The Flash continues its winning streak of strong episodes with “Fast Lane,” an episode that brings the current Wally West storyline to a conclusion and brings Harry Wells’ saga to a head. The story begins two years ago, on the night that the particle accelerator went ka-boom. A hood, Joey Monteleone (Marco Grazzini) is being held over a hot tar vat at the Hudson Roofing Tar Industries by two of his partners in crime, Clay Stanley (Sean Owen Roberts) and Daniel Burge (Mathias Retamal) because he has been stealing money from them. Monteleone gives up the account where the money is hidden and then begs for his life. Even though he has what he wants, Stanley has him dropped into the tar vat anyway. As Clay and Daniel walk out to their car, which is being driven by another thug, Clark Bronwen (Teach Grant), the particle accelerator goes critical and a wave of energy floods the Hudson building and the hoods peel out just in time. Fast forward to the present day where the pavement outside Hudson’s is being torn up. As the first layer is broken, a puddle of tar begins to bubble and a hand shoots up. As the Flash does his nightly patrol, he checks in on the Wests, who are enjoying a nice, family dinner until Iris brings up Wally’s drag racing and how dangerous it is. To Joe’s dismay, Wally leaves and he asks Iris why she brought this subject up. In turn, Iris wants to know why her dad is condoning Wally’s illegal activities instead of coming down on him like a father should. Meanwhile, Harry has studied his data from Turtle’s brain matter and the Reverse-Flash and is constructing a device that will let him steal the Flash’s speed once he taps the Speed Force. After his patrol, Barry arrives at S.T.A.R. Labs in the hopes of tackling the breach problem, but succeeds in only annoying Harry, who is clearly conflicted about what he planning to do the Scarlet Speedster. Later that night, Iris heads to the street races and arrives to see Wally partake in the final race of the evening. She pleads with Wally to not do this, but is unable to stop him. Iris is able to get a good picture of the man who running the races though, and it just so happens to be Bronwen. At the same time, Monteleone goes after the first man responsible for his ‘death’ two years ago, Burge, who now runs an auto garage and detailing shop. As he comes after his former associate Monteleone bellows, “Two years! Two years I was trapped in the ground in that blackness! I couldn’t see! I couldn’t feel! But I could still hate!” He describes to Burge the intense pain he felt as his body was burned by the tar, especially his throat as he tried to breath. As his hand begins to glow brightly, Monteleone decides to show Burge exactly what he experienced. The next day, Barry arrives at the crime scene and examines Burge’s body. Joe tells him that it looks like he was dipped in a volcano, and Barry tells him that he agrees, but that he was burned with something with a much lower temperature. Barry also notices a secondary chemical characteristic and he takes a sample to analyze back at S.T.A.R. Labs. Harry has just perfected the device that will steal Barry’s speed and implants it into his suit as Barry and Cisco walk in, discussing a new app that Cisco has created to track social media reports regarding meta-humans. When Joe goes to meet Iris for lunch, she shows him the research she has been doing for a story on street racing in Central City and the damage it has done. Joe is still reluctant to have the talk with Wally that he needs to, mainly because he is afraid his son will reject him and Iris. He asks Iris to let Wally trust him more and he will eventually get him to stop. Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry tries to assist Wells with the breach issue, but is chastised for trying to make Harry into a father figure/mentor after Barry mentions how much he had learned from the evil Dr. Wells. When Barry leaves, he runs into Cisco and Caitlin who tell him that Burge didn’t die from his burns, but actually suffocation. Cisco has also run a scan on the sample he brought in and there were traces of meta-human genes. Cisco then tells Barry that Burge’s remains were similar to those of animals that had been trapped and fossilized in tar, which is why Cisco names this unknown meta-human Tar Pit. Suddenly, Cisco’s app gets a hit and there is a report of a meta attack in progress. As Barry races off to the scene, Harry activates the device to start siphoning off Flash’s speed. When Flash arrives at the street where the attack is taking place, he finds Tar Pit going after his second target, Clay Stanley. Flash saves Stanley and then he finds a way to cool Tar Pit off by having him hit a fire hydrant. The water not only cools him off, but starts to cause Tar Pit to harden and forces him to flee. Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry and Team Flash ID Tar Pit as Monteleone and they learn that he vanished the night the particle accelerator exploded. The first question is what is the connection between Stanley, Burge and Monteleone? The second question is why Cisco clocked Barry as being slower than usually. Team Flash is still unaware of the fourth member that made up the crew Monteleone used to run with, but Bronwen is on someone’s radar. Iris visits him and has a talk with him about the street races. She tells Bronwen to shut down the races or she’ll print an expose on the races and his ties to other illegal activities. When he threatens Iris, she reveals that she has recorded their conversation and sent it back to her office. She warns that if he touches her, it will be sent to the police. Iris’ visit doesn’t sit well with Wally and he goes to confront her. Iris tries to get Wally to see that she and Joe care about him, just like his mom did, and she asks him to give up the races. Harry and Barry have a heart to heart of their own as Harry opens up to Barry, confiding that his determination reminds him of his daughter’s. Harry tells Barry that he is alone in his fight to save his child, that he will always be a father first and that is why he will never be a part of Team Flash. He even tells Allen that one day Zoom will make him choose between Barry and his daughter, and every time he will choose Jessie and that eventually he will betray Barry. Barry tells him that he has faith in Harry and that he trusts him to make the right decision. Barry also shares a means to close the breaches for good, based on research done by the other Wells. Harry meets with Zoom and delivers the first dose of the Flash’s speed to him. Harry demands that the Dark Speedster return his daughter to him in exchange for the rest of Barry Allen’s speed. Harry tells Zoom that he knows he won’t kill him or Jessie, because then he won’t get what he wants. Zoom touches Harry and sends bolts of pain through his shoulder, telling him he doesn’t have to kill Jessie. He can torture her, bring her to the edge of death and then do it again and again. Releasing Harry, he orders him to bring him the rest of the Flash’s speed. The next day at S.T.A.R. Labs, Joe tells the rest of the team that he has come up empty on any lead that might tie Burge and Stanley to Tar Pit. All of them have records, but their court files are sealed. Cisco offers to skirt around the ethics and hack into the system (only committing five felonies in the process). The reason their files are sealed is because they were for juvenile offenses. While they didn’t commit any crimes together, they did serve time in the same correctional facility. Monteleone was bunkmates with Burge and Stanley bunked with Bronwen. Iris walks in at the moment the talk turns to locating Bronwen and she tells her dad that she knows where to find him. Before the Wests leave to find Wally, Harry presents the team with a Breach Implosion Reactor. Harry and Barry take the device outside to test the B.I.R. and Harry explains that when the device detonates, it will collapse the event horizon on Earth-One and thereby shut off all access to Earth-Two at that point. Barry is visibly tired and Harry asks if he is okay. He says he is just not himself, but that he will be fine. The B.I.R. is successful and closes the breach that Barry aims it at. Barry is delighted, but Harry is reserved. Barry tells him to smile, that he has not only rewritten physics, but they are one step closer to getting his daughter back. Joe and Iris arrive at the races and they spot Bronwen. But the Wests aren’t the only ones looking for this dirtbag. Tar Pit is in the crowd too and as Wally and his opponent take off, Tar Pit begins to attack the asphalt beneath them, shifting it so the drivers begin to lose control. Iris calls Barry and the Scarlet Speedster races away from Harry to the scene of the races. Just before the Flash arrives, Tar Pit creates a ramp that careens Wally’s car back at Bronwen. The Flash arrives in time to pull Wally from his car and get Bronwen out of the path of the vehicle aimed at him, but as Wally’s car crashes, debris is sent flying towards Iris. Flash races towards her, but because of his decreased speed, he is unable to reach her before a flying shard of glass stabs her in the shoulder. The Flash catches her and then races off to the hospital. Iris wakes up in the hospital with Joe by her side and Wally visiting with flowers. Wally is glad Iris is okay, but he doesn’t know what to say. He leaves quickly and Joe goes and tells him that he needs to be with Iris now. Wally thinks Joe blames him for what happened, but Joe assures him he doesn’t. Joe tells him he understands that Wally just lost his mom and found them, that it is a lot to take in. Joe assures Wally that his son is not alone. He and his