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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

THE FLASH "The Fastest Man Alive" Review

The Pilot episode was excellent and so I expected great things from episode 2 way before seeing it.  I’m glad to say that I was not disappointed.

The episode begins with a bit of comedy dialogue as Barry (Grant Gustin) narrates his opening.  And then it quickly turns into a showcase of his skill and power as he heroically saves people from a burning building.  Barry’s superhero type is comedic.  He’s never been very athletic (according to his nerdy past) and is still rather clumsy at times.  Like when he runs 6 blocks too far…

But that will work itself out I’m sure.  What seems to still be an issue is his social clumsiness.  But I think it’s just the perception of the people around him.  They think of him as a clumsy screw-up and so they perceive all his actions and words, even when they are perfectly normal, as clumsy and embarrassing.  This is something I’m sure many people can relate to – thus making him a great character because he is relatable.  What a great hero figure!

Barry has been getting used to his powers little by little and has started to encounter a problem in the form of dizzy spells.  This is very apparent when he tries to foil a robbery and passes out.  He finally confides in Caitlin, Cisco, and Dr. Wells that he’s been having problems and they decide to run a test on him. 

Turns out it’s a simple fix as he simply needs to eat more.  Like, 850 tacos more…per day.  Talk about a crazy diet! 

One thing that this episode really focuses on is the relationship between Detective Joe West and Barry.  To say their relationship is a bit strained is an understatement.  Barry is harboring some resentment towards Det. West for all the years which he didn’t believe him and blamed his innocent father of murder.  This is understandable as anyone who loves you should support your beliefs and try to come to a middle ground at least.  They should trust you and believe you.  Something that Det. West never did.

Detective West is still trying to assume the role of parental guardian towards Barry and Barry just isn’t having it.  He even goes so far as to echo the words he said as a child (as seen in a flashback) about Joe not being his father.  Somehow these two need to come to an understanding about the freedom Barry wants and the safety which Joe desires for Barry.

The main antagonist for this episode isn’t the conflict between Joe West and Barry, however.  It’s the self-replicating Danton Black who is the threat.  He’s the one involved in the murder which we saw Barry examining in the opening scenes and the one who Barry tried to stop during the robbery scene.  And now he’s poised to kill Mr. Stagg, a prominent figure for Central City and Central City University’s Man of the Year.

Black attacks Mr. Stagg at Stagg Industries while Joe is there interviewing him.  This is where Joe sees that Black can duplicate himself – no doubt another blow to his belief system.  Barry hears about Black’s attack there and rushes to save the day.  But Danton Black ends up being a more formidable foe than Barry had anticipated.  Barry has to run away after getting his butt kicked and almost shot to death.

Barry “quits” as The Flash and this is where we get into the major theme of the episode and possibly even the season – self-doubt.  Dr. Wells has a talk with Joe about this very thing, even claiming that Barry’s true enemy is self-doubt and not the meta-humans which he may face in the future.

Barry’s retirement from being The Flash isn’t meant to last, however, as he gets called back to STAR labs for an emergency.  It turns out that the emergency is a fake, however, and his lab partners have found the key to defeating Danton Black.  In quite a timely fashion Det. West shows up to give Barry some words of encouragement.  Timely because Danton Black is at that very time staging a massive attack on Stagg Industries.

A battle between Danton and Barry ensues.  Danton seems to have the upper hand as he replicates into dozens of clones of himself.  But Barry has a team behind him and, with a few words of encouragement (the secret ingredient to heroism it would seem), he manages to take out Danton.  But Danton isn’t one to be kept out for long and makes a move at Barry while Barry’s back is turned, leading to his fall out of a window. 

So ends the story of the replicating man, Danton Black.

Barry and Joe end up making amends with each other and vow to catch the real killer of Barry’s mother, thus setting his father free.  It’s a fun and touching scene and makes you root for them in so many ways.

The episode ends off with another unsettling scene involving Dr. Wells.  I’m kind of sensing a theme with this to tell the truth.  In any case, the scene is rather chilling as it involves Harrison Wells confronting Mr. Stagg about his intentions with The Flash.  Stagg indicates that he would like to capture The Flash and conduct research on him in order to change the face of humanity or some such nonsense.  In reply, Dr. Wells stands up from his wheelchair, which totally confounds Mr. Stagg, and then stabs him in the side – right between the sixth and seventh rib and into the kidney/lung from the looks of it.  A fatal blow nonetheless.

What lies in store for our hero?  And what of Dr. Wells’ ominous statement to a dying Mr. Stagg: “The man in the red mask, the fastest man alive, must be kept safe.”  I can’t wait to find out and I hope you’re all as excited as I am!

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