The Flash: “Fast Lane” Season 2 Episode 12 Review

Photo Credit:http://www.examiner.com/slideshow/the-flash-season-2-episode-12-photos-fast-lane

Okay, now we’re back on track. “Fast Lane” had a lot of great stuff in it, but greatest of them all was Earth-2’s Dr. Wells, season two’s wild card.

How Team Flash interacts with this shady character has been fun to watch since he reappeared early in the season. Barry’s scenes with him this week were particularly strong. Having the hero return to the failure of a father figure from last season was powerful stuff. Tom Cavanagh did a great job illustrating Wells’ guilt in these scenes. His angry outbursts toward the man who’s speed he has to steal layered this conflict in a way no other figure on the show was aware of.

And once just 2% of Barry’s speed has been taken, the effects have dire consequences. In a moment in battle, Iris is pierced with glass that is just a few inches from her heart. Now Barry is also guilty. Having Wells come clean was the real shocker of “Fast Lane.” There’s no question that this whole Zoom storyline has crawled forward in favor of setting up Legends of Tomorrow, but even the last two episodes didn’t do a whole lot to progress it. Finally, The Flash made a big move, as well as one that works as a startling and powerful character moment. It’s a reminder that, with a shorter season, this series could be every bit as good as Jessica Jones. It was also smart to have Barry forgive Wells, with he and Cisco accompanying him back to Earth-2 to help save Wells’ daughter.

As for this episode’s subplots, we got the closest thing to a Spotlight/Fast and Furious mashup as we’ll likely ever have. With Wally drag racing, Iris starts digging for ways to end his rebellious tirades. The show hasn’t quite figured out a way to make Wally genuinely likable yet, so it was really only the Iris stuff that worked.

Meanwhile, we had a new metahuman in town. Tar Pit, a guy wronged by gangsters and mutated by the tar pit he was thrown in just when the particle accelerator went off. Classic comic book origin. Now he can control tar and turn into a pile of black goop. It was great to have The Flash actually trying to give a villain some pathos. It worked to some degree, though with all the Wells and West drama, there was hardly time to focus on the foe as a human being.

But even while the small stuff in “Fast Lane” was messy, the central plotline surrounding Wells was absolutely phenomenal. Frankly, there’s a lot to be excited about for the next two episodes, which will focus on our heroes’ visit to Earth-2. The Flash may just save its second season yet. Grade: B+

Some Other Notes:

  • For the most part (as in, besides that one awkward closeup of a molten fist), the special effects used to create Tar Pit were really good.
  • Arrow had the same problem with Roy that The Flash seems to be having with Wally. The writers aren’t making him likable, but he’s not unlikable. He’s kind of just there, which sums up Roy’s entire existence on Arrow before season three.
  • Next week, Killer Frost!

By Matt Dougherty

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