Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Flash Season 2 Episode 4 "The Fury of Firestorm" - Recap and Review

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After a somewhat boring episode 2, the series returns to its former glory with a great episode. Dr. Martin Stein (Victor Garber) is not doing well, now that Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell) is gone after sacrificing his life.

Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) has two potential replacements in mind: Henry Hewitt (Demore Barnes) and Jefferson 'Jax' Jackson (Franz Drameh). The two people could not be more different - Henry is an egotistic and ambitious scientist while Jax is a laid-back and self-effacing mechanic. Guess who will eventually replace Ronnie?

Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) is in favor of Jax and Caitilin prefers Henry, since he happens to be a scientist too. However, Jax is reluctant and this helps Henry Hewitt get the first shot at becoming the fire-spouting superhero. Hewitt is disappointed when he is unable to successfully merge with Dr Stein.

flash firestorm poster wallpaper picture image picture

There are numerous subplots in this episode. Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten) informs Barry that she believes that a shark has been seen walking on land. Barry is skeptical of this fact.

Francine West (Vanessa Williams), the ex-wife of Detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), reveals that she is dying of a fatal illness. She wants to spend time with her daughter, Iris West (Candice Patton) before she passes away.

To top it all, Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) seems to be back....

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As I had remarked in my review of the first episode The Man Who Saved Central City”, Victor Garber makes a great Dr. Martin Stein. He brings warmth and humor to the role. This episode benefits greatly by focusing on Dr Stein.

Both Demore Barnes and Franz Drameh are excellent as Henry Hewitt and Jefferson 'Jax' Jackson respectively.

flash killer shark man poster grant gustin shantel vansanten wallpaper image picture

The other crucial aspect is the growing affection that Barry feels for Patty Spivot. This almost costs him his life, when he is ambushed by the hulking Killer Shark as he is admiring Patty from afar. Patty tries to save Barry by shooting at the behemoth but bullets have no effect on him. A stranger steps up just in time to save the day. He turns out to be none other than Harrison Wells himself.

Speaking of Killer Shark, he is more of a DC Universe supervillain rather than being more of a Flash archenemy like the Reverse Flash or Captain Cold or Gorilla Grodd. Fans of DC Comics based adaptations would remember seeing an animated version of King Shark (voiced by John DiMaggio) in Batman: Assault on Arkham (B:AoA). B:AoA is by the way, hands down one of the best DC Universe Animated Original Movies and is definitely worth a look.

The episode also featured strong aspects of horror. In addition to the Killer Shark, the transformed Franz Drameh as Firestorm sports ghostly white eyes. As a fan of the horror genre, I enjoyed these touches.

On the acting front, most of the cast members score well. The exception would be Candice Patton who goes a bit overboard as Iris West in her scene with her mother, Francine West.

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Shantel VanSanten is shaping up to be a strong presence as Patty Spivot. After watching her character in the season opener, I was not sure if she would be an ally or a foe for Flash. This episode gives ample evidence that Patty Spivot may be more than what meets Barry's eyes. She is the one who provides him the information about a walking shark man. It is when Barry comes to watch her that Killer Shark attacks him. This made me think that Zoom had sent her to help ambush the Flash. I am curious to see if my hunch proves to be right...

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Recommended watch to fans of The Flash/DC Comics.

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Image Source: Berlanti Productions, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television, The CW Television Network, The Flash Wiki

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