The Flash 01×13: The Nuclear Man

This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics

Each week Panelteers Chris and Ali sit down and chat about the CW’s newest superhero series, The Flash! They may not be sharing one body due to a strange particle accelerator accident, but they do share a mighty need to talk about The Flash. Ahoy! Thar be spoilers ahead! 

Ali: Chris. They talk about Barry’s potential sexual performance issue in this episode. Like. No innuendo. No subtext. Just straight penis talk.

Chris: I made the mistake of only half listening when that scene came on. I was working on something and kind of looked up and thought, “huh. Sounds like they’re talking about dick stuff.” I rewound and was all, “Oh. They’re actually talking about dick stuff!!!” And then this column wrote itself.

Ali: I mean, there’s always the gag about speedsters and rushing through sexy times. But here, it’s SCIENCE instead of a gag.

Chris: I loved Cisco trying to skirt around it. Like, he is not a dude that’s cool with talking about this, but was so, so concerned for Barry’s sexual wellbeing.

"Barry. It's time we have The Talk."

“Barry. It’s time we have The Talk.”

Ali: I almost died when he said “You’re gonna have to think about a lot of dead puppies.”

Chris: I’m just mad that wasn’t the name of the episode.

Ali: Which “Dick Stuff” or “Dead Puppies”?

Chris: It could be both. I mean, The Hobbit has two titles. How much better would the front of Panels seem with “The Flash 01×13 Dick Stuff or Dead Puppies” blazing across the top? We’d be up for an Eisner, surely.

Ali: Some how I think having Flash and Dick in the headline would slightly skew the site’s search results. ANYWAY. There was, honestly, a lot of romanticalness happening in this episode.

Chris: All sortsa dates and angst and whatnot. This episode starting with “Uptown Funk” being played while Barry tries on date outfits and Joe threatening to shoot him if he doesn’t pick one? Amazing. I knew we were in for a good one after that.

Ali: Even Joe got a bit of action! Well. He had the attentions of the lady who owns The Allen Family Murder House.

Chris: I was convinced that we were gonna get the weirdest threesome of all time if Cisco and Joe didn’t keep their wits about them. She was fantastic. We also finally got to see Joe not know how to react to something.

"Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?"

“Mrs. Robinson, are you trying to seduce me?”

Ali: Girl can get it! But it was amazing to see Joe get flustered. Should we talk about FIRESTORM and, you know, the plot of the episode?

Chris: Wait. We don’t get paid for dick jokes? Okay. Let’s talk about FIRESTORM!!!

Ali: Victor Garber was wonderful. But Arrow’s cousin doing Victor Garber was also wonderful.

Chris: I did not expect Scooby from How I Met Your Mother to be so… good? I almost feel bad saying that, but playing a dude playing another dude is usually only something that Robert Downey Jr. goes for… or like, anyone else on the CW, I guess.

Ali: He felt a little too stiff at times, but really I think he did a great job. Also, the first scene with Victor Garber, when he’s talking to Barry, I wasn’t sure if Barry was hitting on him or just being Barry. Damn you, Grant Gustin and your chemistry with EVERYONE.

Chris: As we have scientifically deduced, everyone in this universe is Barry-sexual. It’s not a stretch to assume that older nuclear physicists aren’t immune to the rules of nature.

Flameo, hotman!

Flameo, hotman!

Ali: But, giggles aside, the whole lurve thing from this episode came into play with the FIRESTORM story too. Martin wants to get back to his wife Clarissa, and Robbie wants to get back to Caitlin. There was a really wonderful conversation between Wells and Caitlin during the stakeout and how certain people are like home. I really loved that.

Chris: It’s a really fun angle to play around with the whole “Two Dudes Stuck In One Body” thing. This episode also made up for my only complain about last week’s – Caitlin acting like Ronnie was dead even though she’d been seeing him on the regular at this point. He really is gone, as far as they know. Not sure if that was made too clear before this point.

Ali: I think Caitlin knew that, even though she saw Robbie, it wasn’t really him or he wasn’t all there. The man she was in love with was not who was standing in front of her. I think that’s more what she was talking about when she said she needed to start to move on. That and she needed an excuse for drunk karaoke shenanigans.

