Recap: The Flash Vs. a Man of Steel

The Flash Recap

This week on The CW’s The Flash, Barry got rapped by some heavy metal punk, while Joe’s investigation into Nora Allen’s murder caught a certain someone’s attention.

First of all, thank you to the writers and Dr. Wells for the headline assist, though I’d like to think I would have arrived at “Man of Steel” myself. This week’s villain had the added wrinkle of being a grade school bully from Barry’s youth — a real Biff Tannen-like lunkhead, now metahumanized into a metallic menace. Of course, hailing from Barry’s youth, this Tony cretin eventually had to kidnap Iris, if only to implore her to give him as much ink as this “streak” fellow. But Barry, with some scientific assists from Caitlin and Cisco, found a way to deal a devastating blow, at a speed of Mach 1.1 after getting a five mile-plus running start (and apparently undeterred by the school’s closed doors. At least slip in one of those rubber door stops first).

Reconvening after her scare, Barry and Iris make nice with each other after their week-long spat, and during a convo about her rescuer, Barry inadvertently gives her an idea for the hero’s new moniker: The Flash.

The real tension in this episode, however, came from Joe West’s conversations with Dr. Wells, whose boffo brain the detective asked to pick in the name of figuring out who/what killed Nora Allen years ago, well before the S.T.A.R. Labs snafu gave birth to a bevy of freaks. Could there have been another particle accelerator that pre-dated S.T.A.R.. Labs? Hey, speaking of which, where was Dr. Wells before he materialized in Central City, a month after Nora’s murder?

That line of questioning quickly irks Wells — and you kinda felt for the guy, seeing as he was stoked about getting to be out of the lab to “go for drinks” with a bud. At Wells’ suggestion, Joe looks up the name Tess Morgan… aka the scientist’s onetime partner in both research and marriage, tragically killed in a car accident. Unable to continue on in their old digs, Wells put that sad past behind him and relocated, to Central City.

Or so he says.

Still, Joe hopes to still have the doc’s help, when possible, in investigating the impossible man who killed Nora. But that investigation may need to be put on hold, because at episode’s end Joe gets a visit from the “man in yellow,” who makes off with all of the case files and leaves behind a knife driven into a photo of Iris, with the scrawled message: “STOP OR ELSE.”

* Cute device, having Iris’ blog entry echo Barry’s episode-opening narration.
* Foreshadowing alert! Iris hearing reports of a “guy who’s on fire but doesn’t burn up.”
* It’s gonna be one ugly (but wonderful) sweeps episode, someday, when S.T.A.R. Labs’ containment facility breaks open Ghostbusters-style — especially since even just one of them now knows The Flash’s true identity. Oy.
* “What exactly are we debating?” “The average number of bugs Barry swallows in a day of running.” “I look forward to seeing you accept your Nobel.”
* I alluded to this in TVLine’s most recent 20ish Questions column, but am gonna harp on it again here, so close your ears, comic book loyalists: If I am Iris, I at the very least am suspecting that the “streak” is Barry. Speech rhythms, metrosexual build, Barry’s MIA whereabouts when the “streak” shows…. That barely blurred, sometimes merely shadowed face and the speaking-into-an-oscillating fan voice is not completely fooling me. I know, Superman does it worse. And it’s some time-worn “convention” of the genre that the recognizable aren’t. I’m just saying that if you can try a little harder, why not do just that? Again, I’m sorry, but it takes me out of those scenes.

What did you think of “The Flash Is Born”?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Skittles&Bits says:

    The superman nerd in me was cackling like a loon at the man of steel reference. This episode was so cool! I love how Sisco pretty much represents the fans with his enthusiasm and over the top but very cool theories; he never fails to make me laugh. I loved the Barry/Eddie bonding moment because it helped me connect with Eddie for the first time since the premiere. I really hope Joe stays on Wells b/c that sob story about his wife Tess Morgan felt too much like a distraction. Wells is a shifty bugger and everything he does seems to point to him being from the future and perhaps even being Reverse Flash. Not sure why a super villain would want to help his heroic counterpart become stronger though…

    • cody says:

      because wells is more then likely barry from 10 years in the future but after aging 14 years in present time and he was the red streak that saved barry when he was 11 and brought him out to the street

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        But didn’t Doc Brown always tell us that meeting yourself would “unravel the very fabric of the space time continuum, and destroy the entire universe”…?

