There is that moment, that beautiful moment where everything begins to click into place and suddenly every storyline has some sort of pay off. That is “The Nuclear Man” in a nutshell, just a really story that manages to move the plot forward at really good clip and tie together one of the seasons bigger threads in Firestorm. We knew that the show was going to have their own spin on what the all powerful beings origin was going to be and the writers managed to add some nice quirks to the origin to make it their own. We also got some strong B and C plot as Joe and Cisco continued their team up and Barry went after Linda Park and it surprisingly worked out for him. What could have felt like a jumbled mess actually turned into something that was exceedingly strong as the episode progressed. So, let’s dive in.
Let’s start with the man of the hour Dr. Martin Stein/ Ronnie Raymond aka Firestorm as the two men had a proper fleshing out in order to make them more unique characters. One aspect of this new Firestorm that I enjoy is the idea of combination Darwinism as Firestorm took the best aspects of both Ronnie and Dr. Stein. Having Stein be “in control” offers some unique possibilities for the duo as well as some vital handicaps for their future team ups. Stein may indeed be the brains of the outfit but Ronnie is usually the creativity that solves the problems, to have only one member of the duo in control at any given time cuts their ingenuity in half. Granted the powers are not the only aspect that drives Firestorm as he has developed a compelling backstory as he is driven to protect the women each of his respective parts love. Add in the fact that Stein was able to comprehend the severity of his situation and you have an exceedingly well built character and future ally for Barry. Of course, not everything will go smoothly for our heroes as General Eiling is hot on the trail of Firestorm and will certainly be more prepared for the Scarlet Speedster than he was last time.
Speaking of Barry, his love triangle plot involving Iris and Linda surprisingly did not suck. Watching Barry trying to work both his personal life and super hero life simultaneously is something we have not been seeing a lot of this season due to the fact Barry work life often deals with meta humans. But watching him bolt while Linda’s back is turned to go save a jumper or stop a convenience store robbery added some fun drama to the usual slog of the romance plot. Granted, having Iris cockblock Barry and tell Linda that Barry is in love with Iris was a stupid immature move, but I can let it go because Linda is totally cool with our favorite speedster. Watching Linda take initiative and be a boss around Barry was very cool and although she is usually Wally’s girl I am cool letting it slide because she is an awesome character overall.
Speaking of awesome characters we got to see Cisco and Joe team up this week by investigating the Barry’s old house. The humor of the two working together was spot on and all of the pseudo science that Cisco was saying seemed relatively plausible. The highlight of the team up was Joe confiding in Cisco that he was investigating Wells as a possible suspect in Barry’s mother’s murder. Seeing Cisco staunchly defend a man who means the world to him despite the multiple times he has been threatened by Wells was a strong touch. I mean Cisco should at the very least be wary of Wells but he is going whole ham on trusting the devil and that will bite him in the ass eventually. The biggest revelation to come out of was that not only were there indeed two speedsters there the night of the murder, but that one of them was future Barry who has disappeared somewhere into the present/past. This of course brings up many different possible stories, ala Flashpoint, so it will be interesting to see exactly how far everything will go in the search for future Barry.
Overall a really enjoyable episode.
Final Grade B
+Great Firestorm material
+Cisco and Joe’s team-up
+Linda being cool
-Iris being a cockblock
-Cisco blindly trusting Dr. Wells
-Barry name dropped Mal Duncan, you get your obscure DC reference for the night and it’s The Herald
-So I’m no scientist but Cisco managed to not only formulate the base of Mirror Master’s power set, but also got DNA from a fifteen year old blood sample. I’m just gonna say Speed Force because even I call bullshit on that.
-So Eiling’s just been waiting on Firestorm? Did he not send anyone to try and bring him in or did he just keep getting his ass handed to him.