The Flash Review – S02:E04 – The Fury of Firestorm

Harping on movies and shows in negative light isn’t something I like to do. I find that most film and television is rather commendable. As a filmmaker, it’s easy to acknowledge the amount of human power and time that goes into making something for people to watch. Even having this understanding, I have to admit that this week’s episode of The Flash was one of the hardest pieces of fictional storytelling that I’ve ever had to endure.

SPOILERS ABOUND

“The Fury of Firestorm” could have been told in much less than an hour. I bet it could have been told in thirty minutes, wasting half our time. Its issues stand out and are poisoned by clichés. This episode lost its way, not knowing who to cater to.

Before I really get into it, Spivot and Barry officially flirt a lot. The heartwarming awkwardness oozing from their conversations has me yearning to see what will happen if something romantic develops in a world of metahumans they’re jointly combating.

The entire hour revolved around two things. The first thing was of course the return of Iris’ mother. Everyone has seen this arc before. Parental unit returns, child wants nothing to do with them, unit says they’re terminally ill, and child shoos them off anyway. If you want to develop lockjaw, then I highly recommend watching each Iris scene in this week’s episode. The dialogue is so unnerving, you’ll lack ivories from grinding them down as you squirm listening to the deliverance of tediously forced speeches.

The storyline doesn’t fit, especially considering how many things are going on at once. The plot point could have been the cherry on top of a delicious cake, but instead it’s more like a rotten olive on top of a decayed salad.

The dual squandering comes from the recreation of Firestorm. For the record, I love the actors and characters portraying Firestorm, I just despise how the show lethargically introduced the new combination.

The episode begins “two years ago” on a highschool football field. S.T.A.R. labs emits that large energy blast we’re so used to seeing, and a football player named Jax stands in the way of it, saving a friend. He’s gifted abilities, but was unaware of them.

Fast forward to the present. In order for Professor Stein to survive, he must find a suitable counterpart to fuse with. The problem is there are two candidates. One is a smart scientist and the other is a smart jock who’s avoiding college. There’s even a dialogue about how he couldn’t afford college. It just didn’t fit. It’s clear he couldn’t afford college or didn’t want to go to college since he’s a happily employed mechanic, which by the way, is a totally admirable position of work. We see him working, which means we don’t need to hear mumbo-jumbo about him avoiding college. We get it. Please stop patronizing us.

Arrow has a similar problem, and I had always hoped that Flash would steer clear of its mistakes. Flash caught the bug, and it’s putting me to sleep.

Jax, the mechanic, is eventually selected as the candidate, as the scientist is shunned and immediately transformed into a fiery villain – of the week. Jax becomes Firestorm and aligns himself with Barry to defeat the flaming scientist. Yea, the other guy. There’s no point in mentioning his name, because it was the least memorable character in the show’s history.

Stein needs to leave with Jax, and says his goodbyes, leaving Cisco a little upset, but only after telling Cisco to embrace his newfound quasi-telepathic abilities. What could have been deeply moving was just another throwaway conversation lacking emotional contact.

The entire episode’s disjointed plot and diatribes became nothing to cheer at. In fact, because it spoke to the audience for almost a full hour, it lacked all sense of cinema. If I recorded the episode, stripped away the visuals, and put the audio on an mp3 player for everyone to listen to, the entire story would still be told. Furthermore, if I cut out half the scenes, listeners would still be able to understand what happened in its entirety. If I can walk into another room and hear what’s going on, that’s called a radio show, not a flick.

The conclusion offered a moment of redemption. King Shark made a jaw dropping appearance. The Flash doesn’t give a hoot when it comes to introducing new ideas to mainstream audiences, which totally contradicts all the annoying fluff stuffed throughout the episode. Shark looks decent enough for a small budget television show and is ready to rumble when suddenly Harrison Wells stuns him.

The show’s glowing audacity to present King Shark while concurrently eluding to an anti-hero variant of Harrison Wells are the few reasons I’ll be returning to CW next week. A Wally West reference sneakily hid in one of the conversations might be another reason.

WRAP-UP

“The Fury of Firestorm” didn’t bring the heat. It’s underwhelming antics were so offensive I considered putting a stop to watching one of my favorite character adaptations altogether, this coming from someone who read the Flashpoint comics and liked them during initial releases. The last minute was the only valuable takeaway.

5/10

That really hurt.
Daniel Mihailescu
danjamllc@gmail.com