Please note: This review contains spoilers
Much like the particle generator, The Flash’s Pilot episode suffered an irregular anomaly which led to it being leaked online. Within hours millions worldwide had been exposed to its influence, but has it send the speed force in the right direction? Or does The Flash slow down the future of DC influenced series?
The Flash has sped his way to the small screen… computer monitor… a lot sooner than its scheduled release date in October. Although CW attempted to control the leak within a few hours, it had gone viral with the downloads raking up the numbers in no time. The story spins-off from CW’s Arrow series. We met Barry Allen (Grant Austin) when he made his debut on Arrow, with the episode culminating with a conclusion that would change Barry’s life forever. The pilot expands on the events that occurred that evening, when Harrison Wells’ particle generator exploded and created the very storm that would create The Flash. Barry is struck by a flash of lightening which leaves him in a coma for nine long months.
From the minute Barry wakes up, we are bombarded with so many things happening at the same time. He wakes up having his very own task team, we meet his love interest, we see his mother’s death, we see his rival and his love for his father. We see so many things in so little time. So, as far as character development goes, Barry Allen is the only one getting that treatment at this stage. For a person that just discovered he is the fastest man alive, Barry is a fast adapter as well. A few bumps in a parking lot and it would seem that Barry is used to his new found powers. This is simply not believable at all. In Arrow at least Oliver Queen was trained during his time lost on the island, but here Barry picks up the pace immediately after a few encouraging words from Oliver Queen. Yes, there is a little cameo and once again Steve Amell’s poor acting makes for a struggling motivational speech and a painfully cheesy conclusion to the encounter between heroes.
Iris is the love interest of our hero in this one. What seems to be platonic has much more meaning to Barry. We see it but Iris does not. We are then introduced to a new cop on the scene Eddie Thawne, name drop, Barry dislikes him and you immediately know Iris is going to end up with this guy when Barry wakes from his coma. An in true Smallville fashion the moment the hero wakes up he sees his girl kissing another man. As a viewer the predictable writing is not exactly entertaining and neither is the chemistry between Barry and Iris. In the comics Barry loves this woman with all his heart, whilst on screen you just do not feel the raw emotion.
Also in Smallville fashion, it would seem that The Flash will need to capture other Metahumans each week. Much like Clark had to capture other individuals that received powers, thanks to various factors… especially kryptonite. The Weather Wizard shows his powers in this episode as his fog clouds out a terrible line. The visual effects are great from weather wizard to the flash; both of their powers are presented well, even the yellow blur looks true to the comics.
There are tons of references and name drops in this episode. They hint to the fact that Barry has his work cut out for him as he will definitely be facing The Rogues and many villains from The Flash franchise. Even though the pilot flat lines at stages, much like its lead character this series definitely has the potential to come to life. Hopefully the leak of this pilot will open opportunities for the premier episode to be edited and improved. Is this a series to follow? Definitely! This is The Flash and with an interesting Easter Egg in its pilot. Who knows we may see the small screen debut of yet another popular character. All we can hope for is some more character development and better writing in the episodes to come.
The pilot releases 7 Oct. 2014.