Well, that was another excellent episode (despite a few flaws in places, which I’ll get to later), making it six out of six for the show that’s already arguably the best series to come from this batch of new fall shows. The Flash is Born proved that yes, The Flash is willing to reference its titular hero by name rather than “The Streak” for another couple of seasons, and maintain the excellent balance between humour and action that has made this show so much fun. It continues to entertain, and with several notable things to come from this week’s episode, it’s clear that The Flash is Born is another winner.
Unfortunately, even though The Flash is Born was mostly excellent, they haven’t quite yet fixed the forgettable villains problem, barring one or two exceptions like Captain Cold. Girder’s story is that he used to bully Barry as a child, and now has super strength with a body made of steel. (with a nice “Man of Steel” reference thrown in there for good measure) Even though the connection with Barry and Tony Woodward was made, giving Girder a more personal history to the rest of the Flash’s rogues, it couldn’t quite help come across as cheesy in parts, the flashbacks being the most notable ones. It wasn’t as if it was anything particularly new in terms of originality either, with the overcoming a childhood bully plot being used over and over again in pretty much every form of media.
However, despite this, it wasn’t uninteresting. It never felt boring, and even though it should have felt tired and dull, the energy that makes this show so entertaining was kept alive in this episode and there was always that level of fun thrown in. If the show had adopted a darker tone for this episode then we wouldn’t quite have enjoyed it as much, but with The Flash able to make jokes about the people who bullied Barry, Caitlin and Cisco when they were younger, the light-hearted feel worked in the show’s favour.
It’s also important to note that Girder probably won’t be gone for good, even though he remains locked in the new super-villain prison beneath STAR Labs. Girder will probably end up returning before the season is out and it’ll be interesting to see how the show handles it going forward, with plenty of room and potential to develop the character for their next meeting, which will be made all the more interesting by the fact that Tony now knows Barry’s identity.
The supporting cast got some good screen time this week and it allowed for the fleshing out of Rick Cosnett’s character, Eddie Thawne, a bit more as a result of this. The friendship between these two was handled well and it makes a change from the normal love triangles that we’ve seen before where the other character who we’re not supposed to root for will always be an uptight jerk. Speaking of the love triangle, the third factor in this department, Iris, also got some decent material this week. With Iris running the risk of turning into this show’s version of Laurel Lance and getting kidnapped far too often (it got to the point on Arrow where Laurel couldn’t walk into her own home without being kidnapped), but the fact that she was able to help Barry overcome Girder this week was handled well indeed. The fact that she can hold her own in a fight is good to see as well.
The other strong element with the supporting cast came this week from Dr. Wells and Iris’ father, with the revelations about Wells that we’ve seen at the end of the previous episodes coming into their own. Even though Detective West dismissed the idea that Wells might be involved in the murder of Barry’s mother at the end of the episode, I still have a nagging feeling that he’s more involved (and could even end up being the yellow speedster) then he lets on. Dr. Wells is the biggest mystery about this show and it’ll be interesting to see how long it takes before the show gets to his development. Will it happen as early as the mid-season finale? There’s just loads of avenues to explore here and I can’t wait to see which route the show takes with Wells.
So despite a few problems here and there, mainly in the villains department, The Flash is Born was another strong episode that continued the growth of this show even further. The ending scene with the yellow speedster, Professor Zoom, further hinted at the ongoing mystery, and as a result, next week’s episode (which I believe is the first part of the Flash/Arrow crossover), will be very interesting to see unfold.