TV SHOW: The Flash
SEASON/EPISODE: 1.02 ‘The fastest Man Alive’
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, Geoff Johns/David Nutter
The Flash goes up against a Man who can physically clone himself multiple times, only to find that his own doubts and his need for calories are slowing him down.
So after a strong pilot episode, how does the second instalment of this series first season hold up? Very good actually, though there are a few niggles but that is to be expected with a show this young.
So after we have another open narration from Barry, this time poking fun at the numerous Hero monologues that we have heard time and again in the past. We get a cool sequence where the Flash saves a group of civilians from a burning building, before looking somewhat drained by the whole endeavour (which we find out is that Barry has to consume a much larger amount of calories to keep his abilities in check, which is right out of the comics).
But the main emotional core of this episode is the relationship between Barry and his foster Father/Boss Joe West, and how the two are coping with the former’s new superhero activities. And this (along with some other comic-book clichés that the Flash is currently exhibiting, which I won’t go into at this point) could make your eyes roll with how melodramatic it is and how quickly it is resolved (thought it might go on for a few episodes, but the writers decided to get it out of the way now….smart move), but both Grant Gustin and Jesse L. Martin do a very good job at playing their respective roles and making the scenes watchable and boring, also the flashbacks help in this regard as well (something Arrow did well up until now).
Gustin continues to be the perfect counter for Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen (if your watching both this and Arrow and come on, you probably are), playing a likeable guy who has some issues but he ultimately rises above them with the help and support of those in his inner circle. And it was great to see the other major characters in Star labs play their part in helping the Flash too, though the mystery of what Professor Wells true agenda is still a very strong continuing plot-point (Tom Cavanagh is still surprising me, with him going all ‘calculating murderer’ at the episode’s conclusion).
The Meta-Human adversary of this episode was Danton Black (or more commonly known in the comics as Multiplex) and he was a better enemy for the Flash than the previous instalment’s Weather Wizard. His powers were well showcased (though I still don’t understand how he can copy himself perfectly, even down to the clothes he is wearing) and there are two really good set pieces between him and the Flash, especially the last one. And also William Sandler was great (as always) in his role as Simon Stagg, adding gravitas to Black’s back-story (we actually got one this time) as we find out what he did to anger the Meta-Human so much.
Now onto the niggles of the episode for me, and that is Iris (you knew it was coming). I still cannot shake the Smallville vibe from this particular storyline as we have her pressuring Barry to tell her the truth (annoying Lana Lang territory), which I hope they don’t keep doing with future episodes. If that happens then I would rather have the Flash try and hook up with Caitlin Snow at some point this season (this episode did plant the seed of something that shippers of the two characters will be clawing at), as I think that it would make a nice change of pace, even if we do end up going back to Barry/Iris in the future (because those with knowledge of the comics know that is how it ends for the pair). But these are just my thoughts on this particular aspect of what is still a very good start to this series, which is surprising for a new show.