In Review: The Flash, Episode 14 “The Nuclear Man”

A hero is made, but can he be saved? Outstanding fun.

The Flash, Episode 14 “The Nuclear Man” Broadcast February 10, 2015

Written by Andrew Kreisberg & Katherine Walczak

Directed by Glen Winter

“Previously on The Flash,” Ronnie Raymond is shown being caught in his fateful blast, Caitlin is shown seeing him after he’s become Firestorm, and Cisco is shown by Hartley Rathaway that Stein has bonded with Raymond. In the present, Barry runs off for a date with Linda. The two enjoy a meal of spicy tacos, and Linda leaves to wash her hands, as Barry’s phone buzzes. It’s Cisco telling about a robbery. Barry doesn’t want to go, but gets talked into it by his friend at S.T.A.R. Labs. He’s gone for only a few seconds, returning just as Linda comes back to the table. Joe then calls Barry to tell him about a jumper, and the Flash discreetly saves the man without Linda noticing his absence. At Concordance Research Quentin Quale leaves work late, accosted by a stranger who staggers to him, calling his name. Telling the man things only Martin Stein would know, Ronnie ignites with a plea and a scream. Cue opening title sequence.

At Jitters the next day, Caitlin and Cisco tease Barry that he may be moving too fast with Linda. Their fun is interrupted when Cisco gets a call that causes him to dash off. On the televisions in the shop, the news comes up with a story about a physicist in critical condition after seeing a burning man. Cisco meets Joe at Barry’s childhood home so they can investigate a “theory” the detective has about the murder of Mrs. Allen. Attractive divorcee Sherry opens the door and allows the men in to look around her abode, and she’s taken by Joe. Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Dr. Wells announces they obviously can’t allow Ronnie to roam free. Seeing a picture of Stein, Barry realizes he’s met him, which is followed by a flashback of them speaking on a train. As Barry leaves at his platform, the camera pans underneath the professor’s seat, revealing a sturdy case labeled FIRESTORM. He goes to S.T.A.R. Labs that night during the accelerator’s accident. The pulse throws him to the ground, opening his case, and exposing his glowing creation. He hurriedly picks it up, just as the form of Ronnie Raymond slams into him. Cue first commercial break.

This episode is the payoff to the running Ronnie Raymond storyline. Backstory is given on Stein, and viewers finally get to see Victor Garber act. I was surprised that Stein was arrogant as he was, as I don’t recall him being so in the comics. Robbie Amell got to do quite a bit, acting as two separate characters in one body. I really liked Cisco and Joe teaming up, and how a seed of doubt has been planted in the former. Chase Masterson plays Sherry, and I loved her on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and I’m hoping that her character returns. It would be nice to see Joe have a romantic side. I’m not thrilled with Barry dating Linda, but Grant Gustin was absolutely charming as he made a hasty exit from a very romantic encounter. Reminded me of Christopher Reeve at his best clumsy Clark Kent moments, though for Barry that was really him. The solution to the Firestorm problem was designed like part of that character’s comic book costume, and that was neat! Also neat was Wells making a decision that prolongs his disability. Nice justification from Kreisberg and Walczak for having him do so. The episode ended with a nice cliffhanger as a past antagonist will be returning very soon.

The good: Grant Gustin, Carlos Valdes, Tom Cavanagh, Jesse L. Martin, Robbie Amell, Victor Garber, the script, and the effects team cranking up the epic scale with a really big explosion.

Fun lines: “You change one more time, I’m going to kill you,” “I need you to help me,” “I will not judge you,” “Or…,” “I got you,” and “Please…help us.”

The bad: Not liking Linda Park. Malese Jow is acting the part she’s given, but there’s not much there for me to like about her–how she checked on Barry was just wrong! Also not keen on the scene with Iris. Didn’t believe it.

The final line: A hero is made, but can he be saved? Outstanding fun. Overall grade: A

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
    One Comment
  • Raissa Devereux (@RaissaDevereux)
    11 February 2015 at 4:42 am -

    I don’t really like Linda or Iris. Both seem forced to me. Felicity is much more organic. It’ll be interesting to see Garber and Amell act side by side as the story line progresses.

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