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Recap / The Flash (2014) S1 E9 "The Man in the Yellow Suit"

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Christmas brings a nasty surprise for Barry and the Wests — the man in the yellow suit, looking to capture a device that can give invulnerability. Meanwhile, Caitlin finally encounters Ronnie.


Tropes:

  • Always Someone Better: The Reverse-Flash opens a can of whoop-ass on Barry, who can barely keep up with him, let alone fight him effectively.
  • Antagonist Title: The title obviously refers to the Reverse-Flash.
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  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: The first encounter between the Flash and the Reverse-Flash.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The Reverse-Flash makes off with the tachyon device, and he (seemingly) would've killed Barry then and there if it weren't for Firestorm.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The man in the yellow suit has Barry down for the count...and is bowled over by a column of flame, produced by none other than Ronnie Raymond.
  • Blackmail: Barry gets Dr. McGee to lend the tachyon device as bait by mentioning he's not simply a dumb cop, he's a scientist with degrees in physics and chemistry, and so he could recognize some of the tech Mercury Labs is secretly developing and he'll make it public if she doesn't cooperate.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Reverse-Flash is, naturally, a Palette Swap of the Flash with red lightning instead of Barry's yellow. When Cisco sees them fighting, he remembers that there was red and yellow lightning in the house the night Barry's mother was murdered, indicating the presence of two speedsters.
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  • Christmas Episode: This is the first Christmas Episode in the series.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Nobody seems to be actually harmed by Ronnie's fire, including the Reverse-Flash, who is hit by a freakin' column of flame, or Barry, who is inches under said column of flame.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: See Always Someone Better.
  • Double Subversion: The popular fan theory of Wells being the Reverse-Flash seems to be Jossed when the latter delivers the former a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown in the penultimate act (Eddie Thawne, another likely candidate, is also in the room witnessing this). Later, however, Wells is shown to possess the Reverse-Flash suit as well as the ability to distort his voice through Super Speed, implying a significant connection between the two.
  • Evil All Along: Harrison Wells appears to have been the Reverse-Flash all along. Technically we don't actually see him wearing the suit, but the fact that he is doing exactly what the Reverse-Flash appears to have wanted makes him this trope anyway.
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  • Flying Firepower: Ronnie uses bursts of fire from his hands and feet to fly.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Tina McGee mentions how much alike Barry and Wells are. The end of the episode may imply that Wells is, in fact, Barry's Evil Counterpart.
    • When the team "traps" the Man in Yellow, Wells points Eddie out by his last name for the Reverse-Flash to hear. And when he escapes the trap, the Reverse-Flash kills the entire anti-Flash task force except for Eddie and Joe (the latter only because of Barry's arrival). At the end of the episode, Eddie wonders why the Reverse-Flash even "spared" him.
  • Have We Met Yet?: The Reverse-Flash acts and speaks as though he knows Barry personally. This, and the other events of the episode, would imply it's keeping with the comic backstory of him traveling through time to torment Barry.
  • Healing Factor: Harrison Wells still shows some injuries on his face during The Stinger. After putting a device on the Reverse-Flash suit, his injuries are almost completely healed.
  • Identity Impersonator: Wells' plan (other than stealing the tachyon device) amounts to this. He convincingly fakes not only having a conversation with Reverse-Flash but getting beaten to near-death by him.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: After having a really bad day, Joe says that maybe the eggnog, which was said to be heavy with bourbon, was probably a little light on it given what he'd been through.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • Iris learns that Barry's in love with her.
    • Eddie learns that metahumans are real and that Joe knows about them.
    • Team Flash learns that Ronnie's alive and pyrokinetic.
  • I Wished You Were Dead: After Ronnie rejects Caitlin's help, she confesses to Cisco that after all the times thinking of what she would give up for just a single moment with Ronnie again, only to see the Ronnie she knew gone, she wished Ronnie had simply died in the accident.
  • Knight of Cerebus: This is probably the darkest episode of the show so far, largely because the Reverse-Flash has been the biggest threat Barry has faced so far. And the most brutal.
  • Love Confession: Barry finally admits his romantic feelings to Iris, and apologizes for the terrible timing.
  • Mathematician's Answer: Eddie asks Joe if he knows who the Flash is. Joe responds with "He's the guy that saved both our lives tonight"
  • Mind Screw:
  • Mundane Utility: Barry uses the super speed to decorate the Christmas Tree.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The ring Wells uses to unlock his Reverse-Flash costume compartment has the same lightning bolt design as the ring Barry Allen and Wally West used to stored their costumes (very compressed) inside in the comics.
    • The man in the yellow suit states that he's not the Flash — in fact, he's the reverse.
    • Caitlin says she needs time to see if she could make Ronnie "whole" again. In the comics, Ronnie Raymond is only half of the Firestorm entity.
    • Combined with Foreshadowing/Fauxshadowing, Eddie wonders why the Reverse-Flash didn't kill him. In the comics, Professor Zoom (one of the many reverse Flashes) has the secret ID of Eobard Thwane and traveled back in time from the 30th Century to ruin Barry's life. The Bad Future of this series is only ten years away so Reverse-Flash may have been avoiding a Grandfather Paradox.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • The Reverse-Flash speed-snatches up Dr. Wells and beats him to within an inch of his life.
    • Barry gets his ass handed to him by Reverse-Flash twice, especially in the first clash at the football stadium.
  • Personal Space Invader: After taking out his task force, Reverse-Flash stands an inch away from Eddie and just stares at him for a moment before attacking Joe.
  • The Reveal: There were two speedsters in the house the night Barry's mother was murdered, one the Reverse-Flash, and the other unknown.
  • Role Reprisal: Tina McGee is again played by Amanda Pays, who played the character in the The Flash (1990).
  • The Stinger: Wells walks into the secret room he uses to monitor the Flash...and opens a secret chamber, revealing a Reverse-Flash costume and saying "Merry Christmas" in Reverse-Flash's creepy voice.
  • That Man Is Dead: Ronnie claims this about himself, answering only to Firestorm.
  • The Unfettered:
    • Discussed. Both Joe West and Henry Allen point out that Barry's given up a lot to prove his father innocent, including passing up international travel, pursuing a degree that's crime-related, becoming a CSI, and never telling Iris how he feels.
    • See Mind Screw above: if Wells is the Reverse-Flash that means he nearly killed himself.
  • Wham Episode: Ronnie reveals himself to Caitlin as Firestorm. Barry finally encounters Reverse-Flash and reveals his feelings for Iris, just as she's about to move in with Eddie. Joe tells Eddie about metahumans. Wells is shown empowering the Reverse-Flash suit with tachyons and is strongly implied to be Reverse-Flash.
  • Wham Line: "Merry Christmas." — spoken by Harrison Wells in the exact same voice as the Reverse-Flash and while looking at his suit.
  • Wham Shot: Wells opening a compartment in his secret lair to reveal the yellow suit.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Since Wells is the Reverse-Flash (or at the very least is working with him), this makes the Reverse-Flash beating up Wells an obvious attempt to make the latter seem more sympathetic. He even suppressed his Healing Factor so that no-one would suspect anything.
  • You Killed My Father: Gender Flipped, but was nonetheless said word-per-word by Barry.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: An unintentional example. When Barry induces blackmail on the head of Mercury Labs, Joe compliments him on his good work. He just gives Joe a Death Glare and walks away.

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