'The Flash' Review (S1E9): 'The Man in the Yellow Suit'
The Flash mid-season finale gave us some answers, more questions and a better look at 'The Man in the Yellow Suit.' The packed episode even gave us the introduction of Ronnie Raymond who was nice enough to provide his own moniker (sorry, Cisco) as Firestorm. And Barry revealed his true feelings to Iris as she'd already decided to take the next step with Eddie and move-in together. Even with all the action going on the show it was still anchored by the compassion and emotions of its characters.
Despite the serious threat of the "yellow blur" or maybe because of it Barry was set on an emotional rollercoaster. The rage within him when the man that killed his mother reveals himself only to taunt him, beat him, and toy with him. The heartbreak of Iris getting more serious with Eddie and moving in together leads him to finally shed his soul to her. The guilt he expresses to his father about letting the man that framed him get away. The utter frustration being unable to capture the man in the yellow suit. Thanks to his father figures he gets the emotional support that helps transcend the show from just a comic book series.
A teary eyed Barry confessing to his dad how he failed to get his mom's killer was wrenching but Papa Allen helped soothed his son. It's scenes like this the show doesn't have to have but the showrunners are as concerned about the character development as they are about the next set piece if not more so. And there's even a more poignant scene with surrogate dad Joe, where Jesse L. Martin as usual shines, reassuring Barry with words like, "the world might need the Flash, but I need my Barry Allen." The feels were in overdrive Tuesday night.
Not even Caitlin could escape the emotional tsunami as she encounters her formerly dead fiance in a parking structure only to be rejected by the jerky Ronnie Raymond who now flames up as Firestorm. She confides in Cisco leading to another tender scene. Good tidings this holiday season are in low supply.
Complicating things further Cisco suggests that the red and yellow blurs of lightning young Barry saw means there may have been two "speedsters" in his home when his mother was killed. Or does it mean Barry was time traveling trying to prevent the murder in the first place?
The return of Amanda Pays, from the 1990 Flash series, as Dr. Tina Magee and her company Mercury Labs provide the tachyon device to try and trap the Reverse Flash. As a rival of Wells we only get to see a couple of contentious scenes with her but it was nice seeing Shipp and Pays again on the same show although not in the same scene. We'll get another guest from the past as Mark Hamill will reprise his villainous role of the Trickster next year. Can Alex Desert be far behind?
With the trap in place Reverse Flash bites and now we have Wells, Eddie and Joe at STAR Labs in a stand-off of sorts as Caitlin and Cisco try to contain the yellow speedster. It should be a theory-shattering moment. The shady Wells has been suspected of being Reverse Flash and in the comics it's Eddie but they're all in the same room. Was Wells manipulating time in order to be in two places at once? Is Eddie the Reverse Flash of the future coming back to taunt Barry? The teaser at the end revealed that Wells had the yellow suit and now the tachyon device where he used it to juice up the suit or something. But how...what...when...?
This carefully crafted mid-season finale tied up some storylines while creating brand new ones. With the Iris unrequited love thing now in the open and less of a distraction there's still a ton of things to look forward to. The battle against Reverse Flash will continue, Captain Cold still assembling the rogues, the emergence of Firestorm and what about Grodd?
The Flash has brought so much fun and action in a short time giving fans all they can handle with surprises still in store. The CW has another superhero show that is first rate, accessible and a joy to behold. Grade so far at the midway point is A+.