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flash 2x12 so close
Last week on The Flash, an old friend returned, Cisco gained some new tech, and fans said goodbye to someone Barry loved (although it’s not certain how permanent it will be). One thing seemed to be missing though, audiences didn’t see much of Iris and her family. It seems, though, this week’s episode, titled “Fast Lane,” is making up for some lost time with the West Family. And fans also get treated to another villain straight from the pages of the Flash comic book, Tar Pit.

Now before you jump right into the thick of things, take this time to think about what you’re about to do. This is a Recap/Review. So, if you haven’t seen this week’s episode and don’t want to be spoiled, then you may want to look away because these articles tend to contain spoilers. You have about five seconds before the beans get spilled. To make things easier, here’s a picture of a can of beans to distract you.

baked beans
Now that you’ve made the jump, the show can go on.

Recap

This week’s episode starts off with a big splash. Unfortunately, it’s into a vat of boiling tar for one victim, but out comes one of the coolest conceptual villains, Tar Pit.

flash 2x12 west family dinner
When we finally catch up to Barry, he’s out doing his usual thing, but makes one quick stop to check in on the West family. From there we get an inside view of things, and for the most part, all seems to be going well. It even looks like Wally has settled down to the new idea of having Joe and Iris around. But things quickly take a turn when Iris brings up the sensitive subject of Wally’s racing, and he ends up leaving. Joe (who actually should be the one parenting) gets schooled by his own daughter who wonders why her father isn’t more pressing about the matter.

Back at the lab, Wells continues to work on his “side project” when Barry makes a guest appearance. Since his break up with Patty, he’s found some extra time to dedicate to helping solving the problem regarding the rifts around the city. Wells, of course, isn’t feeling the new team-up and refuses to have Barry around. Plus, how can he keep scheming to take Barry’s speed when Barry is around? Of course Barry makes himself at home and speed reads through the required reading material.

It turns out when Wally left the house in such a hurry, he wasn’t actually mad at Iris for bringing up the drag racing that he’s still involved with. Even though he said it was just to pay for his mom’s medical bills. In fact, he got up and left because she reminded him that he had to be at the races later that night (not really). To Wally’s surprise, Iris shows up and is all dressed for the part. Actually, she’s there to do some research on a new piece about the dangers of drag racing that she’s doing for the newspaper she works for.

flash 2x12 visiting an old friend
Meanwhile, somewhere in the city, Tar Pit stopped by an old friend’s new stomping ground. He wanted to personally thank him for throwing him into that pool of tar. The end result, as Joe described it, looked like a person was “dipped in a volcano.” Yum.

At the lab, it looks like Wells has finished his pet project and installs it behind the shield on Barry’s suit. Later, he and Barry continue to cram in search for a solution to close the rifts around the city. Barry take this time to talk about the relationship between he and the original Harrison Wells. It seems all this talk about being a mentor begins to get to Wells 2.0 and he throws a fit at Barry. Maybe he’s feeling guilty about betraying Barry? “I’ve already got a kid. I don’t need another one.” Does this mean he’s beginning to chum up to Barry? Looks like it and he doesn’t want to.

Luckily, Barry has other things to take care of than being berated by Wells. Tar Pit makes another stop to visit another friend. This time it’s in front of a crowd where one girl is ready with her phone camera. As Barry races over to the scene, the device Wells installed behind the shield seems to collect some of the speed force that The Flash produces when he’s speeding around the city. Thankfully for Tar Pit’s other friend, Barry shows up in time to save his life, but Barry still has to deal with the walking “barbecue” as he calls it. The solution: lower his temp to slow him down. Some quick scouting allows Barry to use a nearby fire hydrant to cool down the situation and Tar Pit. Before things can escalate, he and Tar Pit’s friend speed off to CCPD for questioning.

flash 2x12 got a fever
After his encounter, Cisco pulls Barry to the side and asks him if he’s feeling okay. According to some data that was recorded, Barry is moving a little bit slower than usual. Barry says he feels fine, but it’s all because of that sample that Wells extracted when Barry sped off to fight Tar Pit. It seems like it had an actually affect on Barry’s speed.

