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After spending several years in social services, Nicole has finally followed her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer. In addition to her work for The Hudsucker, Nicole is also a staff writer for Womanista. An avid comic book fan, BBQ aficionado, professional makeup artist and first-time mom, Nicole can be found exploring Kansas City rich history when she's not blogging about suburban life at Suburban Flamingo.

The FlashBack: ‘The Flash’ – Episode 13 ‘The Nuclear Man’

The Flash is DC’s television adaptation of the comic book of the same name. It airs Tuesday nights at 8/7 Central on The CW. Our writer, Nicole Drum recaps the series each week updating you on the latest episode here in The FlashBack.

This week we get what I think could be the best episode of the season thus far. The show keeps improving from one week to the next, but this episode has really shown the skill and talent of the entire cast and crew in bringing some rather complicated characters to life.

Last week Barry met Linda Park. This week, they are going out on a date. It’s kind of adorable that we get to watch Barry stress over what to wear, but I don’t blame him. Linda is kind of feisty in the fun, strong, self-assured way that is everything Iris isn’t. She’s a lady Barry wants to impress and she’s confident, so confident that she appears to challenge Barry to some spicy Mexican food on this first date. Barry definitely isn’t able to take the heat, but he gives it noble effort which appears to make her pretty happy. Of course his duties as Flash keep interfering, but Barry has gotten to be pretty good at dashing off and dashing back before anyone (in this case his date) is the wiser. He handles a convenience store robbery and a building jumper while still managing his date. He even gets a kiss for his efforts.

Meanwhile our favorite homeless-guy-slash-familiar-face Ronnie Raymond shows up at Concordance Research. He’s looking to speak with Quentin Quale which leads us to a fairly large reveal already in the episode: we already knew that Firestorm is Ronnie merged with Dr. Martin Stein. Now we know that the dominant mind in Ronnie’s body isn’t his, but is Stein’s. Stein is appearing to Quale because they are old friends and he believes that Quale can help him. Unfortunately the Ronnie/Stein combo is very unstable and it’s flame-on. Quale is pretty badly injured, which means that Firestorm is now on the Nerd Squad’s radar to apprehend. Which makes sense because he is dangerous if he can’t control his powers.

While the Nerd Squad figures out that Stein is in control, Barry recalls where he first met Stein. We get a neat flashback to the day of the accelerator blast. Barry is riding the train back to Central City and chats up the doctor on the train. They adorably discuss physics and that accelerator. Stein is impressed by Barry, but their conversation is cut short by Barry needing to get off the train. Back in the present, Dr. Wells, Caitlin and Barry go to catch up with Stein’s wife, just to see if she has heard from him.

At Stein’s home we meet his wife, Clarissa. When Caitlin shows her a photo of Ronnie, Clarissa admits to having seen him. Shortly after Stein disappeared, “Ronnie” broke into her home. We see a brief flashback of Stein, trapped in Ronnie’s body, trying to explain himself to Clarissa. Clarissa tries to get the police, but RonStein fled and she hasn’t seen him since. She does say she sometimes feels like she’s being watched, though.

Meanwhile, Cisco and Joe are working together, investigating the murder of Barry’s mother. They go back to Barry’s childhood home and are greeted by Sherry, the new owner. She’s definitely trying to hit on Joe, but these guys have a job to do. The look around despite it being a long time since the murder. Of course they realize that the mirror on a piece of furniture was there the night of the murder and, sure enough, the vintage mirror collected traces of silver nitrate. What does this mean? It means that there may be photographic evidence of what happened! Cisco does a great job of explaining this, me not so much.

Caitlin and Wells are staking out the Stein home. They have some heartfelt conversation about how home isn’t a place but the person you love and for Caitlin it’s Ronnie. Barry is on a date with Linda, but they end up just staying at Barry’s house where they skip dinner entirely and go straight to desert. Get it, Barry!

Ahem. Anyway. RonStein shows up in a blaze of light and yeah, Wells and Caitlin have to call Barry. This ruins his the rest of his date as he has to cut things short to go handle the situation.  Flash confronts and tries to reason with the RonStein, but he’s unstable and flame-ons. Oh and that flame stuff tries to kill the Flash, but Caitlin saves the day. She pleads with RonStein not to do it which seems to work. Inner Ronnie kicks in and he leaves Barry alive and flees. Of course it isn’t exactly a Firestorm win: Flash has put a tracking device on him.

