After a string of good episodes, The Flash kind of hit a speedbump in “The Flash is Born”. It had some good moments, ones that will impact the series going forward for sure, but it also had moments that no doubt made fans cringe a little.
The villain of the week was very much a two-sided coin. On one hand, we met a villain that Barry couldn’t defeat with speed alone, as Girder was made of dense metal, and thus could withstand any attack Barry made. When it comes to beings with superpowers it’s important to show that even their powers have limits. Girder showed that. However, the backstory of Tony Woodard was lackluster, as he was just a guy with powers going on a power trip. A big step down from our last true villain in Captain Cold.
The other big problem came in with Iris, who is slowly (maybe not so slowly) becoming a pain to watch. By that I mean she’s doing the same thing Laurel did in Arrow, but to an infinite degree more annoying. Whereas Laurel wanted to believe in the Arrow cause he was doing good (only to have her opinion of him questioned), Iris is clearly infatuated with The Flash and doesn’t care what anyone (including him!) says about how dangerous it is to meet with him. Her line about having selective hearing put that in full view. It’s frustrating because as I said, we saw this with Laurel. And yet with tonight’s episode she totally backtracked on the reason she gave last week about wanting to know about The Flash because of Barry. So essentially she’s doing this for herself, whereas Laurel at least contacted the Arrow when she needed help with cases. Big difference. Also, as predicted by me last week, Iris and Barry are friends again. Shocker…
Thankfully, a lot of tinier storylines brought us some much needed backstory for some characters. Chief among them was one Eddie Thawne, who honestly has been one-dimensional up until this episode. Many DC fans will know the name Eddie Thawne, but what we’ve seen so far shows that this isn’t the same guy…or at least not yet.
Anyway, his own personal conflict with Girder, and his numerous scenes with Barry allowed him to showcase his character, and it was very effective. I really liked the punching bag scene where he relayed how he went from a chubby kid to a top because of some advice from a teacher. Very good stuff.
The other interesting storyline was the most unexpected. Where Joe asked Wells to help him in the finding of Nora Allen’s murder. These two have some great chemistry, as each see themselves as a father figure of sorts to Barry. And because of how Wells is, you know that not everything he says is true. Yet, we find out that he’s still a very big mystery, as his life before the “accident” may have been longer than we thought. And of course the final scene where Joe is “warned” to stay away from the case, or else, was awesome, and showed that a certain other speedster is still out there.
I would be remiss if we didn’t talk about the “Supersonic Punch”, it was both a fun and funny moment, as we saw both Team Flash doing their science thing, and Barry showing off his true power. Or at least one of them. I doubt we’ll see it anytime soon, but it’s good none the less.
In the end, “The Flash is Born” was a decent episode that did do good in many areas, but was lesser in others. I didn’t like the backtracking in regards to Iris’ desire to know everything about the Flash. And I wish Girder was a little more fleshed out. But the stories with Eddie, Joe, Wells, and Barry to a degree, were good enough to make this episode worth watching.