The Fury of Firestorm went into full gear as we were introduced to the new half of Team Firestorm and some new developments with our other characters. Besides the return of Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), there was also the aftermath of Francine West (Vanessa A. Williams) coming back into the West family’s lives. There was a lot going on in the episode, but not all the pieces fit together nicely in a package.

The episode started with the search of Professor Stein’s (Victor Garber) new partner as the scientist was struggling with his body’s molecular structure now that Ronnie Raymond is gone. The hunt for the other half of Firestorm turned into an entertaining hour despite Stein facing certain death. The search was narrowed down to two candidates, scientist Henry Hewitt (Demore Barnes) and former athlete Jefferson ‘Jax’ Jackson (Franz Drameh). We were given a little of Jax’s back story at the beginning of the episode where we learned he was a high school quarterback at his local high school team and given a chance at a scholarship. However, he was robbed at the opportunity after the particle accelerator incident. Now working as mechanic, STAR Labs found a likely candidate to take the mantle of Firestorm.

In the present we pickup right after Stein’s collapse last week. Cisco quickly cobbles together a device to stabilize his condition. The team is on edge, knowing it’s only temporary. The race is on to find a compatible meta human to merge with the professor and share the custody of the Firestorm matrix before he dies.   While the team discusses the two most promising candidates – “Jax” Jackson and Dr. Henry Hewitt, Earth-2’s Harrison Wells lurks nearby studying Team Flash.   It was interesting to see Earth-2’s version of Wells appearing in this universe stalking our heroes. It doesn’t help that he is being hidden in the shadows while observing Team Flash, but he was probably aware of the reputation that his doppelganger has in this Earth. But after seeing Wells saving Barry from the clutches of King Shark towards the end of the hour, it looks like he may soon become an ally to the team. Of course it will take some time for Team Flash to get used to having him around after what the other Wells did to them.  Later at the precinct Barry runs into Patty, who is embracing her role on the metahuman task force with vigor. She asks if Barry can run analysis on some shark teeth she found in connection with a possible man shark roaming Central City’s back alleys. The energy between these two is delightful. As a viewer I want to see their relationship develop faster; as a writer I hope they drag it out a bit to keep the show rich and fulfilling for as long as possible.

Drameh made a good first impression as Jax in the episode. He managed to bring some charm and made his character likeable to viewers. Drameh was able to portray the character’s sorrow and frustration of being denied a chance at greatness. It all paid off in the end as Jax was able to get a second chance at following his dreams with the help of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Team Flash.  However, Barnes didn’t impress us as much as Drameh did, due to the fact that there wasn’t enough development for his character. The episode didn’t go into detail building this week’s villain. Hewitt went from an overachieving science genius into a crazed and vangeful supervillain in a few scenes. Without any actual motivations, it was hard to believe Hewlitt going on a rampage against STAR Labs. Jackson takes well to his new abilities and teams up with the Flash to quickly defeat Hewitt, who gets the code name “Tokamak”. With all the build up to finding a match for the matrix this battle seems a little anti-climatic. But the show saves its best for last — as always. Iris makes the difficult decision to meet again with Francine. Using her investigative talents she confirms her diagnosis, but finds another startling secret in her mother’s past: she had a baby boy eight months after leaving Joe which seems like the show is ready to introduce Wally West soon. We should expect to learn more about Iris’ lost sibling as the season continues.

Jackson and Stein depart to train and improve their abilities and prepare for their debut on Legends of Tomorrow. Barry contemplates how to proceed with Patty and gets a two jaw dropping shocks to cap the episode. Patty’s suspicions become startling true as a 9 foot talk shark man grabs the Flash around the neck and is only stopped by a hooded man. The episode took advantage of some great visuals, showing us more of what Firestorm can do. Hopefully, we can learn more of Firestorm’s abilities as in the comics since the show didn’t go into depth the first time around.

The Snarts … talk about a dysfunctional family!  While you might think that Barry Allen and his father are somewhat messed up, or even his potential relationship with his step-sister is a bit weird, the Snarts are definitely the poster children for a screwed up family.

