The Flash Season 2, Episode 4 – Quick Impressions (Spoilers)
Hello The Flash fans! “The Fury of Firestorm” directly answers a big question when the cast of Legends of Tomorrow was announced with Martin Stein (Victor Garber) but without his other half Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell). Having a different character take up the same superhero mantle is not uncommon in comic books, yet after carefully laying the groundwork last year we are treated to a second Firestorm origin story in as many seasons.
There is speculation that losing Ronnie again could be a reason why Caitlin may turn cold sooner than later. Perhaps it’s a case of Robbie Amell wanting to pursue other roles, including a movie career. Or according to the producers, Firestorm 2.0 offers a dynamic that is closer to the comics and diversity to Legends’ superhero line up. Let’s recap what went down!
Bring on the Drameh
The opening flashback featuring Jay “Jax”Jackson (Franz Drameh) made it pretty clear that he’d be the other half of Firestorm barring a major bait and switch. That and Franz Drameh was already announced as a leading cast member in Legends of Tomorrow, albeit in an unspecified role. It’s a classic superhero set up to show that before Jax even got his powers, he already had heroes qualities when he saved his teammate from the particular accelerator blast.
Jax is very different from Professor Stein and that’s one of the reasons he makes for a good fit, sort of like the opposites attract type rule. Jax brings a fresh, young energy and he’ll offer more comedic possibilities than the more mature Ronnie. I like that Jax is going to embrace his second chance at doing something amazing with his life. Overall, the dynamic between Jax and Stein is promising.
Go West Momma
So far I don’t dislike the West family drama as much as other viewers but it’s not the reason why I tune in each week. The positives, if I’m forced to think of one, is that Iris is not being defined by a romantic interest. This is her own story line where she’s making her own decisions. Iris has some semblance of agency because Joe West is not holding back any secrets from her and doesn’t interfere with her choices. Unlike Francine, Joe knows better than to keep the truth from Iris after all the lies she’s been told last season. But why is Joe not telling the truth to Barry about Harrison Wells and will Iris tell Joe he might have son? Drama much.
This is all a soap opera story line. It sounds really bad if said out loud: A former drug addict mother who was believed to be dead is actually alive but is now dying and by the way had a secret baby 20 years ago. There’s also a disconnect between Iris’ B plot with everything that’s going on in the main story. Until we see how the West family drama fits into the bigger picture it’ll be hard to judge it fairly (I won’t spoil it for you if haven’t heard the news).
Icy Cold Caitlin
The first few episodes of this season Caitlin hasn’t had that much to do, other than flirt with Jay Garrick. We are seeing how Ronnie’s death is effecting her. For example, she immediately gravitated towards Henry Hewitt as the Firestorm candidate because his scientific background and making something of his life has direct parallels with Ronnie. Ronnie was a hero in her eyes but she couldn’t see the hero within Jax at first. This showed us a less empathetic side to Caitlin when she took out her frustrations on Jax but still felt like something could be within her character, post Ronnie 2.0, even if we haven’t seen this darker side to her before.
Enter King Shark
Patty Spivot is sweet and likeable, so I’m probably in the minority in that I’m not terribly interested in the will they or won’t they scenes. My inner Giles (from Buffy) is saying “For God’s sake, man, … Just have at it, would you, and stop fluttering about.”
So the thematic thread linking all the story lines about opening yourself to new possibilities leads to Barry about to ask Patty out. Then out of nowhere Shark Man grabs Barry. My reaction to the final scene started out as “What The F … and then “Come on” when the episode ended on Harrison Wells revealing himself to Barry. I didn’t want the episode to end!
I don’t know what to make of King Shark. He looks weird, a little out-of-place, but could be potentially cool. I definitely want to see more King Shark. Gorilla Grodd was slowly introduced to us, first with an empty cage then gradually seeing more of him over time. Being the second season and in the thick of meta-human mayhem, throwing King Shark at us shouldn’t be that jarring I guess.
The Firestorm episodes in the first season were a consistent highlight. “The Fury of Firestorm” didn’t hit those same highs and had some difficulty in moving the pieces around, though we got a promising new Firestorm. Some of the issues had to do with essentially redoing an origin story in a short amount of time in order to help launch a spin-off show while juggling other story lines. Unfortunately, the West family drama is not allowing these reveals to sink in, but knowing that this drama will lead to something more is intriguing. The ending is terrific, hopefully we’ll get to see more of King Shark and of course how Team Flash will react to Earth 2 Harrison Wells.
Do you like the new Firestorm? What did you like or dislike about this episode?