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REVIEW: The Flash 2×12 “Fast Lane”

You know, for a show all about speed and moving fast I really hate when they choose to slow down and not actually make sense of anything. “Fast Lane” was a filler episode where we specifically have to get from point A to point B and not be surprised at the fact that the endgame actually happened. Yet, it’s really hard to not come to the conclusion that at the end of the day our main plot of the episode was not nearly as important as we wanted it to be. It is the fault of many procedural shows, the material happening around the characters is way more interesting than the actual conflict. Except, usually with The Flash both the A and B plots are fairly balanced so if one side sags to greatly the other doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb. Luckily, the side material for this episode managed to pick up just enough of the weight that I was mostly fine watching it.

So, there were two big changes in the status quo this week. Wally coming more into the fold of the team and actually learning to trust and like Joe, as well as Harry’s alliance with Zoom finally being brought to light. Of the two of these plots I felt that the Harry material was much stronger if only because Tom Cavanaugh can sell the crap out of being completely conflicted with making a choice. I really loved the fact that Harry straight up told Barry that when it comes down to it, no matter what he will always choose his daughter’s personal safety over anyone or anything else. Even if it means teaming up with Zoom to save his daughter from the psychopath’s grasp. It was also a really strong moment to actually see the team admit that they needed to be part of the greater good and actual commit to helping someone who may would have abandoned. Sure, there is a long running joke that Team Flash has probably killed more metas than they have helped to save, but at the end of the day they are the good guys and the good guys help those in need.

The other part of the episode that worked really well was actually getting to see how Wally interacts with people and learning why we should care about him. Keiynan Lonsdale manages to make Wally super relatable and provides a solid reason as to why we should care about his street racing. One of my biggest gripes has been that this Wally seems to lack the fuck or charisma that we often see with the character, but watching him talk to Iris about his love of the car rides really helped to bring an entirely new layer to him. As Iris said, he does indeed care about people whether he wants to admit it or not and by allowing him to grow closer to his sister and father we will hopefully see that other side of Wally he so desperately needs. Especially considering how important Wally should be to the show moving forward.

However, where Wally managed to excel Iris managed to stumble as she took part in one to many stupid decisions. I understand her frustration with how Joe treats Wally, but it just felt so wrong of her to try and force her ideas and beliefs onto Wally. Especially considering that their mother had just died and that is the one parent which Wally knew about. Iris forcing her way into the drag racing circuit or trying to intimidate the boss just felt like very stupid moves considering she had no real backup plan. It felt like drama for dramas sake that she got injured and that this was what helped to bring the family closer together. It just felt incredibly cheesy and forced, and not like how The Flash should be handling this matter at all. Hopefully in the future, the edges will be all smoothed out and the West family will get back to being one of the best parts of the show.

The other major weak point of the episode was Tar Pit, a really lame villain whose only real purpose in the story was to break Wally’s car. I am sure there was a better way for all of this to have been handled or at least attempted to make him a compelling villain. Instead he was incredibly underwhelming and even the CG of his powers looked incredibly lame. I mean what the hell was up with that final fight? Were they even trying to script a cool scenario or was it just a last minute sort of thing? Also, shouldn’t CCPD have way better security than just letting a meta waltz up to the station like that. Just some food for thought.

Overall the show stalled this week, but moving forward we should definitely be on our game.

Final Grade C

+Wally became interesting

+Strong Wells plot

-Lame villain

-Iris being really dumb

Extra Thoughts

-“Who’s the best hacker in the world, people?” “Felicity Smoak.” God, I could feel Cisco’s ego getting wrecked.

-Alright, we get that Zoom is a sadistic scumbag. Can we actually have an episode that truly deals with him as a threat.

-Word of warning, Joe has a mean right hook. Took down two guys with a single punch this week.

About the author

Scott Swartz