Why The Flash Season One Episode Two is Awesome

We can never learn to fly without crashing a few times? Apparently The CW's The Flash can."

The Flash episode two, entitled 'Fastest Man Alive', certainly kept up the pace of the first episode and got the series into full swing. As I'm sure will be the premise of most episodes, Flash and the team at S.T.A.R Labs are faced against another Metahuman, born from the particle accelerator explosion seen in the pilot.

From here on out, there are spoilers for this episode.

The first thing to mention is how The Flash's intro sequence differs from Arrow's: both share similarity in that they begin with 'My name is...' but then go on to set the tone for each series with Arrow opting for a set intro with a more serious feel and The Flash going for one that looks like it might change every episode - and is also incredibly meta! The Flash's intro makes it feel as though Barry is actually telling these stories to the viewer with him actually references the 'whole intro thingy', as he describes it, before explaining that you know everything you need to know and that we should skip to the good bit. I think this is a brilliant little opening to the show and it really plays to how Barry Allen differs from Oliver Queen, and also how the show itself is very comic book-esque in nature.

The Metahuman up against The Flash in this episode will be a familiar face for some Suicide Squad readers, as Cisco aptly names him 'Multiplex' near the episodes end. This, however, is simply a throwaway reference to the recurring DC villain, as Danton Black is simply a Biogeneticist who specialised in therapeutic cloning – simply, he says. After Black has his research stolen, is fired from his job and is then affected by the dark matter from the explosion, he has the ability to replicate himself as many times as he chooses and looks to use his new found abilities to seek vengeance on his old boss, Simon Stagg. The main message of the episode was doubt, and how this enemy - and Detective Joe West - were able to cast doubt in Barry, making him believe he wasn't capable of stopping these metahumans. This, combined with Barry constantly fainting and looking like his new abilities were taking there toll on him, really centred the episode. Danton Black serves his purpose as a solo episode villain(s), but this feels like a little bit of a waste of the comic character, who has been a villain to not only Flash, but Firestorm (who will be appearing in the series at some point) and Superman as well. The climax of the episode where Barry has learnt that he needs to take out the 'prime' to stop the multitude of clones is absolutely brilliant; Flash is against a small army of clones, and uses his incredible speed to search for the 'prime' and take him out. The beautiful slow motion, showing Flash weaving and making his way through the clones, is brilliant and really shows off how the Flash takes out his enemies with skill, rather than brute force.

Joe, who has been a father figure to Barry throughout his life due to his actual Father being wrongfully imprisoned, showed a bizarre amount of character development in this episode. He manages to go from thinking what Barry is doing is wrong and will get him killed, to thinking that Barry is the only man who can stop these metahumans within the 42 minute episode. It's only a small gripe in an otherwise great episode, and it can also be down to the fast pacing of the show – for obvious reasons – but it just came across as a massive opinion change in such a short space of time. Joe and Barry's situation irons itself out in the end with a real heartfelt moment where Barry explains how he does in fact see Joe as his father, as he has been there for him throughout all the big moments in his life, and it allows their relationship to progress. The fainting that Barry was experiencing is a big reference to Wally West, who tackled his rapid metabolism by constantly eating, and it looks like CW's Barry Allen will be the same. The way the S.T.A.R Labs crew tackled this was to put Barry on a treadmill that had been 'Cisco'd' as Cisco describes it, allowing it to handle Barry's ridiculous speeds. Possibly a reference or foreshadowing to the cosmic treadmill Flash runs on in Flashpoint, where he manages to break the speed of light and travel through time, something that by the looks of things will happen in this series – but this is just speculation at this point.

Similar to Arrow, it looks like The Flash will make use of flashbacks – get it? - to tell the story of Allen's past and how his life was affected by the strange events that lead to his mothers death. This doesn't feel like a copy and paste of Arrow, however, with the flashbacks fitting in well with the present day plot and progressing the story naturally. Harrison Wells looks to be a big character for the series - if the ending of the pilot episode wasn't enough to tell you this then this episode certainly cements it. He looks to be a mentor figure to Barry and to also ensure that 'the man in red mask [is] kept safe' – as he says to Simon Stagg, just after he has stabbed him in the episode closing scenes. This foreshadowing for the future makes you desperate to watch more, and keeps people asking questions about what Wells story is, and if he is the Reverse-flash. I, personally, look forward to seeing these things play out as the series continues.

The Flash episode two is another great episode that has kept the pace of the pilot, with only a few small gripes that will be forgotten about in a flash. Grant Gustin continues to excel in the role, showing off a more emotional side to Barry Allen, but also a reminder that despite everything he is still human. A slightly underdeveloped and possibly wasted villain in the long run, Multiplex served his purpose well, and gave us another great standalone story for the Flash. It will be interesting to see how soon the writers bring the Harrison Wells plot to the forefront, and how everything will tie together across the series as a whole. Altogether, though, 'Fastest Man Alive' was awesome, and the show continues to be a comic fans dream.

Final Score: 8/10

This has been Adam for The Awesome Update, tune in next week for my review of episode three, over and out.

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