By: Kyle Shultz
The first time we were introduced to Barry Allen was when Arrow had it’s mid-season finale during their second year, and what a great finale it was as it introduced superpowers into this universe & gave Barry Allen his super speed & the beginning of a plethora of super powered villains on the Central City side of the story. Fast forward a year, Grant Gustin is still Barry Allen and doing a damn good job at it, & we get him in a mid-season finale for a second time, though now it is within his own show & deals with a fan-favorite villain, Reverse-Flash, in an episode appropriately titled “The Man in the Yellow Suit.”
Reverse-Flash is The Flash’s most formidable foe, & with his first real introduction in this episode, I’m glad that the writers kept nearly everything about him a secret. We don’t have an exact idea to who he is, or what is his exact reason for being in Central City is, other than causing Barry Allen the worst Christmas ever. The mystery behind Reverse-Flash played in his favor, keeping a villain like Reverse-Flash shrouded in mystery, shows that the writers behind this show are setting him up to be the main villain throughout the season, if not longer than that. His introduction in this show establishes that Barry has a real threat to deal with, & that threat is faster than him. I’m hoping that this gives Barry the real motivation to push his speed beyond the limits; I want to see Barry accomplish light speed. The high-speed chases between these two speedsters were really well done, though, I would hate to feel what Barry is feeling; he went up against his mother’s killer twice, & lost both times. That has to be eating away at Barry.
Reverse-Flash’s mysterious identity in this show is a favorite topic among fans & one thing I love the most was that this episode really gave us no clue as to who is behind the yellow mask. People are torn between it either being Harrison Wells, or Eddie Thawne. Whoever he really is, he knows Barry on a personal level, which is why my money is on it being a future version of Eddie Thawne, or Eddie’s son. My main indicator that it could be Eddie, or an offspring of his, is when Reverse-Flash approached Eddie like he did & stared him down in S.T.A.R. Labs. Why would he do that? If he were not Eddie or an offspring, I would love to see how they explain that. If he does turn out to be Reverse-Flash, that gives the writers this honest & smart way of telling this story of how an honest cop became this mad Supervillain that can run at super speed. It doesn’t give us this forced development of the character & is more of a natural evolution to him. Though it sucks because I’m really beginning to like Eddie Thawne.
One curious factor is Harrison Wells’ final scene at the end, as he reveals that not only does he have Flash ring but also a Reverse-Flash suit. On the surface this tells us that Wells IS Reverse-Flash, though he can’t be THE Reverse-Flash that killed Nora Allen, because that one was kicking the crap out of Wells in the force field chamber, so that can only tell us that three Speedsters exist in this universe, that we know of. Though, I’m curious to know is does Wells & the other Reverse-Flash’s speed rely on actual speed, or manipulating time, like the Reverse-Flash’s do in the comics. That’s a question that will likely take a while to answer; I would really love it if they keep it a Speed/Time thing, as that would make things really interesting.
This episode also featured a nice subplot that brought back the reveal of Ronnie Raymond being alive, which brought Caitlin into finding out that he is still alive, and offered some welcomed screen time between Cisco and Caitlin. I really want to like Ronnie Raymond as Firestorm in this show, but honestly Firestorm’s subplot just felt like it got in the way of the whole ordeal with Reverse-Flash. It was cool to seem him arrive near the end and help Barry out, it shows that he really is here to do good, though his appearance just felt really random to me. I really hope the next time we see him Professor Stein is introduced and combined with him, because the CGI/hobo look for Ronnie Raymond just looks really corny to me.
Barry had a little more drama to deal with in this episode than just Reverse-Flash, though this one was less of a threat to him, at least on the physical side of the term. Barry finally revealing to Iris how he feels about her honestly came earlier than I expected, though I’m glad that they’re finally cutting the crap & getting straight to the point with these two. I really hope the two of them grow closer in future episodes, & maybe if that happens, that could steer Eddie Thawne down the road to Supervillain-y? This episode also brought some sound advice to Barry from both his biological father and his adoptive father, & like usual, these are always some of my favorite scenes. I love seeing Jesse L. Martin & John Wesley Shipp in these roles, these two always have the best scenes with Barry.
Any fan of The Flash remembers the 1990’s TV show, and that obviously the guy playing Barry’s Dad was Barry from the 90s TV show. Fans of that show should recognize Dr. Tina McGee in this episode, as the same actress plays her from the original series. Her character didn’t really have a crucial role in this episode, though it is nice to see The CW paying respect to the original show, & Amanda Pays won’t be the last alumni from that show to make their debut to this show.
“The Man in the Yellow Suit” was definitely a great mid-season finale & offered more mystery than usual, though we finally got to kind of see Reverse-Flash. The relationship between Barry & Iris are pushing to new lengths, & while I thought the inclusion of Firestorm was a little cumbersome, it gave us a look that Ronnie is definitely on The Flash’s side.
Overall Grade: 9/10