“THERE IS A SHARK MAN OUT THERE. OR POSSIBLY A MAN SHARK.”
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
The Flash’s second season has a lot of balls in the air, with the main plot concerning Zoom and Earth-2, Iris’s estranged mother returning, Jay Garrick’s arrival, Barry’s budding relationship with Patty Spivot and the Harrison Wells of Earth-2 poking around in a few end-credits scenes. It’d be all a little too much to keep track of if the show wasn’t handling it all so well. The real triumph of “The Fury of Firestorm” is how it manages to pack all the various narrative threads in, while still having time to be an enjoyable, satisfying adventure.
With the apparent sacrifice of Robbie Raymond in the Season 1 finale, Martin Stein has been unable to become Firestorm, and it’s taking a toll on his health. Naturally, this leads Team Flash to find a “compatible” metahuman to take up the Firestorm mantle and save Stein’s life in the process. They end up finding two options: arrogant scientist Henry Hewitt and athlete-turned-mechanic Jefferson ‘Jacks’ Jackson—who unfortunately wants nothing to do with it. Jacks is an immediately relatable presence on the show, with his “take no guff” attitude and apprehensive nature contrasting nicely with the rest of the team. “The Fury of Firestorm” also gets quite a bit of mileage out of Hewitt, turning him into the best villain of the week after Stein doesn’t choose him to be Firestorm. While past villains like Atom Smasher performed their narrative functions well, Hewitt feels more fully-formed, with a clear motivation and context for his actions.
The episode’s B-plot wasn’t too shoddy either, with Iris finally meeting her mom and Patty working with Barry to track a “Man Shark” (which yields an amazing moment in the episode’s third act). While most of this was merely groundwork for future episodes, the exchanges between Barry and Patty are a ton of fun, and Grant Gustin and Shantel Van Santen continue to have great chemistry and sell every moment of it.
“The Fury of Firestorm” is one of the best episodes The Flash has done yet, and that’s saying something. Packing enough story that it almost feels like it could have been a feature film, “The Fury of Firestorm” is able to tell emotional stories, handle its many plots with stride and have a great deal of fun while doing it. It’s one of the those rare episodes of television that only moved everything forward, but still somehow got you excited for more.
Robbie Raymond or Jefferson Jackson? How ‘bout King Shark’s reveal though? Tweet me @MaxMielecki. And be sure to follow us @YouNerded.
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