The problem that comes with The Flash and Arrow having more than twenty episodes a season is occasionally you get pointless and weak episodes like “Fast Lane”. Easily one of the more disappointing hours of The Flash’ second season to date, this episode served up more excitement for the inevitable journey into Earth 2 next week which I personally can’t wait for. However, an underwhelming, clichéd villain certainly went a long way to making “Fast Lane” an incredibly forgettable hour, even if the drama focused on the West family wasn’t quite as bad as everything else.
This week we were focused on Tar Pit (Marco Grazzini), who failed to make much of an impression as his villain didn’t bring anything to the table that we haven’t already seen before on the show and even more times in the comics. The criminal changed by the particle accelerator offered nothing new and nothing exciting, with no dramatically high stakes largely due to the fact that there was no real tension here. You knew Flash would stop Tar-Pit (he’s not a big bad) and when he’s taken out in a pretty anticlimactic way on top of that, things allow for a much more disappointing experience. The only time where the episode served to get dangerously close to becoming exciting came with the attack on the drag racers (in before an inevitable crossover with The Fast and Furious franchise), when Wally came under attack from Tar Pit and Barry was called in to save him. So unfortunately you can chalk that up to being a major disappointment.
Iris’ character got more to do this week as she found herself involved in a dangerous situation and ended up in hospital whi;e Wally was able to eventually stand by her bedside and wait for her recovery. It’s helped by the fact that Keiynan Lonsdale is handling his role well so far (reminding me a lot of Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Johnson in Creed in how they both have chips on their shoulders from absent fathers) and so far it’s played out well.
Meanwhile, Wells got the most interesting element of the plot this week as Tom Cavanagh gave a fantastic performance that proved that he’s one of those characters who despite plotting to betray Barry to Zoom in favour of rescuing his daughter. He clearly doesn’t want to, even warning Barry that he would end up betraying him at some point, as both characters really developed well this week. Barry knows that this Wells is very different from the Thawne-possessed Wells that he knew, and it’s great to see that he’s sticking around even despite the revelation that he betrayed them being made public to the rest of the team.
This leads us into the setup for next week that sees Barry journey into Earth 2 which is something that I can’t wait for and it should be very interesting to see what happens with the massive potential available to distort and change the perceptions of characters who we’re familiar with. If anything, it shouldn’t have too much work to do to be better than “Fast Lane”.
The Flash continues next Tuesday at 8pm on the CW.