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TV Review: The Flash - Season 2 Episode 12 "Fast Lane"

EPISODE 12: "Fast Lane"

SYNOPSIS: Barry teams up with Wells to figure out a way to close the breaches, but they are distracted by a meta-human nicknamed Tar Pit who can transform into liquid asphalt. Iris is concerned for Wally’s safety after she finds out about his drag racing hobby. When he refuses to stop she makes a bold move that puts her in danger.

REVIEW: There are good, solid episodes of The Flash and then there are the filler episodes. Luckily, over the course of the first season we had very few filler episodes, but season two has been a different story. Twelve episodes in to this season and we already have two filler hours and tonight's outing is unfortunately a third. Sure, there are plot advancements and some fairly big reveals, but the overall story this week is a complete waste that only serves the purpose of the reveals about Harrison Wells and Zoom.

Built around Wally West's drag racing, this week's foe is the lame Tar Pit. A low level criminal who was dropped into a vat of molten tar during the particle accelerator explosion, Tar Pit has the ability to turn into molten lava to avenge his own "death". In reality, he looks like a cross between Samara from THE RING and the giant snowman from FROZEN. Yeah, it is that lame. In fact, Tar Pit is defeated relatively easily and only after allowing for a scene where Iris is mortally hurt. Okay, maybe not mortally, but it looks pretty serious as a piece of glass strikes her near no major organs and yet everyone freaks out. After ending up in the hospital, it affords Joe and Iris the chance to lord their familial instincts over Wally who sees the errors of his ways and heads back towards being a member of this new family. By the way, his mother died between last week and this week with very little fanfare. So long, Mama West.

The real reason Iris gets hurt is because Harrison Wells finally completed the device to steal the speed force for Zoom. Installed in Barry's uniform, the speed force is captured and reduces Barry's abilties by 2%. Zoom takes the power greedily and demands it all or he will kill Wells' daughter, but Wells cannot deal with the guilt of what he has done. As Barry, Cisco, and Caitlyn discuss what could have slowed Barry, Wells admits to what he did and is promptly thrown into the STAR Labs brig. Wells apologizes and tells the team he will try to save his daughter on his own and asks them to send him back through to Earth-2. Using the devices that he and Barry built this hour to close the rifts between worlds, Wells tells them to stop Zoom by closing all of the portals between the two Earths.

Barry spent a little quality time with Wells this week, even using his speed to pack his short term memory with science from the alternate Earth, but it was seemingly enough to reforge his bond with the doppelganger of his former mentor. Earth-2 Wells may be more of a douche on the outside, but he is a better person on the inside and Barry realizes that. Barry decides that they will bond together and head through the portal to Earth-2 together to finally stop Zoom as a team. So, basically, we just spent an hour with Barry's speed slowed down by 2% and almost costing the life of his best friend/love of his life and yet they will somehow stop Zoom who earlier this season beat Barry to the brink of death? I don't buy it.

It also seems very strange that Jay Garrick, a vital contributor at the start of the season, is once again noticeably absent this week. It doesn't help that we learned his doppelganger is Hunter Zolomon (aka Zoom in the comics) which leads me to believe that the writers are using the oldest trick in the comic book: Jay Garrick is Zoom. If this ends up being the big reveal, there better be a lot more to it than just the fact that the two characters were not in the same room this season at all.

This was a very disappointing episode that introduced the lamest bad guy we have yet seen on any DC series and did nothing with him. For a show that gave us sixty seconds of King Shark, we got almost an hour of Tar Pit, and that should speak volumes of the caliber of this episode. Even the West family drama felt less interesting than the reveal that Wally West is a speed freak who dreams of driving fast or being an astronaut. Whether he becomes a Flash this season has yet to be seen, but this episode functioned only to deliver small reveals rather than deliver a cohesive story. Chalk this one up as a rare miss for an otherwise consistently great show.

FINAL VERDICT:

NEXT ON THE FLASH: "Welcome To Earth-2" airs February 9th - Barry, Wells and Cisco journey to Earth-2 to rescue Wells' daughter, Jesse, from Zoom. Barry is stunned when he runs into Earth-2 Iris and Joe, but nothing prepares him for meeting Killer Frost and Deathstorm. Meanwhile, back on Earth-1, Jay has to take over the Flash's responsibilities when a meta-human nicknamed Geomancer attacks Central City.

Source: JoBlo.com

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