Fall is finally here for the CW, with Flash debuting tonight, and Arrow tomorrow. It is the one-two punch of comic book shows for the fall. Will Flash keep the hits rolling for the CW after Arrow? Even though the pilot leaked over the summer, CW is counting on the show to anchor its Tuesday nights.
With fans already introduced to Barry Allen via Arrow, the pilot fills in the backstory to him becoming the Flash. With a dose of Oliver Queen. Seriously, get these guys for the Justice League movie.
Though we know a bit of how Barry Allen becomes Flash from the Arrow crossovers, the pilot fleshes out the story a bit more. He ends up back in his lab, after his friendly date with Iris, Detective Joe West’s daughter, ends with Barry attempting to stop a mugging. New transfer, Detective Eddie Thawne ends up stopping the mugger, and Barry heads back to his office.
The sequence of the particle accelerator malfunctioning was seen in the soft intro from an Arrow episode, and the pilot rehashes it here. From there, we see Barry taken to the hospital, where the staff struggles to keep him alive.
We get the customary flash forward sequence to present day, nine months after the explosion. Joe’s partner was killed that night, and the Martin brothers seemingly died after the shockwave hit their plane.
After waking up, Barry is introduced to Star Labs remaining staff – Cisco, Caitlin and Dr. Wells. Wells is in a wheelchair and explains what happened to Barry. He quickly makes his way to see Iris, where his abilities start to manifest.
Setting up the villain for the episode, we see a bank robbery take place, where the robber can control the weather. Detective West uses cell phone camera footage to identify the getaway car – a black Mustang.
Barry and Iris are talking about her relationship with Detective Thawne when he spots the Mustang. Running after the car, he sees it is Clyde Martin, who is supposed to be dead. He tells Joe, who dresses him down for holding on to ideas that he saw something when his mother was killed. He wants Barry to see the world for what it actually is.
A sketch from the bank robbery witnesses shows the robber looks just like Clyde Martin.
It wouldn’t be a pilot without the costume reveal. It’s more necessary here than with Arrow, due to Flash needing the protection it affords.
The climax of the episode is back at the barn. There Clyde tells Joe and Eddie he thinks he is God, due to him controlling the weather. Barry shows up as Flash, and works to unravel the tornado Clyde creates. It takes a pep talk from Dr. Wells, but Barry gets it done.
In doing so, his identity is revealed to Detective West, who makes him promise to keep it a secret from Iris. Like everything comic books, we know this secret won’t last forever. Barry visits his father at Iron Heights, telling him he thinks he can get him out of jail.
The episode ends with Dr. Wells walking and staring at a future newspaper from 2024. Looks like Barry isn’t the only one at Star Labs with a power.
The CW does it again. A fun comic book show that strikes the right balance of fun, action and emotion. Fox’s Gotham could learn a thing or two about keeping continuity in an episode. The grimness of Gotham is often mixed with campiness, and it comes off as jarring at times.
Flash shows again that you don’t need a big budget to pull off a comic book show. I was worried heading in about CG, but the showrunners pull off the visual effects quite well.
After the episode, we got a look at the montage for the season, showing that we can look forward to more Arrow crossovers and plenty of action. Where the Arrow tries to stay grounded, Flash is embracing the superpowers. It’s a nice change of pace, and will help the show.
Let us know what you thought about the pilot in the comments.