There’s something special about courting a new superhero, and Fury of Firestorm nails the beauty of why people like me love to recognize a plotpoint or name in shows like this. Ronnie’s sacrifice in the first episode of the season it’s been a bit of a lynchpin of most of the drama in the second season of the Flash (a scene that mimics his death in Brad Metzler’s Identity Crisis). It has also created a new dynamic within the team between Stein and the other members of the STAR Labs team, that has led to a veteran intellectual perspective that has been missing since Wells’…departure. But that’s clearly not the best use of Firestorm’s varied command of abilities. Enter Henry Hewitt!
It’s actually Jax Jefferson, who is an original character who’s bright future ended up destroyed by the particle accelerator explosion. What I particularly like about “Fury of Firestorm” is that it highlights a problem that has been conveniently ignored by the episodes prior. We’ve seen how the particle accelerator explosion has turned people in to metahumans and destroyed their lives by proxy, but we haven’t seen the mundane damage that had been done, nor the scars that said damage would carry. Jax ends up as a metaphor for the disruption that the accelerator has caused, and the scars it has left even so long after the event. Franz Drameh delivers a very natural performance that acts as an entertaining foil to Professor Stein’s more old fashioned intellectual. What especially fascinated me though was how it highlighted Jax’s intelligence, despite his underachieving. The flip side to this ends up being Henry Hewitt, a villain who is actually created by the direct intervention of the team, as opposed to the explosion of the particle accelerator. It really showcases the negative consequences that can come from the team tampering with such powerful forces.
Final Word: “The Fury of Firestorm” is proof that the team behind the Flash really knows its audience. Franz Drameh is a welcome addition to the lineup that I for one am looking forward to seeing pop up again. Barry and Patty’s conversations and flirtations are entertaining to watch, and are also very fluid and natural seeming for the characters. Both Gustin and VanSanten are playing fun and charming characters, and the two have great chemistry that enables them to play effectively off of each other. It’s very hard to watch Iris and her mom’s reconciliation, and that’s part of what makes it so moving, but most of it is Candice Patton’s real strength of character. She’s really come in to her own since the first season, and this scene proves it innumerably. Of course the end of the episode is nothing to scoff at. King Shark looks incredible. The CGI on him is Grodd level (that’s a compliment). And Harrison Wells’ involvement hints at some intriguing twists in the plot. Despite all that, “Fury of Firestorm” is first and foremost a story about the new Firestorm, and that’s how it should be. The team’s role is important in the episode, but this is how you introduce and get an audience to love a new character. A practice that the team behind the Flash have perfected in to an artform.