      • Skittles&Bits says:

        If Wells is Future!Barry why would he kill his own mom? Of course this would mean assuming the red/yellow flash did actually kill Nora Allen and not something else. Future!Barry and Present!Barry existing in the same time and place seems like a huge plot (hole) explosion to me also.

        • Jon says:

          The red and yellow lightning surrounding Nora could possibly be TWO people moving very fast. One trying to help (red) and one not (yellow).

        • cody says:

          the sequence with the lightning in the pilot is most likely a fight between a flash and a reverse flash/professor zoom and wells looks a lot like barry enough like him to be a much older twin or him from the future and wells tried to save nora but he couldn’t beat the reverse flash/professor zoom

      • herman1959 says:

        OMG, when you guys start that thing about people going back and forth and saving THEMSELVES I feel like my head is going to explode! It’s too much, I’d rather just wait and let the story unfold. Maybe I just need to stop reading these posts.

      • websnap says:

        Wells is not Barry. Do a Googlel search for eobard thawne. That is Wells with a 99.99% guaranty.

        • cody says:

          eobard in the flash is most likely eddie considering their name is very close and edward which eddie is short for sounds quite a bit like eobard, and they both have the last name thawne thee 99.99% guaranty is that eddie is eobard thawne

    • Evenmoor says:

      Your hypothetical Evil!Wells may simply be ensuring his own existence in the future, something that depends on Barry being the Flash and surviving to a certain point. Just a thought.

      • Skittles&Bits says:

        I’m not so sure Wells is “evil” exactly; more like he’s obviously got his own clandestine motives and that he’s willing to do anything (like manipulate a confused solider into turning herself into a suicide bomber) to make sure things go according to *his* plan. I’m not so convinced he is ensuring his own existence; since he was able to travel back in time, doesn’t that mean he already exists/will exists/did exist in his own future? This time travel business is rather confusing.

  2. I was hoping that when Dr. Wells mentions the “Man of Steel”, Barry would have looked at him and said, “No, not that guy.”


    It’s more likely that Wells is The Reverse Flash. Hence the Yellow costume of the killer (I’m assuming Wells is the killer here). The Reverse Flash is from the future and only exists because he idolized The Flash and engineered a similar incident to create his own powers. So, to ensure his own creation, so to speak, he had to ensure The Flash’s creation…travel to the past and engineer the “accident” that created The Flash

  4. Bobby Beige says:

    First, Dr. Wells is either clearly Reverse Flash, or he knows who he is and Det. West is going to be held captive. Second, Barry’s obvious development in his limits is only going to benefit Dr. Wells. Maybe, the Flash can travel back in time to save Wells’ beloved Tess Morgan, or maybe even give Wells his Flash powers. And what about Eddie, Iris’ boyfriend. In the comics he is the original Reverse Flash, but on this show he’s just a nice, regular guy?! That maybe another story for season two. Clearly, Wells’ is up to even murder to protect Barry. I would take EVERYTHING from his mouth as a lie since he committed murder in the name of the Flash!

  5. javadude54 says:

    If Dr. Wells isn’t Professor Zoom they are doing a good job of making me think he is.

  6. Kate says:

    You are right about the voice at least (I think this is because you can tell the technology doing this and Stephen Amell has been doing his own “arrow” voice since the second season and they dropped the voice adulator, which I know they weren’t using). But, yeah overall I hope Barry listened to Caitlyn, the whole thing is creepy.

  7. robinepowell says:

    Why do I get the feeling that Dr. Wells is a yellow streak from the future?

    Obviously he has some ties to the yellow streak he zips in for the files on Nora’s death after the two men talk about it.

  8. MM says:

    I’m surprised nobody is talking about the one part of the show that made me shout “NO!!!” — namely, Barry freely telling Tony/Girder his secret ID. And his colleagues just think that’s fine. Can they really be that dumb? Surely Dr. Wells, whatever his long range plans, would tell Barry that this is not a good idea.

    Other than that, enjoyed the episode. And loving the show.

  9. ninamags says:

    Is anybody else as annoyed with Iris as I am?

    Really, really dislike her. I’m getting horrible flashbacks to Lana Lang, yuck. Down to her working in a coffe place. She’s dumb, stubborn, annoying and has absolutely NO chemistry with the hero. Hell, Barry showed more chemistry with Eddie in this episode.

