Episode 203 “Fury of Firestorm”
[photos: Jeff Weddell, Cate Cameron/The CW]
With the aid of Jay Garrick, Team Flash builds a dimensional cannon in the basement. Barry and Patty price tickets for the love boat as their quirky and fun relationship develops. Stein meets Jefferson Jackson, and a new Firestorm is born with only a few complications. Patty investigates an urban myth about a man-shark…no really.
We jump back in time to the night of the particle accelerator explosion and met Jefferson Jackson (Franz Drameh). Jackson is a high school football player with promising college prospects. Sadly, his dreams are crushed after the explosion leaves him with injuries that end his playing days.
In the present we pickup right after Stein’s collapse last week. Cisco quickly cobbles together a device to stabilize his condition. The team is on edge, knowing it’s only temporary. The race is on to find a compatible meta human to merge with the professor and share the custody of the Firestorm matrix before he dies.
Two candidates emerge from the search, and it’s up to the Flash to quietly get DNA samples to determine the best match. Later at the precinct Barry runs into Patty, who is embracing her role on the metahuman task force with vigor. She asks if Barry can run analysis on some shark teeth she found in connection with a possible man shark roaming Central City’s back alleys. The energy between these two is delightful. As a viewer I want to see their relationship develop faster; as a writer I hope they drag it out a bit to keep the show rich and fulfilling for as long as possible.
While the team discusses the two most promising candidates – “Jax” Jackson and Dr. Henry Hewitt, Earth-2’s Harrison Wells lurks nearby studying Team Flash. I am excited for his reveal and interaction with the group, but hope his role in the future does not mirror that of season one’s villain. For now Cisco has used up the last of the Reverse Flash’s tech to create a techno-cane to keep Stein and the matrix stable.
Cisco and Barry return to base having unsuccessfully motivated Jackson to return with them. Barry is uneasy as he sees that Caitlin has already brought Hewitt into the lab and is already giving him the seal of approval. Barry urges caution and another attempt to meet with Jackson.
Joe and Iris sit nervously awaiting the meeting with her mother. Joe reminds Iris that she has no obligation to meet her. Francine (Vanessa A. Williams) arrives and is not greeted by her now adult daughter in the way she would have hoped. Iris questions her motives, but does not give her a chance to explain. She ends the tense meeting making it clear she wants nothing to do with her errant mother.
The team prepares to join Hewitt and Stein, with Cisco explaining the process and attaching the matrix to Hewitt’s chest. Surprisingly the attempt is unsuccessful and Hewitt is not pleased, storming out of the lab. At Mercury Labs, Harrison Wells stages a bold and bizarre theft of a prototype gun. CEO Dr. McGee is baffled by the sighting and calls upon Joe to investigate. Patty is confused, believing that Harrison is dead; she thinks that Barry should be brought in to look for trace evidence. Joe urges her not to tell Barry, informing her of his traumatic past with Wells.
Back at the precinct, Francine shows up — much to Joe’s distress — and drops the bomb that she is dying. Poor Joe, he just can’t get a break just when an issue seems resolved a new wrinkle puts him in a dilemma. At the lab Cisco and Caitlin try to explain to Jackson about his potential to be part of the firestorm matrix. Like other meetings this episode it does not go well and Jackson also storms out of the lab. Caitlin decides to pursue and convince him of the consequences if he refuses.
Joe and Barry discuss Francine and Iris, providing Joe the opportunity to exert his fatherly presence. He has noticed the chemistry between Barry and Patty and urges him to not be afraid to try new things. Elsewhere Hewitt is still upset about his failure to pair with the matrix. However, the attempt seems to have unlocked some latent abilities and he flies into a rage determined to get what he believes is his.
The pressure is on Team Flash: if they cannot convince Jackson to join with Stein he will die. As if that was not enough, they have accidentally unleashed a meta human in Hewitt that has the potential to go nuclear. Barry shares his advice from Joe with Caitlin and she decides to give one last shot to convincing Jackson.
Joe delivers the news to Iris about her mother’s terminal illness. Iris is still skeptical about her motives and battles with a decision to meet with her again. Joe is supportive, but again tells her she can refuse even though he believes that Francine is indeed dying.
Jackson returns with Caitlin to the lab and with Stein’s life on the line gets the crash course on merging. The pairing works and Jackson becomes the new Firestorm. He seems to enjoy his new form and having Stein as a copilot. Eager to try out his abilities he is given the chance when Cisco learns that Hewitt is charging up at Central City’s football stadium.
Jackson takes well to his new abilities and teams up with the Flash to quickly defeat Hewitt, who gets the code name “Tokamak”. With all the build up to finding a match for the matrix this battle seems a little anti-climatic. But the show saves its best for last — as always. Iris makes the difficult decision to meet again with Francine. Using her investigative talents she confirms her diagnosis, but finds another startling secret in her mother’s past: she had a baby boy eight months after leaving Joe.
Jackson and Stein depart to train and improve their abilities and prepare for their debut on Legends of Tomorrow. Barry contemplates how to proceed with Patty and gets a two jaw dropping shocks to cap the episode. Patty’s suspicions become startling true as a 9 foot talk shark man grabs the Flash around the neck. This is an amazing achievement for the VFX team and awesome moment for the fans. Patty tries to help the Flash, but her bullets have no effect but to anger him. Tossing the Flash aside he sets his sights on her, but his cut down surprisingly by a hooded man.
He is quick to escape, desiring no accolades, but not quicker than Barry. Catching up with the stranger, he pulls back his hood for the shock of his life, coming face to face with Harrison Wells. Baiting the hook, they end the episode leaving us waiting for episode 5 and the ramifications of this meeting.