The mid-season finale of The Flash aired a few weeks ago, with the show taking a production break and coming back in the new year. And after a fast-paced first half of the first season we thought we would catch our breath and take a quick look at what we’ve seen so far. (I promise I won’t overdo it with the puns).
If you’re reading this I’m going to assume you’ve seen the first half of this season so I won’t bother you with the origin story. Let’s dive right in and just a note, this review is going to have spoilers. Again, I’m assuming you’re all caught up.
Fans of Arrow will know that we first saw Grant Gustin as Barry Allen in a season 2 episode called “The Scientist” and only at the end do we see the lightning accident which starts off this whole thing.
The pilot shows the accident again but we first get to see a little of Barry in his natural habit. Police scientist showing up late to crime scenes, a little clumsy and suffers from awkward word vomit. We meet the love of his life Iris, and the mentor Professor Wells whose particle accelerator creates The Flash. What I enjoyed most about the pilot is that is moves quickly (sorry) and packs a punch. Childhood flashback showing moms getting murdered. Check. Pre-accident. Check. Post accident. Check. Discovers powers. Check. Forms a team with Wells and Co. Check. Villain of the week to kick things off and test Barry’s newfound abilities. Check. It really kicks the ground running. (last one).
It’s hard to make the flash look cool while still making him look like the comic book Flash. I love Flash but the suit he wears in the comic is not exactly the most fashionable one – but then again Superman wore underwear on the outside so let’s not be too harsh.
However this suit is a little bit more modern and not too…uhm…flashy (I’m really sorry.)
The Action Sequences
With the meta-human element it is obvious that the hand to hand combat aspect of Arrow would not feature too prominently in The Flash because there is super speed and people controlling the weather, guys made of metal and electric guys. But this show knows that cool powers is never the end of it and that Barry’s speed can only take him so far. I’d like to see Barry get more training in combat, whether from Arrow or whoever, because if villains like Gorilla Grod comes into the fold, Flash will need to be a little more than just quick.
Something tells me that even though we’ve seen Flash’s nemesis, Reverse Flash, we will continue with the metahuman of the week aspect of the show and I cannot wait to see what new action sequences will appear next.
One thing about Flash is that he is a fast-talker who has a great sense of humor and exudes confidence. He can be slightly annoying but he’s the fun one. The one making awkward jokes and being random. He needed to be played by someone who could bring this across really well and I think Gustin does just that.
I have to admit I didn’t think Gustin was right for the role when I saw him in Arrow. He seemed a little too shy and clumsy whereas The Flash is confident. But of course I didn’t factor in that Barry hadn’t transformed into The Flash yet and that the confidence will come with it. Once I watched a few episodes I had begun to see Gustin as The Flash and that it was the right choice.
No superhero show is complete with “the girl”. The Flash teased us with a possible relationship between Barry and Felicity from Arrow back when he first appeared on the show, but that was more of a distraction than anything else because the real love of his life is Iris West. And who can blame him. She looks like this:
Iris and Barry are just friends but Barry hasn’t told her that he’s in love with her. She soon hooks up with Eddie Thawne, her father’s new pretty boy partner at the Central City Police Department. However, Iris soon becomes little fixated on The Flash but doesn’t know it’s Barry. What’s great about how this mid-season ended is that Barry finally tells Iris how he feels about her. Will she ditch Thawne for Allen? Will she find out about Barry’s secret superhuman identity? Only time will tell.
Flash vs Arrow
Credit has to be given to Arrow for contributing to The Flash’s early success. Having piggy-backed on the popular DC show, Central City’s scarlet speedster and Starling City’s emerald archer have become allies and have turned to each other for help. Occasionally they’ll fight but that’s pretty cool too.
And with this, comes the 2 hour crossover event that really sparked life into this shared universe. It’s safe to say that more of these crossovers will happen in the future and I for one am really excited.
Rogue Gallery and Familiar Faces
Just like with Arrow and Gotham, Flash has his rogue gallery of villains which have made a few appearances in the first half of season 1. These include Captain Cold and Heatwave who are played by Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell respectively. (Prison Break reunion for the win). Reverse Flash has of course been hinted at throughout the series but we’ll touch on him later. Several other villains have been hinted at, such as Captain Boomerang (who actually appeared in Arrow), and Gorilla Grodd.
The real interesting inclusion towards the end of this midseason is Firestorm, who is made up of two different personas: Ronnie Raymond – Caitlin’s fiance who “died” when the particle accelerator went haywire, and also Dr. Martin Stein who will be played by Victor Garber when the show resumes in January.
Flash would be nothing without his team: Caitlin Snow who monitors his physical development and makes sure he doesn’t over exert himself while Cisco Ramon makes the cool toys and created that suit. But the interesting member of the whole team is wheelchair “bound” Dr. Harrison Wells who looked shady from the very beginning, let’s be honest.
He can walk. He seems to have an agenda where Flash is concerned and we find out that he is Professor Zoom/Reverse Flash.
Now a lot of people would be confused to see Dr Wells getting the crap beat out of him by…himself? What is this? Fight Club? Well, the common train of thought among Flash enthusiasts is that Dr. Wells is Professor Zoom and that Reverse Flash is Eobard Thawne from the future (a relative of Eddie Thawne, which would explain why Reverse Flash didn’t touch him when he took out a whole lot of other cops). We know that time travel exists because of the Flashpoint Paradox and this is almost certainly the reason Dr. Wells can see news articles from the future, so it seems only logical that Reverse Flash/Professor Zoom is messing with time travel to invoke havoc in Barry’s life, including going back in time to kill his mom.
It’s a little confusing since Reverse Flash and Professor Zoom have been blurred together (I’m really done now) but I think it will be interesting to see what new developments we’ll encounter before season 1 ends. Will Barry or anyone else find out that Dr. Wells is shady? Will we discover what really happened that night Barry’s mom died at the hands of Reverse Flash?
In conclusion, I think The Flash is arguably the best new show of 2014 and I am not the only admirer. Here is hoping for more of the same going forward.
Season 1 rating (so far): 8.5 / 10
About the author: Dean would like to apologise for all the flash-related puns in this piece.