The Flash Stays Strong Through Episode 4

10/31/2014 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments


The Flash has been off to a very strong start.  Somehow, it's the one review I've missed every week since the pilot, even though I have time to waste writing reviews for Gotham.  After the last episode of Gotham, I've decided I'm only going to review it if I've already done The Flash, Arrow (for Watchtower of Babal News), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..  Unless someone wants to voulunteer to do Gotham reviews for me...  Anyway, The Flash!  I've been loving it.

There will be mild spoilers for The Flash up through episode 4.

The best part about The Flash is the show's ability to keep it fresh while still trudging through all the necessary character building.  Every week there's a different villain that requires Barry to do something different with his super speed, all the while working to establish Barry's skills as The Flash.

So far, all the crossovers with Arrow have been super smooth.  Barry visits The Arrow, Felicity Smoak shows up in Central City, both Arrow and The Flash reference Farris Air, and stuff like that.  These shows both live in a clearly shared universe, but the question of "Where's The Flash?" when Arrow is in trouble, or "Where's The Arrow?" when Flash is in trouble are entirely absent.

Barry Allen's familiarization with his powers and how to use them is very well laid out.  The obvious concern with a show like this is that it will have Power Rangers syndrome, where every show builds to the same conclusion of Barry solving the problem by running really fast.  Obviously that exists to an extent, but so far Barry hasn't had to use his speed in the same way twice, and he also hasn't won every battle.

His non running oriented abilities—such as shaking his face to obscure his appearance, or quickly flipping through a book of mug shots to find a perp—are also brought into play each episode, so his powers are anything but one dimensional.  The effects are also creative (and conservative) enough to prevent the show from frequently stepping outside of reasonable effects, and usually (sometimes narrowly) avoids stepping outside of plausibility with effects.

The performances are all excellent as well.  There are a couple uncomfortable characters in Arrow (a mix of writing and acting), and that element is mostly absent from The Flash.  Sure, I'm not the biggest fan of Cisco, but he's not a bad character, just not my favorite character.  He's definitely likable, though.

Episode 4 marks the first time that a villain's arc has extended beyond a single episode arc, so hopefully the wold building episodes are mostly completed and the show can now go vertical, instead of just establishing a foundation.  The world that has been created has been great, now watching Barry Allen run through that world is what's exciting.

These are mostly an overview of my thoughts on the show as a whole.  Going forward, I will try harder to get an actual weekly review out as well.


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