“Fast Lane” did do a good amount of things right, not the least of which was advancing the overall plot of the season by solving a major problem in terms of the breaches. In return though, we got a classic “paper villain”, which should’ve been a much harder challenge for Flash.
On the positive side? Just about everything Harrison Wells. Man, Tom Cavanaugh can play this character so many ways and still be entertaining. From his monologues diaries, to his chastising and then praising of Barry, to his confessions, it’s all great stuff. It’s a little sad that he’s still the more interesting character than many of the new faces this season. But given the performance? It makes it somewhat worth it.
It was interesting seeing him not only steal Barry’s speed, and give it to Zoom, but then to slowly watch as it began to haunt him. All the while, knowing that he didn’t necessarily regret his decision. Just like both he and Barry said, when it comes to family, it’s not a hard choice, you choose family every time. I LOVED how Barry not only defended him, but noted how Cisco did just that in Season 01, and no one hated it for him. Heck, the only reason Barry didn’t break his own father out of prison the moment he became the Flash was because he knew that it would do more harm than good.
The other development via Wells and Barry was how they truly found a way to seal the breaches. This is great, as it adds an element of finality to this story, cause once it’s sealed, Earth-2 will be out of reach…for now anyway. You knew the breaches would be sealed, but it was cool nonetheless to see Barry and Wells be happy at their combined accomplishment.
Meanwhile, with the West’s, the family drama continued. But, in a good way. With Irene gone, they’re now the only true family they have left. Especially for Wally, and yet, Wally isn’t willing to give up his life in the…Fast Lane…just yet. While the arc in the episode really started out rough, with Iris totally killing the mood. It truly evolved into something really heartfelt. Joe doesn’t want to lose Wally after just getting him, and thus is being more lax than strict. Iris doesn’t want Wally dead, and thus goes to very extremely lengths to try and save him. It’s good stuff. The chat between Joe and Wally at the hospital especially was good, as was Wally’s reveal of why he truly races. Oh, and the fact that he’s wanted to go super fast all his life? Yeah, that’s a sign of what he’ll become.
Sadly, the Tar Pit story was the most lacking. Which is sad, cause he had a really good intro, and explanation as to why he’s only appearing now. But, after that great intro, he’s almost entirely wasted. This would’ve been a great villain for Barry to fight 1-on-1 cause you can’t touch tar. Instead, it became one really quick battle, one non-battle, then a 1-2-3 setup finish via a Cisco/Wells gadget. Yes, we have to have these villains occasionally, but this just felt like wasted potential.
Oh, and Iris getting stabbed with glass? I know she’s fearless, but after everything she’s seen, you’d think she would’ve ran to a safe distance when things went horribly wrong. Not to mention when her brother was almost killed and a clear metahuman was in the vicinity.
The major reveal here at the end was that we’re finally going to Earth-2, and it’ll be fun seeing where everyone is, and isn’t, when we go there. This was a good episode, much more on track than previous seasons episode. Let’s hope Earth-2 is everything we want and more.