The Flash: Pilot Review


By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

DC continues its reign on the small screen with the Flash. It becomes the second of three DC shows to premiere this fall and let me tell you it’s my clear winner of the three.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Thank you, Arrow. With the success of their series, especially the second season, The Flash got its shot at a series. With the first episode it’s evident The Flash is quite capable of standing on its own with a well casted lead in Grant Gustin.

In Arrow’s “The Scientist” and “Three Ghosts” Gustin was trying to find himself as Allen, but in the Flash pilot you could tell he found the right beats to hit. He benefited from the two Arrow episodes. Most actors in pilots are still trying to figure out their characters, but with Gustin’s head start from Arrow he looked more relaxed in the role. I mean we all saw how long it took for Stephen Amell to finally become comfortable as Oliver Queen.

The pilot hits a completely different tone than Arrow, one of hope, heroism, and a touch of goofiness, which is delightfully refreshing.

Like almost every comic book hero Allen has a tragic past. Thankfully The Flash doesn’t hit that note too hard. It does a superb job of sticking to comic book lore at least from the 2009 comics Flash: Rebirth where Allen witnesses his mother’s death.

It was fantastic to see John Wesley Shipp playing Barry’s dear old dad. It reminds me a lot of what Battlestar Galactica did with Richard Hatch and that ended up turning out brilliantly.

I had the fortunate experience of seeing the Flash during DC TV’s night of programing at SDCC. Since that screening almost three months ago, I could tell the effects were fine tuned. They were almost sharper and well defined which enhanced the way the show looked. Knowing pilots always have more money and more time to produce an hour of television, hopefully the series can keep up the scale of the series with a limited time frame and budget.

Was it perfect? Definitely not. My biggest complaint was the cheesiness of some of the dialogue. The first time I saw the premiere it didn’t bother me at all, but on a second viewing it was a little cringe worthy. The villain in the episode was quite weak however visually it was neat. Fingers crossed it doesn’t turn into a wacky villain of the week type series, much like Smallville.

Let’s talk about those Easter eggs. The most exciting one was at the end when the future 2024 newspaper was revealed. Not only did it suggest that Wells could be the Reverse Flash with the flash of yellow lightning in the very last frame, a twist on the mythology considering Eddie Thawne is on the canvas, it also had a headline that read, “Wayne Tech/Queen Inc. Merger Complete” Will the audience ever see that happen? Probably not, but with the knowledge that Allen is able to time travel it can’t help but to give you a little hope. That wasn’t the only headline on that paper, “Flash Missing: Vanishes in Crisis” is a nod to the 1985 comic “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” And it looks like he will eventually don the classic costume.

There were a ton more Easter eggs hidden throughout the episode but I’m only going to point out a few. Ferris Air, was a nod to Green Lantern. Iris’ place of work, Jitters, is featured in the New 52 comics. Linda Park, the news reporter, is the future wife of Wally West. Grodd’s name appeared on a cage that was seemingly blasted opened by the S.T.A.R Labs accident.

With likeable characters, a sweet series hook, and a lighthearted tone, The Flash is well on its way to becoming a breakout hit for DC and the CW.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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