Caitlin needs a hug.

Caitlin needs a hug.

Chris: No one NEEDS an excuse for drunk karaoke shenanigans. Danielle Panabaker played the hell out of the scene where she had to deal with Ronnie. I don’t know what happened, but if you go back and read our first couple of chats, I was super cold on both Caitlin and Cisco and now I love them both so much.

Ali: I still don’t know you weren’t immediately enamored by Cisco. Because CISCO. But you’re right. I think the more we’ve learned about Caitlin the more I’ve warmed up to her. She has a lot of emotional drama she’s dealing with, and she carries a lot with her. She’s pretty amazing.

Chris: I can’t imagine what it would be like to see the person you loved and know that it’s not them.

Ali: Heartbreaking. Let’s talk about happier kissy faces. Like Barry and Linda.

Smooches

Smooches

Chris: I’m curious what you thought of this. It felt pretty by the numbers to me for the most part, but both actors are cute and charming so it totally worked for me. Except that the pepper thing could have crossed into mega creepy and desperate and I’m not 100 percent sure that it didn’t.

Ali: Linda is adorable and too good for Barry, I think. There’s the scene where Barry confronts Iris about her telling Linda Barry was in unrequited love with her and he says something like, “You went out of your way to make me look unavailable.” Which was complete crap. Linda tells Barry a few times in the episode that if he has other priorities, she’s not really interested. Barry’s the one being unavailable; Iris didn’t have to set that up.

Chris: Someday, I want you to just write an entire essay on the goofy sexual politics of this show It’ll be amazing.

Ali: I love Barry. I really do. But he is terrible with romantic relationships. Which is part of his charm, I know. But I think, with Linda, he can’t pull the superhero blowing off his romantic relationship to do some superheroing. Linda won’t put up with it. So he’ll either have to come clean about being the Flash or she’s gonna walk.

Chris: Big fan of her not putting up with it. And it only took half an episode.

Ali: She’s pretty great. Although I don’t know how she puts up with Barry always coming to see her at her office. Like, what the hell Barry?! Girl’s got stuff to do!

Chris: It is one of those weird sitcom things that doesn’t happen in real life. Speaking of things that don’t happen in real life, did you dig the mirror thing as much as I did? I thought it was a super fun comic-book sciency way to deal with what could have just been a really boring crime scene reconstruction.

Ali: This is why I love Cisco so much. He builds all the wacky comic book sciencey stuff and just relishes in it. But I think the Super Light and images in the mirror was a lot more believable than pulling back decade-old wall paper and finding a completely pristine blood splatter. I mean, COME ON.

S C I E N C E

S C I E N C E

Chris: I was a little put off by Cisco’s stubborn reaction to Joe asking about Wells’ possible involvement until his excellent line read of “I was nothing before Wells.” His loyalty is stunning and I really felt for the guy. Wells puts so much faith in him. Carlos Valdes played the hurt really well.

Ali: His loyalty is what I love most about Cisco. But I think there’s also a good dose of innocence still in him too. And I think that plays into the scene too.

Chris: Really great work from everyone this week. One last question: Was Wells’ choice to kill Ronnie one of altruism or necessity?

Ali: Good one! It’s a tough call. I’m thinking yes, but they did find another option. I think Wells is so used to killing for “the greater good” that he’s lost perspective. I think, I hope, that Barry’s (and Cisco’s) dogged optimism will help break him of that. Cisco talks about how Wells kind of saved him, but really I think Wells brought Cisco on at STAR Labs for more than just his mechanical genius.

Ali: It sounds like it’s time for our Lightning Round, Chris.

Chris: “Don’t Turn It On!” is the best chant that the protesters could come up with. They had months, if not years to figure that one out. Bush league, protestors.

Ali: It’s possible I thought a bit too much about Barry vibrating during make outs with Linda. (She says sharing way too much).

Chris: We’ve all got our thing. Like, I could have sworn that I heard Wells say “The Kanye Award for Scientific Advancement” and am mega sad that wasn’t the case.

Ali: I can picture it. The awards committee choices a winner and as they’re being honored, Kanye busts in and give the award to someone else.

Chris: I don’t know how you got that straight out of my dreams, but you managed it.

Ali: My work here is done.

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