The Flash: Separation anxiety and time travel

The Flash
The CW

Looks like that Ronnie and Caitlin reunion we’ve been waiting for on The Flash was entirely too short-lived. After an explosive end to last week’s episode, “Fallout” began with the discovery that Ronnie and Martin Stein were able to separate after all. Too bad General Eiling had his own plan in mind for the Firestorm duo.

After their long-awaited separation, Ronnie and Stein were unsurprisingly more than ready to spend some time apart. It seems that Ronnie wasn’t too happy with how Stein used his body, while Stein was convinced he was doing them both a favour. Call it a draw, guys?

The other “fallout” from last week’s episode came from the reveal that The Flash was there during his mother’s murder. Joe wasted no time in delivering the bombshell to Barry, who was understandably shocked by the revelation. Of course, leave it to Cisco to explain different theories of time travel in basic layman’s terms of Terminator versus Back to the Future.

Time travel has been a long part of The Flash’s comic book history, but it’s a tricky thing to step into, especially when they’re developing a major DC television universe. Still, while we know for certain that Barry will travel through time at some point, we have no idea when. Something tells me it may be sooner than we think.

Back to the present, however, Ronnie and Stein were having a harder time separating than they hoped. Matters only got more complicated when Eiling interrupted Ronnie and Cailtin’s date in order to take back the Firestorm project, using less than legal means. Seriously, that weapon he used on Barry was just plain cruel. Not to mention, after Barry helped them escape, the ever-troublesome Wells ended up giving Stein to Eiling anyway.


While all this was going on, Iris was urged by jerk reporter Mason to begin investigating S.T.A.R. labs. She resisted at first, but when she realized how Caitlin lied to her about Ronnie’s identity and a few other things, she slowly changed her tune. I can’t say I blame her; once those journalistic instincts take over there’s nothing you can do but let curiosity take over. Plus, with Barry being increasingly distant since he got involved with Wells, why wouldn’t she look into it?

Back to the immediate danger, Eiling took Stein to an abandoned military base, where he immediately began to torture him for information. Thanks to their increasingly freaky connection, Ronnie was able to ask Stein for his location via cutting himself on the arm. In a far less violent response, Stein answered in morse code, which Wells and Cisco were able to translate. Do that many people really know morse code anymore?

While Barry and Ronnie were able to get Stein out of the facility, the Firestorm duo were forced to merge once again in order to escape Eiling. With the help of the quantum splicer and the power of friendship, the merge went much smoother this time around, leading to an awesome fight sequence and an only slightly cheesy voice-over conversation.

Knowing that they’ll be hunted for their powers, Ronnie and Stein opted to leave Central City (and their loved ones) behind in order to learn more about their abilities. I can’t help but feel bad for Caitlin at this point. At least when she thought Ronnie was dead she knew there was a chance she could move on–is she really going to be stuck pining for him while he’s off galavanting with Stein?

The episode ended with Barry returning to his childhood home, swearing to Joe that once he goes back in time he’ll be able to save his mother. The implications of that time paradox is still kind of making my head spin, but we’ll just have to see what happens.

The Flash-points:

  • A+ for all the pop culture references. On top of the time travel movies, we had solid references to Game of Thrones and Friends. I guess Ronnie and Caitlin are kind of the Ross and Rachel of Central City.
  • Joe is hands down one of the best dads on TV. Immediately following his confession to Barry about time travel, he apologized for not thinking about his feelings first. Joe is the best.
  • Don’t think I forgot about that end scene with Gorilla Grodd! Eiling got his just desserts handed to him by Wells and everyone’s favourite psychic primate. So excited to see what Grodd is up to in the coming episodes.
  • I really dug the Coast City references in this episode, which is the fictional city where Green Lantern Hal Jordan hails from. It’s also been referenced a couple of times on Arrow. If we can have time travel and psychic gorillas we can totally have intergalactic superheroes, right?

So many exciting things happened in this episode and I definitely didn’t catch them all. Leave a comment below on your favourite moment before checking out the preview for the next episode, which sadly won’t be on for another month. It looks like Wells’ lies finally catch up to him – will his identity as the Reverse Flash be revealed?

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on CTV and The CW.