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[TV Review] ‘The Flash’ Episode 2.12 – “Fast Lane”

The villainous metahuman Tarpit arrives and I’ve gotta say, I loved how classically executed his origin was.  From a delightfully-cliched “dude dropped into a vat of stuff” (which the particle accelerator explosion naturally enhanced) to his gooey resurrection to years later, it’s pure comic booky cheddar and it was mighty tasty.  Mind you we’re talking a single-minded, revenge-seeking villain here, but Tarpit isn’t really the focus this week.  We do get to see him go full tarman though!

This week, the metahuman story, while intertwined amidst the other two plots, took a backseat.  Firstly, it is connected to our on-going West family drama plot between Joe, Iris, and Wally.  The latter is, of course, still street racing.  Joe is content to let it continue for now, since he doesn’t want to push Wally away, but Iris isn’t having any of it.  After talking some sense into him doesn’t work, she sets about using her resources at the paper to blackmail the man running the races into stopping them.  If she can get Wally to quit racing, she’ll take down the races as a whole.

Lucky (or unlucky) for her, said race-running goon is connected to our metahuman and is one of four men that Tarpit wants to snuff out of existence.  This in turn brings The Flash into the fray, but unfortunately for Iris, she gets injured when Barry isn’t quick enough to save her.  Yep, Tarpit isn’t the only sticky situation on display this week.

Harry has perfected a device from which he can extract the speed force from Barry and feed it to Zoom, thereby slowing down The Flash and strengthening the demonic Earth-2 speedster.  Harry will do whatever it takes to save his daughter, even if it means betraying Barry.  Well, almost anything.  After a crisis of conscience in the wake of Iris’ injury, Harry comes clean to the team.

I wanted to pump my fist in the air when it happened too.  I’d been hoping since Day One that Harry Wells would eventually lay all of his cards out on the table with Team Flash.  I wanted it to happen, but I wasn’t sure if it actually would.  I’m beyond elated to have my wish granted.  Not only is it the path less taken, but it also strengthens the season narrative and the characters themselves.

If this were “Arrow” it would have remained a dire secret and practically destroyed the team.  Such a direction is appropriate (or at least more appropriate) for that series, but doesn’t fit this one.  Not when Harry’s motives are pure, even if his methods have not been until now.  This show is about optimistically facing adversity head-on as a team.  Having Harry come clean allows the entire team to finally embrace him, flaws and all, and share the weight of his personal burden.

Next week sees the team heading into Earth-2 to save Harry’s daughter and take-on Zoom on his own turf.  It looks like we’re going to be in for a load of alternate world fun, complete with doppelgangers both good and evil.  Yes, it’s time to get a taste of Killer Frost!  I can’t wait!

Sidenote: I’m sure I probably missed the line of dialogue explaining his absence, but in case I didn’t: where the hell was Jay this week?

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