Golden Glider (Captain Colds sister) tracks down Cisco at their local coffee shop and pleads with him for assistance.  It seems that Leonard has taken up his evil ways with their father – a particularly nasty character – played by Michael Ironside in his normal intimidating way.

Lisa tells Cisco that their father used to beat her & Leonard when they were children & she can’t believe that Leonard would have gone willingly with him so she needs the Flash’s help to get her brother out of trouble.  Cisco flexes his tech muscles to track Snart’s Cold Gun & when the Flash finds him, they eventually realize that Lisa’s story checks out.  It seems that their father is even worse than she thinks as he’s planted a bomb in Lisa’s head and is using that as leverage to get Leonard to work with him.

Flash (Jay Garrick)
Flash (Jay Garrick) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While Cisco works on a plan to extract the explosive from Golden Glider, Barry decides to infiltrate the Snart crime family, posing as a security expert. After a tense interrogation by Papa Snart, Barry joins them on their latest caper to steal a cache of valuable gems. Barry uses his wit and some speed to ensure their success. Lewis betrays him at the last minute and shoots Barry. Unknown to Lewis, Barry uses his speed to catch the bullet but fakes his death.

After successfully breaching the security system, Leonard and his father argue over life choices. Cisco informs Barry that he has removed the bomb from Lisa and the Flash arrives to stop Lewis from escaping. When Leonard learns his sister is safe he puts and end to his father’s abuse once and for all with an ice blast to the chest.

On a more personal side, Joe struggles with the truth about his ex-wife and how he can tell Iris that her mother is really alive.  After a talk with Barry he decides to proceed and the show hits an emotional high in a dramatic and touching scene as Joe confesses the truth. Iris shows her maturity and forgives her father for the deception, but is weary of meeting her mother after two decades.

The show ends with a quite delightful scene with Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten) picking up coffee at Jitters and inadvertently assuming that Barry was actually asking for her number.  It’s entertaining to have another cast member unaware of Barry’s alter ego. I look forward to that reveal and hope they develop a relationship between these two awkward champions of justice. 

Back at the collider, Jay has stabilized the wormhole, dubbed the Speed Cannon, and plans to leave Earth 1. Stein has a frightening relapse, bursting into blue flame and then collapsing. As the team works to stabilize him a visitor arrives through the newly stabilized dimensional door…

Starting from the exact moment the previous episode ended (see my post on SFFWorld), the team is stunned that Jay Garrick knows all of their names, and realize he has been spying on them. Jay explains that he is from another world, where he is known as The Flash.

In his own world, Jay’s version of The Flash fights another Speedster, Zoom. Zoom has won, and is about to deliver the killing blow when the other end of the singularity from Barry’s world opened over them. First Jay’s winged helmet is sucked in, then Jay is as well. He lost his speed, and has spent the last six months trying to piece together what happened. Barry is skeptical, and insists that they test Jay.

Flash (Jay Garrick)
Flash (Jay Garrick) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Caitlin begins testing him to see if he is in fact a speedster from an alternate Earth (Earth 2). The team discusses the theory of a multiverse; Stein and Cisco take the lead breaking it down. Joe is confused and takes his leave to use his skills and pay the bills. Zoom makes his first full appearance as he transports a metahuman — Sand Demon — onto Earth-1 via a dimensional breach. Zoom is a flickering, shadow=black horror, sporting blue lightning. He promises to return his pawn to Earth-2 if he kills the Flash. Newcomer to the series, Officer Patty Spivot, petitions Joe to allow her to join his meta-human taskforce. Joe is dismissive, refusing to hear her out and denying her request. Sounds like there are a few trust issues this episode.

Jay finishes his tests and tries once again, without success, to convince Barry to trust him. Barry is still unsettled from Wells’ betrayal. Barry locks Jay in a cell. Jay says Barry will need his help to defeat Zoom. They are interrupted by a call from Cisco, there’s a fire in town. Barry speeds off.

