That was hot!
Did you notice the theme to The Flash Season 1 Episode 13? Whether it was Firestorm setting himself on fire for the most literal interpretation, Barry eating an incredibly hot pepper to win another date with Linda Park or Barry's body doing that Flashy shivering thing on his first date with Linda when they started making out and turning her on – there was a whole lotta hot going around.
The other theme, if we were to pin one down, would probably be awkward, as that was coming in equal doses.
Firestorm is a difficult metahuman to enjoy in any capacity. Ronnie's mind lost the genetic lottery and Martin Stein is ruling Ronnie's genetically fit body. It feels like a no-win situation for both men and the women who love them.
Martin was a kind gentleman, even remembering meeting Barry on the train the night the particle accelerator was fired up. However, the case he was carrying Project Firestorm in didn't seem nearly as safe as it should have been. As soon as the world started shaking he was holding the bare square and the hovering gold ball in his hands. Unless someone saw more than me, that sure didn't look good. Of course it all went to hell.
Now Martin is unhappy in Ronnie's body, fighting back Ronnie as he tries to cling to life. It's a mess. Caitlin held it together really well under tremendously awkward circumstances.
With Firestorm going nuclear and General Eiling going in after him, it seems he may have done it before and Eiling knows how to get him. We'll see the Ronnie/Martin Firestorm again in due course.
Joe took a chance on Cisco helping him with his investigation into Nora's death and Cisco uncovered some amazing 3D holographic images from an old mirror. When he learned Joe's motivation to look into the blood spatter, suggesting Harrison Wells might have been there the night Nora was killed, he didn't take it as well as Caitlin dealt with Firestorm.
Cisco: Dr. Wells is a great man. I was nothing when he gave me a job, a chance to change my life. He has helped so many people. He is not a murderer!
Joe: Cisco, I'm a cop. I'm good at reading people. That's how I know I can trust you with my suspicion. When I go talk to the family and friends of a murder suspect, somebody I know is guilty, and I tell them the person they love is a killer, guess what they say. That's not the person I know.
Joe was essentially pegging Harrison as the Reverse Flash, but I don't think Cisco caught that. He did, however, begin to look at him a little differently, especially when Harrison even let it cross his mind that it might be a good idea to kill Ronnie.
As soon as the splatter was revealed, I knew it wouldn't point to Harrison because it's too early to reveal anything about him. Sure enough, it's Barry's, and not just any Barry blood; it's an adult version of Barry's blood, meaning he was, indeed, the red blur he saw as a child. Here comes the time travel!!
Despite knowing Harrison was probably the Reverse Flash at the Allen house, he still set himself back by using the Tachyon prototype to try to save Firestorm. It wasn't out of the goodness of his heart, however. As he pointed out to Gideon, a nuclear blast and he won't need the prototype.
Finally, we have Barry trying to carry on with his love life. He's discovering being superhero has its disadvantages when you're trying to get cozy with a woman. Not only is he called away at very inopportune moments, but his body does that crazy Flashy thing when he's excited. Linda loved it, but it freaked him out a little. He's such a good guy and never strays outside good guy land; of course he has no idea how his body will react to that.
Boo to Iris, who had no right telling Linda Barry was hung up on someone and it was unrequited so she should probably just lay off. She has had ample opportunity to think things over and, if nothing else, at least talk to him about what he said if she had questions. She doesn't have to reciprocate, but if it's bothering her, maybe she needs to have a chat with her BFF4EVA.
Barry: I just need you to know that I don't have those feelings for you anymore.
Iris: Yeah, I know.
Linda is great. The chemistry between Barry and Linda is genuine and she's not afraid to tell him how she feels. As she has that attitude, it's pushing him to react equally and it's rather refreshing. Instead of playing a game of cat and mouse, they're being honest about their awkward situations for what they are and getting them out of the way. What Iris did couldn't have been easy for Barry to bounce back from, but he took it like a champ.
My spice champion of Central City.Linda
I have a couple of nitpicks with the not pepper business, however. First, Ghost Peppers are no longer the hottest pepper in the world, having been surpassed by the Carolina Reaper. Tsk Tsk. Second, with as quickly as he heals, why would it burn him so badly? Wouldn't it be more like the way alcohol affects him? The most potent alcohol Caitlin could create in a lab environment lasted approximately five seconds. Why would a hot pepper be any different?
There was amazing forward motion on Barry's love life and even better movement on bringing time travel into the picture. Joe may wind up with a date named Sherry and Cisco might start looking more closely at Harrison as things move forward. Will Joe immediately tell Barry he saw his future self when his mom died or will he plan it out? What would you do? Would Joe think for a second Barry might have murdered Nora? There is a lot to talk about!
Hit the comments and share your thoughts on "The Nuclear Man" and if you need to catch up at any time, you can watch The Flash online via TV Fanatic to do so.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.