TV Recap: The Flash, Ep.9: The Man in the Yellow Suit #TheFlash

Reverse FlashFlash Fact: DC/WB should just dump their plans for a Flash movie as after this week’s mid-season finale, there’s no way a movie is going to match the excitement of these first nine episodes.

We were teased last week and right away, the episode gives us that sweet, sweet confrontation we’ve been anticipating since those initial on-set leaked pics — Barry is chasing after the man in the yellow suit. While Cisco has yet to officially name him, since MIYS looks silly to type, I’ll just refer to him by his actual name of Reverse Flash.

Flashback to a day ago where the West household is getting set for their annual tree-trimming. Joe gets on Barry for using super speed to decorate the tree and Barry packs them back up so Iris can scold them both for not getting the decorations up. The writers always manage to work in some fun practical use for Barry’s powers that real people would do if they had super speed.

The Flash Ep. 9 - The Man in the Yellow Suit - beaten down FlashWhile Joe is called off to a case, Barry and Iris exchange gifts. Barry goes well beyond best friend/brother with a replica of her mom’s wedding band while Iris gives the more appropriately oblivious gift of a my first microscope. Geesh, Iris, way to low-ball Barry. Eddie arrives and he rightfully finds it a bit odd that Barry got Iris such a heartfelt present. After Barry leaves, Eddie asks Iris if she thinks Barry might like her. Iris continues to be the least instinctual reporter by blowing that off just in time for Eddie to give her a small jewelry box. Is it what Iris thinks it is? Well, it is if instead of a nice five-carat diamond she’s happy with a plastic key to Eddie’s place serving as an invitation to move in. So Eddie’s oblivious too. They’re perfect for each other.

Barry has gifts for Team STAR and in a rare moment of restraint, no one opens their gifts. Booo. I was hoping for some random gift for Cisco that he could tie into some DC comic. Wells isn’t in the mood to celebrate though as it reminds him of his dead wife’s favorite holiday. Caitlin thinks a present will brighten his mood (you’re fooling no one Caitlin), but she encounters a man who she thinks just may be her presumed-dead fiance Ronnie. This scene was a bit weird as Ronnie comes right up behind her, but then freaks out and runs off before igniting his head and hands when she follows him.

The Flash Ep. 9 - The Man in the Yellow Suit - Caitlin and CiscoFreaked out about the encounter, Caitlin asks Iris about the reports of the burning man and asks for Cisco’s help to determine if Ronnie really is still alive.

Ronnie’s death has been a significant subplot to Caitlin’s backstory so it was nice for Caitlin and Cisco to have something else to do besides giving scientific advice from the desk to Barry. While I enjoy their characters, Flash doesn’t need their help on every mission so it’s good for them to branch out and have their own non-Barry dependent storyline. They use a geiger counter to track Ronnie, but he doesn’t appear to recognize them and when Caitlin offers to have him checked out at STAR, he flames up and tells them he’s not Ronnie, but Firestorm.

A science lab gets attacked by the yellow blur leaving two guards dead. At the crime scene, Barry realizes this is the work of someone traveling at superspeed and since he isn’t into sleep walking, he realizes the yellow blur is back. Joe confirms his suspicions and tells Barry Reverse Flash threatened Iris a few weeks back.

Back at his investigation board, Barry is reminiscing on the night of his mother’s death when Iris arrives to tell him Eddie asked her to move in with him. Before he can get too bummed out about that bombshell, Reverse Flash stares at Barry from a window and Barry speeds after him. Finally cornering RF, Barry asks why he killed his mother and RF replies, “You’ll have to catch me.”

The Flash Ep. 9 - The Man in the Yellow Suit - Reverse FlashCue a fun race through a football stadium that handles this clash of speedsters as well as you would hope for even with a TV budget. RF taunts Barry saying they’ve done this dance several times already as he leaves Barry laid out on midfield. Just like Arrow’s first encounter with Merlyn, Reverse Flash easily handles his arch-rival putting Barry in the rare underdog position.

With the news of the lab break-in, Eddie wants to bring Flash in with his handy anti-Flash task force even if he has to go over Joe’s head to do it. The writers are really working hard this episode in planting some seeds for us to finally start disliking Eddie. Getting rightfully concerned about Barry is one thing, but turning on Joe is something else entirely.

