Iâ€™d say that this second season of The Flash is easily standing up to lofty expectations it set in its premiere season. I always begged the question if they would have the ability to cover as much ground so spectacularly as they did previously. The show keeps on laughing at that question and absolutely blowing the doors off.
It’s quite easy for most TV shows to flub such a packed episode like, â€œFast Lane.â€ Luckily, The Flash certainly isn’t one of those shows. The strength of this episode is clearly in its determination to give something more to the monster of the week cliche. Don’t get me wrong, the monster of the week is here with the introduction of Tarpit, but they weave him in with a stronger storyline happening throughout the episode.
Tarpit, as a character, was initially quite interesting. A group of thugs are holding a guy over a, you guessed it, pit of tar. He was dropped into the Tarpit concurrently with the particle accelerator explosion. So, what better way to get back at those who wronged you than to form yourself into a tar suffocating monster. While he may not be the most interesting villain in the universe, the way he’s woven through every storyline is quite brilliant.
As previously seen on The Flash, Harrison Wells has made a deal with Zoom that if he steals The Flashâ€™s speed, he will let Wellsâ€™ daughter go. Besides being an absolutely ridiculous plan, Wells creates a device that sticks beneath the emblem on Barryâ€™s suit and saps a portion of the speed force from Barry when he uses it. We see this occur when he is randomly out of breath when doing a task that wouldn’t leave him so. Cisco and Caitlin register that his speed has decreased by a few percentages. All this leads into another story line.
Since Iris is a reporter after all, she can’t allow Wally to keep racing and risking his life after his mother just died. While Iris tries to tactfully blackmail Clark Bronwen, the man who sets up the races for Wally, she forgets that these people are hardened criminals, and she is well out of her comfort zone. Later, we find out that Bronwen, is the next victim of Tar Pit.
In a spectacularly choreographed scene, Tarpit makes a wave of tar that sends everything awry during Wallyâ€™s latest race. Barry manages to save Wally as his car is being flipped upside down, but the chaos has glass shards flying through the air like javelins. One is headed right for Iris. Since Barry has lost some of his speed, he doesn’t make it in time, and Iris ends up in the hospital. Her hospitalization really sets two of the seriesâ€™ big ideas in motion.
For the Wests, it really brings an understanding that they are a family and must stick together. It patched up the fractured relationship amongst the group and really helped to solidify the necessity of having Wally in this universe. As for Barry, I think it goes to show that, try as he might, he can’t save everyone. Sure, his speed was siphoned, which certainly led to him not catching up to the glass shard, but it further emphasize that there will be things out of his control. First Barry lost Patty, and now he almost lost Iris. Things are getting very serious on the show, and Zoom is still lurking in the background.
As for the Wells and Zoom partnership, Wells eventually starts to feel for Barry because Barry is always looking for ways to help save his daughter. Wells finally breaks down and tells him what he was doing and of all people, Joe is the most furious. Barry, however, rationalizes with the group and explains that they would potentially do exactly the same thing. I loved the fact that Barry is able to set his feelings of the former Wells behind and can realize that he is just looking out for his â€œown.â€