The Flash, S1 Ep13 – The Nuclear Man

The appropriately titled episode, “The Nuclear Man”, focuses primarily on progressing the storyline regarding Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell), Dr. Martin Stein (Victor Garber), and the F.I.R.E.S.T.O R.M. project. Additionally, Detective West teams up with Cisco Ramon to uncover what really happened the night Nora Allen died, and Barry continues to juggle his love life with his superhero life.

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Ronnie is still in there

Since the “The Man in the Yellow Suit”, where we were reintroduced to Caitlin Snow’s former fiancé Ronnie and his new meta-human abilities, The Flash has been slowly building on its Firestorm subplot. It wasn’t until last week’s episode, “Crazy For You”, that we found out Ronnie had merged with a Dr. Martin Stein. “The Nuclear Man” delves deep into this story and its related characters as we are given a glimpse into the events that took place prior to and after the two merged.

The Flash might be spending a little too much time telling the origin of Firestorm. The flashback scenes included this week were interesting and entertaining, especially due to the fact we got to see a pre-Flash Barry Allen speak with Stein on a train, but the rest just wasn’t as compelling. Part of me just wants to see Ronnie and Dr. Stein become Firestorm already, and begin being the superhero fans know from the comics. I realize it’s only been a handful of episodes since Ronnie was reintroduced, but I feel The Flash could be spending time building on other aspects of itself. Considering the episode’s not-so-surprising conclusion, where Firestorm seemingly exploded and General Eiling decided to enter the fold, I take comfort in the fact that we will be seeing Firestorm hero-up soon enough.

More interesting than the Firestorm storyline was the subplot regarding Detective West and his investigation of the night Barry’s mother died. It’s nice seeing Detective West and Cisco Ramon briefly team up, as the two don’t often do solo missions together. Their personalities contrast and play off each others’ very well.

The outcome that arose from their investigation was a great twist, and will add a very new and interesting element to the series. After finding Barry’s blood at the crime scene, we can safely assume that Barry’s adult self was there the night of his mother’s murder. If that’s the case then The Flash is definitely leading up to introducing time travel to the mythos. As Barry’s war with the Reverse-Flash progresses, there may be a point where he decides to use his power to travel back in time and stop the Reverse-Flash from killing his mother, although all evidence points to him failing. Right now I’m just loving the fact that The Flash is willing to introduce these very comic booky ideas like super powers and time travel. It’s just too bad its sister series, Arrow, often doesn’t follow suit.

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Investigating the murder of Nora Allen

I’d rather not go too deep into spoilers, but with the inclusion of time travel on The Flash I wouldn’t be surprised if the series told a condensed version of the comic book story arc Flashpoint, which was adapted into the animated film Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. Not only would Flashpoint make for an excellent two-parter, but even Arrow would be able to join in on the fun with a tie-in episode. I’m hoping to see that by The Flash‘s second season.

Overall, “The Nuclear Man” was just okay. The Firestorm storyline is beginning to drag to the point where I felt bored during the related scenes. The only thing that kept me really invested was the investigation regarding Barry’s mother, and a few brief, but comical scenes regarding Barry’s love life. Barry ate a pretty spicy pepper in order to continue dating Linda Park. Hopefully, it was worth it. As of right now I’m hoping the Firestorm origin story concludes in the next episode, and we can begin to focus our attention on aspects that are more pertinent to the series as a whole.

Next week The Flash and Firestorm go head to head with General Eiling and his army. Check out The CW’s official promo for “Fallout” below, and feel free to let us know what you thought about “The Nuclear Man” in the comments below.

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