Uhhhh, that was a shocking ending. I know The Flash likes to go big, but damn if that was a ton of reveals very quickly and all of them rather exciting. “The Fury of Firestorm” much like last week’s episode, the focus was on putting all of the pieces in place for Legends of Tomorrow i.e. introducing us to the other half of Firestorm 2.0 Jefferson “Jax” Jackson. However, he was only a small part of a much larger game as we got to see many different characters evolve and accept the various storylines they have been thrown into. Iris and Francine, Caitlin dealing with the idea of there being another Firestorm, Patty and Barry’s developing relationship, hell, even Well’s creeping around in the night and trying not to get caught. Each plot line had a seemingly interesting payoff that should provide a ton of material moving forward with the season. Oh and for some reason we blew the VFX budget on King Shark, you know reasons.
Let’s start with the alleged star of the episode Jax who despite a weird characterization that seemingly turned everyone besides Barry and Cisco into semi-racists, turned out to be a really fun character. I liked the opening moments of Jax deciding to save his friend rather than himself, I liked how he interacted with Stein as it felt way more natural and Ronnie-esque, and I definitely enjoyed watching him be way more hands on than Ronnie was last season. Jax feels a lot more lived in at this moment than Ronnie did last year as we only knew Ronnie for his one defining trait of being Caitlin’s fiancé. Jax has a purpose beyond protecting Caitlin and not being Eilling’s guinea pig. He needs to prove that he is something other than the quarterback he once was, that his intelligence defines him in a way his athletic ability never could. He will seemingly be more at odds with Stein and like their partnership will not be as easy going as Ronnie’s was.
On the subject of Jax there was something really off about Caitlin this week as we actually saw her care about what was going on with the Firestorm Matrix. Caitlin has seemingly been ok with the idea Ronnie is dead and gone but her outright desire to make Hank Firestorm instead of Jax was really odd. All she saw were Hank’s intellectual qualifications and she decided to vote him as suitable replacement rather than considering Jax as a person. Add in the fact that apparently no one really dug deep into Hank’s background and found his sealed record, and you have an episode that makes a main character look extremely inept. I would be fine with Caitlin questioning Jax for the right reasons, but his intellect and heart were never the question. It was his self doubt that was holding him back. It also felt weird that Caitlin suddenly cared about Ronnie and his legacy considering she had been so buddy buddy with Jay very recently. I just wish for some consistency with her character.
On the flip side you have Iris who put on her big girl pants and basically told her mother that she wants no part of her. Candice Patton did great in these scenes and it definitely seems like the West’s are becoming the anti-Lances as they are constantly being the mature adults who choose to confront their problems and not take any guff. Joe and Iris refuse to hide secrets from each other, but that was before she found out about her brother and just how much it would hurt Joe. Iris is very much in a similar position to Joe last season with Barry’s secret so it will be interesting to see if she continues being a reliable truth telling West or chooses to keep this secret from her father.
Lastly we have Harrison, who we really did not get to see much of this week beside him apparently killing King Shark with some sort of gun. He definitely seems to be much colder and harsher than Eobard was last season and that is saying something so it should be fascinating to see him begin to interact with the team.
Overall it was a mixed bag of an episode with some good and some very out of character moments.
Final Grade C+
+Iris being proactive
-Weird Caitlin and Stein moments
-Caitlin bringing Hank in super fast
-Wally is coming, please be great Wally.
-30 seconds of King Shark had better VFX than the entire Grodd episode. He’s a shark.
-Jay weirdly absent, hopefully he will be back in a big way next week.