sister worry about him and they are not going to stop worrying about him, because that is what family does. Joe tells Wally he isn’t mad at him, but at himself for not being his father first and foremost. When Barry calls, Wally tells Joe to go, that he will stay with Iris. At S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco shows Barry what he and Harry have come up with to stop Tar Pit, nitrous grenades, which are triggered by extreme heat. If one of them hits Tar Pit, it will freeze him instantly. Barry though is rattled by the fact that he wasn’t fast enough to save Iris and he thinks Cisco was right, that there is something wrong with him. Caitlin confirms that he is slower. She tells him that based on components in his blood, the Speed Force is only at 98% and before it was 100%. Barry is upset because Iris got hurt because he wasn’t fast enough and he doesn’t want to lose anyone else when Zoom attacks again. Barry’s regret and his own guilt force Harry to cop to what he did. He reveals his device, hidden in Barry’s suit, and he confesses to stealing Barry’s speed just as Joe walks in. Everyone is ticked off at Harry’s revelation, but it is Joe that steps up, punches him and then hauls Harry down to one of the holding cells and tosses him in. A short time later, Joe escorts Stanley out of police headquarters as bait to lure Tar Pit into the open. The plan works and the Flash is able to take the meta-human out with the nitrous grenade before he can kill his old crony. The next day at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry and Joe want answers from Harry about why he betrayed them. Harry tells them it was for his daughter. He tells Barry that he warned him he would do what was needed to save his child, but now his actions have condemned Jessie. Harry tells them that he wants them to send him home and seal the breaches. They can use the B.I.R.s, shut Earth-Two off for good and Zoom won’t be able to return. Topside, Caitlin shows what Harry did to steal Barry’s speed and reveals that if he had continued, Barry would have lost his powers permanently. Joe and Cisco are all for sending Harry back to Earth-Two and forgetting about him. Barry sees things differently. He asks Joe what he would have done if it had been Iris that was being held captive and he reminds Cisco what he did when Captain Cold threatened his brother. “We’re all vulnerable,” says Barry. “None of us is above making a wrong decision. He could have done it. He could have stolen my speed, gotten away with it and none us would have even known. But he didn’t.” Barry isn’t okay with just leaving Harry’s daughter out to dry or everyone else on Earth-Two. With all of Team Flash onboard, Barry goes and frees Harry from his cell and tells him the decision has been made: The Flash is going with him to Earth-Two. As I said, the Wally West-racing storyline comes to a conclusion in this episode and overall, it is a pretty good resolution. The tying of Wally’s story in with the Tar Pit storyline is great and it really helps to hold the episode together. Joe’s reluctance to do anything that pushes his son further away and Iris’ concern are both handled well and have evolved logically from what has happened in previous episodes. Also, I enjoyed the final scene with Iris and Wally as he explains why he loves racing so much and how it is tied to their late mother. It’s a good scene and Candice Patton and Keiynan Lonsdale handle the material well. Speaking of Patton, she really gets a lot to do in this episode and her scene confronting Bronwen is really outstanding. Too often, Iris got lost in the shuffle of Season One because she didn’t know Barry’s secret then. Now, Iris getting to step-up more in Season Two. I like that. I like that a lot. Elsewhere in the shining moments department, Tom Cavanagh takes his scenes and runs with them. I have enjoyed how Harry has been played this season. Is he a bad guy? Is he a good guy? Here we know all too much what he really is, a guy stuck between a rock and a hard place. He’s a father eager to save his daughter, but he is a man who is will to do the right thing at last and not let Barry Allen suffer. Again, going back to what he had to work with in Season One and Season Two, Cavanagh has certainly got talent and range and he is one of the show’s great assets. The story of Tar Pit and his alter ego, Joey Monteleone, kind of gets the short shifted as it there mainly to serve as a bridge to the Wally West storyline more than anything else. Marco Grazzini does well in the role and I do hope we’ll get to see this bad guy again in an episode that gives him more to do. Even with this flaw, “Fast Lane” hits more cylinders than it misses and ranks a solid 4. The Flash 2.12 “Fast Lane”Dan's Rating4.0Overall ScoreReader Rating: (2 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.