Wells guesses RF is after a tachyon particle device, which would allow even faster speeds. Barry and Joe convince the device’s developer (Amanda Peys, another alumn from the 1990 “Flash” show) to let them borrow the device to lure Reverse Flash. Wells is confident he can rig a trap that can catch him. This has bad idea written all over it. Wells and Joe tell Barry he’s sitting this one out as he’s too emotionally involved to be of any use. Barry, predictably doesn’t take this well and lashes out at them.

The Flash Ep. 9 - The Man in the Yellow Suit - Cisco and BarryCaitlin is less than concerned about that as she laments finding Ronnie now that he’s become a metahuman nutjob like the others locked away at STAR. Cisco consoles her and it’s a nice moment between the two friends that’s only topped by the following scene where Barry goes to the prison to visit his father. Barry apologies for not stopping the man responsible for his father being in jail saying now he’s to blame for him staying in prison. Having John Wesley Shipp play Barry’s father is a treat for nostalgic reasons, but he strongly delivers explaining to Barry that he’s sacrificed too much of his life chasing after the man in the yellow suit, including not revealing his feelings for Iris and it’s time Barry lived for himself. This was an immensely powerful scene and both Shipp and Grant Gustin left you feeling the true cost of the hero’s burden in one scene instead of Barry relentlessly moping after Iris.

In an aggressive, series-advancing move, Barry finally confesses to Iris that he’s in love with her and has been even when he was little and didn’t fully understand what it meant. He’s been afraid of losing her if he told her just like he lost his mother and father. Iris’ tears say more than any words could and Barry admits his timing is terrible and he did miss out, but he couldn’t go on lying to her. This reveal was far more important in the Barry/Iris subplot than him telling her he’s The Flash and opens up far more story potential than yet another person knowing his superhero alter-ego.

Time to catch a speedster. The tachyon trap is set and RF springs it, getting caught in Wells’ force field snare. Joe wants to know why RF killed Nora Allen. RF ignores the question and starts taunting Wells just as the trap is starting to weaken. RF breaks through long enough to bring Wells in and proceeds to beat him bloody. Joe smashes the trap as RF starts wiping out Eddie’s Task Force, but curiously just pushes Eddie away. The non-violent attack on Eddie would lend credibility to the Eddie is Reverse Flash theory.  Caitlin texts Barry S.O.S. and before RF can take out Joe, Flash arrives and brings RF out of STAR Labs. We get another well-executed speedster fight, but again, RF comes out ahead. Just as RF prepares for the death blow, he’s struck by flames.

firestormFirestorm for the save! RF races off saying they’re not done yet and as Caitlin and Cisco head over, Ronnie warns them not to look for him again and flies away. Only minor gripe with Firestorm is that he was more Human Torch than molecular-changing hero and with Heat Wave set to debut, the show doesn’t need two fire-based characters.

Joe tells Eddie they have to keep the two speedsters a secret and Eddie questions if Joe knows Flash’s identity. Joe comes to Barry’s workspace and Barry apologizes for lashing out saying he’s afraid of Reverse Flash and that was why he can’t beat him. In another really well done emotional scene, Joe tells Barry he brought light into he and Iris’ world and while the rest of the world may need The Flash, he needs his Barry Allen. Time to go home to a tree-trimming with the gang. Barry tries to put on a happy face in telling Eddie and Iris he’s happy for them, but he’ll need to work on his poker face. Wells wasn’t feeling up to partying and is back at STAR Labs, but Cisco tells Joe when Barry and RF clashed, the energy pattern looked like what Barry described so there must have been two speedsters on the scene when Nora Allen was killed.

flash-ring-the flashWells of course isn’t relaxing, but walking in his secret room. He puts on a Flash ring (like Barry Allen did in the comics!), but in a shocking reveal, Reverse Flash’s suit is revealed. Wells clamps the tachyon device to the suit, which seems to charge it with residual energy from RF’s attack. Wells speaks in the same dark voice as Reverse Flash and it looks like we may (?) have finally gotten a clear-cut indication that Wells is indeed the big villain of this season.

