The Flash Premiere “Pilot” Recap
Last night The Flash premiered on The CW to the channel’s highest premiere ratings in five years! This comes as no shock (ha! pun) since the DC Universe has been dominating the small screen while Marvel thrives at the big screen; not to mention the successful Arrow set up The Flash quite well. In this pilot episode, we are re-introduced to Barry Allen see his origin in greater detail, up through the events of the Arrow mid-season finale last December.
Barry has always been quirky and relatable; he is the lighthearted counterpart to the dark and brooding Oliver Queen. The show begins with the mysterious death of Barry’s mother when he was a young boy. She dies because of something done by a man with Flash-like abilities. Odd, isn’t it? Barry’s father (the original TV Barry Allen on The Flash in 1990) is arrested for her murder. Barry is then raised by his best friend Iris’ family. Barry grows up to become a forensic scientist for the Central City Police Department.
On the night Central City’s S.T.A.R. Labs turned on its particle accelerator, a malfunction causes a massive pulse to be released throughout Central City, and a bolt of lightning strikes Barry. The shock alters Barry’s genetic makeup and gives him the ability to move at incredible speeds. The pulse also created other meta-humans like Barry, doling out a whole slew of different abilities.
With his new abilities and a pep talk from the Arrow himself, Barry decides become his own brand of hero in order to defend Central City from these new meta-humans.
At the very end of the episode, we get a teaser that one of Barry’s associates at S.T.A.R. labs, Harrison Wells, may not be who he says he is. He is seen observing a newspaper clipping from the year 2024 mentioning how the Flash has gone missing. We don’t know much about Wells or how he got this clipping, but time travel has always been a huge influence on the Flash comic books. To bring it into he show is a smart move.
I have been waiting for this show for a long time now. Ever since we met Barry last December, I have been curious to see this new part of the DC Universe. Arrow is one of the most dynamic television shows out today and to spinoff into a Flash series is the ideal move for DC. I can’t wait to see how Barry’s story unfolds and how these worlds collide while maintaining their independent identities. I was initially concerned about the introduction of new supernatural abilities. Arrow has avoided a heavy supernatural approach and The Flash seems to be doing the opposite, perhaps as a targeted way to distinguish the two. The Flash is embracing the supernatural and exploring these unique abilities. The hardest part about portraying supernatural abilities, however, is the need for CGI effects. The pilot did the CGI incredibly well, but there are no promises that the quality can keep up; this is the CW after all. With quality special effects, the audience can focus on the characters and story free of distraction. Let’s hope they can maintain that.
The show has clearly started with a huge bang and is off to a great start. I’m confident the rest of the season will follow suit. Plus we have a crossover The Flash/Arrow episode to look forward to in the near future! Epic!