Some Streams of Consciousness on The Flash, Season 1, Episode 1

And now for something a little bit different. First, I should note that I have family in town, and this combined with work has been the primary reason why there have been no blog posts on running D&D Encounters on Wednesdays. To top that all off, my twenty-month year old twin nephews transferred their cold to me at some point, so I’m somewhat miserable, and just a bit cranky at the moment. I hate being sick. Detest it with the furious passion of a thousand suns.

Anyways, it may or may not be terribly obvious, but writing the D&D Encounters posts sometimes feels like work. Or to put it another way, there’s a degree of tedium that comes with it, probably because they take forever to write. When I was a player writing those posts, I took copious amounts of notes while playing, so it was much easier for me to spit them out. As the DM, there’s zero time to write notes while you’re running the game, so I have to rely on my memory, which fails and frustrates me periodically.

And did I mention that they take forever now?

So with less time than usual, and the desire to write about something else other than D&D Encounters, finding something else to blog about is more than welcome. Something refreshing. And I think I may have found it in The Flash, which premiered a few days ago.

Not only am I  a gamer, I’m pretty much a comic book superhero nerd, sports fan, anime / manga fan…I’m complicated. Anywho, while the Flash is hardly a favorite of mine, I was a huge fan of the short-lived live action series from the 90’s.

Even though it’s set in the ‘Arrow’ universe (which I don’t watch because it’s basically  Batman with a bow-and-arrow in my opinion,) I thought I’d give it a chance.

I should also say that this shouldn’t be treated as a straight review; there are a million of those on the internet that are probably better written and more critical / analytical / intelligent than this will be. This is just the thoughts that come to mind while watching. Hence, streams of consciousness.

