The Flash Review: “The Nuclear Man”

The past appearances of Firestorm deliver, as the Flash confronts a future hero, and both wrestle with the challenges of multiple identities.

Title: “The Nuclear Man”

Directed by Glen Winter
Written by Andrew Kreisberg, Katherine Walczak

Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash
Candice Patton as Iris West
Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West
Rick Cosnett as Eddie Thawne
Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells
Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow
Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon
Robbie Amal as Ronnie Raymond / Dr. Stein / Firestorm
Malese Jow as Linda Park
Victor Garber as Dr. Martin Stein
Isabella Hofmann as Clarissa Stein
Chase Masterson as Sherry


Team Flash tries to separate the two people who make up the Nuclear Man, while Joe West and Cisco Ramon uncover new and baffling clues in the murder of Barry’s mother.

Barry, meanwhile, pursues his relationship with Linda Park, despite the pressures of his double life.

High Point

The show gets away from the villain-of-the-week with a well-intentioned but challenged future hero. I liked the handling of Firestorm, and they effectively mined his/their relationships with Caitlin and Clarissa.

The occupant of the old Allen home was predictable and silly, but fun, in the way that parts of a comic-book show should occasionally be.

Low Point

I accept the episode’s interesting version of science—it’s the Flash—but I don’t see how, even in the DCU, Caitlin could make that run with Barry and not be injured.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6

Effects: 5/6

Acting: 5/6

Story: 5/6 Despite multiple plot threads, the show did not feel fragmented.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 6/6

Overall: 4/6

In total, “The Nuclear Man” receives 33/42

9 replies on “The Flash Review: “The Nuclear Man””

  1. Best part was missing from your cast list… Clancy Brown!

    And Leeta is aging very well for a Dabo girl.

    Comic book science aside, it was a good break from the usual pace to take on these threads and they all worked well for me.

    The bit that bugged me most was the dubious photography-on-a-mirror bit, but even that didn’t give me a brain spasm the way any given bit of dialog on Scorpion would have.

    • Brown was kind of a cameo this week; I’ll add him when he gets an actual role!

      Bad Media science is a tricky thing, isn’t it? I accept a fair bit of Handwavium in a superhero movie; that’s the fantasy part. The more it’s disconnected from the necessary fantasy element, the harder it is to accept. Hence the wincing over the mirror forensics. Ditto, I suspect, Scorpion which, if I understand correctly, presents itself as a semi-serious depiction of hacking.

  2. Yeah, the photos-on-the-mirror thing was… ugh.

    So, now we know Barry will have time traveled to his mom’s murder, probably to try and stop it… but the other person isn’t Wells…

    • And presumably if the other DNA was a familiar match (read: His father) the test would have made that obvious. And depending on how wide the DNA search they made was, it would have shown if it was Eddie or anyone else regularly on the show (or related to them)

      • Well my theory of Wells being Barry’s dad and killing Barry’s mom is apparently disproven. But Wells did give up part of his secret plan tech to try and save Firestorm so my good-guy Ubermensch theory for Wells remains intact.

      • Would DNA have been at its infancy in the use of law enforcement at the time that Barry’s mother was killed?

        • It was in its infancy in the use of law enforcement in the late 1980s and especially early 1990s. Barry’s mother died around 2000, so the police use of DNA testing would have been fairly normal by then, I think.

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