By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Flash.
A Plot: The People vs. Barry Allen
The Flash picked up right it left off in December, with Barry Allen arrested for the “murder” of Clifford DeVoe. This episode found the Scarlett Speedster falsely accused and on trial for that murder. There were obvious parallels between Barry and his father and even if it weren’t explicitly stated throughout the episode, we saw Grant Gustin successfully draw on the strength that John Wesley Shipp brought to the character of Henry Allen.
The cards were stacked against Barry from the start. Without his willingness to expose himself as the Flash, Barry had no chance to defeat the overwhelming amount of evidence against him. DeVoe really went all in on this, and it was so masterfully written that I honestly have no idea how Barry will get himself out of this. Coming out of this episode, it’s hard to believe he’ll get out of prison anytime soon yet it’s still inconceivable that Barry will spend more than an episode or two in Iron Heights.
Another thing I love about the story so far is that we still have no idea what DeVeo has against Barry. It’s been teased that there is a plan so intricate that Barry couldn’t possibly understand it, but the audience has been given no clue about this plan. We also have no idea why it involves Barry and I hope it stays that way for a while. In fact, as I believe I’ve written before, I don’t want DeVoe to have any connections to Barry’s past at all. I want DeVoe to simply be an evil genius with a diabolical plan and the Flash is simply in the way of his achieving that plan. Not every villain who comes along needs to have a personal grudge against Barry. In addition to getting away from speedster villains, it’s also nice that the writers have depersonalized the villains for Barry.
B Plot: Fallout
Tonight saw the introduction of Neil Borman, a.k.a. Fallout. Having only appeared in a handful of issues, Fallout is a minor character with a heartbreaking story. He was the lone survivor of a nuclear incident that left his emitting radioactivity from his body. He inadvertently killed his family and as a result turned himself into Iron Heights. While there, he was forced to use his power to constantly power the prison. When the Flash heard about this torturous treatment he put a stop to it. However, Fallout remained at Iron Heights because he thought of it as his home.
The version of Neil Borman we met tonight didn’t come with much of a backstory. We don’t know how he got his powers or if he had a family that he tragically killed. He simply wasn’t the focus of tonight’s episode. In fact, I suspect that his small arc served not only as a means to give Team Flash something to do in Barry’s absence but to give Captain Singh a reason to call the Flash a hero while the judge calls Barry a menace. It worked well and I’m certainly not complaining about the events that led up to this powerful moment, but I’m saying that this was probably just really good filler and we shouldn’t expect to see Fallout ever again.
Thanks for reading!