From more or less the beginning of the pilot, we knew that one of the focal points of the series, if not this season, was going to be the hunt for Reverse Flash. He killed Barry’s mother, framed Barry’s father, and set a path for Barry to follow. There was no NOT going after him.
“The Man In the Yellow Suit” wasted no time in establishing that things were about to escalate in a big way, and did they ever. I’ve sometimes criticized Flash for following too closely in the shadow of Flash, and this episode got dangerously close to repeating what happened in “Year’s End” back in Season 1. Thankfully, not only did the show not go the path of Arrow, it capitalized on numerous storylines, and set the future of Flash in the process.
What’s there to say? This episode was awesome, not the least of which was because of Reverse Flash (who we can say is officially named via the preview for the back half of the season). The use of the blur effect was done very well, as it kept everyone in suspense as to who he might be. Also, glowing red eyes? Creepy…
The effects in this episode were top notch which was great, cause they had a lot of scenes to use them in. The numerous high-speed battles between Barry and Reverse Flash were tense, and the use of the lightning effects was perfect. Which leads me too…
The side story, yes, I’m going here first storywise, Caitlin and Cisco finally learn that Ronnie Raymond is alive…or is he? Yes, technically he is, but he’s not quite himself. This episode allowed us to see numerous tricks from the soon to be Firestorm, including him saving Barry’s life (most likely) from Reverse Flash. But at the core, this was really about Caitlin getting to see her fiance again, and somewhat regretting it.
Caitlin has been a hit-or-miss character in some of these episodes. She’s good in some, kind of cliche in others. But here, thanks to some great acting from Danielle Panabaker, we really got to see her emotional depth. As she poured out to Cisco about how her wish had came true in seeing Ronnie again…but it came at too high of a price. We all know he’s coming back in the back half of the season, the question will be whether he “returns to normal” anytime soon.
Now to the main story! This was all about Barry in one form or another, and it was great. Grant Gustin got to run the gambit with Barry in this episode, from the anger at knowing the man who killed his mother was still out there, to the hatred he felt for Joe and Wells at them keeping him back, to the sadness he felt in regards to Iris moving in with Eddie, and more it was all great.
And yet, the two best moments for me were with his two fathers. The scene with Henry was the most touching in my opinion. As he got to give some good, honest, heartwarming advice to Barry about letting go, and not letting “The Man in the Yellow Suit” take any more from there family than he already has.
Then there’s Joe, who not only got to sympathize with Barry’s plight, but relayed to him how Barry changed his and Iris’s life for the better after he arrived to their home. Sure, the whole thing about him being a light was a little cheesy, but you know he meant it. Oh, and when he said, “I need Barry Allen”, classic.
Sadly, the only down part of the episode was once again Iris. No, she didn’t fall for Flash again (yet). No, this was about how she STILL could not realize that Barry had feelings for her. Why does this matter? Well, I’m sorry, but when your father, boyfriend, other friends (Caitlin), and more realize that a guy likes you, and you don’t? You’re an idiot. Thankfully, her airheadedness was saved by Barry revealing his feelings for her.
I liked how they kind of silently echoed what Oliver Queen said to his during the crossover about “guys like us don’t get the girl” when they had Barry lie at first about not being in love with her. But unlike Ollie, he couldn’t lie to Iris, and his heartfelt confession was another great moment for Grant Gustin. True, I don’t like how things are progressing with him, her, and Eddie, but I’ll give it time.
Ok, let’s talk about the two big reveals. First, the unexpected one. Cisco realizing that the night Barry witnessed as a child wasn’t just Reverse Flash, there was another speedster there as well. How does this matter? Well, two ways. First, this explains why the “storm” happened in the first place. After all, if it was just Reverse Flash, he could’ve just killed Nora, framed Henry, and be gone in the blink of an eye. But if someone was there to stop him?
Then there’s the fact that Barry was taken away from the scene. Could that split second moment of him saving Barry cost Nora her life? Finally, who was the red lightning? Obviously the first candidate is Barry himself, trying to stop the death of his mother. But what if it was another speedster? Bart? Wally? Jay????
Mysteries abound, which of course leads us to…
HARRISON FREAKING WELLS!!!!….WITH THE FLASH RING!!!!! Oh my gosh. Yes, some fans had this “called”, but is it for real? Or is this some kind of mislead? After all, there are some questions on how he did what he did. And why he didn’t do what he didn’t do. There are no end to the questions, but it’s going to be fun talking about them!
So, where does that leave “The Man in the Yellow Suit” and the first half of the season? Well, it’s in good hands in my opinion. The story is firing on all cylinders. There’s plenty of questions and mysteries to keep us going for a long time. And we’re just getting started. It wasn’t perfect, but I’ll be danged if it wasn’t epic on numerous levels.