The Man in the Yellow Suit
The winter finale gave avid fans of The Flash a nice blend of holiday tradition and a truth-seeking mission. This one involves the metahuman that murdered Barry’s mother. Here’s how everything went down…
The episode opens with a precursor of what’s to come in the episode then goes back to “one day earlier.” Traditional Christmas cheer is in high spirits to kick off this episode. There is decorating of the tree, boxes of decorations littering the floor (who else is familiar with this picture?) and Christmas music. Barry complains about the rate at which the decorating is going, so he takes matters into his own hands. The tree is decorated in a matter of seconds. The banter at the West house ends when Joe has to leave. Then Iris and Barry exchange gifts; Barry gifts Iris with a replica of her mother’s lost wedding band. A gift that should touch Iris and though it does her character, I’m not convinced Candice Patton played the scene well enough. After his sweetly sentimental gift from the heart, Iris gives Barry a microscope or some such thing for his work. Enter Eddie. The spell is broken.
Fast-forward to the coffee house where Iris works. There at a table sits Eddie and Iris as they talk about Eddie’s suspicion that Barry likes Iris. Iris disputes Eddie’s claims believing it impossible that Barry thinks of her as anything other than a sister. This encourages Eddie to give Iris her Christmas present. He’s ready to take the “next step.” In the jewelry box is not a ring, rather it’s a key. The lovebirds are moving in together.
The Red and Yellow Lightning Returns
Prominent to the investigation of last night’s episode was the return of the man Barry described as killing his mother. His calling card is announced when the yellow blur attacks a lab, killing two guards. It’s apparent that the man wanted something out of the lab only it went into lockdown before he could leave with what he came for. Barry and Joe investigate the crime in their respective official capacities, which complicates matters. It soon becomes obvious who is responsible for this break-in forcing Joe to confess he knew the killer was back. Looking back, we remember when this “yellow phantom” visited Joe in his home leaving behind a threat to harm Iris if Joe doesn’t give up his crusade. Fortunately to this break-in, there is a witness which goes a ways in confirming what the “blur” looked like.
Mercury Labs (the company that was breached) develops prototypes for the future. This is the next information Joe and Barry learn from Dr. Wells (who knows the scientist in charge) and Cisco’s technological investigative information. The only conclusion Barry and gang come to is that they will have to obtain whatever the blur is after first to set a trap. Wells and Barry approach the lead scientist hoping to borrow the prototype for the purpose of their plan; she denies them.
The return leads Barry to reminisce. He goes over his board of evidence, remembering his mother and back to that night of his mother’s murder, seeing it again in his mind’s eye. Iris appears; the two talk about Barry letting go of some remnants of his mother’s case. Iris tells Barry about Eddie. Barry lies to Iris (denying his feelings) when she relays her conversation with Eddie that he (Barry) loves her. Iris leaves and when she does, across the way (on a rooftop), Barry spots the blur. He chases him through central city coming to a stop on a football field. There Barry and the killer engage in a fight with the killer coming out the winner. Before he leaves, his words and conversation with Barry suggest that Barry actually knows who he is. Back at the labs, Barry communicates the information to Wells and Joe. On their end, the investigation doesn’t seem to be going any better. The police still cannot get the prototype from the Mercury Labs until Barry convinces the scientist to release the prototype to them. Next comes Eddie strong-arming Joe into letting him be a part of the plan to trick the “yellow blur.” His taskforce was approved for just such a reason. Before the climax though, things happened with Caitlin and Cisco.
Also important in last night’s episode was Caitlin’s story. She sets eyes on the “man on fire.” When leaving the labs, a man seems to be watching her and when she goes to see who he is, Caitlin sees not some deranged man, she sees Ronnie. This inspires her to go see Iris about the story she wrote about the man who can be set afire. (Also worth noting was Iris talking to Caitlin as to whether or not she knew why Barry is acting odd. Perhaps it’s because Barry loves you, Iris.) Caitlin trusts her find with Cisco who honestly doesn’t believe her story of Ronnie still being alive. Nevertheless, good friend that he is, he helps Caitlin track down Ronnie. They find him. Caitlin tries to bring him back peacefully but Ronnie denies he’s who Caitlin says. He physically grabs Caitlin before letting her go and leaving aflame.