    • redmommy25 says:

      Lol. Barry and Eddie did have good chemistry together!

    • Poh says:

      It’s weird. I didn’t think I’d like her…but I do.

    • JC1 says:

      Not seeing it personally. If anything Iris is more the Chloe Sullivan of this show, except instead of a Wall of Weird she has a blog. And Iris seems so far to be a much more proactive character than Lana, who often seemed like her only purpose was to be gorgeous and tragic and obsessed over.

    • Radha says:

      No, I like her. People just seem to be against any of the canon pairings on a show. Either that, or they have another problem with Iris. Yes, I think she needs to be given more to do, and she needs to be let in on the secret soon–but that’s the writers’ faults. But usually a stubborn woman who doesn’t heed everything a man says, is a woman that people love. Because it’s all about a strong female role in the media, right? So I guess maybe it’s just the actress you don’t like. Whatever it is, I don’t share your opinion.

    • chris1 says:

      I love Iris and her chemistry with Barry and Eddie is undeniable. She’s sweet, honest, smart and a very loyal friend to Barry who absolutely “adores” her.

    • Lena says:

      I was wondering when someone would bring the Iris hate. Let me guess, you love Caitlin and Barry, because Caitlin just “look” right for him? Iris is hardly dumb. I always think it is interesting when people label certain people that way. Far as chemistry, it is subjective and definitely your opinion. I think Barry and Iris has tons of chemistry and I love that she is stubborn, BUT intelligent. She is incredibly flawed, but loving to Barry.

      • Georgia Madman says:

        Nah, Caitlin is worse than Iris if that’s possible. She’s so sour all the time.

        • Lena says:

          Iris is far from being the worse character. She is a cheerful, kind, caring friend who clearly loves and supports Barry, but somehow people find reasons to hate. That’s ludicrous. And she is getting more involved in the story. So if people are not hating someone who is sad all the time, they choose to hate someone who tries to see something good about life. That makes perfect sense.

    • L says:

      Nope, I love everything about Iris and think the chemistry between Grant and Candice is great. The writing for her has improved a lot over the past two episodes. Interesting that a female character that is going after a huge story and taking risks is seen as stubborn, dumb and annoying and not as brave. Iris is fully aware of the danger of her work and chooses to do it anyway. I would call that brave. If she doesn’t write the story, someone else will. Seeing as Iris is the female lead, you will be seeing a lot more of her. You’re in for a long miserable ride if you dislike her that much. Also, Iris has such as positive personality, I don’t really see how people can’t like her.

      • herman1959 says:


      • Briggs says:

        For some reason, people want to be ‘in’ on hating a character first, and they want to turn iris into Laurel for the Flash. It’s just going to blow up in their face because that kind of vitrolic hate is only see once in a blue moon. Iris isn’t as bad as they keep saying she is, and eventually this ‘trend’ is going to die a horrible death.

    • Kai says:

      Well, I’m seeing tons of chemistry between Grant and Candice so I guess that’s subjective. Though I certainly don’t understand why working in a coffee place can be a reason to dislike a character. And FYI, that’s properly a part-time job. Iris is working on her dissertation (aka a PhD), so I don’t see how one can simply deem her as dumb without giving a legit reason either.

    • C121592 says:

      Here we go again… Iris is not dumb. She WAS stubborn this episode, but so is Barry. He doesn’t listen, which is why Wells was pissed at him early in the episode. Barry acts completely normal around her, so there would be no chemistry at this point. There is no flirting, no sexy banter, nothing. The best chemistry, right now IS Barry and Joe West. They are only completely honest with each other.

      • C121592 says:

        Here we go again… Iris is not dumb. She WAS stubborn this episode, but so is Barry. He doesn’t listen, which is why Wells was pissed at him early in the episode. Barry acts completely normal around her, so there would be no chemistry at this point. There is no flirting, no sexy banter, nothing. The best chemistry, right now IS Barry and Joe West. They are only completely honest with each other. Closely followed by The Flash and Iris. I love their scenes. Everything that he holds back as Barry, he shows as Flash. Very sexy.

    • Emme says:

      Sorry. I L-O-V-E Iris. Everyone on the cast is great. LOVE Cisco so much too.

