TV Recap: The Flash, ‘The Man in the Yellow Suit’

"Pilot"

The Man in the Yellow Suit Plot:

When the Man in the Yellow Suit comes back to town, Barry and the gang come up with a plan to trap him and learn his identity once and for all. Meanwhile, Caitlin and Cisco investigate the possibility that Ronnie may have survived the particle accelerator.

Barry Christmas, everyone!

This week on The Flash, our heroes got a visit from the ghost of Christmas past, present, and possibly future a.k.a. The Man in the Yellow Suit. We know slightly more now than we did originally but there are still tons of unanswered questions.

The Man in the Yellow Suit

This week we are reintroduced to the Reverse Flash. He has been around all season, popping in and killing someone or threatening someone else. Overall the show has made it very clear that he is not just some meta-human. He is Barry’s first real villain.

We first meet him during a break in at Mercury (cute) Labs where he gives a couple of guards the ol’ Man of Steel treatment before staying around just long enough to make an impression on a scientist. He is targeting some sort of Tachyon device. Fans of Watchmen may remember that the “tachyon particle” is a particle that travels backwards in time. On Flash they’re described as moving faster than the speed of light. Either way, something is up.

A trap is set. It isn’t a particularly good one, since it ultimately fails, but we are able to get a bunch of main characters in the same room and how their interactions are very interesting. Wells and Reverse Flash get in a fist fight. Wells doesn’t attempt to fight back or more importantly stand up, which leads us to believe Wells knew it was coming and it was all part of his plan. (More on that in a minute)

Equally important is the interaction between Eddie and RF. Once he escapes, Reverse Flash goes on to murder a bunch of policeman but stops at Eddie, leaving him unharmed. Even Eddie remarks, later in the episode, on how strange is was that RF let him live. Does RF need Eddie alive to survive because they are related? It sure seems like it especially considering Thawne is the surname of the original Reverse Flash.

Allen the Family

“The Man in the Yellow Suit” also gives us a lot of touching interactions between Barry and his family. As a child, Barry’s mother tells him not to be afraid of the dark. As an adult he visits his father in jail to talk about failing to catch his mother’s killer. And in the most emotionally successful moment of the episode, a tearful joe tells Barry that “The world may need the Flash but I need my Barry Allen.” Barry may have dealt with a lot of tragedy in the past but this episode makes it very clear than he has the team to support him going forward.

Speaking of that, I had a really great theory that this episode DESTROYED. I believed that Barry’s father was the Reverse Flash. He had opportunity and his relation to Barry would have made him a clutch Vader-esque villain. Besides this episode revealing the identity of the RF, they also made Henry Allen look like the perfect dad. During a visit from Barry, Henry tells Barry that he has to let it go. “The man in the yellow suit has taken so much from this family. Don’t let him take any more.” If Henry were the RF, he would be telling Barry to get revenge and attempting to drive him insane. This exchange seems to put that theory to bed once and for all.

The Once and Future Rings

Traditionally rings symbolize a bond — two people are joined together in an eternal covenant. This episode focuses on three different rings that symbolize three different relationships that will shape the future of the series.

The first ring is a blast from the West family’s past. Barry gets Iris a ring for Christmas but it’s not just any ring. It’s a recreation of a wedding ring that belonged to Iris’ late mother. Over this first season, the Barry and Iris relationship has been strained, mostly by the introduction of Eddie. This first ring symbolizes the fact that Barry understands Iris better than Eddie ever will. While Iris may be on the verge of taking her relationship with Eddie to the next level, the show is finally starting to set events in motion that will end with Iris and Barry together. How Eddie handles that remains to be seen.

The second ring is a little more current. After her run-ins with Ronnie, Caitlin is sitting in the particle accelerator contemplating their relationship and holding her engagement ring. Will she be able to save him? Is there anything left to save? Ronnie is definitely playing out differently than I had expected. He seems like a much more tragic figure; his mind destroyed by the accident. He rejects the identity of Ronnie and goes by the name of Firestorm instead. His difficult return will affect the team, but clearly no one will be affected more than Caitlin. The moment when she breaks down to Cisco that she would rather have Ronnie die than come back a monster looks like the first steps of her transformation into the villainous Killer Frost.

The third ring…oh the third ring deserves it’s own subheading.

All’s Wells that Ends Wells.

Wells, Wells, Wells. What do we have here? While every other main character is enjoying some egg nog at the West house, Dr. Wells is spending some private time in the secret room. He stand up and reveals that he is holding A FLASH RING! Comic fans instantly recognize the ring as not only a stylish accessory but a hiding place for the Flash’s suit. So Wells is the Flash then? Not quite. Wells then walks over to a secret closet with an empty mannequin and touches the ring to a Flash logo and on the mannequin appears THE REVERSE FLASH OUTFIT! Then he attaches the Tachyon device to the suit which starts to glow and in the Reverse Flash voice, Wells says Merry Christmas.

What?! Are you kidding me? So what was all that excitement in the particle accelerator? Some fans have theorized that Wells legitimately doesn’t yet know the plan and it is only his first time through the timeline. Others have theorized that Wells has been working with RF from the beginning and the fight was just an excuse for RF to give Wells the ring with the suit inside. The fact that Wells has the Tachyon device strongly suggests that Wells is the Reverse Flash but then who was he beating up in the lab? The existence of the Tachyon device means that time travel can make literally any theory true or at least possible. Looks like it’s back to the drawing board.

Rating: 9/10

You can watch “The Man in the Yellow Suit” on Hulu here.

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Matthew Nando Kelly is a staff writer for Pop-Break. Aside from TV reviews, he writes about films, music, and video games. Matthew also has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he discusses pop culture related brackets with fellow Pop-Break writer DJ Chapman. He loves U2, cats, and the New Orleans Saints. He can also occasionally be found writing lists on Topless Robot and his twitter handle is: @NationofNando
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Matthew Nando Kelly is the cool and tough Managing Editor of Pop Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he makes pop culture brackets with fellow writer DJ Chapman.