(Written by:BDC // www.jackeduptales.com/bdc-lives)
In the words of Barry Allen himself,
“To understand what I’m about to tell you, you need to do something first. You need to believe in the impossible. Can you do that?”
Barry goes on with his story expecting the answer to be yes. But the struggle
ahead will not be so much between The Flash and his rogues gallery, but between the fantastic story this young man has to tell and your suspension of disbelief; your answer to Allen’s question.
The opening episode took off like lightning and dared you to keep up. The very first words heard are from Barry Allen who those steeped in comic canon would recognize immediately as The Flash. He speaks from the future. We are, suddenly, sped into the young man’s past and quickly escorted back to the present to fully understand the journey ahead. This show is definitely replay worthy. It will help the newbies to fully understand what’s going on and the fan-boys can better pick up each and every Easter egg along the way (And there are many).
You will find out quickly that the necessity to believe the impossible is paramount. For quickly we are drawn into the origin story of a hero; the self proclaimed ‘Fastest Man Alive’. The story has a lot of people to introduce, maybe too many. Hopefully, they will develop some of the side characters and ‘flesh’ them out for us. For, at times, the story moved a bit too fast, leaving characters behind in a cloud of dust. But the fast pace of the story was also part of its charm.
When the action takes off, we meet Barry Allen who works in forensics with the police. He shows off his genius in his field and also his subverted love for Iris who only sees him as her best friend from childhood. He talks extensively about the coming trial of the superconductor in town and tries to fulfil a dream by being there when his hero, a scientist named Harrison Wells, achieves scientific greatness. He finds himself chasing a criminal and back at the lab. The experiment in the middle of town goes wrong and there’s an explosion. Part of this explosion extends to a lightning bolt that supposedly gives Barry his super speed. The rest of the story deals with young Allen waking up from a nine month coma and struggling with powers beyond his comprehension. He finds himself relying on the team that kept him alive in the coma to help him control the new found powers.
His team is well built although riddled with a few clichés that have been, at times overdone. The hyperactive techie. The mourning, damaged medical scientist. And the genius leader trapped in a wheelchair. But it works and you care about them. I can’t wait to see more of them. The introduction of the new detective, Eddie Thawn, was a bit rushed and minimal, but I think we’re destined to learn more about him than we really want to. The story down to its roots isn’t about the super powered bad guys like the appearance of ‘The Weather Wizard’ aka Clyde Mardon. But the visuals of the storm controlling ‘meta human’ keep you locked into the over all. No, the story is, as usual, about what makes a hero and they display the raw courage and strength of beleaguered Barry Allen from open to close.
What really keeps you is the strong performance of Grant Gustin who brought the broken character of Barry Allen alive. There wasn’t a moment I didn’t believe he was the kid who lost his parents as well as the criminal scientist and the, yes, the Fastest Man Alive. I also loved the way Jesse L. Martin made Detective West more than a supporting character. By the end of the episode, we understand him as the man who has always been there to believe in Barry. And, yes, even he comes to believe in the impossible. As I said before, Barry’s S.T.A.R. labs team add a lot to the show; Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes and Danielle Panabaker playing Harrison Wells, Cisco Ramon and Caitlin Snow respectively. They did a great job doing the impossible; bringing a man who can run like lightning with a remarkable back-story to the public and making them believe. There may be some still on the fence, I’m sure. But with comic great Geoff Johns at the helm of writing, they too may come to believe in the impossible.
I must heartily recommend you jump on board this pilot and stick around for more. I really think it will be worth your time. The show pulled off a masterful balance of introducing this story to new people who have never picked up a comic and the army of FLASH fan-boys who eat up each and every Easter Egg that is given them.
-Entertaining, quick moving story that will hook you and keep you
-Engaging performances from most of the cast giving us characters we care about
-Amazing ‘meta human’ moments that leave us wanting more
-Masterful writing that will appeal to people who are new to the story and those who’ve followed it for years
I give it 4 out of 5 bolts; only missing a little character development on some side characters.