Another Flash episode has arrived and we return to a familiar ‘villain of the week’ formula. This episode has cut down on the number of story arcs as the Barry/Patty relationship only gets a cursory reference and the Jay Garrick arc is not mentioned at all. The under lying theme of the episode was Family, and doing anything you can to keep them safe!
Here’s our recap and review!
This week’s villain is Tarpit. A man who was dumped into some liquid tar at the same time of the Particle Acceleration explosion.
This of course allowed him to survive submerged in the tar for two years until he is accidentally dug up and giving him powers. He then starts a mission of revenge to kill the people who tried to kill him.
We do get a brief background of who the guy was when Team Flash are trying to track him down but it is not interesting enough to repeat. Let’s just say he wasn’t a great guy and now he is killing other not so great guys.
He manages to kill one of the people who wronged him by covering his entire body with tar and suffocating him.
The second attack is foiled by the Flash and the third fails after the Flash uses some Nitrous Grenades made by Cisco and Harry Wells that solidify his body enough for Joe West to knock him the hell out!
Now that the villain is out of the way, let’s talk about the more interesting parts of the episode. Harry’s betrayal.
Earth-2 Wells has developed a device that when installed inside Barry’s suit, will drain some of the Speedforce.
Several times throughout the episode, Harry is interrupted by Barry or Cisco while working on the device and he gets defensive and a bit hostile. At one point he ends up shouting at Barry that he doesn’t need any help solving the breach problem and tells him to let him do it himself.
Does this mean he is feeling guilty for what he is doing and it is being expressed as mis-directed anger? It turns out the device works perfectly and Harry collects a sample of the Speedforce from Barry when he is fighting Tarpit.
This has affected Barry however, Cisco notices that he was slower than normal and Barry himself notices he doesn’t feel like himself. Harry sort of apologises to Barry later on and says that he reminds him of his daughter.
He then goes on to say that he will never be part of the team and will always be a father first. He will betray Team Flash at some point when he makes the choice between his daughter and Barry. Barry isn’t phased by this and just says that he has more faith in Harry than he does himself.
Barry has come up with a way to close the breaches, while using his speed-reading ability to refresh his memory with whole books worth of scientific knowledge in a matter of seconds, which Harry finds very annoying!
They test this breach implosion device at it works! Barry hugs Harry in celebration as they are now a step closer to stopping Zoom.
Harry secretly meets with Zoom and gives him the sample of Speedforce. Zoom injects it into himself and Harry says he can have the rest if he releases his daughter. Zoom refuses and says he will torture Jesse if Harry doesn’t get the rest of Barry’s speed.
Before I go any further let’s talk about what is going on with the West family. They try the family dinner thing and talk about their past but Iris ends up spoiling the mood by asking why Wally is racing.
Not content with chasing him away from dinner, Iris goes down to one of Wally’s races and gives him a lecture about the dangers of it while collecting information on a possible article which will expose the underground street racing circuit.
Wally ignores her so she goes to Joe to ask whey he is letting Wally race. Joe says that he doesn’t want to push Wally away. Iris really is a glutton for punishment as she goes directly to the race organiser and threatens him with exposure if he doesn’t stop the races. This inevitably backfires as the guy threatens her and her family, even though she tells him the conversation is being recorded.
Back to Wally, Iris asks why he is still racing as she knows all of Francine’s medical bills are paid off! He avoids the line of questioning and goes off to another race! It is revealed that the race organiser was the get away driver for the guys that tried to kill the guy who became Tarpit.
All stories come together as Wally’s race is interrupted by Tarpit as he tries to kill the race organiser, Joe and Iris are watching as things go wrong and the cars are flipped. Iris calls Barry who races to the rescue and pulls Wally and race organiser to safety as the cars crash and debris flies at the crowd.
Because of the device in his suit, Barry has been slowed down and is unable to catch a piece of glass which pierces Iris’s shoulder!
The Flash races her to the hospital and she is okay. Wally comes to see her and feels guilty about what happened but still runs away. Joe catches up with him and says that they are mad at him for putting his life at risk but he has family and they care about him, he has a place with them.
A quick bonding conversation between Iris and Wally reveals that he races to remember the good times he had with his mother when he was younger. They didn’t have a lot of money when he was growing up so she used to take him out for drives, he loves the feel of speed.
As a result of the incident Team Flash talk about Barry being too slow to save Iris. Caitlin has data which shows he was 2% slower and they try to figure out what caused the change. Harry looks visibly uncomfortable during this conversation and eventually cannot take any more.
He confesses to the device he installed in Barry’s suit and to him working with Zoom. Joe deals with the news perfectly and punches him in the face before throwing him in the pipeline.
Barry goes to talk to Harry who said he warned him he would betray the team. He would do anything within his power, whatever the cost to save his daughter. His guilt is overwhelming and he tells the team to send him home and close all the breaches so that Zoom can’t cross back over.
Barry takes responsibility for what Wells has done and defends him by saying that any one of them would do anything they could to protect the ones they love. The team go to Harry who thinks they are going to send him home, but they say he is officially part of the team and they will help him. He is going home but they are coming with him. Off to Earth-2!
Here’s a few things that jumped out at me during the episode;
- Stereotypical “hand reaching out of the ground”, or in this case tar, to signify re-birth of a character.
- Tarpit was a bit pathetic. Although his tar monster body shell looked pretty cool!
- Barry displaying his ‘speed-reading’ ability was a really good nod to the comics, and only being able to retain the information for a short period of time.
- There is a brief mention of Oliver Queen’s mayoral campaign on a news report in the background. Good to know this is still happening.
- Barry is a crap CSI, he puts his coffee mug down right next to the dead body he is about to examine!
- It wouldn’t be a normal week if Cisco doesn’t develop something else to track down Metahumans. This time it is a social media app which will alert him to any mention of metas online!
- Team Flash were almost unhelpful during the second Tarpit fight, when Barry asks for help Cisco just says “find something to cool him down!” Wow, great help.
- Caitlin and Barry give Cisco a reality check when he asks “who’s the best computer hacker in the world?” and they reply in unison with “Felicity Smoak”
- Both Wells and Tarpit were taken down by a Joe West right-cross!
It was good to finally see some more development in the Zoom story. The last episode seemed to have forgotten about it completely but we are back on track now. The relationship between Harry and Barry is really interesting.
Barry sees him as much of a mentor as the other Wells was to him, but Harry is reminded too much of his daughter and tries to push Barry away. He ultimately comes round and is accepted as part of the team but he is vulnerable and struggling with being unable to help his daughter.
The West family are finally coming together and I hope we will have an episode soon where one of them isn’t moaning about one of the others. Just get along for a while will you! Was Iris’ statement that Wally is all about the speed another tease to him eventually becoming a Speedster? I hope so!
Tarpit was rubbish and dealt with incredibly easily. I think the problem was that you couldn’t feel any sympathy for him. He was a bad guy to start and was an even worse guy after getting powers. At least some of the villains start out fairly good but are then corrupted by tragedy or something, this guy was just a crook.
We also saw very little of his powers so he wasn’t even interesting to watch when he was on screen. Hopefully next week there will be a better bad guy, maybe even another of the Rogues from the comics. Mirror Master perhaps? Let’s wait and see.
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below.