Recap: The Flash Episode 13, The Nuclear Man

Barry prepares for his date with Linda Park, and even with Joe’s help can’t figure out what to wear. Good thing he only has the one Flash suit. He picks her up and they go to a taco place where Linda clearly has a better tolerance for spicy food than Barry – this is important. Linda heads off to the bathroom and Barry gets a call from Cisco about a robbery in progress which he takes care of only to return and get a call from Joe about a potential jumper (located at 52nd, the big number in the DCU, and Waid, previously referenced Flash writer Mark Waid), which he also takes care of. The pair transition back to Linda’s apartment where she prompts the second date test of a kiss, which goes well for both parties. Meanwhile in another part of town, a Quentin Quale (who shares his name with an old animated WB short and Rob Zombie’s “Doctor Satan”) is packing up to head home when he runs into hobo Ronnie Raymond, who is actually claiming to be Doctor Martin Stein. As expected his emotions gets the better of him and he erupts into flames.

The next morning at Jitters, Barry recounts his date to Caitlin and Cisco, who start to wonder about Barry’s ability to sexually perform given his Flash abilities (Well, that was unexpected). Iris overhears Barry talking about his date and no sooner have they arrived than Cisco is called away by “a friend.” Iris, Barry, and Caitlin watch a news report on Dr. Quale, his death, and “the burning man.” Cisco arrives at an address where he meets his mystery friend, who is actually Joe. He’s brought Cisco to this location because it was Barry’s childhood home and the scene of Nora Allen’s murder, and the current dwelling place of the voluptuous Sherry.

At STAR Labs, Dr. Wells puts his foot down (huhu) that letting Ronnie run free (huhuhu) this whole time has been a mistake and his very existance is an example of Darwinism in action as Martin Stein’s mind inhabits Ronnie’s body. He and Barry are on board to stop him and Caitlin agrees to help as well. Given hobo Ronnie’s fiasco with Dr. Quale, Wells says it stands (last pun I promise) to reason that Stein is looking for people he knows. Barry recalls having met Stein on the train back from Starling City the night the particle accelerator exploded. We flashback to that moment and remember just how awkward Barry used to be and we see Dr. Stein approaching STAR only to lose his F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. case containing some kind of crazy cube which he holds as he and Ronnie morph together.

The three of them head to see Martin’s widow and ask her about her husband and if she’s ever seen Ronnie (with a clever nod to writer Gerry Conway, co-creator of Firestorm). She reveals that a month after his disappearance Ronnie appeared in her house talking crazy, and clearly with Martin Stein in the driver’s seat. Though he left in a hurry she says that she has felt like someone has been watching over her this whole time. As Caitlin, Wells, and Barry leave they decide that Stein and Ronnie are both using the body to protect the women they love and should set up a stakeout to see if he returns.

Back at Barry’s childhood home, Cisco is going over the place with a fine toothed comb -er, fancy light doodad. As they work, Sherry enters and offers them a drink, which Joe declines and Cisco tells him he won’t judge him for taking her up on the offer. When nothing is turning up, Joe realizes the mirror in the corner is the same mirror the Allens previously owned, and upon further inspection Cisco realizes that it appears to have taken photos of sorts, presumably of the night Nora was murdered. As their investigation continues, Barry preps for his second date with Linda, who arrives at his and Joe’s Bachelor pad, and despite Barry’s plans for the night, Linda would rather stay in.

Wells and Caitlin wait in a van outside the Stein house where she ponders why he came home. Harrison says it’s because he felt safe there and that Ronnie sees her as his home, which she says he shouldn’t anymore. Just as Wells begins to give a grand speech on why he’s helping the two of them, Firestorm flies through on cue and lands in a big firey ball in the yard. Just as Barry and Linda’s night is heating up (sorry, pun again), he gets it in his head that Cisco and Caitlin were right about his powers effecting his ability to….perform. Luckily he gets a text about Firestorm and stumbles his way out of the house while apologizing and making bad excuses to Linda. After arriving at the residence, Barry engages Firestorm who flies off into the air with Barry holding on. Eventually he knocks Barry off but catches and slings him into the windshield of the STAR van before he can fall. Just as Firestorm is going to pulverize Barry, Caitlin steps in and prevents it, leaving flaming Ronnie no choice but to fly away, again.