To my earlier point, I don’t know what WB/DC can do with a feature film that could top the show at this point and I’d argue, you could cut these first nine episodes into a great two-hour movie — even without the “Arrow” crossover — and it would top the official film. When the show returns from its winter break, it looks like Barry’s efforts will be solely focused on his rematch with Reverse Flash, but he’ll have to deal with Gorilla Grodd, The Trickster and The Rogues first. Amazingly, the best of this first season may be yet to come.

 

  • I thought the device Wells plugged into the chest of the RF suit was that tachyon thing, confirming that he was the RF and that he had both staged his own beatdown and stolen the device.

  • You may be right. That part was a bit unclear because we didn’t see what happened to the device after RF grabbed it.

    What was your thought on what the device was doing?

  • Well, tachyons hint at time travel, and it sure seems like Wells is from the future or connected to someone from the future (plus that’s where the Reverse-Flashes tend to hail from in the comics). He also appears to have time traveled to kill Barry’s mom preemptively just like in the comics, so maybe he’s been stuck in the past since he did so. When Joe confronted Wells a couple episodes ago, he seemed to hint that West apparently just appeared out of nowhere around the same time she died.

    Maybe he went there originally to try to kill the Flash right at his creation only to learn that, like in the comics, he needed Barry to survive and become the Flash in order to siphon his power, so he went back further, got his revenge, and stuck around, his power fading to the point that he couldn’t make it back on his own. But now, the Flash is alive and well, and RF can return to the future (but he won’t just yet, because he has more to do). Also, I think he may be Eobard Thawne, and Eddie might just be his ancestor (which is why he didn’t kill him).

    A lot of speculation there, but we’ll see if it’s anything close to what actually happens.

  • One more little tidbit: The two speedsters being present at Barry’s mom’s death reminds me of “Flashpoint”, where Barry went back and stopped RF from killing his mom, thus creating the whole messed-up Flashpoint DCU where young Bruce Wayne was killed by Joe Chill in lieu of his parents, Kal-El had been kept underground by the government since he was a child, Aquaman and Wonder Woman were at war, and Barry had never become the Flash. With the Thomas Wayne Batman’s help, Barry (who remembered the original universe) got his powers back and went back again, preventing his earlier self from succeeding, thus restoring the DCU (at which point it was merged with Vertigo-DC and Willdstorm to create the New 52 DCU).

    Now, imagine if we get a version of Flashpoint on the show (and presumably, on ARROW as well)! That would be something!

  • keith

    this was how you do it shield! Mr. Shipp thank you for the great role of barry’s dad, wells, and joe. they move the plot along lol unlike other shows. I am glad barry got the iris crap out the way. She is becoming unlikeable as well. I cant feel sorry for her as barry has been agonizing on this his whole life. Eddie is proving to be stupid and a pain in the butt. I still dont know how did the professor pull off being to places in once??? how in the hell did he pull it off? but I love that we get to see him pull off this stuff and keep everyone on the dark. This isnt going to end well for team flash. I mean wells has a whole army of crooks, he is a genius, and he possbily be the reverse flash( still not clear as it should be) either way at least this show likes to give answers and not stay stagnant. good job

  • Both Flash’s father figures add so much to the show and while that role never tends to last too long on these series, I’m glad Barry has two solid ones in Henry and Joe.

    I’m glad they advanced the Barry/Iris subplot as this gives them much more story potential than him feeling her and Iris being clueless. Now everything is out in the open.

    Eddie has a reasonable beef with Flash. He pulled him out of a moving car and beat him down. I know Barry is the main character and all, but Eddie hasn’t done anything bad … yet.

  • keith

    yeah but If they would explain the metahuman who can control people, but I guess eddie would put two and two together than he would go insane. I still would love to have seen a what if barry came to his senses and would have said hell yeah to felicity. Oliver need to get that together. But knowing ollie the moment he confesses his love for him his sister will stab her in the back or something. who knows with this show. I just have a feeling his sister or felicity is dying before the show is over

  • Thea I definitely can see getting killed, but the writers know they’ve got a great character in Felicity and wouldn’t kill her off.

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