It seems that Iris has also been keeping busy. She ends up making a stop at Clark Bronwen’s “office.” He’s the guy who’s in charge of the local drag racing scene. Iris tried to convince him to stop the races by threatening him with a piece she’s working on for the news paper but it has no effect on him. Later that day, Wally pays her a visit and asks her what she was thinking making such a move. Obviously it was to protect him, but Wally is sure that he knows what he’s doing and says to her that the next time something happens, he won’t be able to protect her.

flash 2x12 iris hurt
That all comes full circle when Iris and Joe make an appearance and Wally’s next race because Tar Pit also shows up. It turns out the guy who runs the races is also one of the guys who originally tossed him into that pool of tar. During his attack, Tar Pit ended up flipping Wally’s car. The Flash was there to save a couple of people, but because Wells had zapped some of his speed force, Barry wasn’t fast enough to stop a piece of glass from striking Iris. Luckily, it didn’t hit anything vital and the Flash raced her off to the hospital. There, Wally finally realizes the error of his ways and all seems well again in the West household.

At the lab, Barry is beating himself up for not being fast enough to help Iris. Nearby, Wells has been listening in and eventually confesses to taking some of Barry speed and giving it to Zoom in exchange for hopefully releasing his daughter. Joe West punches Wells in the face and throws him into one of the cells. After finally stopping Tar Pit, the gang regroups and has a team meeting regarding Wells. Barry steps up and asks everyone else what they would have done in Wells’ position. He even reminded everyone that Cisco had a similar situation and no one judged him for it. With that, they decided to let Wells go. But instead of sending him back to Earth-2 alone, Barry and others decided to go back with him to help rescue his daughter.

flash 2x12 helping wells
Review

It was nice to Iris West in a bit of the spotlight this week. Out of all the other characters, she tends to be the most under-utilized. But ever since the introduction of Wally West, that’s been changing. And this week’s episode show some solid progression of both characters. When Iris was first introduced, audiences knew her mostly as the girl that Barry had a crush on, but was obviously involved with another man who just happened to be Joe’s partner at the CCPD. The CCPD where Barry also worked. It made for very awkward situations and, sadly, the character “Iris” suffered because it essentially made her become annoying in some ways.

flash 2x12 iris hospital
Thankfully, that’s all in the past and she’s really become better character. She’s endured a lot (with the death of Eddie and now her mother) and has gained a lot of strength. She’s become a character that people can look up to. Interestingly enough, and she said it herself in the show, she never really had a mother growing up, but she’s finding herself in that role with Wally. And she’s not doing a bad job either.

This week’s episode was also a great showing for Harrison Wells. Each week, audiences seem to get a bit more and more of Wells’ character, and for the most part, he’s been really shady (but for good reasons). His shadiness, though, finally reached a new high when his actions caused another member of the team to get hurt. Albeit unintentional, if he hadn’t taken some of Barry’s speed, he probably would have been fast enough to move Iris out of the way or catch that piece of glass.

flash 2x12 wells calculations
You have to admit, Wells coming clean so quickly was something that some people probably didn’t see coming. Up to now, Wells has been a man on a mission. More importantly, he’s been a father on a mission to rescue his daughter. When it comes to being a parent, there is no bond like the one between a parent and their child. Most parents will do almost anything to protect them, and in this case (and throughout most of the season) it seemed that Wells was more than ready to give up the Scarlet Speedster to ensure getting his daughter back. While he did his best to not show any kind of emotion, maybe Wells was beginning to have a soft spot for Barry and the team.

It probably didn’t help hearing from Barry all that talk about how the other Wells was like a mentor to Barry. In some ways, he was like another father figure for The Flash. By the end of it all, you had to have felt a little bad for Wells when he got thrown into one of those cells.

Finally, let’s talk about this week’s baddy, Tar Pit. There really wasn’t much of him to go around. While the spots he did have looked impressive, he wasn’t around enough to make much of an impact on the story line. It’s one of those things that’s going to happen when you have such a big story to tell. And for the first time in a long time, there is something to actually be bummed about in an episode of The Flash. You could probably makes a good case for some of the other villains that have been on the show, like King Shark, but they weren’t on the episode long enough to be missed in the first place. Although, King Shark was popular enough that even one glimpse was enough to upset people that he didn’t get more time on television.

flash 2x12 tar pit
Hopefully, in the future, the show will be able to feature a villain (that isn’t Zoom) that will have some significance to the story that they’ll play a bigger role next time. Thanks for playing, Tar Pit, hopefully you’ll be back next time and show people what you’re really made of.

So, overall, it was a good episode. For the most part, there were a lot of good points, and only one downside. The show continues to impress this season, but the big questions is can it continue the streak? Based on the preview for next week’s episode (that you can watch below), it looks like it will. And the best part is that it looks like the bad guys will play a bigger role this time.

Fast Lane” overall grade – B+

Tune in next week for another new episode of The Flash. Check out the preview:

Category: reviews, TV

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