As the Flash joins forces with Harry Wells to close the breaches to Earth-Two, they run afoul of a new super-villain – Tar Pit. Meet me after the super speed jump for my thoughts on “Fast Lane,” and more of the drag racing Wally West.
Despite the Flash’s long history and the wide variety of criminal enemies, a known and established prison for those foes is a fairly new construct. While a mainstay of the television Arrowverse, Iron Heights really hasn’t been around that long, a decade or so at most really. Iron Heights Penitentiary was initially created by Flash writer Geoff Johns as a multifaceted plot device.
Johns wasn’t just giving the Flash his own Arkham Asylum per say, he was creating a complex storyline of a prison that mistreated its inmates, and also giving the readers, in those inmates, a sneak peek at several new villains to appear in the comic in upcoming months. Among these new criminals were Double Down, Murmur, Girder, and Tar Pit.
Joey Monteleone was the younger brother of a crime lord in Keystone City, Central City’s twin city, and was serving time in Iron Heights. While imprisoned there, he learned that he had the metahuman ability to possess or inhabit inanimate objects. Monteleone’s body would remain in his cell at Iron Heights, but he would be elsewhere. Eventually his mind became trapped in the animated form of a hit tar pit… thus becoming the monstrous Tar Pit.
Now transformed, Tar Pit was a creature of molten asphalt with a burning touch, incredible strength, and the ability to throw hot tar. He made an enemy of the Flash, joined various super-villain organizations, including a second version of the Rogues. Here on TV in the Arrowverse, played by Canadian actor Marco Grazzini, Tar Pit is just as deadly.
Tar Pit, like most TV Flash foes, is a victim of the particle accelerator. He’s been in the ground since then, trying to reform, and is now out for vengeance on the guys who dumped him in tar before the accelerator blew up. The reformation allows Grazzini to get some acting in before he goes all CGI hot tar, which looks pretty awesome. Too bad the CGI is only shown briefly.
The soap opera subplot of Wally West continues. Joe keeps trying to bond and Iris is worried about the drag racing being dangerous. At dinner, Wally shares his love of speed and wanting to be an astronaut just like Barry did. In her mini-crusade, Iris does an expose on the guy running the drag races, Clark, another target of Tar Pit. Still, it was nice to see Iris actually doing some investigative journalism for once. Too bad it may get her killed.
Meanwhile Barry has been trying to work with Harry on closing the breaches, not realizing that Wells has found a way to steal his speed to give to Zoom. That minute theft of speed results in Iris taking a shard of glass in the shoulder at the drag race. Soon after, Wells confesses what he did, and Joe beats him and throws him in a cell. Later Joe kicks some butt when Team Flash takes on Tar Pit again. It’s about time Joe stepped up.
The Earth-Two Harrison Wells, just like the Reverse-Flash who wore his face last season, has betrayed them all. Barry is the voice of reason however, like a real hero, thinking of others and what they would do, if they themselves were in Wells’ shoes. The decision is made – Team Flash is going to Earth-Two to save Jesse and stop Zoom…
Next: Earth-Two, Deathstorm, and finally… Killer Frost!