  • Ooohhh, ‘Flash’ vision. (first person view while running at superspeed.) I like it.
  • Running away from bullies as a kid, followed by the ‘You have a big heart.’ speech from the mom. Latter hits a bit close to home. Sadly, I’m not sure having a big heart really matters all that much nowadays. Superficial, snarky, witty dickishness are much more sexy, cool, and important. Barry, you are officially screwed for the series. And I’m screwed for life. Actually, I now predict there will be an episode / series of episodes where for inexplicable reasons (Superman had red kryptonite), Barry will become a bit of an a-hole.
  • Holy crap! Kid Barry’s dad is played by John Wesley Shipp. He played the Flash in the 90’s television show I mentioned. Nice callback. Two thumbs up there.
  • Barry Allen is late getting to a crime scene. This also means he’s a gamer at heart. Most gamers I know are always late.
  • He also apparently has the super-power to look at tire marks and know key details about it. CSI-vision? Even Superman doesn’t have that.
  • Hellooo Nurse! Iris West is beautiful.
  • So they’re playing the unrequited love interest angle in this show. Cliche, or original?
  • Iris’s dad is a cop…and wait, is Barry a forensics guy or a particle physicist? Because he apparently built a particle accelerator / atom smasher / technobabble dohickey in his lab…is he independently wealthy? It has to be more expensive than a Playstation 4? Or an XBox One? You don’t just build something like that on the cheap…well, unless you’re MacGyver, or MacGruber.
  • So when Barry tries to get out of the friend zone with Iris, we learn they basically grew up together, and she assumes that he’s nervous about coming to her for advice about women and relationships, and assures him that he can come to her at anytime. Strike one!
  • Barry is an awkward, social misfit. Is one of the writers from Big Bang Theory working on this show? Cliche, or original?
  • Hey, it’s Ed from ‘Ed’ playing some guy named Harrison Wells! From now on, he is Doctor Ed-from-Ed. Barry seems enamored with his work.
  • “Love” triangle alert? Or is it a lust triangle? Iris is interested in a pretty boy detective? Cliche, or original?
  • Newspaper articles detailing that Barry’s doctor father is accused of murdering his mother. Nooo! Say it ain’t so, John Wesley Shipp!
  • Iris’s father in an intense cop shootout! Iris’s father’s cop partner is hurt! Iris’s father went to the Cobra school of firearms training! He can’t hit the broad side of a barn.
  • Star labs particle accelerator sends out a pulse wave that appears to be harmless to buildings, but takes out the airplane where the criminal was trying to escape.
  • Weird pulse wave can also apparently affect the weather, as a lightning bolt strikes Barry, knocking him into a bunch of chemicals. Classic Flash origin story. Two thumbs up.
  • Iris is at the hospital; if this doesn’t make them a couple when Barry recovers, this counts for a double strike-out! I mean, what else could it possible take for her to realize: ‘Oh, I really love him!’ Amputate a limb? Cut out an eye?
  • 9 months later….
  • Barry wakes up, presumably from a coma at Star Labs, being looked over by two scientists.
  • Lightning gave him abs…who knew?
  • Doctor Ed-from-Ed, now confined to an Xavier-esque wheelchair, gives us exposition. The night the particle accelerator blew up killed 17 people, and injured many more, including him.
  • The pulse wave DID create the lightning bolt. Along with theoretical forms of energy. Dark matter! Coffee-flavored potato chips! Twinkies! Insane!
  • Iris works at a coffee shop now, and sees Barry awake. If this near-death experience doesn’t make them a couple, this counts for a double strike-out too
  • Barry can now see things in slow motion! Add slow-motion vision to his powers on top of CSI-vision. And abs.
  • Some guy that can control the weather robs a bank. Looks like the guy that shot Iris’s dad’s partner.
  • Iris’s dad is the Commission Gordon / Alfred of the show to Barry.
  • Show is hinting that pretty boy detective and Iris are now dating. Strike two, three, four and five for Barry. Friend zone forever and ever.
  • How many strikes will we get to before Barry hits a home run in the most unrealistic way possible.
  • Iris’s dad’s former partner bit the dust, and is now partnered with pretty boy.
  • Super speed!
  • Alley-ways are always empty on superhero shows and movies.
  • Shouldn’t the rubber on his shoes be burning?
  • Doctor-Ed-from-Ed and his two lab assistants, Cisco and Caitlin, are testing Barry’s abilities.
  • Cisco…they named him after a router company?
  • If I ever have a kid, I’m naming him / her Apple. Or Google. Or NBA. Or NFL.
  • Caitlin also deserves a Hellooo nurse!
  • Uh-oh, Caitlin’s fiance was killed by that pulse wave. Which means the inevitable romantic relationship between her and Barry will be awkward.
  • So I’m predicting a love square now: Barry, Iris, Caitlin, and pretty boy detective.
  • Which, like a Venn Diagram, will overlap with Cisco jones-ing for Caitlin.
  • Barry can run over two-hundred miles per hour.
  • Barry having a flashback to his childhood when his Mom is killed, where she’s surrounded by the same super-fast streaks Barry makes when he runs superfast. Also, we briefly see a ghostly image of a yellow Flash. Assuming they’re foreshadowing what I think they’re foreshadowing, two thumbs up from me.
  • Barry runs into barrels of water! Hurts his wrist.
  • Healing factor like Wolverine! So far, we got CSI-vision, Slow-motion vision, Super-speed, and Super-healing. And abs.
