The Flash, Season 1, Episode 6, “The Flash Is Born”
Written by Jaime Paglia & Chris Rafferty
Directed by Millicent Shelton
Airs Tuesdays at 8pm ET on the CW
This week in “The Flash Is Born,” the sixth episode of the shows first season, Flash must face one of his toughest foes 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. 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.
Tonight, The Flash decided to tackle the topic of school bullies, albeit in a haphazard way. As it turns out, Woodward is an old schoolmate of Barry who used to bully him when they were kids. As Barry says at the end of the episode, the abilities the meta humans posses (thanks to the particle accelerator disaster at S.T.A.R. Labs) are a gift, but nevertheless a gift that doesn’t change who you are deep inside. Tony was always a bully, and Barry was always on the run, and despite their new found abilities, none of this has changed.
Already The Flash has clearly demonstrated a much more fantastical tone compared to the relatively grounded Arrow. Joe jokes, “that particle accelerator is the gift that keeps on giving,” and introducing a new super villain in each episode could be a great formula for the first season. A hero is defined by his or her villains, and that’s especially clear in the world of comic books and genre entertainment. The villains in The Flash comic are some of the most distinct, elemental, and varied in all of comics. In fact they coined the term “rogues gallery” in relation to superheroes. Although they are not as well known as the villains who oppose Batman and Spiderman, the enemies of the Flash are simply fun to read, and in this case, fun to watch. Of the few already introduced to CW’s hit series, they all possess diverse powers, unusual abilities, and lack a defining element or theme between them. To Woodward, Barry is still the kid he bullied back in school, even if he doesn’t realize Barry is the man behind the mask. While his end game is unclear (perhaps he just likes beating people), Tony seems to be the most dangerous of the enemies Barry has yet encountered. He’s strong enough to break every bone in Barry’s body, but thanks to sciences, Barry puts Cisco’s plan into motion, accelerating to Mach 1.1 from a distance of 5.3 miles, thus breaking the sound barrier for the first time and creating a sonic boom!
The B plot allows us to spend some quality time with Joe and Dr. Wells. Keeping to his promise to help solve the murder of of Barry’s mother, Joe invites Wells out for a drink. What at first seems like two guys getting to know each other better, quickly reveals itself to be an interrogation. Joe is suspicious of Dr. Wells, assuming he must be partly responsible for creating the meta-human who killed Barry’s Mother 14 years ago. The game of cat and mouse between Joe and Wells is easily the episode’s biggest highlight ending with a visit from the Revrerse Flash! As Captain West looks into old case files on Norah’s murder, his work is interrupted when he is paid a visit by “The Man in The Yellow Suit”. Professor Zoom creates a small vortex in West’s house leaving behind a message warning West to stop his investigation or else harm will come to his daughter. The scenes between Dr. Wells and Joe raises the stakes, introduces a real danger, and allow the show’s two best actors a chance to meet head to head. As for the stinger, the brief scene seems added to misdirect viewers into believing Wells is really Zoom. However, the writers seem to go out of their way to humanize Wells this week with his back story about Tess Morgan, and given the proximity of this scene to Joe’s questioning, it seems a little too obvious.
In its final moments, the episode lays to rest the nickname the Streak as Barry (not Cisco) gives birth to his new name. This week’s episode also suggests the possibility of the Flash going public sometime soon. For viewers, there are plenty of good things to like about The Flash: The pacing is brisk; the editing is sharp; the effects are above average and the cast is extremely likeable. Producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg (also responsible for Arrow) have adhered pretty closely to Flash lore, while making minor adjustments that aim to cater to the uninitiated. The only worry is whether the producers can sustain a high level of special effects and action every week.
– Ricky D
Eddie: “What kind of a tool steals a yellow Humvee?”
Joe: “What kind of a tool buys a yellow Humvee?”
Cisco: “All I want to know is which childhood bully we’re going to take down next.”
Iris drops another hint of Firestorm’s existence when she mentions fans of her blog are posting about seeing the man on fire who doesn’t burn.
I’m glad to see Iris isn’t just a damsel in distress, and is more than able to throw a few hard punches herself.
I love the Flash voice trick. It makes sense that he can change his voice by manipulating his vocal chords though vibrations, not to mention it sounds way cooler than Green Arrow’s gruff voice.