Barry’s old bully from school arrives on the scene, this time with the ability to turn his skin to metal. But will The Flash find a way to beat him without his emotions clouding his judgement?
Barry makes another visit to Iris to try and convince her to stop writing about him for her blog. That’s sort of the problem. In contrast to Oliver’s Arrow, Barry is readily accepted as a hero by the people of Central City so they’re less inclined to leave him to the police. Either way, Barry abruptly leaves to tackle a joy-rider who’s tearing it through cop cars. He confronts the man only to break his hand after punching him. Then the thief starts hitting him, and Barry is forced to retreat with several additional injuries.
“Man of Steel,” Dr Wells says when Barry explains what happens. Nice little shout out there, of course if Superman got a look at this guy he would spit food. Anywho, Barry finds out later during the police report that the Colossus wannabe is Tommy, a boy who used to bully him in school. We get flashbacks (ha) of Joe and Iris teaching Barry that it’s okay to run away from a fight you can’t win. When Tommy tracks Iris through her blog to try and get The Streak, Barry’s anger leads him to charge in recklessly and he nearly gets himself killed.
Quite a few emotional points this episode. Eddie joins in the fray, asking Barry what’s going on with him and Iris. The two even bond a little in the gym after Tommy apparently skips town and takes jurisdiction of the case away from him. Eddie’s sudden step into the limelight, including him noticing Tommy’s skin abilities means that very likely he will soon be on the supernatural warpath.
Wells actually gets angry with Barry this week. While Cisco is geeking out about the man of steel thing, as well as the prospect of Barry sonic-punching someone, Wells berates Barry for charging headlong into a fight that he didn’t know how to win. Joe makes an apparent connection wherein which Wells arrived in Central City not long after Barry’s mother was murdered. Initially he goes to Wells under the guise of seeking his help. While Wells manages to shake him off and reveals part of his backstory in the process, it’s hard to tell how much truth there is to what he tells Joe.
Tommy, this week’s villain, actually has an origin! Granted, it’s your typical ‘once a bully, always a bully’, but it’s still something. The effects of his metallic skin are pretty cool. What it really does is highlight just how under-trained Barry is in hand to hand combat. One reason I think Arrow will be able to beat him when they eventually fight, is because Barry doesn’t fight with finesse so much as literally just swinging punches.
Seeing Barry reach mach 2 to land the afore-mentioned sonic punch is a thing of beauty. It’s only a short sequence, but at that moment you can see him become The Flash properly. Funnily enough, as the title of the episode indicates, Barry helps Iris select the new name for the hero of Central City.
What’s quite good is the final scene of the episode, wherein which the Reverse Flash visits Joe to warn him off pursuing him. It’s over all too briefly, and Reverse Flash doesn’t say anything so much as leave a visual threat (a knife in a photo of Iris), but his point is made fairly clear and will no doubt lead to some sort of drama depending on how Joe responds to it.
With that in mind, Eddie’s sudden interest in Barry, and Wells’ involvement does still have people speculating which one is the Reverse Flash as there are valid reasons for both.
Who do you think the Reverse Flash is? Are you looking forward to the upcoming Arrow cross-over episode? Let us know in the comments below.