FLASH: SPOILER Review 01×03 “Things You Can’t Outrun”

The Flash (01×03) – “Things
You Can’t Outrun”
Written by: Alison Schapker & Grainne Godfree
Directed by: Jesse Warn
This week’s episode opens at the Vogue Theater where Barry
and Iris have just finished a zombie movie with Barry explaining his
“zombie movie scale” before seguing into a story about fungi-infected
zombie-ants.  Iris quickly turns their
discussion to Barry’s alter ego.  He’s
graduated from “Red Blur” to “The Streak” and Iris is
convinced of his existence.  In classic
“I’m not the superhero, I swear!” fashion, Barry attempts to cast doubt
on Iris’ theories but her confidence in her intuition is solid.   She attempts to show Barry a picture but is
interrupted by a call from Eddie to plan their overnight rendezvous.
Fortunately for Barry, he receives a call from Cisco and Caitlin,
unfortunately for Barry (and shippers) it’s business.  There’s a high-speed chase in progress, no
time for love Mr. Allen.  Barry races off
in pursuit, pulls the perpetrator out of his truck, cuffs him, places him in
the pursuing police car and returns to the theater.   All without suiting up or Iris even noticing,
the pair walk down the sidewalk and pass the “Amarasia Oasis.”
Inside the Oasis a meeting is taking place, we will learn
this group are members of the Darbinyan crime family.  The head of the family and his nephew discuss
some issues before he tells a restaurant employee to close the restaurant.   The employee does so with a menacing look as he breaks
the key off in the lock.  As the meeting
starts, a gas fills the room and kills everyone inside.  It’s an ominous scene and the gas seems to
have both a will and a face.
The next morning, Barry meets up with Joe and they overhear
the pair of officers from the night before bragging about their arrest on their
way to Barry’s lab.  Joe is reopening the
Nora Allen murder case and they will be going through the evidence piece by
piece until they find evidence to clear Barry’s father.  Before they can begin Eddie arrives with news
of the Darbinyans being murdered.  From
the murder scene, Barry is able to deduce that something is odd; he and Joe
theorize that this is the work of another metahuman.
At Joe’s urging, they take the evidence to the STAR Labs
trio.  As they bounce ideas about the
killer’s abilities between each other, Joe brings up the larger problem they’re
facing.  Iron Heights is ill-equipped to handle
metahumans and they cannot continue to execute the ones they come across.  They need a metahuman prison.  Cisco believes that the Particle Accelerator’s
containment area can act as a prison but Caitlin has strong objections.
This brings us to our flashback plot, this time it’s
centered on STAR Labs the night of the explosion.  Caitlin and her fiancé, Ronnie Raymond, are
planning their honeymoon while the final start-up procedures are underway.  Wells gives a brief speech where he says he
felt like he’s “waited for centuries” to activate the accelerator, he
activates the startup sequence.  While
Ronnie and Caitlin share a moment, things are already beginning to go wrong
with the accelerator.
Back in the present, Barry can see Caitlin is shaken by
memories of that night and enlists her to help analyze the gas at the police
station.  Joe has gone home to work on
the Nora’s murder when Iris comes into the living room to get a book.  Eddie knocks at the door and when Iris lets
him he she only barely manages to stop him from accidentally outing their
relationship to her father.  Joe leaves
and Eddie expresses his frustrations while Iris begs off telling her father a
little longer.
Back at STAR, Cisco and Wells go down into the accelerator
ring to work out how to use it as a prison. 
Wells leaves and Cisco thinks back on the night of the explosion.  He and Ronnie were in the very same access area
that night attempting to stop the oncoming meltdown.  Ronnie is going to try and shut the
reaction down but he leaves Cisco to lock the hatch behind him if it
fails.  Ronnie doesn’t return in time and
Cisco locks him inside.
While Barry and Caitlin discuss Ronnie, the gas analysis is
completed.  The problem is there is no
trace of gas, rather a second DNA strand that doesn’t match-up with the sample
or the CCPD database.  Barry then hypothesizes
that the killer doesn’t control gas, he becomes it.  The scene shifts to the Central City mall, a
woman is talking with her daughter on the phone as she gets in the
elevator.  She passes a man along the way
and we see that he’s the same man from the restaurant in the teaser. 
He follows her into the elevator and we learn the woman is a
Judge and she believed this man to be dead. 
He turns into gas and kills the judge. 
At the police station, Barry hears about the attack and takes off to
stop the killer.  He arrives at the mall
and finds the killer in a maintenance hallway. 
The killer declares he has one person left to kill before they
fight.  Barry has trouble with the man
