The Flash: Fastest Man Alive Review


By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

The Flash is getting off to a quick start with a quirky and fun tone, solid character dynamics, and a mysterious possible villain as witnessed in its second episode, “Fastest Man Alive.”

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Typically, a second episode of a series falls into the trap of essentially being a second pilot. It reiterates a bunch of plot points that were established in the first hour. However, for the most part, The Flash almost avoids this common pitfall altogether, which is quite impressive.

There was a concern about the graphics once they began to have less amount of time to produce episodes, but said concerns were squashed with its sophomore episode. The effect of him running through the streets works well and Barry on the enhanced treadmill (Cosmic Treadmill for those comic book fans) looked pretty slick.

The show built upon some intriguing mysteries, especially ones revolving around Dr. Harrison Wells. He continued to show his true nature through his deadly confrontation with rival scientist Simon Stagg.

Of course, the pilot mainly focused on Barry and his new abilities but in “Fastest Man Alive,” they showed that they aren’t afraid of developing characters beyond Barry. Unlike Arrow, the series seems to be focusing more on his life outside of the red suit. As a result, there are already some strong character dynamics, like the one between Barry and Iris’s father Joe. The detective sees himself as Barry’s father, since he was his legal guardian for years, but the speedster rejects that notion – and even resents it – as his real father is alive and well in prison, who he is determined to exonerate.

From the pilot, I noted the cheesiness of much of the dialogue. Unfortunately that’s something that wasn’t fixed in their second episode. It’s either early episode kinks they are trying to work out or maybe that’s just the tone they are going for.

So far, they have developed quite a cheeky tone. For example, in this episode during his opening narration, Barry takes a fun jab at the silliness of superhero monologues or when he used his speed to replace his broken centrifuge. At points it’s not just cheeky, it’s downright clever.

It seems as if The Flash is going to be using the flashback device just like its CW counterpart, Arrow. This storytelling device works well on Arrow because that’s a completely separate storyline that helps bridge the gap when Oliver Queen went missing. I don’t think the flashback device in every episode is necessary for this series like it is on Arrow. A concern when doing flashbacks with a child so young is that they might eventually run into the “Psych” problem. The boys in the flashbacks on Psych were recast at least once.

Once again, the series had an undeveloped case of the week villain. Much like Arrow and Smallville, they are using weak villains to give the hero something to do every week. However, it’s understandable when looking at it as a plot device for character development.

I really enjoyed how they weaved journalism into Iris’ storyline. In the comics she’s a reporter, so to see her in this episode call her future career boring was a nice comedic moment. To a point Iris’s, obsession with The Streak resembles Lois Lane’s obsession with Superman, or her obsession with The Blur in Smallville.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


  1. Dave MOctober 16th, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Only concern I have is the fact that villains keep dying. I’d would have like to have seen Stagg kept around long and try to interfere before Wells took him out.

  2. Sid RyanOctober 16th, 2014 at 11:45 am

    When they first mentioned Simon Stagg, I wondered if we were going to get a glimpse of Rex Mason (Metamorpho).

    But now he’s dead so that’s highly doubtful.

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