Last week's episode of "The Flash" introduced three remarkable surprises: Professor Stein's worsening condition, Iris' discovery that her mother is still alive and the return of Harrison Wells. Tonight's episode -- "The Fury of Firestorm" -- dropped a few more surprises, including the existence of another member of the West family. Overall this was a solid episode that explored the ideas of taking risks, letting go of the past and embracing the powers that were imparted by the particle accelerator explosion.
First up, Team Flash must save Professor Stein (Victor Garber) from the Firestorm matrix. The power is too much for Stein to withstand on his own and without Ronnie he must find a new person with which to merge. This sends Team Flash on a quest to find someone with compatible blood type, DNA and metahuman qualities. Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) comes up with two candidates: Henry Hewitt (Demore Barnes) and Jefferson "Jax" Jackson (Franz Drameh). While Hewitt seems like the obvious choice, with his background in physics and genetics, he is unable to merge with Dr. Stein. Jackson is genetically more compatible, but when given the opportunity to become the Firestorm hero, he surprisingly declines. Caitlin makes the situation even worse when she tells Jackson he gives up too easily, especially because he never went to college. Caitlin's apology and encouragement saves the day, as Jackson agrees to become Firestorm and merges with Dr. Stein. Their merge is perfect and a new hero is born.
This new Firestorm gets to show off his flying skills when Hewitt, the man who couldn't fully merge with Stein earlier, starts blowing up Central City. Hewitt's dormant Firestorm powers were triggered when he attempted to merge with Stein. Now he has no one to help anchor his powers and he's angry, making him a lethal combination of power and rage. Barry (Grant Gustin) is able to exhaust Hewitt's powers with the help of Jackson. Hewitt ends up in the S.T.A.R. Labs pipeline at the end of the episode, which is actually the first time all season a metahuman didn't end up dead at the hands of Barry and the team. The show has yet to address the fact that The Flash has actually taken lives this season -- something he didn't do very often last season.
Once The Flash and Firestorm put Hewitt away, Jackson and Stein disconnect and decide to go to Pittsburgh to receive more training on their capabilities. While these two characters may no longer be permanent members of Team Flash, they will be back for "The Flash"/"Arrow" crossover which will introduce the team featured in the upcoming "DC's Legends of Tomorrow." Before Stein departs, he offers Cisco (Carlos Valdes) a word of advice. He tells Cisco not to hide that fact that Cisco now has powers. Cisco has been living in the fear of what Wells told him, and does not want his powers to cause anyone harm. Hopefully Cisco tells the rest of Team Flash about his multiverse "vibes" soon.
Another big issue dealt with on tonight's episode was Iris' reaction to the truth about her mother. After Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) told his daughter Iris (Candice Patton) that her mother was still alive, Iris didn't react the way he thought she would. Joe had been keeping Iris' mother's existence a secret for almost 20 years, but when he finally told her the truth, she wasn't mad. She cried, she looked shocked, but she pretty quickly forgave Joe. Due to the ease with which Iris' handed this news, one could expect her to embrace her mother with open arms, but this was not the case. Iris greets her mother with a coldness and without even letting her mother say a word, Iris tells Francine (Vanessa Williams) that she never wants to see her again.
Francine is devastated by this news and later tells Joe the real reason she's come back to see Iris -- Francine is dying. When Iris agrees to meet her a second time it would seem as though Iris may be moved by the news of this sickness, but she's not. Again, Iris doesn't let Francine say a word. Francine doesn't get to apologize or offer an explanation or anything. Iris just lays into Francine for lying all these years. What's surprising here is that Iris isn't mad at her dad for lying about her mother's death, but she is mad at Francine for lying about having another child. Iris' reaction doesn't seem justified here, but her mind doesn't seem to be changed, and she leaves Francine again. This child that Francine has been hiding is a huge revelation. Apparently Francine had a second child eight months after she left Central City. This child is a boy, meaning Iris has a little brother somewhere. While the episode didn't give any clues as to her son's name, "The Flash" executive producer Andrew Kreisberg has confirmed that Iris' brother is indeed famed speedster Wally West.
What about the other bomb the episode dropped -- the reappearance of Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) ? Harrison returned at the end of episode three and was seen lurking in the halls of S.T.A.R. Labs in this episode, but it was unclear whether or not he would reveal himself to anyone on Team Flash soon. Harrison also appeared at Mercury Labs to steal a piece of technology, but his intentions were still unclear. Joe and Patty (Shantel VanSanten) are called to investigate the case, and Joe warned Patty to not tell Barry that Harrison has been sighted. Barry found out soon enough though, as Harrison shows up just in time to save Barry's life from mega metahuman King Shark. With no words spoken between them there is no way to know if this Harrison Wells is in Central City to do Barry harm or good. It's assumed that this version of Harrison Wells is the real Harrison from Earth-2, but there's no way to know for sure. Could this be Eobard Thawne doubling as Wells again? Likely not, but time will tell.