TV Recap: The Flash, ‘The Nuclear Man’


The Nuclear Man Plot:

After Ronnie (Robbie Amell) attacks a physicist, Barry (Grant Gustin) and the team go after him. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) enlists Cisco’s (Carlos Valdes) help in the reinvestigation of Nora Allen’s murder. Barry struggles with his relationship and his duties as The Flash.

Recently the central focus of The Flash has become relationships, and I don’t hate it. I think it works considering how they are handling it. While it is slightly predictable, how could it not be? Every relationship trope has been done a million times. Even the superhero tropes (dating a reporter, having to leave abruptly) are handled well enough and that it sure isn’t boring. And by God, Barry better get his act together and marry Linda (Malese Jow) because it doesn’t get much better than an attractive female sports reporter who throws herself at you.

Obviously the relationship issues also surfaced when dealing with Ronnie and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker). Ronnie has his body and consciousness melded with that of famed scientist Martin Stein. Caitlin has to deal with possibly losing Ronnie again, even though he is back in form only. According to some clunky explanation by Wells (“You know, like Darwin. Survival of the fittest.”) Ronnie’s body is here but his mind is trapped because of the melding. But the mere hope of recovering her lost fiance makes Caitlin develop in some uncharacteristic and great ways. The same way that, on Arrow, Island Oliver purposefully seemed like bad acting compared to city Ol, I think future Caitlin is going to make current Caitlin look like an amateur. Can’t fault them for that. It’s by design. The fact that they are able to surprise me like this almost makes me want to give them more credit.

The Flash logo.

The addition of Firestorm wasn’t a bad one either. Robbie Amell sounds exactly like his cousin Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver Queen on Arrow. If you close your eyes, it might as well be the same voice. He does a good job of pretending to be two characters well enough. While we haven’t seen much regular Ronnie, we have seen a fair amount of Robbie playing Martin and that is great. Victor Garber has a very distinct style and Robbie does a really good job of inserting that into his character. On the other hand, plain of Victor Garber as flashback Stein is also great. The man is a true professional. There really isn’t much else to say about that.

I will say that, Ronnie’s powers looked really good. This show has been doing an excellent job of making the CGI better as the show goes on. I was honestly worried that the pilot episode looked so good and it would only get worse. Boy was I wrong. Flying and being on fire are hard effects to pull off and they did as good a job as anyone. I would say it was on par with the Fantastic Four movies, only technically of course. Hopefully it never gets as silly as those films did. I also enjoyed the “Flame on” line from Flash as a fun nod to the connection most fans made. My one issue with the show is that the great effects make his goofy homeless guy wig look like hot garbage.

Let’s talk about Cisco in this week’s episode. If I never hear him talk about sex again, it will be greaaaaaat. His advice to Barry was god awful. Do you really not think Barry has thought about that, Cisco? I have a feeling it crossed his mind. I also could not get over how silly the mirror holograms were. Besides it being highly unrealistic, the fact that it only led to them finding a blood spatter that clearly wasn’t examined before was ludacris. Did the police not even check? Don’t they still need to build a case? They don’t have a confession or anything. They are going to be picking up blood samples. Especially big ones on the wall. Also, and this might have been my biggest “screaming at my TV” moment, Joe West should ABSOLUTELY have given Sherry the business. I don’t see what was stopping him. He’s a single dad, right? Go for it. If anyone deserves it, it’s Joe.

All in all, this was another good one. The addition of Linda Park and Martin Stein is a big plus. They will bring a lot of new energy to the cast. Giving Caitlin a character besides saying “I’m worried” is another great move. Firestorm overall was a huge success and having General Eiling in the stinger preparing to come back and find Firestorm is also really cool. The more Clancy Brown, the better.

Rating: 7/10

Matthew Nando Kelly is an incredibly cool and handsome staff writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Aside from weekly Flash reviews, he writes about film, television, 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

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.


  1. Do you watch what you wrote about? An entire paragraph about crappy police work when Joe explicitly stated why they didn’t analyze blood? Amateur.

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