Review: The Flash, Ep. 6 "The Flash is Born"

Review: The Flash, Ep. 6 "The Flash is Born"

Flash-TV-Show-Teaser-TrailerThe Flash

Season 1, Episode 6

“The Flash Is Born”

Rating: B+

The Flash is finally going to get a name. It’s odd to think that they haven’t actually done this yet, considering Barry refers to himself as The Flash in the ‘previously on…’ before every episode. Yet, Barry goes by ‘The Streak’, much to his displeasure. DC has carefully constructed the CW side of their television universe, and done so very well, but they seem to have a weird fear of using their heroes’ comic book names. Over on Arrow, Oliver went by The Hood for an entire season, and even now feels miles off from becoming Green Arrow as opposed to just Arrow. It’s a nice change of pace (heh) that The Flash is getting his title so soon.

Though it does make quite a bit of sense. When Arrow was going by The Hood, he was more of an anti-hero than anything else. He put very sharp arrows in bad men’s chests while yellling ‘You have failed this city!’ and then racing away. It wasn’t until Malcolm Merlin used his machine to kill a mass number of people, including Oliver Queen’s best friend, that he decided to try and be better, to be the hero instead of the killer, the villain.

Barry, on the other hand, has had a constant admiration for heroes. When we first meet Barry on “Arrow” his excitement at the fact he’s even standing in the same city as the emerald archer is infectious to all those around him, and it’s his suggestion to wear the domino mask, a staple of Green Arrow’s outfit. When Barry gets his super powers, there’s never even a moment that he thinks about doing anything but good. Barry is a hero born, so it feels fitting that he should be the first of the DC bunch to gain his title.

Tonight’s big story centers around a scary scenario for most scrawny nerds like Barry live in fear of; his childhood bully got superpowers. Tony Woodward, who Cisco dubs Girder, which doesn’t in anyway make me think of a Pokemon, gained the power to turn his skin into steel during the dark matter storm. For once, I have a complaint about the effects in this show. Girder’s steel skin doesn’t look that great, and mostly looks like he painted his arm metallic grey. We were already treated to Crusher Creel, or Absorbing Man, on Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. earlier this season, and Girder feels like a neutered imitation of a really awesome villain. Given that his personality begins and ends with ‘childhood bully’, there’s not too much to work with. He hits the same notes that every television bully that came before him hit.

His defeat is very cool though. In order to knock out, capture, and lock up Girder, Barry has to run from a distance of 5.3 miles and hit mach 1, breaking the sound barrier in the process. The Flash, as an established hero in the comic books, is capable of running insanely fast. Like, through-time-and-space-and-reality fast. That’s faster than humans are capable of even fathoming, so Barry hitting mach 1 is a big victory in putting the Flash on the road to being the Flash.

Iris and her blog get her in the exact kind of trouble that Barry was worried about, as Tony Woodward decides to kidnap her in order to draw Barry out. After Barry defeats him, and he is safely locked inside S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry takes a moment to gloat in a way that many of us only dream of. Who cares if we end up more successful, or happier in life, than the bullies of our childhood. The vindication I would feel if I gained super powers, and could then rub it in to a person who used to pick on me for not being strong, I would take that chance too, no matter how ill-advised it is. In this case, it’s pretty ill-advised. The S.T.A.R. Lab prisoners are going to break out one of these days, and what happens when Tony decides he’d do pretty well with a partner who can self-replicate, or any of the other powers we’ve seen come out of the Dark Matter storm.

In the end, it’s not Cisco that gives Barry his name, but Barry himself. Oddly fitting, considering the episode centered around Barry overcoming some of his own inadequacies to deal with the bully he had growing up. While The Flash hasn’t gone public and isn’t yet the hero he will one day be, at least the gross nickname “The Streak” can be retired forever now.
Stuff And Things

– “What kind of tool steals a yellow humvee?” “What kind of tool buys a yellow humvee?”

– “Interesting… A man of steel…” I see what you did there, Harrison Wells. Clever clever.

– I am not digging on the Barry/Eddie bonding time. I appreciate Eddie is trying to fit into the lives of Iris’s friend and family, but they just feel so mismatched that every single conversation feels forced. This may, of course, be the whole point, but even so.

– It’s looking more and more like Wells may be Reverse-Flash or Professor Zoom, as Joe takes a minute to talk with him over why his moving to Central City coincided with the death of Barry’s mother.


Categories: Entertainment