Friday, December 12, 2014

We Were All Struck By That Lightning: The Flash (2014 TV series) Season Review Part 1 *SPOILERS*

During the last season of Arrow, it's mid-season finale included a character I could not believe was on the show, albeit a guest appearance. This character was Barry Allen, coming to Starling City to look into the case of our first Mirakuru soldier, with the interest of the impossible due to "something" killing his mother and framing his father. At the end of the episode, We see what probably EVERYBODY wanted to see the moment Barry Allen was announced to be on Arrow. We see the accident. The last we see of our young CSI scientist is him knocked out by the storm, his veins coursing with the energy that gives him the powers we all know and love. A few months later, The Flash was announced for the fall. When the time came, people roared their love for the show, and now that the first half of the season is done, time for a review!


This review will talk about the characters and some of the best stories of The Flash series thus far. There will be spoilers littered throughout, so just a heads up.

CHARACTERS
The main character of the show is Barry Allen, who after getting struck by lightning, gains super speed, begins to fight for justice, all the while trying to solve the mystery behind his mother's killer. Of course, just like Batman has Robin and Alfred, and Arrow has Felicity and Diggle, He won't be doing this alone. He is working along a group of brilliant scientists at STAR Labs, made up of tech expert Cisco Ramon(who comic readers will know as Vibe), Bioengineering genius Dr. Caitlin Snow(Killer Frost, don't worry she's cool), and their boss Dr. Harrison Wells, who has made it his goal to make The Flash the hero Central City needs. He is also being helped by Detective Joe West, his surrogate father after Henry Allen(Played by 90's Flash star John Wesley Shipp) is put away.

The actors do a phenomenal job playing the characters many people have grown up reading. Grant Gustin gives off that sweet nerd guy type I always pictured Barry Allen being when not in the flash suit. People worried he wouldn't make a good Flash, as he didn't seem like leading man material, but after watching him lead so far, I think were in good hands. The STAR Labs team who works with the flash is also very well acted. Cisco always finds a way to make me laugh, Caitlin makes me feel he heartbreak after "losing" her fiancé, Ronnie Raymond, but the best of the group by far is Harrison Wells. You don't know what he's playing, and that mystery excites me. He shares moments of both inspiration, but also shock that made me circulate who the man truly was, and when you do find out his secret, it will be worth it. Jesse L. Martin does a wonderful father figure in the form of Joe West, giving Barry advice as most fathers do, but also ready to help him solve the crimes in the field.

Each week, we had a new metahuman grace the screen for the flash to face. Some of them were good, but some of them kinda bored me. The two biggest fingers are pointed at the Mist in episode 3 and Roy G. Bivolo in the Flash v. Arrow episode(which I will talk about in story). These two characters just didn't seem that interesting to me. Don't get me wrong their powers and effects were great, it was just their characters were too 2 dimensional for me to be invested( though I think for Bivolo, that was the case to make the Arrow/Flash stuff more focused on).  While other characters like Plastique and Girder provide a fantastic moments, I think the best of the weekly villains was actually Captain Cold, played by Wentworth Miller. The guy really was able to take a silly name like Captain Cold, and showed that he could be just as menacing as Deathstroke on Arrow. Also that cold gun is just KICK ASS; I was a little nervous at first because the size of it, but it worked out fantastically.

Despite my gropes on some of the villains, the cast and guest stars do a FANTASTIC job capturing their comic book counterparts and make them realistic enough to believe they could exist.

STORIES

The overarching story of the show is that when the Particle Accelerator exploded at STAR labs, it created the world's first metahumans, along with the Flash. When the Flash wakes up from his accident induced coma, he agrees to allow STAR labs to study him, and help catch the rogue metahumans that endanger the city. Alongside that, Barry and Joe begin looking back into the case that made Barry began chase the impossible- his mother's murder.



As I said in the character section, the show brings in metahumans each week that proves troublesome to the Flash, and though I think the characters could have been better developed, I thought each metahuman brought a neat challenge for the Flash to overcome. From outrunning the poison Mist to the point of tiring himself out, to running across the water to put an explosive Plastique away from the city,  I loved how each week it brought me and my little brother(My DC TV watching partner) to the edge of our seats with his amazing feats. In my opinon, his most amazing is the supersonic punch he performed on Girder, not only because its a freaking SUPERSONIC PUNCH, but because he finally overcame his childhood bully in an epic way. The show does the whole flashback thing from arrow, but just like in Arrow they don't ever feel pointless, and They also have SO MANY easter eggs to other characters in the DC universe, especially one very hairy enemy that might show up in the future. It is a nice addition to the realistic world this show and Arrow have made.

I also love how closely knit the show and Arrow have already started out the gate. First episode we get a pep talk from Arrow for Barry to become the hero, Felicity in episode 4, but then just little nods to their brother show. It all comes to a head in the 8th episode of the show, appropriately called The Flash vs. Arrow. This is one of my favorite episodes of the series thus far, mainly due to the comparison we get between the shows. Both episodes to the special event show how dark the city and characters of Starling city is, with the lighter toned characters and lighter city of The Flash. We see freaking Oliver shoot arrows into Barry's back, just for training, I mean how dark can you get! The fight between them was also pretty cool as well, proving that sometimes skill can just be as good as power. I also love the ending of not just the fight but of the event at the end of Arrow. There is no winner, that we see, just a draw. When it comes to Batman vs. Superman, people would fight on and on until one of the two won, but here its perfect. We love both these characters and, despite Barry getting whammied by Bivolo, we don't want to see either be defeated because neither of them is the villain. If the writer to Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice wants a good middle ground as to not piss off fans, I say look to this episode right here.

This show does an amazing job with stories that can be fun but also tense. I love how the shows are now intertwined, but not enough for us to get sick of them quickly.

FINAL VERDICT
So far the show is doing a fantastic job standing on it's own. At first, I thought the show might borrow heavily from their brother show, but not only does it borrow very little, it has become a show that can shake hands with as equals in quality. I love the characters and the actors who play them, making them feel real, but still keeping their comic book personas. Though some of the villains became a little bland, they interested me, and looked freaking BAD ASS with their powers and weapons. The story really brings a nice lighter side than Arrow, but still can be tense when it needs to. If you haven't started watching the show yet, I highly recommend you do, especially if you like the Arrow-verse and Superpowers.

What did you think of this review? What do you think of the show? Leave a comment below and I hope you come back for more!

I would also like to thank the guys here at Weird Science for giving me an opportunity to write this review.

2 comments:

  1. Flash is currently my favourite comic book show imo...can't wait for grodd and trickster(mark hamill)..are u gng to do an arrow review too?

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