  • Pretty boy detective and Iris confirmed to be dating. Because the show was so subtle about it.
  • Barry sees them kiss. Awkward! Strike six? Naaah, that’d just be cruel.
  • Wait, pretty boy detective and Iris are keeping their relationship a secret from Iris’s dad? Her reasoning behind this so far is…lame.
  • Barry super speeds into a getaway car with the weather-controlling robber from earlier…wait, you can flip a speeding car by just jerking the wheel suddenly?! Has Michael Bay confirmed this?
  • Barry and weather-controlling robber easily survive car flip that would / should kill almost anyone.
  • The weather-controlling robber is the guy who killed Iris’s father’s partner and the guy who was in the airplane that was destroyed by the pulse wave that only affects airplanes, people at ground zero, Barry, and absolutely nothing else.
  • Barry’s dad is in prison for the murder of his wife / Barry’s mom. Nooo! John Wesley Shipp, say it ain’t so!
  • Pulse wave, according to Doctor-Ed-from-Ed apparently created a bunch of meta-humans. This feels like the kryptonite freaks trend from the first season of Smallville. Or Power Rangers. Villain of the week, here we come!
  • Doctor-Ed-from-Ed doesn’t want Barry to play the hero. Because…reasons.
  • Barry’s rubber on his shoes can handle running at over 200 mph. Is that…accurate?
  • Barry runs to Starling City to get advice from Batman..I mean Green Arrow…I mean Arrow. Seriously, what was wrong with this portrayal of Green Arrow?
  • Live version of this portrayal of Green Arrow. would have been infinitely more awesome than dark, gritty, second-rate Batman.
  • Barry is not sure he can be a vigilante, but Green-Bat-Arrow-Man is sure that he can inspire people, be a guardian angel, be the hero he can never be…cliche, or original? Oh, and he should wear a mask. I would have liked the speech better if they got Gary Oldman to give it.
  • Barry went over unsolved cases from the time he was in a coma, and finds ton of unexplained crap. He pleads his case to Cisco and Caitlin. Cisco shows off the Flash suit, made from firefighter tri-polymer technobabble with built-in sensors for violating your personal space and uploading what you’re doing / thinking to social media. Not sure if it was designed by Google or Apple.
  • Iris’s dad and pretty boy detective corner weather wizard, who loves to preach the gospel, in a barn. He uses his weather powers to…fart them away? Follows that up with a tornado.
  • Iris’s dad is almost crushed by a roof, but is saved by Barry suited up.
  • Barry runs around it in the opposite direction of the tornado, but needs to break 700 mph to unravel it. Tornado is making its way towards the city, so he’s gotta try before people get hurt…wait, is this scientifically accurate? Scientific adviser?
  • Barry fails on his first try.
  • Doctor Ed-from-Ed does a 180, admitting he should take responsibility for the Pulse wave, gives Barry a pep talk.
  • Take two; Barry wins. Round three? Nope.
  • Barry takes off his mask…crap, are they doing the Spider-Man movie route, where we see Tobey Maguire’s in costume but without his mask all the time? Please don’t go that route, please don’t go that route…
  • Weather wizard points a gun at Barry. Round three, fight!
  • Never mind; Barry is saved by Iris’s dad when he shoots Weather wizard. I guess even someone trained at Cobra Academy gets lucky sometimes. Anywho, Iris’s dad sees Barry in costume, since he conveniently had his mask off.
  • I guess he now believes in the impossible now, believes Barry’s dad is innocent, believes what Barry saw when he was a kid, etc.
  • He also asks Barry to not tell Iris about his powers. Over / under on how many episodes / seasons it’ll take to break that promise? Followed by the betrayal of trust angle by Iris (you should have told me sooner! You don’t trust me, even though you do everything else for me!) and Iris’s dad (you should never have told her!) Barry cannot win. Ever.
  • Barry visiting John Wesley Shipp in prison. Honestly, it’s a touching father / son scene.
  • Wait, if Iris’s dad is the Commissioner Gordon / Alfred/ surrogate father figure to Barry, and Barry’s dad is…Barry’s dad, and Doctor-Ed-from-Ed also might pick up some of the father figure slack…these three are coming to blows in the future. That’s my prediction, and I’m sticking to it.
  • Cisco adds the lightning bolt to the Flash costume. Why is it shaped like a lightning bolt, Caitlin asks Cisco? So that it’s not boring. Eh, good enough reason. Works better than ‘DC Entertainment / Warner Brothers told me to do so.’
  • Wait, Green-Bat-Arrow-Man gave the Flash his name, all because he told him to save people “in a flash” during his pep talk? Booo. Thumbs down. Booo.
  • Uh-oh, Doctor-Ed-from-Ed doesn’t need a wheelchair after all. In a secret room, he reads a holographic newspaper from April 2024. Headline: Flash Missing, Vanishes in Crisis…wait, is that how he made his fortune? Betting on sports games that he knows the outcome to, like Biff from Back to the Future 2?
  • Wait, there’s no awful boy band music playing at the end? A nice departure from typical shows on this network. Stay the course, Flash! Stay the course!
  • Power roundup: CSI-Vision, Slow-Motion Vision, Super-speed at 700 mph, Super-healing, Six-pack abs, Socially awkward, Nerdy, Perpetually late, In-love/lust-with-a-girl-that’s-just-not-that-into-him.

Okay, I liked this premier. Much better than Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Sorry Clark Gregg!) though I am looking forward to Agent Carter when that premieres.

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