Written by Jacob Chimilar (@sweetlows)
This week we find Dr Stein is still finding it difficult, consistently bursting into flames while Cisco does his best to stabilize him. Catlin's research has lead her to discover he can't live unmerged, the firestorm matrix in his body is too unstable and he needs another person to fuse and stabilize the matrix; doing some research on possible candidates as well. She finds two potential matches due to their exposure to dark matter and similar genetic makeup like Stein, one of which is a former high school football player named Jefferson Jackson and the other is a scientist named Henry Hewitt. To further test their compatibility Barry goes and swipes their blood for testing. Who will come out on top!?
Meanwhile, Joe arranges a meeting for Iris to finally meet her Mom and she does so just so she can swiftly shut her back out of her life. She feels that she doesn't deserve to come back after 20 years now that it is convenient for her to do so. I totally agree with that decision, and Joe backs her up completely. However it turns out the real reason she is back is that she is dying and she was hoping to spend some time with Iris before she passes. Iris does some more digging into her past and finds that while she is telling the truth about dying, she isn't telling the whole truth about herself. I feel like the troubled Mom stuff, while interesting, just seems like a way to keep Iris in the story now that Barry has his sights on Spivot; but maybe now we can move on from this plot thread.
Back at the lab, Henry Hewitt comes in as a compatible match, and he being a scientist hits it off with Stein and agrees to do the merge. Unfortunately the merge failed and Hewitt in anger storms out of the lab, but it appears that it worked slightly better than expected. At his lab Hewitt literally flares up at his boss and causes a power surge. it is then revealed he has a history of violence and anger issues and that he has gained access to the Firestorm matrix. Not something you see often, and I thought it was a nice surprise to have the seemingly mild mannered guy be a guy who has real anger problems. I guess not all scientists are cool, bummer.
Jefferson Jackson comes in and outright refuses to merge and Catlin yells at him for it, "who doesn't want to be a superhero!?" after she calms down she goes and apologizes, but also manages to convince him to join back up telling him about Ronnie and how he saved Central City. They are soon interrupted by Hewitt attacking them as he blames them for what they did to him, Jax manages to knock him out and the two of them race back to STAR labs to try and merge with Professor Stein. The merge is successful and they go to take down Hewitt at a football field where he is drawing energy from the outdoor lights. As per usual, its another science-y defeat for Flash and the new Firestorm and it seems as though the new Firestorm is here to stay. That is until Professor Stein takes Jax to a friend to train them so that they can be the best Firestorm they can be.
While all this is going on the Barry/Spivot romance continues to blossom with Spivot on the trail of a Man shark and Barry offering his lab assistance. His testing of teeth she found came up with a human result taking her off the strange case. Joe talks to Barry about Spivot and tells him that he should seriously consider going out with her and moving on from Iris because those days are over and he should find something new. This becomes a central theme of the episode. Looking on to new horizons, seizing opportunities as they come and not being afraid to let go and embrace change. But also actually face a giant man shark, who DC Comics fans will recognize as King Shark. Barry as The Flash gets attacked by King Shark in front of Spivot and she fails to take him down, but someone from behind takes the man shark down and it is revealed to Barry that Wells has returned (or at least Earth 2 Wells has come over to Earth prime) and we don't quite know what he's up to... yet.
I really enjoyed this episode, back to some more science based stuff and some good life lessons along the way. Here's to more of the same!