The Flash Season 1 Ep 3 (TV Show Review)

Just before The Flash’s third episode debuted this week, CW went ahead and gave a season order for the show, meaning that The Flash will go on for a full season of 23 episodes. This is great news since The Flash is a really great show and I would dare say that it is even better than Arrow was in its first season. The show is living up to its claim of the most comic book show on air, and I’d say that it is starting off even better than CW’s previous big hit, Smallville did. Some really cool villains have debuted so far, with more to come, and the cliffhangers certainly have been quite jaw-droppingly amazing.

Things You Can’t Outrun” introduces the villain known as Mist to the audiences, and it proves to be another great episode, though the mist isn’t as cool or as awesome as either Weather Wizard or Multiplex. Barry faces a huge challenge once again, still getting used to his powers, and one of the other reasons that this episode was so good was that we get to see flashbacks to the explosion at the STAR Labs particle accelerator, finally debuting Robbie Amell’s Ronnie Raymond as well, the future Firestorm. Lots of things happened this week and it was all fantastic.

The Flash Logo 0001

This week’s episode lays down some important groundwork for the rest of the season, as we see Team Barry come face-to-face with two important issues: how to keep metahumans imprisoned and Barry’s guilt at not being able to save some people. Before, Barry was able to get to the bad guys before they killed someone (Joe’s former partner’s death notwithstanding), but now, the big bad villain of the episode starts off the proceedings with multiple homicides and that’s something Barry really has to struggle with.

On Smallville, we saw that Clark had to blunder through the early seasons without the benefit of being able to put down the villains who menaced him, his family and his friends. It wasn’t until much later that metahumans like him were kept imprisoned at a specific facility, and that’s where The Flash gets brownie points. We have the perfect setup for it all in Central City, as Harrison Wells puts it, and how the team goes about is quite fun. It certainly helps that this plot thread ends up with providing viewers with flashbacks to the night of the accident at the particle accelerator and we finally get to see the original Team Harrison Wells, with Ronnie Raymond included.

In the very first episode, we were shown a brief glimpse of a cage for something named Grodd. Fans of The Flash from the comics and various animated adventures know that Grodd is one of Barry’s signature villains, and it turns out that that scene is a precursor to what happens in this episode. Team Barry plans how to keep dangerous/villainous metahumans imprisoned in the ruins of the particle accelerator beneath the lab complex, and I foresee that this is going to come up as an important subplot later on in the season and even later perhaps, maybe even tying in to Arrow at some point and bringing in Amanda Waller as well.

Now that would be fun.

Then there’s the whole guilt thing. Barry can’t save everyone. There’s always a cost, something that Smallville‘s Clark Kent learnt at a great personal cos again and again. That’s what Barry has to fight against. He just has to do the absolute best that he can and accept the punches as they come. The show has been good on the pep talks that he gets from various character, whether that is Detective West, or Harrison Wells or even Caitlin and Cisco, and this episode is no different. There’s no actual pep talk this time of course, but more of an “this is how the world works, Barry, and it is no different for you than it is for a police officer”.

I like that. The writers keep pitting Barry up against some real issues, real challenges, and it is holding up so far.

And then there’s the villain himself, Kyle Nimbus. When the accident happened, Nimbus was on death-row, being executed in a gas chamber and so he has powers that deal with poison gas. Just how exactly his powers work is a twist for the heroes to figure out, and that’s where the procedural aspect of the show comes in, and we see Caitlin’s skills being put to great use alongside Barry’s own forensics training. Nimbus wasn’t as memorable a villain for me as the other two villains have been, but I like that the show is so willing to experiment with its bad guys so early on, with each having different, complex powers that do give Barry a challenge at first, and Nimbus is certainly a big enough challenge.

There’s also a great dynamic between Barry and Caitlin in this episode, and Cisco and Caitlin. Both subplots reveal what happened during the accident and how Ronnie died, saving everyone at STAR Labs at the cost of his own life, something that still haunts both Caitlin and Cisco. Their story in this episode is quite moving, and as has become a trend for me with this show, I came to tears when we saw Ronnie’s sacrifice and the reactions of both Caitlin and Cisco. These flashbacks and their consequences in the present remind us that while outwardly the team is all fun and happy, the two supporting characters have a pain of their own that they’ve been struggling against for more than nine months now.

And I like that. Each character comes off as well-formed and well-executed, with none of them being random throwaways or anything. There’s a distinct place for each of them in the larger story.

The Flash Teaser Look 0001

Robbie Amell doesn’t get to do much as Ronnie Raymond, but I’ll admit that I’m quite happy to see his debut since it heralds the addition of another hero to the team’s roster, greatly increasing its scope and everything. Plus, with a hero like Firestorm who is so visually distinct and appealing, it is going to be great when he finally comes on the scene. I can’t wait to see how the visuals team deals with his iconic suit and his… hairdo. Fun things!

There’s a lot of other things that the episode gets right, and one of those is dealing with the bad blood between Detective West and Henry Allen. Ever since the death of Barry’s mother and Henry’s wife, Joe never went to see his friend, but now that he is getting caught up in Barry’s world of the fantastical, he has reconsidered stance on Nora’s death, and now he wants to bury the hatchet. It is such a nice, simple moment between the two of them in the pre-climax moments, and I felt really happy that the characters were able to move on as they did. And that entire scene just reaffirmed my belief in Detective West, that he is going to be a great force of change in Barry’s superhero life, and that he is going to be the perfect ally for him as well.

Superb stuff all around. Just as I expected. Bring on more!

More The Flash: Ep 1, Ep 2.

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Posted on October 24, 2014, in Review Central, The Flash, TV Show Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

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