On the D/L – The Flash

Feb 12, 2015 | Posted by in TV
The Flash

Season 1 Episode 13 – “The Nuclear Man”

The Flash gives plenty of payoff to the Firestorm subplot that has been quietly running in the background the last few episodes.

The death of Ronnie Raymond during the accelerator explosion is something that we saw really early on in the run of this show and it has been building ever since. It’s a significant character hook for Caitlin who has been dealing with the loss of her fiancé with the unintended complication of having to deal with his return.

It was revealed last week that Ronnie has merged with Dr. Stein who has taken over as the dominant consciousness in Ronnie’s body. It’s a tricky situation to say the least but Robbie Amell plays the part nicely. We’ve seen enough of Ronnie to get a feel for what he’s like so it was noticeable to see him act like an older man. He managed to pull it off pretty well for the most part but seemed a little too at ease with himself. Given how distraught he has been in every appearance so far I find it difficult to believe that a shower and a shave as well as a haircut would make him come to his senses. All the same it was a decent performance.

The Flash

Barry is no match for a man who can fly and catch fire

Having Dr. Stein’s personality be the more dominant one gave plenty of opportunities for some interesting drama. Caitlin was forced to deal with the fact that another man was walking around in her fiancé’s body and Stein’s wife had to deal with her husband’s consciousness being inside a much younger man. It was interesting to see the two angles on the same issue and how it affected the two characters differently. Caitlin’s scenes had more weight to them but that comes down to us knowing the character better. Danielle Panabaker did a great job of conveying the distress while trying to maintain a professional attitude. It was easy to see how much it was troubling her but I like that she concentrated on the job at hand.

Many of Barry’s scenes were devoted to his new relationship with Linda Park. The episode went over the standard ground of having to juggle his responsibilities as The Flash with his job and the woman he’s seeing. There wasn’t much of his actual job but it was definitely an implied factor. Grant Gustin and Malese Jow have such great chemistry but Linda so far feels a little underdeveloped. So far all of her scenes have been either with Barry or talking about Barry so there’ll be no passing the Bechdel Test for this show any time soon. So far I like the fact that Linda doesn’t take any nonsense and doesn’t accept the lame excuses Barry is giving.

Unfortunately this relationship has opened the door on another story that I haven’t got a lot of time for. After being dormant it seems that the love triangle has returned. Eddie hasn’t been around but Iris definitely seems to be a little jealous of Barry and Linda which is something I really can’t be bothered with. I know that the show is going to tease this until Barry and Iris ultimately get together but it’s boring and I’ve seen it all before. It’s also making Iris seem a little unlikeable when she is so obviously saying one thing and meaning another while previously more or less flaunting her relationship with Eddie in Barry’s face. Her look of disappointment when Barry told her he doesn’t have those feelings for her any more was very telling.

The Flash

Joe and Cisco replay the night of Barry’s mother’s murder

Barry and Stein/Ronnie’s interactions were nicely done in this episode. I liked the flashback to the day of the explosion and seeing Barry before he had his powers. He seems less serious and more nerdy which really shows the burden of responsibility that has been placed on him since becoming The Flash. There was a kinship to his conversation with Stein on the train as he was impressed at the keen scientific mind that Barry possessed. This paid off nicely later when the two characters talked about their similar experiences since having powers. Barry’s reaction has been to close himself off from his life and concentrate on his heroics but thanks to Stein he has a different outlook on things and seems really committed to giving his relationship with Linda a proper chance to develop. As a side note I like how the episode started to broach the subject of how Barry’s powers would work in intimate situations. I seem to remember Smallville struggling to handle the same subject so I hope that this show will tackle it with more sophistication.

Harrison Wells continues to be an interesting character each week. I like that he seems to be compassionate about those around him and his selfless act of sacrificing his timetable -whatever that may be- to try and cure Stein/Ronnie added a nice shade to the character. I also found it interesting that he was willing to make the hard choice and kill Stein/Ronnie for the greater good. It looked like he wasn’t taking it lightly and the decision was weighing on him but it’s something he’s willing to take on to protect those around him. There’s a wonderful complexity to Wells that just continues to build.

The Flash

Stein/Ronnie explodes

Cisco and Joe make a great pair whenever they work together. Their investigation of the scene of the murder of Barry’s murder was really cool on lots of levels. Some of the science seemed to be a bit out there but this is a show that is about a man who can run impossibly fast so I will let that slide. The visual imagery of the snapshots from the night of the murder was great and the introduction of the concept of time travel tells us that things are about to get really weird. I hope they cover time travel well because it’ll be tough to handle. The plot thickens on the Reverse Flash’ blood being unidentified as well.

The episode was noticeably subdued in terms of action sequences which really worked here. This was an episode that coasted on character moments and that’s fine as the characters are really compelling. The Flash vs. Firestorm was nicely done though with a really cool image of Barry being carried into the air by a man on fire. It’s a bit human torch -there was even a flame on joke- but it was really cool.

As endings go this one was really abrupt but I liked that. Stein/Ronnie simply exploded and that was about it. There was no followup other than Clancy Brown’s General Eiling noticing it and wanting to investigate and the whole thing was just a bit of a downer. Seeing Caitlin look at the man she loves exploding as she is carried away by Barry was a really powerful moment.

  • 8.5/10
    The Nuclear Man - 8.5/10


Another strong episode that finally gives the audience payoff of the Firestorm subplot that has endured for most of the series.

Robbie Amell is given a tough job of playing an older man trapped in a young man’s body and he does the job well. His performance is noticeably different to how we’ve seen him before and he brings across a level of distinction really well. He seems to come to his senses a little too easily but other than that it’s nicely done.

I liked the different angles of the issue as seen from Caitlin and Dr. Stein’s wives perspectives. Caitlin has to deal with her fiancé having another man control his body and Stein’s wife has the issue of dealing with her husband inhabiting another man. Most of the exploration is from Caitlin’s point of view and I like how she tries to remain professional despite the fact that this is clearly tearing her apart.

Barry and Linda Park’s relationship is off to a good start. The show is doing a good job of establishing the issue with maintaining a job, a relationship and superhero duties and Linda seems like an intelligent character so far. I like that she doesn’t take excuses at face value and challenges Barry. I don’t like that it’s reopened the love triangle plot thread as those things just really annoy me. It runs the risk of making Iris unlikeable as she doesn’t really seem to know who or what she wants.

Wells continues to be interesting as he proves his willingness to make the hard choice when it comes to killing Stein/Ronnie. It’s clearly a decision he doesn’t make lightly and a burden he feels he has to take on for the good of those around him. Sacrificing his timetable -whatever that is- brings other layers of intrigue.

Cisco and Joe’s investigation that reveals that Barry was at the site of his mother’s murder as an adult gives us our introduction to time travel and lets us know that it’s coming soon. The investigation was nicely handled and the way it built the story was impressive as well.

The ending of the episode was really effective. As cliffhangers go it was really abrupt but it made it more powerful as a result. I’ll be interested to see what the followup to it is next week.

User Review
0 (0 votes)