    • G. says:

      It’s not just you. She’s pretty annoying, and proving to be nigh-useless, unless you count being damsel-in-distress-of-the-week a use.

      Also, I absolutely can’t buy that she’s SO dense that she hasn’t figured out Barry’s TWO secrets — a) that he loves her and has for over a decade; b) that he’s this new superhero she’s suddenly obsessed with.

      She is being written as a grade-a sap and intellectual lightweight.

  10. ronnie says:

    I’m thinking that the yellow flash is actually the supposed dead wife. It would explain his reluctance to help.

    • CathyMK says:

      Best theory I’ve seen yet. I assumed Tess Morgan and her death were a fictional cover story for whatever wells’ real story is, but maybe the car accident was a cover story for some sort of lab accident that turned her into the 1st metahuman. I just really want the show to veer away from the comic books enough to make it interesting. Having Wells be the Reverse Flash/ Nora’s killer, and the one who threatened Joe is too obvious this early in the season and the series.

  11. JC1 says:

    Great episode – I think the show’s just getting better and better. I’m getting a bad feeling though that Wells is going to be Nora’s killer. And yes, Iris needs to find out very soon.

  12. dancmh says:

    I’m glad Barry didn’t unmask himself to the steel guy until the end of the show because the sheer stupidity of that scene took me completely out of the episode.

  13. Raymond says:

    While I agree that it wasn’t a smart move for Barry to reveal his identity… I totally get it. After it was all over, I too would want the guy who bullied me in school to know that I’m the one who’s responsible for stopping and capturing him. And let’s remember that he’s only been a “hero” for a very, very short time. He doesn’t have a clue as to what the repercussions of some of his actions can be… yet.

    • herman1959 says:

      I was also shocked when Barry revealed himself, but then I realized that “man of steel” was locked up in Star Lab’s containment unit or whatever it’s called. I agree that it will be some episode when the “containees” escape.

  14. Emme says:

    …Metrosexual build… LOL! Mitovich, you’re too funny.

  15. Maryann says:

    I have not followed The Flash in the comics in detail, but I find myself wondering if the man with the yellow blur is Dr. Wells.

  16. Briggs says:

    Finally watched the ep, and I wish I’d known sooner that the CW lets you watch it after it airs online, unlike Hulu, which (last I checked) makes you wait a full week. So, good to know.
    Oh, Barry. Carrying that torch a little high, there. Though I understand why he’s still trying to talk her out of it. I’m loving the relationship, though. In both IDs. Speed reading indeed.
    Caitlin and Cisco were hilarious. Like true nerds, even minutiae like how many bugs Barry swallows during a run is fascinating. And funny. “I look forward to seeing you accept your Nobel,” guys.
    Cisco loving the idea of Barry breaking the speed of sound made me love him more.
    Caitlin hovering like a mother hen was great, too. Though I suspect part of that is left over from losing Ronnie. So wanting him to be careful makes sense. Who wouldn’t love a friend like Caitlin?
    Harrison Wells got to me. I mean, if his sob story isn’t genuine, he could make bank in Hollywood with his acting ability. But there’s still a whole lot he’s not telling us.
    Seeing Barry and Eddie bond over bullies was fun. I could see what Barry pulled from each person he talked to in order to make that final punch count, and I loved every minute.
    Joe was awesome, and seeing him with Young Barry made me go ‘aww.’ He’s been *such* a good dad, and he doesn’t get enough credit for that. Easily my favorite character, at least for the episode. I know, he beat out Cisco! He’s just that good. Him seeing the yellow streak… er, Flash made this episode.
    Speaking of, Barry ‘accidentally’ giving Iris a better name for ‘The Streak’ was great. Yes, I think he did it on purpose. But that’s just me.
    The bully almost had me thinking he’d changed when he’d realized who The Flash really was, but then his anger management issues reared their ugly heads again. Oh, well.
    And about Iris not thinking it’s Barry… well, the guy works in forensics. He’s not on the front lines, usually, which made it funny when he had to ‘partner’ with Eddie. So not seeing him when the ‘streak’ appears isn’t unusual. In fact, I’d like someone to name once when she would actually have cause to ask where he was when the ‘streak’ was there when he legitimately should have been there, too. Just once.
    Anyway, loved it, can’t wait for tomorrow.