Commentary Review: The Flash (S1/E2)

COLD OPEN: So the pilot episode was pretty great, so the second episode has a lot to live up to. This is sink-or-swim for The Flash. Let’s see what they got.

ACT ONE: I love that the show pokes fun at the tropes of drama television. Paraphrasing here, starting the show with “You know I’m Barry. You know I’m fast. Let’s just start off the episode, shall we?” was funny and the right way to get started. A show about a fast guy should get to the point fast. And it did, having Barry save people from inside a building fire. However, we realize quickly that 1) Dr. Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) is a party-pooper, who doesn’t want Barry saving lives, 2) Neither does Detective Joe West (Jesse L Martin), and 3) Barry (Grant Gustin) seems hurt after he runs. We know there’s a villain out there, but perhaps there’s one or six of them.

We also start to see Barry’s unhappiness outside the meta-human world. Iris (Candice Patton) dating West’s partner saddens Barry; and while she can tell Barry’s upset, she can’t pinpoint the problem. Which questions how well Iris (Candice Patton) knows Barry, considering they’ve lived together for nearly a decade. She had to have seen his “crushed by a girl” face during high school. I don’t know, the chemistry I saw in the pilot wasn’t there in this episode. But Barry telling Iris his feelings in hyperspeed was pretty fun.

While an enjoyable episode, there were a few holes in some storylines and explanations (Source: CW)

ACT TWO: We find out Barry’s lack in glucose is causing his pain. Now he has to eat an enhanced cereal bar to stop “fainting”. Really lame, but okay. Later, Det. West gets upset with Barry about trying to be a hero, which Barry finds unacceptable. I guess I understand where Det. West is coming from, wanting to protect Barry. But West should understand that Barry just can’t stand there and watch a man die, right? “Great power comes great responsibility”, and you want to keep Barry on the sidelines? Come on, West, you know better than that.

Iris becomes upset with Barry because he promised to be a scientific informant for her journalism paper and forgot. To get slightly off-topic for a moment here: what’s up with DC Comics and reporters? Bruce Wayne (Batman) with reporter Vicki Vale. Clark Kent working at the Daily Planet and interest in co-worker Lois Lane. Peter Parker (Spiderman) working at the Daily Bugle. Now, Barry Allen with Iris, working on a journalism major? Geez, DC. But moving on, So now she needs a new topic. This becomes important later.

We find out the villain can clone himself into an army. Cool. Unfortunate, but cool.

ACT THREE: After Barry fails his first fight with the villain, Dr. Harrison Wells visits Detective West, convincing West doubt will kill Barry, not his desire to save people. So now, everyone’s on the same team (although I don’t understand how Dr. Snow came around. But I digress).

So everyone knows the way you stop clones is to attack the source. But among hundreds of clones, how do you find the original? Well, humans would naturally stay as far away from the fight as possible…so he’d probably be in the back of a crowd. And he was. That aside, it was fun to watch Barry face off against 100s of clones. It’s sad to hear the villain’s story: developing a technology to save his wife, only to have it stolen (by the man he’s trying to kill) before he could prevent his wife’s death. That’s rough, but not justifiable enough to kill a man. Then again, how many superheroes were forged from a death story: Uncle Ben? The Waynes parents? Krypton? Iris’s new story will be covering the flash-like figure saving people around the city. Oy. Yet, the to-be reporter can’t tell Barry has a crush on her. Double Oy.

THE CONCLUSION: The origin story has paced well these last two episodes. Arrow (CW) took almost a season to get the character’s mythology down, as more of a mystery. But The Flash is getting it down quite quickly, per its mantra. Solid episode, but what did you guys think? Was episode 2 good, or a whiff? Sound off in the comments.

THE FLASH took some bruises this week. But they’ll do better in episode 3 (Source: CW).

Things That I Noticed:

  • Snow explained the villain’s cloning ability through his cells multiplying. However, objects are atoms, not cells. So when he clones himself, he should only create more humans, not more artillery. So all these clones shouldn’t have guns, right? Right? 
  • Barry would run into a dangerous situation, get kicked and beat up a lot, and then run away. So wait, why couldn’t he just run away before he got hit. I’m like, dude, you can run out of this.
  • I like West’s willingness to find Barry’s killer. But how he found Barry’s theory-board was horrible. One scene he was looking at an empty room. Next, he lifts a map to find it. Kind of lame.
  • Iris dating someone that old is irresponsible and creepy. Or maybe I’m wrong, how old do we think he is? Iris is in college, so she’s at max 22.
  • The way this episode ended was not how I thought Dr. Wells would behave this season.
  • When we see Barry running with his face/body towards the camera, giving us the illusion he’s travelling really fast, it bothers me. He is obviously running in place. We all see it.
  • DC just announced Ezra Miller will play Barry Allen/The Flash in the movie adaptation in 2018. I’m not entirely sure why they felt they should have two different Barry Allens…but I do think this hurts the franchise. Marvel wouldn’t do this. Silly DC.

Previous Series Review: Pilot Review: The Flash

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