Back at Barry’s old home, Cisco and Joe are checking out what the silver nitrates have captured. It’s pretty amazing, a near 3D projection of the night of Norah Allen’s murder. As they walk through the scene Joe realizes the wallpaper is new and rips it back, discovering blood stains. They collect samples to analyze.

The next day, Barry tries to apologize to Linda. She seems to be willing to give him a chance, even though he is ‘called into work.” However once Barry leaves Linda chats with Iris about Barry’s dating history since he’s both awful and awesome at the same time. This is where I decide that I loathe Iris completely now (which is sad because I love her in comics): she tells Linda that Barry is still hung up on an unrequited love so he’s probably not good to date right now. Yep, I hate you Iris.

That work call Barry gets is the Nerd Squad. The Nerd Squad plus Clarissa Stein find RonStein under a bridge. Robbie Amell nails this scene. He has Victor Garber’s speech pattern down cold, but he also imparts enough of Ronnie for us to really see the painful struggle the two men are experiencing. RonStein is able to control their fire long enough to ask for help. It’s heartbreaking.

Back at the lab RonStein is all cleaned up (and I sincerely hope they fed the poor guy.) They have also dosed him with a cocktail of psychiatric drugs meant to treat dissociative identity disorders which really helps RonStein control their powers. It also allows Stein to explain that he is trying to separate himself from Ronnie through nuclear fission. Caitlin puts him through some tests where we get another fantastic acting moment of the night from Robbie Amell as Stein expresses to Cailtin how he can feel Ronnie’s memories and emotions and shares tender moments with her. That’s when Caitlin discovers that RonStein has a temperature above 108 degrees, but that’s not the worst of it: a chain reaction has started inside of RonStein and things could very well go nuclear. Wells has only one idea to fix it: kill Ronnie, but Caitlin tells him no. They have a couple of hours. Fix it.

As all of this is going on, Joe and Cisco are at the police department and Joe asks Cisco to test the blood. He specifically asks Cisco to test it against Wells and Joe has to explain how he doesn’t trust Wells. Cisco isn’t having it. He gets upset and leaves.

So we’re back at the lab. If they can’t split RonStein, he’s going to go nuclear and level the city in an epic nuclear blast. Wells is actually seeming human right now and sneaks into his secret closet of future to take something from the tachyon device. He asks Gideon if it could work as a quantum splicer and she says it might be able to do so, but it messes up his timeline. Wells, for once, chooses something more than himself. He chooses to help RonStein.

Stein and Barry have a chat while this goes on. He explains that he remembers Barry from the train that day. He also manages to give Barry some romance advice, unintentionally which makes Barry go fight for being with Linda (who has by this time broken up with him over his love for Iris.) Barry eats a ghost pepper to prove his interest in Linda. Barry doesn’t do so well with that pepper, but it does win him another chance with Linda. And after that is squared away? Barry explains to Iris in no uncertain terms that he does not love her anymore. It clearly hurts Iris. Good.

Back at the lab…RonStein is missing. They track him to the Badlands outside of Central City. He’s decided to sacrifice himself, but the team isn’t going to let that happen. The splicer is done and Caitlin demands that Barry take her with him as they go to give it to RonStein at the last minute.

Image Credit: CW

Image Credit: The CW

The two get there and RonStein is not happy to see them. It’s dangerous, after all, but Caitlin tries to convince Stein to apply the splicer. He doesn’t want to, but Ronnie breaks through when Caitlin tells him she loves him no matter what. Ronnie kisses Caitlin (and Stein quickly explains that that was, in fact, Ronnie.) He then allows the splicer to be placed and…it appears to fail. Energy begins to fill up RonStein with fire and a red glow. Caitlin and Barry just barely outrun the blast as Ronnie’s body goes nuclear with Caitlin hysterical as she loses Ronnie yet again.

Or did she? In a secret military bunker, nasty old General Eiling picks up the blast. He smirks a bit and says they need to dispatch because it’s time to reclaim Firestorm. Yikes!

Oh, and this isn’t the stinger, but I feel it is much better to mention this at the end of the recap. Cisco does in fact run that blood sample. There are two distinct bloods there, one they can’t identify, but the other one is pretty clear. It’s Barry, but not child Barry. Cisco drops the news on Joe: the blood at the scene, one of the two speedsters there…is grown up Barry Allen.

Next week? We talk about time travel. Let’s get to work on our theories in the comments below!

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One Comment on “The FlashBack: ‘The Flash’ – Episode 13 ‘The Nuclear Man’”

  1. Honey February 12, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

    Reblogged this on ektachandrakar.

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