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Short Review: The Flash (S1/E4)

THE FLASH's 4th episode built on the series, incorporating serious Barry issues: death, loneliness, and...girls.

Can this show get any cooler?

The 4th episode gave audiences an awesome visit from the endearingly kooky (and let’s just say it, incredibly attractive) friend from Arrow, Ms. Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards)! Well, it was way more than just a visit; she was pretty much in every other scene.

And rightfully so. Her main role was to pretty much tell the team what to do (when your lead guy says he doesn’t need help, you don’t listen to him), due to her extensive experience on team Arrow. But she was there to add some fire and some stream to Barry’s love life. What kind of fire, you ask? This kind of fire.

Yeah. That just happened.

Today’s villain was our first real long-term villain, code name Mr. Cool. But he got the name courtesy of Cisco, who coincidentally was the reason they got into this mess. Cisco had apparently created a weapon Mr. Cool stole, a ray gun of absolute zero, which is the direct opposite of Barry Allen’s ability: speed. So why would Cisco create such a thing? In case Barry became evil. No one knew about it, even Dr. Harrison Wells, who was so beyond peeved at Cisco since, you know, Wells sees The Flash’s future. And no one’s going to mess with the future as long as Dr. Harrison Wells has something to do with it! So Barry and Wells were upset at Cisco for a good second half of the episode.

We also learned Detective Eddie Thawne is a putz. Seriously, who doesn’t know Han Solo piloted the Millennium Falcon? Everyone on Earth knows that. Everyone. Everyone. 

All right. Mr. Cool was actually a little cool (Source: CW)

But ultimately we learned two important things about Barry. Firstly, Barry experienced his first failure to save a life. In an attempt to save everyone in a museum (and getting hurt in the process), Barry wasn’t fast enough to save an usher from the freeze ray gun. Barry became quite upset at Cisco, more so than I believed he would actually become. Which leads off into the second important thing we learned: we tend to forget how lonely it is to be a hero. Felicity touched on this, relating Barry to Oliver Queen (Arrow) with how being a hero can be lonely and Barry shouldn’t be more lonely because of a teammate’s mistake. Both lessons revealed a darker Barry we’re hadn’t seen in the series yet; even Felicity stated Barry seemed different personality-wise. I appreciated producer Greg Berlanti taking his time to show Barry’s dark side bit-by-bit. Perhaps it wasn’t his intention, but I like it.

Also important, we learned Barry’s “weakness,” which I sort of sighed at. Every single superhero saves people. Even Constantine saves people. So is that everyone’s weakness? I mean, sure. But it’s not a real weakness since The Flash succeeds every single time but once. I felt the absolute zero ray gun was a greater weakness. But I’m fine with “saving people” being a weakness. At the end of the day, you must make a difficult choice. But personally, I felt it a bit too common among other heroes to feel the full effect Berlanti was going for there. Although with that said, the experience of a first failure is a big stepping point for Barry.

With everything happening in the A story, you’d think it’d be difficult to focus or care about any B story. But Felicity was so much fun to watch, from trivia night, to hacking a computer faster than Dr. Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) could even blink at, and to giving Mr. Barry a good night kiss. Which is so frustrating! They are so, so perfect for each other, it’s silly. Which brings up my small quarrel with the other love interest, Iris.

Team FLASH learned some dark things about Barry and how to work as a team thanks to the blonde in the middle (Source: CW).

Iris has been a disappointing character to me these last few episodes. While Berlanti got most everything right so far, he did Iris wrong by not developing her character enough on her own before dating Detective Thawne. We know nearly nothing about those characters except Iris is a determined journalism student looking for The Streak, and Detective Thrawn is dating his partner’s daughter. And doesn’t know Star Wars. Iris calls Thawne sweet a good amount of the time, yet I haven’t seen any substantial evidence of this. That’s what this show needs: more actions, less words from this relationship. I’m not upset over it. Just an observation. While attempting to make sure Barry and Felicity end up together. But I get it. Felicity and Oliver Queen. Barry and Iris. Both on their own shows. It’s understandable.

Overall, episode 4 was the best episode of the series so far. We established a villain who can compete with Barry, we got some dark revelations in true DC fashion, and we got Felicity. I mean, what else would you want? Okay, an Arrow-Flash mash-up would be cool. But for now, this is legitimately becoming a better and better little show.

But what do you guys think? Is The Flash awesome or is it over-hyped?

Things I Noticed:

  • I like how Barry is nicknamed The Streak so far on the show, and every time Barry wants to call himself The Flash, he gets interrupted.
  • Grant Gustin plays a flustered Barry Allen so well. He was so perfect for this role which doesn’t EXPLAIN TO ME WHY DC WOULD CAST SOMEBODY ELSE FOR THE FLASH MOVIE!!!! But. I digress.
  • Felicity and Barry are so perfect for each other. I mean, their names rhyme, for Pete’s sake. In all honesty, I would have taken Felicity 99/100 over Iris. But I think people want Felicity + Oliver, right?
  • Also, the Iris + Thawne: kind of over it.
  • Oh yeah, when Iris punched Barry on the shoulder when Felicity left for the restroom during trivia night: the biggest evidence the chemistry between Barry and Iris are not clicking like it did in the pilot.
  • Or is that more to do with Iris protecting herself from Barry…ooooo….I like that idea a whole lot better.
  • The Barry/Felicity kiss beats any other kiss of any other show this fall. Okay, so I have a crush on Emily Bett Rickards. Sue me.

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