The Flash, S2 Ep12 – Fast Lane

In this week’s episode of The Flash Barry goes up against a new meta-human by the name of Tar Pit. After being thrown into a vat of tar during the initial particle accelerator explosion, Joey Monteleone (Marco Grazzini) has reformed and re-emerged 2 years later as Tar Pit, a villain with the ability to change his form into a molten tar and is out for revenge against the men who attempted to kill him. In addition to Barry going up against Tar Pit, the real meat of “Fast Lane” focuses on Iris West attempting to stop her brother Wally from drag racing, and Earth-2 Dr. Wells beginning to feel guilt over his forced alliance with Zoom.

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Harrison “not-to-be-trusted” Wells

“Fast Lane” did have some good moments, but also contained some frustrating ones. While the most compelling subplot of “Fast Lane” involved Dr. Harrison Wells struggling with the idea of betraying Barry and the rest of Team Flash, it was definitely frustrating seeing Barry become upset with Wells when he finds out the truth. Dr. Wells literally says to Barry at one point that he will betray him, yet Barry remains surprised when Wells actually does. That being said, I still feel the subplot was a compelling one and helped further shape the character of Dr. Wells. The reason he eventually comes out to the rest of Team Flash about his alliance with Zoom was another frustrating moment.

With Patty Spivot officially out of the way, it seems Iris West has returned to being The Flash’s damsel in distress. Her near-death experience not only motivates Wells to come out with the truth, since it was his fault Barry’s speed was depleted leading to her getting stabbed with a shard of glass from an auto-wreck, but the event also motivates Wally to stop drag racing. It’s a shame to see Iris only be used, and being nearly “fridged”, as a means of motivating two male characters to change their ways, pushing this season’s story forward.

“Fast Lane” wasn’t all bad, though. Like I said, the Wells story-line was very compelling mostly due to seeing Wells feel guilt over betraying the team that has so willingly taken him in as one of their own. I’m glad to see his betrayal is out of the way and he and the rest of the team can now work together and hopefully trust each other. “Fast Lane” also contained one of my favorite Detective West moments so far, as he punches Wells without hesitation and throws him into a S.T.A.R. Labs prison cell after finding out that he depleted Barry’s speed to feed it to Zoom. I like seeing that West continues to remain on the defensive and has no issues taking out Earth-2 Wells, especially since he never trusted him to begin with.

While Iris wound up only serving as a means of motivating two characters, she did have some good, strong moments before the climax. I liked seeing her investigate the drag racing underground in Central City and end up threatening the man who runs it with the possibility of her outing him in the Central City Picture News. This plot not only reinforced Iris’ talent as an investigative journalist, but also showed how willing and dedicated she is to her own family, even if it’s her brother she only met weeks ago.

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Wally West, drag racer extraordinaire

As with most episodes, this week’s villain of the week was just that, a villain of the week. There wasn’t much going on there. While his power set was definitely something to be fearful of, he doesn’t stand out like some other villains we’ve seen in the past and will ultimately be forgotten. Also, the CGI used for the character was a little weak during some points, but I usually refrain from mentioning the bad CGI on The Flash due to it only being a television series on The CW. Most of the major developments that occurred in “Fast Lane” could have occurred without the use of this generic villain, and Tar Pit’s connection to Wally West and his drag racing was all too convenient.

Overall, “Fast Lane” featuring some frustrating moments and contained a forgettable, generic villain. That being said, I’m glad the episode has further developed Wells as a character and has resulted in Wells ceasing his alliance with Zoom. We saw enough bad Wells last season, it’s time to see if he can really be trusted and will actually help Team Flash. While I enjoyed seeing Iris put her investigative journalist skills to the test, her being limited to a motivational prop was annoying and Wally continues to be this series’ most uninteresting, and at times, annoying characters. Thankfully we won’t be seeing much of him in next week’s episode, which actually looks like a lot of much needed fun.

Next week Dr. Wells, Barry, and Cisco make their way to Earth-2. Check out The CW’s official promo for “Welcome to Earth-2” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Fast Lane” in the comics.