within him, constantly trying to figure out if he should be with his first legit chance at romance, or see what's going on with Ronnie/Stein/Firestorm. Heck, we barely even saw him don [The Flash](series:1068303) suit this episode--both times with pretty stellar effects this episode, I might add--which you would think would take away from the episode but just adds a little more to Barry's character.
One thing that surprised me about the episode was how the love triangle seems to be both working and a little annoying. Barry is definitely into Linda for the moment, and Linda doesn't seem to care too much about Barry's past feelings for Iris. She instead takes it with a business mentality of Barry not being interested in his investment for personal reasons, that being his recent getting over of Iris. Of course they make up by the end, but, something seems to be up with Iris. It seems that maybe she did have feelings for Barry. Or, perhaps, she mistaking her strangeness to Barry being with another woman with romantic feelings. That's probably more likely. Hopefully it is. Again, how silly would it be for her to dump Eddie to be with Barry and that is what sets off Eddie to becoming the Reverse Flash? That would be stupid.
Another helpful addition to the episode was the inclusion of Stein's (former?) wife, Clarissa. She added some emotional depth to the character that brought him back down to Earth, rather than making him another crazy scientist whose whacko idea paid off in the end. Sort of. While not the best of characters, it was what she represented that really made her whole. As Wells said, Clarissa is Stein's life, he fights for her, he wants to survive for her.
Speaking of the old Firestorm, let's talk about him, shall we? His inclusion to the show is a lot better than I could have anticipated. I thought it was just interesting that Ronnie used to be Caitlin's fiance, but now with all of this other stuff he's an even more complex character. The way that they are carrying out Firestorm feels faithful enough to the source material for right now. I suppose a better name is something along the lines of "Firestorm Raw" because he's not as fleshed out or as in control as we know Firestorm will eventually be.
Plus, the science mumbo-jumbo is easy enough for someone to understand whose taken any type of physics class. It's like atoms smashing together, rip them apart and what happens? Ka-boom. No fun. AND they actually referenced the Firestorm matrix (which was also the little sun-ball thing that Stein had).
Oh, I just wanted to point this out: did Barry really say, "You don't have to...flame on" this episode? Isn't that some sort of copyright against the Fantastic Four? Come on DC, be a little more original...but I can't discredit them for taking the opportunity on the joke.
Just reminding us that "Fantastic Four" is getting cancelled, aren't ya, DC?
There was also some really great material with Joe and Cisco this week. The inclusion of the single house wife was weird (was there some sort of joke, was she just fan-service or something...?) but other than that, the investigation sequence was pretty cool. Getting to see Cisco play with his various toys is always a treat, and is especially a treat when it all pays off. I'm glad they addressed the fact that the crime scene was over a decade old, and the whole mirror thing did seem like a bit of a stretch, but in the end, it provided for a sweet visual recapture of the night Barry's mother died, as well as an awesome reveal that the blood splatter on the wall is indeed Barry's.
This raises many different questions: is Barry in fact the man in the yellow suit? Is Wells, in fact, Barry from the future (since Cisco notes that the blood has aged, meaning it would be adult Barry)? Perhaps it's that the Reverse Flash and Barry got in a struggle around his mother, and so when Reverse Flash hits him across the face, his blood splatters on the wall. Whatever it is, it definitely feels like they are moving toward a "Flashpoint" type storyline, where adult Barry has enough of Reverse Flash and goes back in time to prevent his mother's murder.
So then, are we currently in the "Flashpoint" timeline? o_O
NO, of course not! But they really are pulling from that story, it seems.
I have a tough time discerning what was the more interesting material this week (between Firestorm and the investigation), but I'll say that they were both very well done and both had very intriguing pieces to their respective puzzles. I don't think that the nuclear explosion that apparently killed Firestorm did the job--rather, I'm guessing it's his evolution into the Firestorm we all know and love. He can't be dead. His freaking costume was leaked on the InterWebs. Plus, we've only just met the guy! He can't be dead. Not yet anyway.
Overall, I thought this was a really fun episode. Lots of things worked well together, and all of the characters were a joy to watch. Hopefully Firestorm isn't dead and he gets to be a major part of the S.T.A.R. Labs crew one of these days, as his scientific mind, or even just his abilities, would majorly aid the team.
Next week's promo is also very interesting, as it's going to deal with the fun details of time-travel. Oooooh science.