With “The Man in the Yellow Suit” The Flash has proven that it can throw quite a punch when it comes to exciting action-sequences, emotional revelations and story progress.
Oh, and then there was that reveal.
Heads up: Don’t read this review if you haven’t watched the episode.
By mixing holiday celebration and fight scenes with the Reverse Flash–moments that push the show to new heights–the episode strikes an odd but strongly felt mix of melancholy and excitement. This is a show that’s quickly gotten over some of its uneven footing and has steadily improved as the season has progressed and now, with the premier of its mid-season finale, we’ve seen some of the show’s finest moments.
But let’s get to what we all want to talk about: Harrison Wells and the Reverse Flash who , as we now know, are one in the same. Tom Cavanagh has been an enormous asset to the show from the beginning, particularly in the scenes where he became a steady anchor amidst heightened emotions. We knew from the first episode that Harrison Wells wasn’t what he seemed, but Cavanagh’s fascinating performance kept us hoping for a caveat, that he was evil but not totally evil, that he was maybe doing all of this for Barry’s sake. We grew to like the character, and we’d get glimpses of his humane side, the side of him that seemed to genuinely care for Caitlin, Cisco and Barry. We’d forget that just about everything about him was pointing in a more sinister direction. Hell, even though many of us had predicted that he would in fact be the man in the yellow suit, there were equal measures of convincing ourselves that it was someone else.
For a split second there, I was dead set on the idea that it was Barry’s dad. Where did the logic fit it? It was just a feeling…
None of that took away from just how satisfying it was to see Wells unlock his suit and inject it with the power that would bring it to its faster than lightning speeds. Knowing it was Wells made the fight scenes with Barry even better in retrospect as we watched Barry continue to lose fights with a man even he couldn’t out-run. Barry doesn’t know who the man who killed his mother is, but we do and it’s going to make the ongoing episodes a thrill to watch.
I need to make sure I add just how cool the special effects were for the Reverse Flash scenes. It’s simple but the red eyes do have the desired, off-putting effect, and the way in which the two speedsters lit up the entire sports stadium had a cinematic touch.
I’m glad that the show decided to out some secrets so early on, even if I still wish Barry would just tell Iris that he’s The Flash, but I guess him admitting his feelings for her are a solid first step. I’ve been pretty vocal about not enjoying Barry’s interest in he,r but at least tonight the show both acknowledged that it was weird for him to live with his crush while also refusing to have Iris magically obtain feelings for him too that she never knew she had. It’s an awkward situation, and they play it as such. Candice Patton and Grant Gustin sell the scenes of honesty well.
Gustin, in particular, was on a roll tonight delivering a touching moment when he goes to his dad, broken up about letting the Reverse Flash get away. It’s already been discussed just how different in tone The Flash is compared to Arrow despite the fact that with Barry’s backstory they easily could have taken it in the same direction. Tonight was proof that if they wanted an angst-ridden Barry. They could have had one, but it’s much more affecting to have Barry keep up his spirits despite his dark days, while allowing some semblance of grief slip by in small, intimate moments.
We haven’t even gotten to Ronnie yet! Ronnie’s back; he goes as Firestorm now, and both Cisco and Wells make promises to Caitlin to bring him back. He also saves Barry at the end, and more than anything this felt like simply set up for a much bigger episode down the line.
A lot happened in this episode. Eddie and Iris are moving in together, and Eddie was redeemed from his task force shenanigans rather quickly. By the episode’s end, he’s made up with Joe, knows about meta-humans and is enjoying Christmas time with his girlfriend. However, the Christmas cheer doesn’t go untouched.
Cisco tells Joe that he saw something odd when Barry and the Reverse Flash were facing off. One omitted yellow hues of electricity, the other red. Barry has said in the past that the night his mother was killed he saw flashes of both red and yellow light.
The Reverse Flash wasn’t the only speedster in the room that night. So are we all thinking along the lines of two speeders running through time, fighting while time traveling? I’m not necessarily guessing that that’s what will happen, but I can tell you I’d be stupidly excited if it did.
I’m very sad that I’ll be waiting until January for new episodes, especially after one that was so strong. Tell me what you thought about the reveal in the comments!