While making a good pilot is important to draw people into your show, sustaining interest is equally as important. You have to set the tone, forward storylines, and show that the series we’re watching is worth our viewing. Coming off an impressive pilot, Flash delivered a great follow-up with “Fastest Man Alive”.
There are many things to talk about in this episode, but let’s start off with the funny. The dig at Arrow via Barry’s beginning intro was hilarious. Grant Gustin continues to impress as Barry Allen, delivering one-liners and heartfelt scenes with great success. Also, the dynamic between the members of Team Flash (totally copyrighting that now) was great. Cisco, Wells, Snow, and even the West’s delivered some much need growing in the connections department.
But as Barry said, “Let’s get to the good stuff!”
“Fastest Man Alive” showed off the second metahuman villain in the form of Multiplex. A villain who can make copies of himself. And one that showed Barry isn’t the fighter that say Oliver Queen is.
Some may wonder why him getting beat up is important. The answer is simple, if he said made him untouchable, or unbeatable, the show would lose its flare. Case and point with Arrow, where we saw Ollie own numerous villains, then get his butt whooped by Merlyn. Though he can heal, Barry is very much flesh and blood, and showing him struggle against villains like Multiplex is important to prove that he is indeed that.
An important, not to mention fun, aspect of “Fastest Man Alive” was the rooting of powers in science. It would’ve been easy to say that Multiplex can just clone himself, but instead they spelled out how it’s possible, and why it works. Also, Barry’s speed powers taking a toll on his body via his metabolism was another great science reveal. While the grounded approach may not work in the large scale with every villain or hero, it is nice to see them basically say, “Hey, we’re not just giving them powers. It all makes sense!”
And because of Barry’s “condition” we got to see the reveal of a classic Flash item, the Treadmill. Flash fans will know exactly what this means. For others…I’ll not spoil it…yet…
The true crux of “Fastest Man Alive” was Barry dealing with balancing his two lives, and the growing doubt in his mind. The latter of which was fueled by Joe West.
On some levels, this story was fine, every hero deals with doubt right? But the flashback scenes, tied into the “You’re not my father!” and “You can’t stop me!” speech really made it cheesy. I hope this flashback is a one-time deal. Arrow’s flashbacks are worth the trip back in time. Barry’s? Not so much.
The other cool reveal of the episode was the true introduction of Simon Stagg. A man who has numerous ties in the DC Universe. We’ve heard his name dropped in Arrow before, but to meet the man here was a treat…albeit a short one…
The climax scene featuring Flash vs. Multiplex was nice, and the show’s VFX continue to amaze. Especially Barry’s running, which now has the traditional lightning pouring from his body. It’ll be fun to see where it goes from here.
Aside from the cheesiness of some parts of the story, the only other real downfall of “Fastest Man Alive” was the handling of Multiplex and Stagg. The former felt very much like a “villain of the week”, one who died at the end mind you…or at least you think he did…
Then there’s Stagg, who as I said has big ties to the DC Universe. We got to see glimpses of the crude businessman that we all know and hate, but then to see Wells kill him at the end seems like a waste.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED that scene with Wells, as he showed more of his future knowledge just before killing Stagg. And it proves that reveal of the future paper isn’t going to be a one-and-done thing.
In the end, “Fastest Man Alive” kept up the pace and brought another great episode for us to enjoy. If this keeps up, Flash will be running circles around most shows on TV today.