Recap: Firestorm! Firestorm! Firestorm! Firestorm! Firestorm! FIRESTORM! FIRESTORM!!
I must admit that from a pure story standpoint, the impact of this episode is just a little weaker than had we had more reminders about Ronnie’s disappearance or Catlin’s sorrow. Or had the references to those been mentioned in the episodes closer to this one rather than at the other end of the season as they were. As a consequence, the impact of Ronnie’s return is lessened for the audience and dependent entirely on Danielle Panabaker’s acting. Which she does pretty good with but… was still missing the ‘umph’ this episode needed.
Of course her acting was also competing with powerful moments by John Wesley Shipp and Jesse L. Martin this episode as well as the story of Barry Allen’s family comes to a head. This was an episode filled with emotion and I think everybody involved did the best they could, though the show could have used an arc episode prior to this one to “prime the field” so to speak. As it is… we’re kind of left wondering “why now?” with the bad guy. Still it was great to see Amanda Pays returning as Tina McGee.
And we do have confirmation that Harrison Wells is the bad guy some how, though the exact nature of that connection is still up for debate, including how he beat himself up.
Still, even setting aside my comic-fanboyism, I liked Firestorm’s “save” at the end as it demonstrated both to the audience and the characters that maybe the show won’t be in a rut towards metahumans. Not all of them have to be villains, locked away. Some might yet follow Barry’s example and be heroes. Barry might be an inspiration for more than just hope…
In the spirit of this momentous episode, I asked Shag of firestormfan.com (the best firestorm site on the web) to a little round table.
1) So how much have you been enjoying the show even WITHOUT all the blatant pandering they’ve done for us?
Shag: I’ve really enjoyed the show quite a bit. It’s got a fun spirit and lots of action. As this is a CW show, it also comes with lots of eye-candy and melodrama, which I’m fine with as long as it doesn’t overshadow the plot. Another thing I love about the show is I can watch it with my entire family. I’ve got two children (ages 15 and 8) and they LOVE the show. It’s the only show we insist on watching as its broadcast; everything else is recorded and watched at our convenience. It’s so good, we don’t want to wait!
2) Which Reverse Flash do you think Harrison Wells is?
Me: I’m still betting that he’s Zoom.
Shag: I’m pretty convinced Harrison Wells is the Hunter Zolomon version of Zoom. He’s trying to make Barry a better hero. I also suspect quite a bit of time travel is going on. For example, I think what we saw at the end of the mid-season finale was Harrison charging up the costume for the first time. Therefore, the Reverse Flash that acquired the device was actually from the future, came back in time to steal the device and give it to modern day Harrison, thus creating a paradox by helping himself get superpowers. Mind-blown! I gotta assume Eddie will become Reverse Flash at some point, but probably in a future season.
3) As you’ve said, Firestorm has had a lot of iterations over the years, but fundamentally he has 2 forms: nuclear or fire elemental. So which one do you think the show is using and which one would you prefer?
Me: I’m starting to think that they’re going to go with the elemental for simplicity, budget, & balance issues, but I still hope for the nuclear option.
Shag: I think we’re getting the classic Firestorm, but with an altered set of powers and personality. He clearly has fire projection powers now, which the classic Firestorm does not have. In the comics, he can shoot nuclear blasts which generate heat, but not actual flames. The comic version has other powers that are missing from television so far, most notably transmutation and intangibility. The Elemental Firestorm from the comics does have flame powers, but his level of control is off the chart (like he can raze the surface of the entire Earth if desired). The Elemental version also comes with a lot of other issues (i.e. being an elemental force of the planet, control over all flames, complete emotional detachment, etc). Hopefully when we see Professor Stein (Victor Garber) in the Firestorm matrix the transmutation powers will appear. In regard to his personality, hopefully Firestorm on television will find a sense of fun eventually. His sense of adventure and joy were characteristics that helped make Firestorm so popular in the comics during the 1980s. The moments we saw Ronnie (Robbie Amell) and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) prior to the accident, Ronnie seemed upbeat and jovial. Hopefully we’ll get back to that.
4) The show’s been giving us a lot of love by having Flash tackle some of Firestorm’s rogues gallery. Which rogue appearance (so far) has been your favorite? Who, unseen and unannounced, would you like to see them bring to the show?
Shag: Of the Firestorm rogues that have appeared, I think my favorite was Plastique. She was given a good amount of screen time and they really fleshed out her character. They deviated from the comic version of Plastique in many ways, but I was okay with the character on-screen. Kelly Frye did a great job with the character she was given. I hope they bring her back to the show (in comics, dead characters don’t stay dead for long). In regard to future Firestorm rogues, I’m hoping for Hyena or Typhoon. Hyena is a completely savage hand-to-hand fighter. That would be an interesting contrast for Barry. It would require some significant CGI, but it would be fantastic! Typhoon in full CGI would look amazing! They would have to go beyond a water spout since they already did a tornado for Weather Wizard. My theory on why they are using so many Firestorm rogues is so the writers can introduce Flash rogues at a slower pace. Let’s face it, they are hoping this show lasts for many seasons. If they introduce all the Flash rogues in the first 20 episodes or so, who is left to be the “big bad” in seasons 2, 3, etc? With so many Firestorm rogues appearing, I’m just waiting for them to announce the Zuggernaut and Bazooka Joan! 😉
Me: Hah! Well I give it to Multiplex on that, and here’s hoping we haven’t seen the last of him. Now in the future… I wouldn’t mind either of your suggestions but well this show has possible time-travel shenanigans doesn’t it? So maybe Reverse Flash will team up with the Flying Dutchman!
5) Is there anything Firestorm related in the show that you’re just the teeniest bit disappointed in?
Shag: I’m not sure I’m disappointed in anything yet as it’s still so early in Firestorm’s development. Once the character is fully fleshed out, I hope his powers and personality are similar to the classic Firestorm. If he’s angry all the time and only has flame powers, that would be a disappointment. I was also hoping that Danton Black (Multiplex) would have been connected to Professor Stein, but that’s a really minor (and geeky) quibble.
Me: I hear you. I was really hoping for a revelation that Martin Stein helped Harrison Wells in building the particle accelerator.
6) So how feasible do you think a CW show staring Firestorm would be in this CW-DC ‘verse?
Shag: Funny thing about Firestorm on TV… every single prediction or guess I’ve made has been WRONG. I swore they’d never produce a live action Firestorm… WRONG. Once announced, I was sure Firestorm on TV would be Ronnie and Jason… WRONG. I was sure they wouldn’t have Firestorm burning as it would be too much CGI… WRONG. To answer your question, is it feasible to produce a Firestorm TV show? Well, seems like it would be expensive on the CGI, hard to get Victor Garber full-time, and they’ve used most of his villains already. Those elements combined makes it seem unlikely to me. So let’s hope I’m … WRONG. 🙂
Me: Well I still have to catch up on some earlier FS comics, but of what I’ve read it seems not uncommon for the issues to resolve around a character-driven mystery with FS showing up near the end to solve the problem in five minutes. So a show structure of 45 minutes-finding the problem, 15-minutes fixing it, could work for a few short seasons if they needed a summer fill-in show.
7) You willing to come back and do this again next time we have a big Firestorm episode?
Shag: Sure thing! Happy to come back and discuss my favorite Nuclear Man!!
Me: You’re welcome back any time.