The Flash: “The Nuclear Man” Season 1 Episode 13 Review

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With an episode so focused on the Firestorm subplot, Barry’s part of “The Nuclear Man” felt almost unnecessary.

Sure, the show made the whole point that it’s difficult for a superhero to juggle their night job with their love life, but that definitely has a been-there-done-that feel to it. Since all superhero stories have to involve love, The Flash is trying to swing giving Barry a girlfriend that isn’t Iris and doesn’t have chemistry with our lead.

There’s nothing wrong with Linda Park, aside from the fact that there’s nothing really distinguishable about her. She moves fast and likes sex, that’s all we really get. I’m not exactly a Barry and Iris shipper, but at least Iris is sort of adorable in her timidness and admirable in her drive. Linda is boring, but the show is trying very hard not to make her so.

Getting back to the larger point of the episode, Firestorm, while interesting, certainly feels like he’s got nothing to do with Dr. Wells’ plan or Barry’s road to becoming a better hero. It does give way for some great character work for Caitlin, not to mention some of the series’ best special effects yet (still not great though).

Following the comics to a tee, Firestorm isn’t just one man, he’s two. During the particle accelerator explosion, Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein merged to become one, with Ronnie’s body and Martin’s consciousness taking the forefront. This makes for an awkward situation for Caitlin, who can physically look at her previously deceased husband, but can’t actually talk to him.

But Wells seemingly finds a way to separate their bodies before Firestorm can go nuclear and wipe out the city. In a far away field, Caitlin attaches the device to him while Barry carries her to safety. Firestorm explodes, leaving us with a cliffhanger into next week.

So while “The Nuclear Man” successfully continued the Firestorm plot thread, it did little to make it significant to the overall story of Barry Allen as the Flash. Our titular hero could have been replaced with any other hero that could have gotten Caitlin away from the blast. I really hope that Firestorm somehow comes back around to matter when Reverse-Flash comes back, otherwise this whole tangent could be rendered pointless. Almost as pointless as a girlfriend you don’t have chemistry with that isn’t the girl you’ve been in love with since you were a kid. Grade: B


Some Other Thought Bubbles:

– So Barry was at the scene of his mother’s murder as an adult. We pretty much knew that already, but how convenient that the other speedster’s blood couldn’t be identified.

– Is “FLAME ON!” somehow not copyrighted by Marvel?

– General Eiling’s return does not bode well for Firestorm, but hopefully it’ll give Barry a chance to really kick some butt.

– How awkward was Barry when he told Linda their plan for date two? I’d have left.


By Matt Dougherty

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