My name is Barry Allen and I am the fastest man alive. To the outside world, I’m an ordinary forensic scientist. But secretly with the help of my friends at Star Labs, I use my speed to fight crime and find other metahumans like me. I hunted down the man who killed my mother, but in doing so I opened up our world to new threats. And I am the only one fast enough to stop them. I am The Flash.
If last week we saw the Zoom plot slow down a bit, here it takes a full break while we focus on Stein’s collapse last week as well as Iris finally meeting her mom.
We start with a flashback to the night of the explosion where we meet Jax, a young high-school quarterback whose skills are sure to take him to any college he wants to, we also learn that he is well liked by his teammates and an all around nice guy. Then the explosion happens and Jax ends injured shortly after helping a colleague with a Broken leg escape from the blast.
Cut to present time where we learn what is happening to Professor Stein: Back when he was Firestorm, fusing with Ronnie allowed to keep the Firestorm Matrix stable, but now that Ronnie is gone the matrix is becoming more and more unstable, which is not good for poor professor.
Using the “Wand” they had made last season to capture Weather Wizard, they able to keep the matrix stable for the time being, but the power source is running out and, since Wells is no more, they have no means of re-charging it, so they have to find someone to take Ronnie’s place as Firestorm. Luckily, Caitlin is already ahead on that regard and has already reduced the list of possible candidates to two non-dangerous meta-humans, one is Jax and the other is a scientist named Hewitt. Caitlin thinks the latter is the one to go since, clearly, he and Stein have more in common but Barry wants to check both of them.
He and Stein go check on Jax (with Stein kind of acting as if he was trying to learn stuff about his date) and we learn the injury he got from the explosion was of the career ending kind and, with no money to pay for college, he got himself reduced to a job as a mechanic, so it’s understandable that he doesn’t want to deal with anything related to the particle accelerator. Still, Barry gives him Star Lab’s number in case he changes his mind.
Back in Star Labs, we learn Caitlin already got the scientist and told him everything about the Firestorm Matrix and he is quite open to the idea of taking part in such a beautiful “screw you” to the laws of physics. Barry is kind of hesitant on this because he thinks they should wait and see if Jax changes his mind but seeing Stein get along with his would-be partner is enough for them to try and test.
Only it doesn’t work, they don’t manage to fuse and the scientist leaves angry that Caitlin made him waste his time for nothing.
Meanwhile, Joe has set a meet up with Iris and her mother so they can finally meet. She is happy to finally meet her daughter, but then we learn Iris is not there because she wants to reconnect with Francine, she is there to tell her she doesn’t give a crap about the woman who left her family twenty years ago, and she is there to tell her they are no family.
Later in the episode, Francine goes to see Joe to convince Iris to give her another chance because, as it turns out, she has MacGregor’s Syndrome and sheonly has a year left to live. Joe tells Iris and says he believes her.
Back to the main plot, Jax actually came by and see what the deal was about. They tell him they want him to be a superhero but refuses, Caitlin essentially calls him an idiot for not wanting to do a highly dangeorus job and Jax ends leaving. barry tells Caitlin that they need someone to fuse with Stein so please stop scaring everyone they interview, please?
Caitlin responds by saying she thinks Jax is kind of a loser compared to Hewitt, who knows who he wants to be and has his life in order.
Cut to Hewitt showing Firestorm powers and using them to attack one of his co-workers and destroying a building after the latter made him angry. Surprise, surprise, Hewitt has criminal records. Bit of a whoopsie, Caitlin.
In any case, after Stein’s conditions worsens, Caitlin goes talk to Jax and apologizes for what she said before and tells him Ronnie died saving the city. Jax responds by saying he only wanted to go to college but that is now impossible. Caitlin tells her he could still be able to do good and saving people so what happened to him doesn’t happen to anyone else. This is enough to make Jax changes his mind, and just in time because Hewitt has gone crazy and Barry is going to need help stopping him.
Jax and Stein fuse, the three of them defeat Hewitt and the day is saved. Sadly, he and Stein have to leave to meet the people who originally trained Ronnie since Stein thinks Jax has what they need to reach the next level as Firestorm. Before leaving he gives some words of advice to Cisco and Caitlin and the two of them hug him.
Back to the Iris plot, Iris goes talk to Francine and tells her, as an investigative reporter, she was able to check and see Francine was indeed sick. However, Iris still doesn’t trust her because she didn’t tell them all the truth: eight months after leaving them, Francine had a baby (most likely Joe’s) and this is enough for Iris to tell Francine to leave them alone, saying that the idea of having missed his own son’s childhood would tear Joe apart. Iris is clear: She doesn’t care if Francine is dying, Iris wants nothing to do with her.
Finally, in something that resembles a third plot, but with so little focus that barely qualifies as that, The Wells from Earth-2 is wandering around and has been stealing some stuff. Joe tells Patty to not tell Barry with the justification that Wells was the one to murder Barry’s mom.
At the end of the episode, Wells reveals himself to Barry.
As i said before, this episode is mostly a break from the whole Zoom plot (Jay Garrick doesn’t even make an appearance) and instead it decides to solve the firestorm subplot and commuting it’s characters to a bus, most likely for when “Legends of Tomorrow” comes around. Jax’s introduction is quite good, we get to see he is a good person even though he feels his life since the accident hasn’t been fair, still, we didn’t get that much of him beyond becoming the new Firestorm, kind of wish we have had a few more episodes before this one, if only to build up him becoming Stein’s new partner
Iris subplot is also quite good. One of my worries with last week episode was that she would either be upset with Joe or would be too accepting of suddenly having her mother back in her life. Instead, we see she doesn’t feel like she owes her anything, and she shouldn’t. To even accepting to meet her is already a courtesy, specially with the revelation that she has a brother all of the sudden (confirmed to be Wally West) and the eventual realization that, according to the maths, Francine was pregnant with Wally when she had her collapse. It will be interesting to see Iris meeting her supposed brother.
Other Things to note:
- Shark King! No! I don’t care it was mostly a giant brick joke, it was great! and hilarious!
- Seriously, Caitlin, how the hell did you miss checking criminal records? or was that Cisco’s job but he was too busy building Oliver’s new Arrowcave?
- MacGregor Syndrome was the same disease as Clock King, nice continuity nod.