Work continues on the mirror picture project in Barry’s old house and Cisco somehow turned it into a 3D projector – just go with it man we’re already buying the whole super powers thing. Glimpses of that night are showcased, mostly young Barry and his mom with blurs of the speedsters and again, shomehow Joe and Cisco find a blood spatter pattern that was previously never investigated, which Cisco says he can identify. The next morning, Barry goes to see Linda at CCPN to talk his way out of the night before (and we get a great shout out to the Keystone City Combines hockey team, created by Geoff Johns). Barry gets caught up in Flash business once again and has to leave, running into Iris on the way out, who imparts some unintentional wisdom on Linda that Barry was hung up on her previously. At some point during Barry’s struggle with Ronnie, he placed a tracker on him and Caitlin has found him under an overpass and she brings Martin’s wife Clarissa along to convince him they want to help.

At STAR Labs, Stein proposes that they can be separated via nuclear fission, which Wells thinks is possible. Ronnie-Stein says he feels better than he has in a while and they reveal they gave him a cocktail of drugs, typically used to treat dissociative personality disorder. He tries to call Caitlin by her first name, but she’d rather keep things formal. Barry receives a call from Linda breaking it off because of his feelings for Iris whom he confronts and lays the hammer down that he doesn’t feel that way. This appears to hurt Iris’ feelings.

At Barry’s lab in CCPD, Cisco and Joe work on the blood samples of which there are two, both different blood types. As Cisco gets ready to crossreference the blood type with the CCPD records, Joe asks him to check them against a single person, Harrison Wells. Cisco can’t wrap his head around this accusation, but Joe says he knows Wells has secrets and that people always act the same when told their friend is a murderer. Back at STAR, Caitlin asks Ronnie-Stein if she can talk to Ronnie, but it doesn’t exactly work that way. Stein mentions that he has all of these memories of Ronnie’s and can feel that he loves her very much. Dr. Wells calls Caitlin into the main room where he reveals that Ronnie’s atoms are rejecting Stein’s atoms and should his body temperature continue to rise it will set off a chain reaction where he could go nuclear.

Cisco finally returns and has a weird encounter with Ronnie-Stein and gets brought up to speed on the situation. Given the rate of fission in Ronnie’s body, he only has a few hours and separating them could result in a nuclear explosion. Dr. Wells drops the idea, that they can avoid it all if the host body isn’t functional. He says if Ronnie and Dr. Stein knew what was at stake they would make that choice (he’s right, remember Ronnie’s initial fate?). Cisco and Caitlin aren’t going for it and she asks Wells to use the extra hours they have to figure something else out. Wells scoots down the hall with Cisco in tow, where he pleads with him not to kill Ronnie, thinking of Joe’s accusation. Barry goes to talk to Ronnie-Stein who is fully aware of the situation at hand but has plenty of time to give Barry advice about girls. This prompts Barry to win back Linda’s affection by eating a Ghost Pepper (remember the first paragraph?). She agrees to go back out with him after his little spell.

Wells stands in his hidey-hole and retrieves a gun from a holster, his computer Gideon calls it a primitive tool. Then inspiration strikes and Wells wonders if he can use the Tachyon Prototype into a Quantum Splicer. Gideon tells him this will delay his time table, but he seems to be willing to make the sacrifice. He tells the group he has a plan but Cisco reveals that Ronnie-Stein is gone. He’s traveled out to the Badlands, the minimum safe distance from Central City for when he explodes. Cisco and Wells finish up the Quantum Splicer and Caitlin accompanies Barry out to the badlands. In the midst of all this, Cisco gets a ping on the blood samples and calls Joe to reveal it wasn’t Wells’ blood, but Barry’s, from when he was an adult.

Ronnie-Stein walks through the frozen woods and puts a gun to his head just as Barry and Caitlin arrive. She explains the device will bombarde his atoms with the same levels of energy they expereinced the night the particle accelerator exploded. She tells Ronnie she loves him and they kiss. Caitlin places the device on him and he catches fire, it’s not working, and Barry grabs Caitlin and books it, just in time for him to explode. Elsewhere, General Eiling is alerted to the explosion and preps a rapid response team. “Bring me Firestorm!” he exclaims.

You can check out the promo for Episode 14 of “The Flash” in the player below. Titled “Fallout,” the episode is officially described as follows:

After the nuclear explosion separates Ronnie (guest star Robbie Amell) and Dr. Stein (guest star Victor Garber), Barry and the team believe both men are safe. Caitlin is thrilled to have her fiancé back and prepares to resume their life together while Dr. Stein returns to his wife. However, when General Eiling (guest star Clancy Brown) targets Firestorm, Ronnie and Dr. Stein must decide if they are safer together or apart. Meanwhile, Mason Bridge (guest star Roger Hayworth) tells Iris that there is something secretive going on at S.T.A.R. Labs and Dr. Stein gives Barry some important information about time travel.”

Directed by Steve Surjik and written by Keto Shimizu & Ben Sokolowski, “Fallout” is set to air February 17. “The Flash” airs Tuesdays at 8 P.M. EST.