The Flash Season 1, Episode 9
Written by Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing
Directed by Ralph Hemecker
Unrequited love hurts. Especially at Christmas. I can personally attest to this so it’s easy to empathize with Barry Allen as he struggles with watching Iris West tell him she’s moving in with her cop boyfriend Eddie Thawne.
But that’s just the beginning of Barry’s Yuletide woes. He’s been carrying the baggage of his mother’s murder for 14 years while the Reverse Flash is back in town wreaking havoc. And Barry’s not the only one dealing with grief: Caitlin thinks she saw her dead fiancé Ronnie.
“The Man in the Yellow Suit” is an action-packed emotional roller coaster as Barry confronts Joe about his knowledge that Reverse Flash has been in town for weeks, Ronnie is clearly not the same man and Wells is now certainly not the man he claims to be. And we get an appearance by Amanda Pays from the first Flash TV series as Tina McGee!
Yes, there’s a lot going on in the fall finale, but it all comes together nicely. Having given Iris a replica of his mom’s wedding ring as a Christmas gift, from afar Barry witnesses Eddie giving Iris a key to his apartment, and while Clark Kent mooned over Lana Lang in Smallville for years before expressing his feelings, Barry comes clean with Iris; she doesn’t change her plans to move in with Eddie, but now that one of Barry’s secrets is out in the open, it should make things interesting in the new year. When will Eddie find out and what will he do about it?
Speaking of Eddie, sometimes he seems a lot like Smallville’s Whitney or Arrow’s Tommy – not destined to be around the entire of the run of the series. Sometimes. If you’re rooting for Barry and Iris to get together, you probably hope he’s evil; despite all of the hints of who the Reverse Flash might be, I thought for a moment that it might be him. It still could be. But toward the end of the episode, there’s a nice scene between Joe and Eddie where the elder cop reveals his knowledge of meta-humans and that it was the Flash who saved their lives in a confrontation with the Reverse Flash. Eddie might lose his animosity for Central City’s resident superhero, while perhaps becoming less friendly to Barry given his feelings for Iris.
Meanwhile, Ronnie is now Firestorm, and poor Caitlin starts to think it would be better if he had died – after showing up to save Barry from Reverse Flash, he tells his fiancée not to come looking for him. This storyline serves to introduce another DC character to the small screen while providing some opportunity to showcase the bond between Caitlin and Cisco.
Of course the big story here is the Reverse Flash – why did he kill Nora Allen? What are his motivations? And why doesn’t he just kill Barry? Or Eddie, for that matter, when he had the chance? And we know that Wells is keeping secrets from the team; more importantly, he’s dangerous. The final scene of the episode removes all doubt, but does it really give us the identity of the Reverse Flash?
“The Man in the Yellow Suit” is a fantastic episode of this freshman series and lives up to its name as various story-lines quickly progress. Most of all it’s got a lot of heart, with Barry’s hopeful nature at its core, as Joe reminds him. See you in 2015.