The most poignant moment of this subplot was nearer the end when Cisco is comforting Caitlin and she says this:
“I used to play this game in my head. What would I give up for just one more minute with him? My house, my career… the rest of my life? Today I finally got that minute. And I wish I hadn’t. Seeing him like that, what he’s become… dear god… I wish he had just died that day.”
All Cisco does is comfort Caitlin by holding her. For that moment, that was enough.
The Winter Finale Climax
Moving back to the showdown, back at the labs, plans to capture the killer are coming along nicely until… Joe tries to get Barry to step down. Barry refuses to leave it be – it’s “my fight” he says. Joe doesn’t waver and Barry leaves in a huff. What this challenge does do is drive Barry to do two things. First he goes to see his father. While there he confesses to almost having Nora’s killer only he let him go and expresses regret for not getting his father acquitted. He feels guilty that now everyday he’s in prison is Barry’s fault. His father tells him to let it go (was it just me or was that panic that passed his face when Barry tells his father he found the murderer?).
Second thing Barry courageously does in this episode involves Iris. Barry returns to the West house to find Iris finishing the tree; he looks ready to confess to Iris then he pulls her close and hugs her as he whispers in her ear, “I love you.”
“I love you, too,” she replies.
Needless to say, Barry has to go a step further and explain what he means by this. He tells her that he loved her before he knew the meaning of the word then he had to move in with the girl he crushed on – and still does. Explaining that he never told her because he was afraid if she didn’t feel the same he’d lose her too (meaning his past experiences with his family). Now irony of irony, because he didn’t speak up, he has lost her. He leaves Iris in tears with an apology.
Back at the labs, the operation Barry was excluded from is going down. Wells along with the backing of a SWAT team, Joe and Eddie imprison the yellow suit dude. Getting him just where they want, they question him as to why he wants the particles. Answering none of their questions during their small amount of time together, he does tell them that he’s “the opposite” of The Flash then he breaks out of his box after beating up Wells. Caitlin sends an SOS text to Barry, who arrives in time to save Joe and Eddie. Outside, Barry and yellow man engage in an epic battle, which of course the killer walks away from. Ronnie appears to save Barry and to tells Caitlin not to look for him and flies away (literally) in a ball of flames.
After the dust settles, at the police station Eddie wonders why “it” didn’t kill him and suspects Joe knows more than he’s telling. Joe shares some about meta-humans and asks Eddie to keep that knowledge between the two of them. Then the ultimate question comes: Eddie wants to know if Joe knows who the Flash is. Looking up, Joe sees Barry walking down the hall and simply says: “Yeah, I do. He’s the guy who saved both our lives tonight.”
The episode wraps with Joe having a heart-to-heart with Barry. He asks that Barry not lose the “light” he brought to their home – Joe was worried about taking in another kid when he already was a single father. He tells him that while the world may need the Flash, Joe needs Barry Allen. It all ends with the gang (minus Wells) at the West house, enjoying Christmas cheer. Barry wishes Eddie and Iris all the best with their future. Eggnog is poured and by way of one final mid-season finale bombshell, Cisco confides in Joe that while observing the yellow flash while he was in captivity, he learned that there had to be two men at Barry’s house the night his mother died.
Last scene we see is Wells in his secret room, unlocking a suit of his own and in an ominous voice wishes us a Merry Christmas.
Thoughts and Questions:
+ Barry finally said the three little words. His motivation was perhaps more for him, still he said them! What do you think this will mean for the future of Iris and Barry? I liked that he told Iris just because it was good for him to say it aloud to her. She’s not going to leave Eddie because of this, meaning it won’t harm her relationship. Or I don’t believe that will be what – if anything – comes between these two. Certainly not in the short term.
+As Caitlin and Cisco treat Wells wounds, Wells asks Caitlin why she didn’t tell him Ronnie was still alive. Then he promises that he’ll bring Ronnie home.
+Are you any closer to deciphering what Wells end game is? I’m not. Aside from it being something evil, which seems obvious, I haven’t a clue what he really has up his sleeve!
The next episode preview looks really quite good for The Flash. I’m kind of bummed we’re at the midseason finale, but hey, it’ll be worth the wait and I suspect that January 2015 airdate will arrive before I know it. Until then, signing off on our installments of 2014’s The Flash recaps. Share any of your theories below if you’d like.
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