Been waiting for this episode for months now. After the pilot episode leaked online, I’ve been waiting (patiently I’ll add) for this next episode. And I really enjoyed it. It’s a marked improvement on some of the issues I had with the pilot, but several issues still stand. I like that they threw Barry in as the hero early on. Sure, he’s going after small things, saving folks from fires etc., but stays away from any real trouble. Turns out trouble finds him.
For those that go back to the early years of Smallville, you’ll remember how the series literally revolved around a different freak of the week each episode. Well, it really looks as if The Flash is headed down the same route, and fast (see what I did there, ha). This week, Danton Black, who Flash fans may note is a comic book supervillain known as “Multiplex”, starts reeking terrible havoc as he produces clones of himself to do the dirty work he needs done. Several times he gangs up on Grant Gustin’s Flash, and it’s actually kind of funny (if not a bit traumatizing).
It leads to some really cool action sequences. The scene at the end particularly blew me away. Although the special effects are slightly shoddy when scrutinized closely, the amount of duplicates Barry had to fight through in slow motion was staggering. It almost reminded me of the third Matrix… Let’s not go there. I think that the special effects work they’re doing is pretty incredible for a CW budget, but could use a bit more polishing. Another great special-effects scene was when he was on the treadmill. That blur with the lightning streaks around him was jaw-dropping.
I like the notion that his metabolism is far faster, meaning he burns glucose at an unprecedented rate. This sticks true with the comics, but in actuality is slightly problematic. If Barry blows through food that fast, he must also blow through all his money each time he gets food. And how does Iris not see that the massive stack of empty plates in front of him is a little odd?
Another comparison I have to make with Smallville is the relationship dynamic. Clark couldn’t get close to Lana because of his secrets. Why can’t Iris get close to Barry? You guessed it. Secrets. It seems as if that’s the biggest dramatic issue all these superhero-themed shows have in common, and that’s why love interests never work for them. I really wish one of these shows would stray from that, at least a little. I like Iris, but there’s no originality to her person. Throughout this season they’ll probably get together two or three times, split as many times, and then she’ll discover his secret during the season finale, say it’s okay and that they can stay together, and then she’ll likely die.
I love the Flash team dynamics for the most part. Cisco, who I originally thought was annoying last episode, actually had me laughing out loud. He adds an immense sense of levity, something this show really needs so as to stick out from big brother Arrow. Caitlyn I’m less sold on at this point. She’s got some anger issues, and is far too temperamental at this stage. Harrison Wells… Well he’s a different story. I’ll reserve my judgement of him for a future review. But overall, team Flash is in full swing, moving noticeably faster than team Arrow did.
Although I’m no fan of the flashbacks (as I constantly criticize Arrow over), I really like Barry Allen’s father, played by John Wesley Shipp (who is notable for playing Barry Allen in the 1990 Flash TV series). In line with that, Joe West, the detective, is an excellent father figure for Barry, although he seems to twist and turn when it comes to his ideals quite easily. I find that Jesse L. Martin’s acting was superb in this episode, especially after Barry recognized him as a father figure. Very heartwarming moment.