It’s time yet again for me to admit that I am completely in love with another show on the “am I too old to be watching this network?” network that is The CW. I religiously watched all of SMALLVILLE (don’t tell anyone), I’m all caught up with the Winchesters on SUPERNATURAL, I am currently obsessed with ARROW, I may sniff out THE 100, and I am more than ready to get my feet wet with the new kid on the block THE FLASH. Our titular hero played by Grant Gustin began within season 2 of ARROW (So good!) last December and now gets a chance to take off the training wheels and ride all by himself. And I must say, this premiere episode hit a sweet spot with me and it looks as if we have another hit on our hands. The cherry on top is that THE FLASH officially opens up the universe created by ARROW creating a wonderful shared-universe much like what Marvel is doing with their current slate of films. Smart move DC, smart move.
As mentioned above, THE FLASH technically started in season 2 of ARROW. This premiere episode touched upon those moments without rehashing everything which should please fans that have been there since day one and newcomers alike. This first episode really felt more like a mini-movie and less like a TV episode which is a compliment to its great storytelling, interesting characters, and decent special effects. Basically all you need to know is that Barry Allen is a young scientist who fell victim to a powerful accident that later granted him super speed once he awoke from a lengthy coma. yadda yadda yadda, he becomes The Flash! While there was a lot going on in this episode, I feel it mostly set things up for what’s to come without being too overwhelming. We got introduced to all the main players, we had a good and full story arc that included other people affected by the same accident that created The Flash as well as learned about Barry’s traumatic past in which his mother died in a freak accident and his father has been charged with the murder even though he may be innocent…phew! And to reinforce the whole shared-universe thing, we do get a quick exchange with Arrow who did not steal any of the spotlight away from The Flash, yet somehow worked extremely well. “Cool”. I’d say the only downside was possibly the premature introduction of the super-powered villain Weather Wizard who came off as a bit bland and one dimensional. Please don’t pull a SMALLVILLE and offer us cornball villains of the week. Fingers crossed.
I think anyone who worried that Grant Gustin could not hold his own as the star of a show can rest easy now that this premiere episode is out of the way. He has a very charming and calm demeanor about him with a few dashes of dorky, smart, and funny mixed in really giving him a Peter Parkery feel. That’s good thing. I like it when my heroes are a bit goofy and socially inept. Supporting cast members include father-figure and police detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), his daughter and possible love interest for Barry Iris West (Candice Patton), the pretty-boy detective who gals want and guys want to be Eddie Thawn (Rick Cosnett), and a couple of fellow scientists aiding our hero in the form of Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) accompanied by the genius yet completely untrustable Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) who seemingly lost the use of his legs in the same accident that created The Flash. We also have a brief glimpse of Barry’s father in prison (accused of killing his wife remember?) portrayed by John Wesley Shipp who was The Flash in the original series back in the 90’s. How’s THAT for fan service!? In a nutshell, all these supporting players played their part well, and it will be interesting to see what kinds of twists and turns will be in store for them as the series progresses. I enjoyed the awkward love triangle between Barry, Isis, and the pretty-boy detective. I like how Barry has a father figure (conveniently!?) in the force. And beside the aforementioned bland villain Weather Wizard (Chad Rook), I can’t wait to see what villains and characters get ripped from the pages of DC comics within this show. Ok, ok, to be fair, it WAS pretty cool seeing Weather Wizard make a tornado for The Flash to halt by running in the opposite direction around it. Kinda worth it.
All in all, I’m more than ready to give THE FLASH a shot this TV season and will gladly add it to my over saturated DVR list (Tuesdays are bloated on that thing!). I really dig that this is a shared-universe TV show alongside ARROW which has become one of my favorite currently-airing shows. The origin story and set up in this premiere episode has me more than excited for the future, Gustin as Barry is more than likable and I trust he will only get better as he settles in this role, all the supporting characters and actors are serviceable enough for me to not shake my head (mostly), and the special effects are surprisingly well-done and I only hope they don’t dip in quality after this pilot. What we have here is a great beginning to what can potentially be another great The CW show to sit among the likes of SMALLVILLE, SUPERNATURAL, and ARROW. Only time will tell. Here’s hoping.
Final Score: 8 out of 10