The Flash puts out the fire and is about to leave when he is attacked by a mass of sand. The sand gathers together and turns into the man Zoom brought through the breach earlier. The Flash tries to fight him, but every time he delivers a blow, that part of the man turns to sand and is unharmed. The Flash has to run away.  Barry and Joe investigate the scene of the fire with other police and firefighters. Barry can’t find anything to identify this new metahuman, but Patty shows up, she’s found something. She’s also quite a fan of Barry’s and his forensic reports. She’s collected some sand for Barry. Patty clearly hopes this has impressed Joe, but he still refuses to let her on the task force.

While examining the material left by Sand Demon, Cisco feels another vibe and catches a glimpse of Sand Demon’s activities here on Earth-1. Notably disturbed, he struggles to understand the changes happening to him. Team Flash determines Sand Demon’s real name, Eddie Slick, and Joe tries to track him down. Spivot beats Joe to the task, catching him as he tries to flee.  Back at the precinct Joe interrogates Eddie Slick.  While observing Joe interrogate Slick, Barry and Patty become fast friends.  Eddie’s alibi is confirmed, lending credence to the alternate Earth concept.  Cisco and Stein work on a method to detect the breach allowing Zoom to transport his assassins across the multiverse.

A depiction of several alternate Earths within...
A depiction of several alternate Earths within the Multiverse and the variations of the Flash inhabiting each Earth. Art by Dan Jurgens and Art Thibert (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At S.T.A.R. Labs, only Barry still does not trust Jay. Iris asks to speak to Barry alone. Iris tells Barry that she does not recognize him. He’s someone else now, with major trust issues. Barry admits that Jay reminds him of Wells, who he trusted. Iris points out that they beat Wells because the team trusted each other. He needs to believe in the team.  At the Police Station, Joe and Patty release Slick. Joe asks why Patty wants to be on the task force so badly. They think they see Slick returning, but it is Sand Demon, who knocks Joe out. Patty tries to shoot him, but the bullets pass through the sand. He grabs her.  Learning of the abduction, Barry relents and asks Jay for help.  Jay, the Crimson Comet, teaches Barry to throw Speed Force lightning, indicating that it is the best shot for defeating his foe.  With the team unable to find where Sand Demon is hiding Spivot, Cisco rushes off to tap his new powers for a solution. Stein is getting suspicious of his behavior and follows him, arriving moments after Cisco has experienced another dimensional vibration. Unwilling to explain to the professor what is going on he rushes off to tell Barry.

Jay joins Barry in the field to fight Sand Demon. While Jay distracts his Earth-2 enemy, Barry scoops up Spivot, moving her a safe distance from the bomb. Tables turn on Jay and put him in mortal danger, since he’s been bluffing Sand Demon into thinking he’s still got his powers. Barry races in, throwing a powerful bolt of lightning that fuses Sand Demon’s body and shatters it. Arguably one of the Flash’s coolest takedowns to date.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin bandages Jay’s wounds. He admits that losing his speed is harder than he thought. Caitlin talks to him about loss getting easier. They just have to find a new way to live. She calls him a hero.  Barry comes to apologize to Jay and thank him. He asks about Zoom. Jay explains that Zoom wants to be the only speedster. On any world.

At the police station, Joe tells Patty he looked her up. He asks about her connection to Mark Mardon. Patty says that a few months before the particle accelerator exploded, the Mardon brothers robbed a bank. Mark killed her father for a few hundred dollars. Murderers got super powers, and she wants to fight against that. Joe tells her she starts on the task force Monday.

Cisco and Stein find a way to map the breach, unfortunately they have discovered there are in fact 52 inter-dimensional breaches. This is a nice Easter egg for comic fans, referring to 52 different Earths present in the current DC Comics universe. Looks like Team Flash is going to be very busy this season. Mysteriously Stein collapses while discussing the breaches; his fate awaits us in the third episode of this season.   At another, active version of S.T.A.R. Labs, a group of children are lead around by a tour guide, who explains about the Lab’s impressive record. Suddenly, the guide becomes excited and tells the kids that they get to meet the savior of Central City. Standing before them is Harrison Wells. “Hello kids.”