The Flash: “Fallout” Season 1 Episode 14 Review

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Something truly respectable about The Flash is that it isn’t afraid to go full-nerd and adapt the comic books as closely as possible. This has never been more evident than in “Fallout”, which featured time travel talk, two men fusing together to become a superhero, and a telepathic gorilla.

Immediately following last week’s cliffhanger, Barry and Caitlin barely escape the massive explosion. But once they do, they find Ronnie and Dr. Stein separated at the blast site. However, the explosion caught the attention of General Eiling. This set the stage for the epic showdown that ended the episode.

But first, it was time to do some character work with this whole Firestorm deal. That means Caitlin and Ronnie finally get to spend some time together. While Danielle Panabaker and Robbie Amell hardly have great chemistry, there is something to seeng Caitlin happy in general.

Meanwhile, after Joe brings up the blood at Barry’s old house to Barry, they consult Dr. Stein about the different theories of time travel. This gave the other half of Firestorm something to do while connecting what is essentially a subplot to the driving story of the season, the mystery surrounding Barry’s mother’s death. That’s a clever bit of story manipulation that, thankfully, felt pretty earned.

Slowly but surely, however, the briefly severed connection between Ronnie and Stein grows stronger, all while Eiling is closing in. In some much less convincing storytelling, Wells gives Stein to Eiling for some reason, which never really gets brought up again, even after Stein is freed. It’s some clumsy narrative work to set the stage for a Flash/Firestorm team-up against a bunch of bad army guys.

What a fun team-up it ended up being. After Barry rescues Stein, the doctor and Ronnie embrace their fusion and become Firestorm once more. Teaming up with the Flash, the pair take down Eiling’s men, with Barry delivering a nice final punch to the general just in the nick of time to save Firestorm. In perhaps the most awesome shot on the show yet, Flash runs towards the camera whole Firestorm jets toward it in mid-air. This is why we watch superheroes, folks.

But, since this isn’t the Justice League (at least yet), Firestorm flies off to Pittsburgh where Stein knows a man that will help them harness and control their powers. It’s probably better that he doesn’t stick around, but if we don’t get Firestorm, Flash, Arrow, Canary, and ATOM fighting as a version of the Justice League in our now annual Christmas crossover, I’m going to be pissed.

“Fallout” was all kinds of comic-book-y, which is when The Flash is at its best. Featuring some of the best action and an extra superhero, this was another solid entry for this freshman series. Now it’s just time to wait and see how the show can keep outdoing itself. Grodd is certainly an ambitious start. Grade: B+

 

Some Other Thought Bubbles:

– That final scene was awesome. The Flash is very close to revealing Gorilla Grodd in full, and if he’s in cahoots with Reverse-Flash, he’ll be even more dangerous.

– Iris is on the right path to figure out the whole Firestorm story, which would inevitably intersect with the Flash. Of the main cast, it’s just she and Eddie that don’t know Barry is the Flash. At least for Iris, there’s no way that can last long.

– Coast City, home of Green Lantern Hal Jordan, got a shoutout! Doubt it means anything, but who doesn’t want all these CW DC shows to converge in five years for an awesome Justice League series featuring Green Lantern?

– The Flash is taking a break until March 17. The question is, will Arrow be doing the same thing? It’d be kind of nice if Arrow went a few extra episodes now and then took a break when Flash came back. I have a lot of ideas for the CW higher-ups this week.

 

By Matt Dougherty

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