Last week on “The Flash“, Dr. Stein’s condition took a turn for the worse. Ever since they lost Ronnie Raymond during the singularity, Stein has been unable to fuse and become Firestorm. As a result, his body is beginning to become unstable and is on the verge of breaking down. He needs a new “partner” to fuse with. Someone compatible with whom he can reform Firestorm and also restablized his own molecular structure from time to time. Lucky for him, Caitlin has already been looking for viable candidates.
Two are found. The first is an egotistical scientist named Henry Hewitt (Demore Barnes). The second is a mechanic and former high school athlete named Jefferson “Jax” Jackson (Franz Drameh). Naturally Caitlin, Dr. Stein, and (to a lesser degree) Cisco all immediately gravitate towards, Hewitt, given his science background. He’s viewed as a potential great addition to the team and they are completely upfront with him about what they want and what opportunities it could afford him.
When it doesn’t work, Hewitt is furious. Unfortunately for the team, Henry storming out of STAR Labs mid-hissy fit is the least of their worries. It seems their failed experiment has awakened a similar, but different set of powers within Hewitt, ultimately leading to him becoming the rage-filled Tokamak (a villain who debuted in a comic issue bearing the same title as this episode). Lucky for them, after some initial doubts as to whether or not he wants any part of such a life, Jax ultimately agrees to bonding with Stein and Firestorm is reborn just in time to help The Flash take down Tokamak.
While Robbie Amell was fine in the role of Ronnie Raymond in the first season, I never really took to the character. Most of the time it felt like the show just didn’t know what to do with him, so even once he returned, he was sent away rather quickly…something that happened a couple of times during the first season. While I’m not sure Drameh’s Jax will be used any better on “The Flash“, they certainly have plans for Firestorm over on “Legends of Tomorrow” come early next year. Here’s hoping he’s a better fit there. As is, I think he works rather well and I look forward to seeing more of him.
The Joe/Iris/Francine story continued this week with not one, but two revelations. Not only does it turn out that Francine is dying and potentially only has a few months left to live, hence her desire to finally reconnect with Iris, but she also has another family! Somewhere out there is a brother or half-brother for Iris. Why the or? Because it’s unclear at this time as to whether or not the child is Joe’s. Iris sent Francine away, but there’s no way this thread won’t continue in some form. If they weren’t deftly handing every little revelation this season, I might worry about the ball being fumbled on this subplot. As it stands, in the writers room I trust.
Speaking of Joe, our favorite detective ended up learning early on this week that Harrison Wells is possibly alive and walking about Central City. Or at least the Earth-2 version of him anyway. Ole sneaky Harry broke into a rival lab and stole some tech, but not before being spotted. He convinces his partner, Patty Spivot, to keep it quiet and not tell Barry, much to her chagrin. After all, she has a crush on the poor boy and is apparently a bad liar. Their interactions this week mostly centered on Barry helping out with her investigation of a report that a man-shark had been stomping about the city! Perhaps we have an appearance of King Shark to look forward to this season?
Don’t worry, Patty. Your secret isn’t an issue. Much like every other “secret” or crazy reveal this season so far, this one wasn’t drawn out either. After finally making the decision to take Joe’s advice and ask Patty out, Barry zooms across the city in costume to find her. He comes upon her sitting at the cafe and smiling to herself. Aww shucks, it looks like Barry has a crush on her too. Now to just change real quick and go get her numbHOLYSHIT! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…
So much for waiting until later in the season! Poor Barry gets a massive shock as he’s grabbed from behind, hoisted into the air, and met with a toothy fiend declaring (in the voice of David Hayter) that Zoom wants him dead! Patty rushes out to see what the commotion is and gets her man-shark story confirmed! Lucky for all (except King Shark), the man-beast terror is incapicitated from behind by a tech-weapon-wielding Harrison Wells! And then Flash follows and finds out immediately that Wells is alive! So much for waiting for that revelation as well. The preview for next week on further cements it: Tom Cavanaugh is back! Now THAT is an ending.
(P.S. – Is it too much to ask that we get at least one more King Shark showdown this season? I’d also love to see the look on Diggle’s face if he ever encounters him.)