The Flash – “Fastest Man Alive”

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It’s amazing, two episodes in and already The Flash knows what kind of show it wants to be. The show runners understand this character. That’s half the battle when you’re adapting a super hero to live action, or any medium really. I could tell right when Barry cuts off from his Arrow-like voice over, “…Let’s get to the good stuff”. And he’s absolutely right. We want to see Barry rescuing a bunch of people from a burning building or sweeping them out of the line of gunfire.

Our villain of the day turned out to be Danton Black, aka Multiplex. He could create, you guessed it, multiple versions of himself. Barry ends up saving the day, as yet another one of his comic foes dies. Unlike Arrow, this show has no problem with killing off the villains for good. Then again it’s a bit premature for me to claim, this being only the second episode. Joe West gives Barry the support he needs, in defeating bad guys and in respect to his father’s innocence. A few thoughts on our fatherly figure this far…

  1. I can’t stress enough how clutch a hire Jesse L Martin has been. While he hasn’t been the biggest surprise (a certain Scrubs alum holds that title), he is definitely carrying his weight.
  2. That weight specifically being the flashbacks. I hope this isn’t a CW trend. They work well in Arrow, and while I’m worried about the move to Hong Kong, I think there are still stories to be told in that manner. On The Flash, it’s absolutely grating. Martin is keeping afloat every scene with that child actor. The dialogue probably isn’t great, but that kid isn’t helping. I have to imagine they’ll continue the rest of the season, for better or worse.
  3. Does anyone else feel like Detective West does a poor job at parenting his daughter? Okay, not a poor job, but definitely focus’ more on Barry. I mean, how does he not realize his daughter and his partner are sleeping together? I’m definitely over thinking this one…

The final fight between Flash and Multiplex was visually outstanding (for CW standards). It’s the second straight week I’ve been impressed with the special effects. Compared to the summer blockbuster The Expendables, this show knocks it out of the park. The army of Danton Blacks was really cool. Seeing Flash do his super fast punch was gnarly. Admittedly the Matrix style dodge of the bullet was cliche, but other than that impressive stuff. The previews for next episode have me even more excited with all the CG smoke.

Once again Harrison Wells steals the episode. These end scenes are gripping, mysterious, and great fodder for conspiracy theories. Tom Cavanagh has come a long way from Scrubs — or more appropriately, Ed — by becoming, possibly the best character on the show. I enjoy the explanation for why Barry wants to save people, his reactions with Iris, Cisco, and Caitlin, but I’m turning in every week to watch Harrison Wells. And that’s just the way it is.

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The Flash – “City of Heroes”

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That episode flew right before our eyes. “City of Heroes” is the first episode of The Flash, the CW’s second superhero themed drama. From what I saw tonight, I can say with confidence I’ll be tuning in for the rest of the season. Arrow slowly molded into the show it is now, the pilot leaving much to be desired. Here though, the show runners knocked it out of the park. It has a different vibe from the bow wielding counterpart’s, being a bit more lighthearted. Grant Gustin absolutely nails Barry Allen. I wouldn’t be opposed for him to join the DC film universe, this episode was all it took!

The background information on Barry was taken care of nicely, short and sweet. The characters on the show do kind of resemble some of the ones over on Oliver’s side of town. You have the cop dad of a possible love interest. Barry has his helpers in a secluded lab that help with all the science. Although I will concede that the residents of Central City aren’t as good looking as Starling City. I was especially impressed with the special effects in this episode. I mean, how about the tornado, huh? The slow motion is done well. My only gripe with how they showed his powers is when it’s a close up on his face and he’s running. Other than that I thought they did a great job of handling everything, considering the budget they must have had.

I’m not well versed in Flash comics, but I do know certain characters like Eddie Thawne and Iris West. I like it better that way so I’ll be more surprised, but the whole mystery with who killed his mother just turns into a waiting game for me. True, I still may end up surprised, but there are few who can go that fast. The Stephen Amell cameo was glorious. Some corny dialogue exchanged, as to be expected from this channel, but I love how they both respected each others abilities. I’m hopeful DC can create a whole TV universe where these characters can interact and pop up in each others shows.

One of the shows strengths is clearly the casting. Jesse L. Martin plays Joe West. Martin is clearly no stranger to playing cops, as is known from his time spent on Law and Order. He’s able to ground the show and pull at some emotional strings. A believable father figure to Barry, and I’m glad they made the choice to have him aware of Barry’s powers. A more surprising casting success, was Tom Cavanagh as Dr. Harrison Wells. Known more for his comedy, I was blown away by the presence in the pilot. I’m used to seeing him torment J.D. from my monthly Scrubs binges. Just a great performance, and one of many to come as it seems he will have a big impact on the show going forward.

Congratulations to the CW for another hit. Gotham could take a few (million) notes. I have no doubt this will eventually get the ratings Arrow does, sooner rather than later as The Flash is a bigger character, and I believe has the possibility of being a higher quality product. Excited to see what the rest of the season has in store. Equally ramped up to see how this DCTU unfolds over the years.