(Beware, spoilers below!)
The Flash pulls out all the stops for its midseason finale, with not just visual pyrotechnics but also the fair few emotional ringers.
We start off with Barry chasing ‘The Man in the Yellow Suit’ and we flash (no pun intended) to a day before when Barry’s messing around with the Christmas tree. He gives Iris a necklace with the replica of her mother’s wedding band and a little afterwards when Eddie asks about it he wonders if Barry loves Iris. Iris assures him that’s not the case. Meanwhile in some other part of town this yellow man attempts to steal an item from Mercury Labs, knocking out several guards in the process. the CCPD go to investigate and the lone eyewitness reports that he saw a blur on the scene. Eddie automatically goes ape and assumes its the blur.
Caitline is out buying presents for Dr Wells when she sees a shadow of Ronnie and goes to follow, hiding again in shock. She later goes to investigate with Cisco and finds him alive, but doesn’t remember his name, only saying he is Firestorm. After the yellow flash reveals himself to Barry, a chase only leaves Barry empty handed, frustrated at being unable to catch this man. Afterwards, he goes to his dad to tell him that he’s found the yellow man that killed his mother.
Barry eventually confesses to Iris that he loves her upon finding out that she’s finally moving in with Eddie. Meanwhile the CCPD tries to trap this yellow flash using Tachyonic particles – what this yellow man seems to have been after. They find a way to trap the yellow man and this is successful, until the moment he captures Dr. Wells and starts beating him up. Joe disables the force field at the cost of the yellow man escaping, and once again Barry is unable to beat him, saved only with Firestorm, who orders Caitlin never to look for him again.
As everyone basks in the aftermath, Joe decides to tell Eddie what’s going on about the metahumans. Dr Wells confesses to Caitlin and Cisco that he knows about what happened with Ronnie and swears he’ll find him. Whilst Barry and the family manage to have a happy Christmas in the following scene we’re shown a big reveal that helps to make up for the brief lull in the episode. We’re also provided the suggestion that during the death of Nora Allen there might have been more than one speedster present.
This episode of The Flash doesn’t live up to the hype in terms of bombast but instead serves its great moments in small gentle understated scenes. Given that we’re used to big sweeping scenes in this show I don’t think this will have served the show’s audience well but I feel it does develop the show into one more greatly nuanced that otherwise. Danielle Panabaker does a great job this episode and so does Grant Gustin in being able to convey emotion and tribulation. Furthermore, we’re finally pushed forward in a way that will surely change the dynamic of the show when it returns, and it’s a fast changing development which shows how the CW’s property has learnt from its predecessors. All in all, I think the episode has been a brave change in pace which has earnt its admiration from me. I look forward to its return very much.