Note: There are spoilers to this week's episode contained below. Travel at your own risk!
On this week's episode of The Flash, Jax Jackson is a high school football star, but during the accelerator explosion, he gets blasted with energy after saving a bunch of people. Cisco tries to find a way to save Professor Stein. Caitlin finds a couple of candidates that may be compatible and one is Jax. Barry grabs blood samples from the two men, without them knowing brings it back to Caitlin.
Patty Spivot brings Barry some shark teeth and Patty says people are seeing a walking shark in the area. Harrison Wells seems to be watching Barry from the shadows as he talks about Caitlin about how Jax is the perfect match for Stein. Barry and Stein go to visit Jax and he’s stand-offish about the particle accelerator exploding and doesn’t want to talk about it, since it ruined his future in football.
Iris talks to her mother for the first time in years and wants to know why she left. Iris tells her mother it’s not the right time in her life for her mother to pop back in.
One of the other candidates comes in to talk to Caitlin, Henry Hewitt. Stein and Hewitt are set up so they could bond with each other. They try it out, but it does not work. Hewitt is super-upset about it and he heads to the elevator. His has flashes. He has some sort of meta-human powers. Meanwhile, Harrison Wells breaks into Mercury Labs. Joe and Patty investigate and Joe makes Patty promise not to tell Barry. Francine tells Joe that she’s dying and she wants to get to know her daughter before she passes.
Jax ends up at STAR Labs. They lied to him and said he could be fixed. Stein explains that the explosion changed him. Jax still isn’t down with what’s happening and he walks away. Caitlin pushed him away. Barry explains that it took him a long time to learn to deal with being a hero.
Henry’s boss at work is pretty mean to him and Henry snaps and starts yelling. He catches on fire but doesn’t burn. Back at the West house, Joe explains to Iris that her mother is dying. Caitlin goes to talk to Jax and Henry is there and blasts Jax. He wants revenge, but Jax knocks him out with a wrench. The two leave in a rush. They get to STAR Labs and Stein is dying. Jax decides that it’s time to merge. The two merge and Jax is the new Firestorm. Hewitt is at Central City High School’s stadium and Flash and Firestorm head there. Hewitt is not happy when he sees Jax as Firestorm. The two eventually beat him.
Iris finally heads off and meets her mother. Iris tells her mother that she’s been lying and that she knows about Francine’s son, born 8 months after Francine left. WALLY! Iris tells her mother to leave them alone.
Flash is doing his thing and King Shark appears! Zoom wants him dead. AWESOME! Patty Spivot shoots at him but it has no effect. Harrison Wells shoots King Shark down and reveals himself to Barry.
Let's just start right at the end. King Shark? HELL YES! King Shark looked really cool and when Patty was teasing the character earlier, I thought there was no way we'd see him on the show. It was just a nice easter egg for fans of the comic book. However, we got him, at least for a few moments at the end of the episode. On top of that being a cool little twist for the episode, it was nice to see the show go back to the story that's supposed to be happening throughout the season: Zoom sending metahumans to Earth-One to kill the Flash. We didn't see that at all in the last episode and for the majority of this episode.
Harrison Wells is helping Barry? It's so hard to trust the man who spent a whole season manipulating everything behind the scenes. On top of that, he killed Barry's parents. This Harrison Wells did come through the wormhole though, so maybe he is actually the Harrison Wells from Earth-Two or maybe that's what he wants everyone to think. He did reveal himself to Barry, but why keep yourself hidden if Barry doesn't know you? So many questions!
Ok, fanboy mode off. Back to the episode, which was really about bringing the new Firestorm into the fold. First, Stein's voice over, when Jax and Stein are merged, was pretty cheesy. His coaching reminded me of bad captioning from 90s comic books. However, the team is pretty interesting and I really liked Jax as a character. He has a bit of a hot head on him, pun intended, and he's really motivated to become a hero. On the downside, he and Stein leave at the end of the episode, so that means Barry is on his own. This is a character that you can easily get attached to because the episode centered around him, but seeing that he's leaving means the viewers won't be able to see him until who knows when. That's probably the biggest disappointment with the character.
Another big part of this episode was Iris coming to terms with her estranged mother, Francine. Fanboy mode back on because Iris reveals she dug up some info about Francine and found out she has a brother who is around 19 years old now, which means Wally West is officially in the picture. Francine herself is nothing more than a plot device to deliver the information Wally exists. Sure, in the grand scheme of things, it does develop Joe and Iris' characters more, but Francine is unsympathetic and written relatively poorly. She's flat.
It's great to see a new Firestorm and this episode played incredibly well to the more hardcore fans of the comic book, giving them easter eggs left and right, but at the same time, it really delivered for fans of the show by bringing back Harrison Wells and delivering another decent villain of the week episode. The episode was good but not great but it really helps build towards the larger story for the season. This show is still awesome. Super-awesome.
Questions of the Week:
- Is this Harrison Wells from Earth-Two or Earth-One?
- How (if at all) does Wally West get his powers?
- Is this the last we've seen of King Shark and Tokamak?
- Is Jax a suitable replacement for Ronnie?