What Marvel is to the big screen, DC is to the small: with a lineup featuring Arrow, Gotham and now The Flash it looks very good for them.
After two years of Arrow, the CW introduced their new series based on the comic book character that had made an appearance or two in Arrow – Barry Allen (Grant Gustin). In fact, we saw the event which caused Barry’s transformation into his current incarnation in the Arrow episode Three Ghosts.
Because of Barry’s introduction previously and Gustin’s great portrayal, The Flash had great footing to begin with; and they didn’t disappoint in the series premier. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this was probably the best series/season premier I’ve seen so far this year: a well-established character with a strong introduction, plenty of action, and a good cast will make this fun.
We’re given a brief glance at Barry’s past when his mother was murdered while he was a small child – supposedly by his dad, or the Aurora Borealis, or something… Nobody really knows, but Barry’s dad is doing time for it. The bulk of the story, though, all starts with Barry fresh back from his jaunt to Starling City running – you guessed it – late to work. Once he gets to the crime scene (he’s a part of the CSI in case you missed the episode or Arrow last year) we get a glimpse of a brilliant albeit awkward young man still coming into his own.
After uncovering some information for the police regarding a bank robbery, Barry takes off with Iris West (Candice Patton) – his best friend/daughter of the detective he both works with and was raised by/love-interest-shejustdoesn’tknowityet – to see S.T.A.R. Labs fire up their particle accelerator. After a brief run-in with a mugger, Barry heads back to his lab where we discover he hasn’t given up the hunt for whoever killed his mother (hint: he knows his dad didn’t do it). And then… Lightening strikes!
Nine months later Barry wakes up under the watchful care of the director of S.T.A.R. Labs, Dr. Harrison Wells, and two of his assistants/underlings/what-have-you: Cisco Ramon and Dr. Caitlin Snow. Dr. Wells was the mastermind behind the particle accelerator, and as such has been a pariah in the community since the accelerator’s explosion; not only did the explosion leave him in a wheelchair (we’ll get back to that), but it also injured and killed people. Upon his awakening, Dr. Wells’ team tries to have a conversation with Barry about what was actually happening with him, but Barry isn’t having any of it; he heads off to find Iris as quickly as possible, discovering his ability to accelerate to otherworldly – or metahuman – speeds.
The duration of the show is spent with Barry learning about his new abilities alongside Dr. Wells’ team, and having them outfit and help him as he hunts down a pair of bank robbers who can purportedly control the weather. He ends up helping to defeat them, and ends up revealing his identity to the detective that raised him/works with him/is-the-father-of-the-girl-he’s-interested-in, Detective Joe West.
The show ends with a few revelations: Dr. Wells isn’t what he seems to be – he has a secret that may shock you, the new suit for Barry is pretty sweet, and Oliver Queen is a mentor-type to Barry who thinks Barry’s new powers are “cool”.
This show should do well based on the one episode. It’s got the cast, it’s got a production team that will do well, a compelling comic-book storyline, and it’s got a built-in fan base. A couple of things they need to work on are developing better villains and building on the character backstories they’ve introduced so far.
The Flash airs on the CW Tuesdays at 8 PST
~ J.T. Riles ~
PS – I promise to actually watch this show on Tuesday this week!
Categories: Channel Surfing