“Fast Lane” – The Almost-Villains and Heroes of The Flash
Tuesday night’s episode of The Flash “Fast Lane” demonstrated the need for speed; minus Aaron Paul and any use of the word ‘Drift’.
Present, though, were jacked up muscle cars.
With the racing origins of an unsung hero, The Flash this week also saves an almost-villain from a doomed fate.
The episode centres itself around Harrison Wells, utilising the Turtle’s brain matter to steal Barry’s speed. Disheartened, that Wells didn’t seek out another way to save Jess i.e. using the Turtle to stop Zoom, we do see a remorseful Wells in the midst of what he has done, and what he is about to do.
Elsewhere, Wally – if it wasn’t obvious – loves speed. Whilst, not a drug habit; like how my mother thinks I’m addicted to coke – the soda kind – he has an addiction. Whilst the perils of racing versus battling Meta-humans is debatable, his addiction is a necessary evil to his origins as Kid Flash; if you are yet to google his character.
“Fast Lane” opens to a Tar Factory on the night of the particle accelerator explosion, wherein two thugs – Clay and Daniel – hold their victim Joey over a boiling vat of Tar, in order to hustle answers from him regarding money. Letting him fall to his death in the pit, the crew leave as the explosion hits the factory.
Back in present day, the Tar Factory reopens as a Car detailing shop; freeing Joey for the first time as a Meta-Human.
Elsewhere, suffering heartbreak from Patty’s exit, an isolated Barry seeks out Wells for friendship. As he looks upon Wally spending time with Joe and Iris, he narrates “time changes everything”, even Harrison Wells – who is hopefully not doomed.
At the West residence, Wally tells Iris and Joe that his dream of being an Astronaut; akin to Barry’s, stemmed from a love of speed. Whilst Joe tells him it was also Barry’s dream for a scientific reason, we see the similarities between the two grow. Like the role of an Astronaut, it’s Barry history of Science that enables his role as the Flash; and it will be Wally’s love of speed that will enable him to become the Kid Flash. Family bonding grinds to a halt when Iris brings up Wally’s role as Speed Racer; Taillights. When he leaves, Iris calls Joe out on his hesitance to parent Wally.
Back at Star Labs, Wells works towards creating a device, to drain Barry’s speed when he taps into the speed force. Interrupted, Barry arrives, wanting to work with Wells on closing the breaches caused by the singularity.
With some speedster speed-reading, Wells grows agitated to work with Barry as he tries to work on his device, but surrenders into his unrelenting positivity.
Meanwhile, Iris crashes Wally’s race, photographing its ring leader in order to investigate. Whilst at the factory, Joey resurfaces to kill Daniel Burge; one of his killers.
At the crime scene, Barry sends a sample of the body back to Star Labs, where Cisco reveals he can now get push notifications for Meta-Humans, and Barry continues to work on closing the breaches with Wells. Referencing the nostalgia of Quasi-Wells’ mentorship, Harrison finally loses it and forces Barry to leave.
Conveniently, Joey aka Tar Pit chooses to attack Clay; drawing Barry to the scene, in time for Wells to collect his speed.
Using a fire hydrant to cool and harden Joey, Barry leaves the scene; dropping Clay off at the Police Station in the meantime. Back at Star Labs, Cisco tells Barry that he ran slower than usual but ultimately, it is blown off as negligible, as “fast is fast”.
In other attempts to prevent the need for speed, Iris confronts Clark Bronwen – the Ring-leader of the races – telling him that she’s a reporter. Threatening him, she brings up his criminal history as leverage. When Wally learns of her visit he warns Iris that he can’t protect her. With a subtle slip that Francine is dead, Iris wants to know why Wally still races.
Back at Star Labs, Wells breaks, telling Barry that he will always be a Father first, and will ultimately betray him.
With faith, Barry tells him: “that’s binary thinking, it doesn’t have to be either or” in the battle between saving Jesse and conquering Zoom. Using Quasi-Wells’ research Barry tells Wells that he has figured out how to close the Breaches. With no plan to save Jesse as of yet, Wells reluctantly goes to meet Zoom to give him part of Barry’s speed, promising the rest with Jesse’s return.
Not willing to compromise, Zoom threatens to torture Jesse, leaving Wells at the end of his wits.
Back at Star Labs, the team discover a criminal link between Clark and Tar Pit, leading Barry to the races; having just closed 1 of 52 breaches with Wells.
As Barry is able to save Wally – giving him his first taste of speed – from Tar Pit’s powers, he is too slow to save Iris; who is struck by debris.
As Joe reads an article as Iris’ hospital bedside -aptly named ‘rise of a star’- Wally takes ownership of the risks that racing poses, and resolves to be a better sibling and son.
Using a nitrous grenade, Joe leaves Iris in the care of Wally, as he joins Barry in stopping Joey.
Back at Star Labs, Wells owns up to stealing Barry’s speed upon Iris getting hurt. With a right hook from Joe, Wells is imprisoned at Star Labs.
As Wells proposes that the team send him back to Earth 2; closing the breach behind him, he resolves himself to the idea that Jesse’s rescue is his battle to fight, and no-one else’s.
Empathetic for a remorseful Wells, Barry agrees to help him save Jesse, by following him to Earth 2. Forgoing the fact that he murdered the Turtle – unless they have yet to realise it – Wells seems to have cemented a role within the Star Labs team through Barry’s faith.
Next week, as the Team travel to Earth 2, we meet Killer Frost. Meanwhile, in Earth 1, will Wally stick around Central City to get close to the Flash?
The Flash airs Tuesday at 8|7c on the CW!
[Featured Image Courtesy of the Diyah Pera/The CW; Source Content for Gifs: The Flash l “Fast Lane”, the CW 2016 ]