Just as a 23-episode order can hurt a season of television by stretching it out too thinly, the room given to broadcast network series can also allow for episodes like The Flash’s “King Shark” to linger on trauma in believable, realistic ways.
This is the moment Barry has worked for his entire life, the chance to prove his father’s innocence. He has captured Eobard Thawne and finally can get some answers for that fateful night his mother was murdered. The Reverse-Flash offers Barry an alternative. He can use the particle accelerator to travel back and save his mother, also allowing Thawne a chance to return to his time in the future. Will Barry change the future in order to save his mother and free his dad?
This week in “The Flash Is Born,” the sixth episode of the shows first season, Flash must face one of his toughest villains thus far: Tony “Girder” Woodward, another one of Central City’s meta-humans that was affected by the same accident that turned Barry into the speed demon. Tony is able to turn himself into girded steel, making it nearly impossible for the Scarlett Speedster to stop him. Cisco becomes instrumental as the team struggles to find a way to help Barry stop the super-villain with incredible strength and skin made of steel. Meanwhile, Iris calls much attention to her blog, landing her in hot water; Eddie witnesses Tony’s abilities but naively shakes it off assuming what he saw wasn’t real; and Joe asks Dr. Wells if he can help him solve Nora Allen’s murder.
In the third episode of The Flash, ‘Things You Can’t Outrun’, the focus shifts away from Barry Allen to shine some light on the supporting cast and it surprisingly works. Caitlin and Cisco both have more to do than they have in the previous two episodes combined and for the first time in the series, Eddie Thawne feels like an actual character.
Caitlin still suffers from the lost of her fiancé when the particle accelerator exploded and the fear that incident instilled is brought to Barry’s attention. She has been more frigid than her comrades and now we can see why, thanks to a series of flashbacks to that fateful night. Danielle Panabaker does her best work yet in the show and she feels like a woman in mourning, but there is hope of her moving on in her interactions with Barry. Possibly the most important part of the episode is the introduction of Caitlin’s fiancé, Ronnie Raymond, played by The Tomorrow People star and Stephen Amell’s cousin Robbie Amell. Comic readers will know the character very well and his inclusion is a nice treat. Amell successfully sells the character as noble and intelligent and his heroic “death” is the episode’s dramatic highlight. Caitlin tells Barry that Ronnie was funny and evened her out, saying that they were like “fire and ice” (get it, comic readers?).