If it wasn’t already obvious before tonight, Fast Lane confirmed The Flash is by far the best comic book based series on TV. Genre caveat aside, this episode was a reminder that this series is simply one of TV’s superior shows.
This wasn’t the episode you’re looking for if you were seeking a lot of action and high-speed hi-jinks. What Fast Lane did deliver though was an outstanding payoff to the will he/won’t he? subplot of Harry Wells’s potential betrayal of his Team Flash allies and strong advancements on the West family drama.
After Gorilla Grodd and Tiger Shark seeing the fully comic accurate Tar Pit shouldn’t have been a surprise. Honestly, the smeary makeup job on proto Tar Pit did an excellent job of conveying his powers without making him look like a generic powered meta. Still, seeing Tar Pit in his full tar mound glowing faced glory was a real treat … even if the fight was brief.
Reluctantly agreeing to leech Flash’s power to transfer to Zoom, Wells spent some unwelcome, but needed bonding time with Barry.
Since Barry spent the bulk of his non-Flash time hanging with Patty, we haven’t gotten a lot of scenes with just Barry and Wells and this was a welcome treat. Barry quickly annoyed Wells in a funny bit as he sped read to grasp Wells’ concepts and they devised a way to shut down the breaches that allowed Zoom to travel to Earth-1.
Not surprisingly, Tom Cavanagh was excellent in selling Wells’ inner conflict. The decision was a brutal one — aid Zoom and save his daughter or betray the allies who’ve taken him in like family and are working equally hard to help save Jesse. This was the pivotal moment of the season and as Barry lamented not being fast enough to prevent Iris from getting hurt and vowing not to let anyone he cares about get hurt again, Wells had his breakthrough.
Wells betrayal rocked Team Flash last season and to have his Earth-2 counterpart do the same was going to prove equally disastrous. I loved Joe’s immediate reaction was to slug Wells and toss him in the prison cell to avoid killing him. Team Flash could have easily fractured again, but this time, Barry took a major step in becoming a legend as he explained Wells’ side and how he could not sit back and let Zoom terrorize Earth-2. Sometimes these rally the troops scenes are too on the nose, but this was an inspiring scene and an excellent spotlight for Grant Gustin. You’d believe Team Flash would follow Barry after that speech.
While the supporting characters too often prove to be a major drag to these types of shows, these quieter moments continue to be one of the major strengths of The Flash. It definitely helps having Jesse L. Martin so consistently deliver on the dialogue and Candace Patton and Keiynan Lonsdale stepping their game up to match his performances.
On pretty much every other show, Wally would be the annoying new addition who viewers have to endure endless episodes before he finally gets it right and comes around to accepting his new family. Here, the transition is more believable.
Joe is understandably concerned that being a father instead of a friend will drive Wally off while Iris wants his help before Wally ends up dead from a drag race accident. Iris had a juicy story arc of her own as she checked out the street race ring and confronted the race organizer.
And rather than having Wally be a selfish brat, he finally shares with Iris that racing is the closest feeling he has to his childhood with his mother. Wally isn’t racing just to be reckless and the writers are doing a solid job of explaining Wally’s fascination with going fast.
With Team Flash fully supporting his decision, Barry releases Wells from the cell and reiterates they’re a team and together they’re going to Earth-2 to save Jesse. If Team Flash can encounter just a handful of Justice Society members I’m all set to declare it my favorite episode of the season. I can’t wait for it.
Rating: 9.7 out of 10
Despite the lack of a big blow out battle, strong development of season long subplots made for another highly enjoyable outing of the best superhero show on TV.