This episode of Flash was actually one of the better ones in recent memory. There were three stories going on all at once and each tied into the other very neatly. It also ensured that the episode didn’t drag, nicely pacing one moment to the next.
Our first story concerned Joe and Iris confronting their feelings of family, when confronted with Wally and his street racing. Our second story, the one connected to the overarching plot, involved Barry and Harrison Wells attempting to find a way to stop Zoom by closing the inter dimensional breaches. There was also Wells making good on his agreement with Zoom to steal Barry’s speed. The third story was our the villain of the week, Tarpit. Admittedly the weakest plot line of the three, it still interconnected the other two very nicely. Tarpit’s former cellmate turned out to be the guy in charge of the street races Wally participates in. The Flash also has some of his speed siphoned off by Wells during an encounter with Tarpit, which causes Barry to be too slow to save Iris from harm during an incident during one of the street races.
Our episode started by showing how the villain, Tarpit, came into existence the night the Particle Accelerator exploded. From there, it moved to present day to show Joe and Iris struggling to find common ground with Wally. At the same time, the team at S.T.A.R. labs- specifically Barry and Dr. Wells- worked on ways to solve how to close the breaches between the two Earths. Secretly, Wells also began working on his device to siphon Barry’s speed. There are some interesting and awkward moments between Dr. Wells and Barry as the two figure out how to close the breaches . They do successfully close one, which results in a bonding experience that seems to play into Wells’ decision to come clean later in the episode. As the episode continues, Tarpit’s attempts at revenge cause the Flash to become involved. Thanks to some quick detective work, the team figures out who Tarpit actually is and why he’s specifically targeting those men. Unfortunately, the last man on Tarpit’s hit list is the man who runs the illegal races, leading to a showdown that Joe and Iris attend. Flash intervenes, but due to his missing speed, he is not fast enough to stop a large shard of glass from injuring Iris. As Iris is rushed to the hospital, Wells comes clean about what he did, leading the team to imprison him temporarily in the pipeline. Barry points out that any one of the team would do anything (and has done anything) for family, and they resolve to not only help Wells fight Zoom and regain his daughter…but that they would travel to Earth Two to do it.
All three plots are resolved fairly neatly before the end of the show, but it led to some really great moments between the cast, including Iris and Joe struggling to find the difference between being open to Wally, versus being a concerned family, along with a well crafted moments between Barry and Wells.
The writers have done a fantastic job this season with re-personifying who Harrison Wells actually is. They’ve also done a great job showing Barry’s struggle with dealing with this new Wells. This episode had moments that had Harrison Wells isolating himself- and there is a point, flat out, where he tells Barry that he can’t be part of the team because he will choose to save his daughter, and betray the team to do that). It also showed Wells struggling with, then choosing to do, the right thing.
Fast Lane was a great episode, and if the Flash writers, cast, and crew have more in store for us like this, I cannot wait for Tuesday nights.