Fast Lane Plot:
Barry tries to team up with Dr. Harrison but finds out Harrison prefers working alone. The Flash fights a new meta-human. Iris researches her brother’s drag racing. Dr. Harrison starts stealing Barry’s speed.
Spoiler Alert: The last sentence of this episode was “We’re going to Earth-2”. That’s all you need to know for next week and was the only thing worth seeing in this one. I just saved you an hour of watching a very average Flash episode.
If you want more details than that…fine. This week’s freak is Tar Pit, a meta who can turn his body into tar and throw fireballs. Picture Batman’s Clayface but on fire. Don’t worry thinking too hard about it. He probably won’t be back all that often. His arc is the same as Mist’s (bad guy revenge) and his CGI budget is probably too high to work with more than once a season. If he does end up recurring, there is no excuse why Flash can’t have Grodd be a semiweekly occurrence either. And Tar Pit’s CGI did not disappoint, especially near the end. It ranks a bit lower than King Shark but decidedly higher than Atom Smasher. I was impressed.
In their initial meeting, Barry nearly beats Tar Pit with the classic run really fast and believe in himself, but it doesn’t completely work. Now, don’t worry fans of The Flash status quo. Everything is more or less the same. The initial failure does lead to some infighting between the S.T.A.R.s but wouldn’t you know it? They are all better friends after it’s done. Also they didn’t murder the meta this time, which is a plus.
The one change to the formula was the reveal (that should surprise no one besides Ned Stark) that Harry is secretly working for Zoom (kind of). Harry built a little device that could siphon Barry’s speed wirelessly into a syringe that Zoom can use to mainline Speedforce. The shocking part about the betrayal was that anyone was really ever shocked. Harry told the team multiple times that he was going to betray them. It really doesn’t get more cut and dry than that besides Harry installing some sort of betrayal based applause sign over his desk, but I’m sure the superS.T.A.R.s would manage to miss that too.
The B-Plot of the episode revolves around more illegal street racing because darn do those kids never learn. Iris gets involved and like all DCCW love interests, is immediately in way over her head and only makes the problem worse. Thank goodness Tar Pit intervenes and nearly kills everyone, otherwise Iris and Joe’s whole “Don’t race because it’s dangerous” argument would have really fallen apart when Wally won another race and got some more cash.
The emotional height of Fast Lane was a moment where Barry couldn’t save Iris from getting stabbed with glass from a car windshield (don’t worry, she’s fine) because he lacked a tiny bit of his speed. Now I’m no scientist but I already have a problem with Barry being able to run fast enough to do some things but not others. Sure he can go back in time but can he catch three whole bullets? What a conundrum. The seams really start to show when The Flash asks us to understand that Barry is currently limited and can’t possibly catch something wafting through the air even though the mere act of getting to the scene means his should be going fast enough to do pretty much anything else.
It also seems like Flash may have given up on developing Wally as a character and just decided to assign a couple of familiar emotions as the episodes go on. This week was equal parts rebelliousness and guilt. Do I think it is a huge disservice to the show or the character? Not really. I think Wally will work in the long run. I would just hope that The Flash will give him more character traits besides a list of likes and dislikes that looks like this.
Likes: Speed, Cars, Family
Dislikes: Authority, Barry, Family
Matthew Nando Kelly is an incredibly cool and handsome staff writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he focuses on 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 has an unshakable love for U2, cats, and the New Orleans Saints. His twitter handle is @NationofNando. Did we mention how handsome he was?