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Recap / The Flash (2014) S1 E13 "The Nuclear Man"

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The team try to help separate Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein before things get nuclear.


  • Artistic License – Chemistry: Played with. When Barry has a very spicy taco early in the episode, he immediately drinks water, something people with experience eating a lot of spicy food will know just makes the feeling last longer due to spreading the capsid juice around the mouth. Linda, on the other hand, being very experienced, gives him milk at the end of the episode when he tries to eat one of the hottest peppers in the world, the Naga Jolokia, which helps to stifle the taste.
  • Artistic License – Nuclear Physics: Everything to do with Ronnie's detonation at the end of the episode. Wells tells Barry that even he can't outrun a nuclear blast, but the shockwaves from the explosion expand outwards at approximately 60 mph, which Flash can easily escape. However, in order to outrun the shockwave, he would still have to be far enough away at the moment of detonation that he didn't get instantly vaporized by the initial detonation, but Barry (and Caitlin!) are still within line-of-sight.
  • Arc Number: The would-be jumper that Barry rescues is located at 52nd and Waid, "52" being the Arc Number associated with Arrow and The Flash. This is also a Mythology Gag to Mark Waid, an influential writer in The Flash comics, and one of the writers of the 52 comic that started DC's obsession with the number.
  • Ascended Meme: The "fastest man alive" double meaning.
  • Bookends:
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In his hurry to answer Caitlin's SOS, Barry cancels his makeout session with Linda. As he was fumbling out the door, he says that he'll text her, or call her. He finishes that he would do both.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: Linda calls off her date with Barry because Iris told her about his feelings for her, but Barry is able to get her attention once again by eating a ghost pepper.
  • Call-Back: A couple of episodes ago Jason Rusch said the military confiscated all of the Firestorm project research. At the end of the episode General Eiling shows up looking for Firestorm.
  • Can't Have Sex, Ever: It's not clear exactly what Caitlin is trying to warn Barry about early on in the episode, but it appears to touch on this trope, by way of Barry not being able to control his power, which we see happening a little bit while he's making out with Linda.
  • Chekhov's Gag: During their first date, Barry and Linda are playfully discussing spicy foods. After they have a fallout, Barry tries to win her back by eating a large chili.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • A part of the tachyon device stolen by the Reverse-Flash in "The Man in the Yellow Suit" is used to make the fission device they place on Firestorm at the end of the episode.
    • Jason Rusch mentioned how the military confiscated all of Professor Stein's research.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Once again, absolutely no-one has to worry about being burned by Firestorm, and when Firestorm flies over a roof, the roof doesn't catch fire.
    • Also Fridge Brilliance: why isn't Barry hurt after being flown high in the air while clinging to a flaming Ronnie? The suit he's wearing was designed for firefighters.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Ronnie/Prof. Stein before their explosion.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Barry really doesn't do himself any favors trying to explain to Linda why he have to bail on their date. Lucky for him, she's fairly understanding about it.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Joe and Cisco by the current owner of Barry's old home, who is quite The Tease.
    Cisco: [to Joe after noticing him giving her a Male Gaze] It's OK. I won't judge you.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In-Universe example. Since Ronnie and Prof. Stein unwillingly made a Fusion Dance, Caitlin gave him/them medicines to treat patients with D.I.D.
  • Female Gaze: Both Ronnie and Barry have Shirtless Scenes.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: When Barry sees a picture of Martin Stein, Barry remembers him as someone he met and had friendly banter with while riding the train the day of the particle accelerator explosion. Barry didn't think much of it back then.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Ronnie/Prof. Stein cuts his/their hair, shaves and presumably bathes after a year being a hobo.
  • Hope Spot: When Ronnie/Martin bursts into flames at the end of the episode, there's a very brief moment where the fire stops and he turns back to normal. But then he still explodes.
  • Idiot Ball: Joe tells Cisco that he suspects Wells of murdering Barry's mother without anything to back it up. Doesn't even try to bring up Wells moving to Central City around the time of the murder or how he was confronted by the Reverse-Flash shortly after his talk with Wells.