before he turns into gas and attacks Barry.  Barry runs back to STAR Labs but he’s suffocating.  While they treat him, they biopsy his lung to
get a sample of the gas before Barry passes out.  As Barry recovers enough to go find Joe,
Cisco dubs the killer “The Mist.”
At the police station, Joe tries to keep focus but Barry’s
thoughts are with his father.  With his
speed he could have his father out of prison any time he wanted and it’s
becoming harder for him to justify not doing it.  Joe counters that breaking his father out
won’t really solve anything and there will always be times that Barry feels
like he’s not doing enough but he can’t stop trying.
Iris finds Eddie at the station and she tells him the reason
why she is afraid to tell her father is that she’s never seriously dated anyone
for fear of making a mistake.  If they
tell her father, she’s afraid of losing Eddie. 
When Eddie is unconvinced, she kisses him in the middle of the station.  Barry finds Caitlin in the lab and apologies
for frightening her.  She explains that
Ronnie left her in a similar situation and with similar parting words only to
never come back.  Barry offers to help
her go down to the accelerator and face her fears. 
In the flashback, Caitlin arrives and pleads first with
Cisco to open the blast door.  Then with
Ronnie to find some way to escape, there isn’t time.  Ronnie has re-angled the accelerator’s
magnets to divert the blast up in an attempt to save as many people as he can.  Caitlin and Ronnie are unable to say goodbye
as he is consumed in the blast.
In the present, Caitlin laments that Ronnie saved so many
and no one will ever know.  Barry replies
that he knows and thinks Ronnie was a hero. 
Caitlin replies that she didn’t want a hero, just a husband.   They are called back up to the lab by Cisco;
the gas has been identified as a gas used in lethal injection executions.  The night of the explosion, Kyle Nimbus was
executed for murder.  The Darbinyan
family sold him out during his trial, Judge Howard sentenced him to death and
the arresting office was Joe West.
Before Barry rushes off to save Joe, Caitlin provides him an
antidote for Kyle’s gas attack.
Joe has gone to Iron Heights to apologize to Barry’s father
and tell him he’s reopened the case when Nimbus arrives.  He attacks Joe in front of Henry just before
Barry arrives, forcing Barry to use the antidote on Joe before chasing after
In the fight that follows, Barry is at a distinct
disadvantage.  Nimbus turns to gas
anytime Barry tries to hit him.  Wells
theorizes that turning into gas is taxing on Nimbus and Barry has to tire him
out before he can attack.  This plan works and
Kyle Nimbus soon finds himself locked away in the make-shift prison at STAR
Joe is well on the way to recovery in the hospital and he
has a heart-to-heart with Iris and Eddie. 
He’s known about their relationship for quite a while and luckily for
Eddie he’s either too weak or too medicated to express himself as only
a father can with his daughter’s boyfriend.
As the episode wraps up, we get a final scene with
Wells.  This time he’s recalling what
happened the night of the explosion.  Moments
after Ronnie locks down the accelerator, Wells goes to his hidden room from the
pilot.  He activates the computer inside
and watches the lightning strike Barry before declaring he’d see him soon.
It’s not surprising that the “Things You Can’t Outrun”
this week was the past.  Specifically,
guilty memories of the past and the pain they leave behind.  Each of the characters had something in their
past they are still struggling with in some way or another and while the only
piece of the past dealt with completely was Kyle Nimbus, everyone got a little
closer to putting the pain of their past behind them.
It also shouldn’t be surprising that after two very strong
episodes “Things” might feel like a bit of let down, but I don’t
believe it is.  The Pilot and Fastest Man
Alive were both a bit more self-contained as they had the hard job of initially
hooking the audience.  “Things”
is the beginning of the marathon, threads are being laid out that may take a
long time to resolve and that’s a good thing.
The effects remain very strong and the main cast,
specifically the STAR Labs trio, got a little more time to shine and this too is a
good thing.  The heart of this episode is
the moments between Joe and Barry.  Jesse
L Martin and Grant Gustin are doing a lot of heavy lifting and I’m enjoying every
second of it.
The end result is a pretty good hour of television and what
I hope to be the norm for the series.
Three Things We’ve Learned:
The Blue Devil Movie advertised on Arrow last season already has a sequel
Iris has a blog devoted to the Flash.
Clyde Mardon and Danton Black are (presumed) dead.

Three Questions:
Did Henry recognize Barry at Iron Heights?
Was the theft the Darbinyan family had gathered
to discuss part of something larger?
If Rita Farr is out there and has a bio-pic
devoted to her, does this mean there’s a Doom Patrol?

Just another guy on the internet.