  • Interrupted Suicide: The Flash and Caitlin catches up to Firestorm in the badlands just before he can shoot himself.
  • Male Gaze: Joe and Cisco are quite "appreciative" of the current owner of Barry's former home.
  • Mr. Fanservice: As explained above, Ronnie and Barry.
  • Ms. Fanservice: As explained above, the current owner of Barry's old house.
  • Mundane Utility: Barry is getting jitters because of his first date, so he goes through one wardrobe change after another to try and getting the right look; Joe is getting pretty annoyed at what might be the umpteenth time.
    Joe: If you change one more time, I'm going to shoot you.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The title of the episode refers to Firestorm's Red Baron. Non-fans of the comics may recognize the name as the Canon Foreigner villain from Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.
    • The fission device they attach on Firestorm opens and transforms into something that resembles the character's costume insignia. Likewise, the color scheme of the sweatshirt that he's wearing is identical to that of Firestorm's costume.
    • The place where Barry and Caitlin try stopping Ronnie/Prof. Stein from his Heroic Suicide has a lot of snow and ice on it, once again alluding to Caitlin's powers in the comics.
    • The mirror gimmick that Cisco creates resembles the weapon of the Mirror Master, a major Flash villain from the comics.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Iris' attempt to help Barry's relationship with Linda causes Linda to dump Barry.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: The owner of the Allens' old house quite openly hits on Joe, and shows up in a Little Black Dress offering him "strawberry daiquiri." Joe misses/resists all of her advances, seems mildly exasperated by them, and eventually gets her out of the way by sending her to the movies.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: After being dropped a couple hundred feet, Firestorm grabs Barry just as he lands on the S.T.A.R. Labs van's windshield and puts him on the ground. Barry is unhurt, but shocked by the height.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Barry's usual good deed at the beginning of the episode interrupting his date with Linda. After Cisco guilt-trips him, Barry thwarts the robbery and is back with Linda in a split-second. However, a Deleted Scene actually shows this.
  • Out of Focus: Eddie only at the beginning.
  • Pet the Dog: Wells seriously considers shooting Firestorm, then changes his mind and takes a piece out of the tachyon device to help Firestorm. Even though Gideon mentions that it will be a setback for his plans, Wells considers saving Central City from a nuclear explosion more important.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Barry accidentally uses his ability to vibrate quickly to pleasure Linda. She enjoys it.
  • The Reveal:
    • Cisco and Joe find bloodstains in Barry's old house and when they match the blood against known ones, they discover that neither belongs to Wells, but one of them matches an adult.
    • It is also shown that Eiling is aware of Firestorm's existence.
  • Secondary Character Title: The title refers to Firestorm's Red Baron from the comics.
  • Sherlock Scan: Linda quickly figures out that Iris is Barry's first love just by talking to the former and observing her manner of speech.
  • Shirtless Scene: Done by both Ronnie and Barry.
  • Shoot the Dog: Wells at first suggests killing Firestorm in order to prevent his/their meltdown, justifying it as sacrificing two lives to save millions, until he figures out an alternate way to save them.
  • Shout-Out: Barry asks Firestorm to not "flame on", which is the catchphrase of the Human Torch of Fantastic Four fame.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Second date: Barry has a "schedule" of activities planned for them, but Linda quiets him down this way, leading to them making out.
  • Sparkling Stream of Tears: Caitlin when being pulled by Barry away from Ronnie/Prof. Stein.
  • Speed Sex: Cisco and Caitlin warn Barry that this might be a side-effect of his powers.
  • Stealth Pun: Caitlin tells a shirtless Ronnie/Pro. Stein that his/their temperature is rising, basically saying he's/they're hot.
  • The Stinger: The military detects Firestorm's nuclear explosion, and Eiling orders him brought in, sounding quite confident that he's still alive.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: When Barry thinks Linda's backing off because of Iris, and tells her to her face that his feelings for her are over, Iris takes way too long to respond to that. She's later seen watching Barry and Linda get back together with a completely blank look on her face.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Caitlin calls out Wells hard when he proposes killing Firestorm to stop him from going critical.