In case you haven’t heard, the pilot episode for the upcoming CW superhero show The Flash got leaked online this week. This show doesn’t start until October, so getting to see the pilot early is both amazingly sweet and sour both at the same time. I haven’t ever really read much of “The Flash” in the comics so sorry if I seem ignorant about some things, but I have read enough of him to know some of the cool details. No big spoilers will follow.
The sweet part is obviously that I was fortunate enough to see the pilot before they took it off most of the big sites, but even sweeter was that it was everything I was hoping it would be and more. I’m a huge Arrow fan. I have been an Arrow fan since the very first night it premiered and still am today. If you have kept up with Arrow then you should remember a slightly awkward forensic detective from Central City towards the end of the season. That’s Barry Allen and we actually got a sneak peek then at his transformation into the Flash. Well The Flash pilot starts of slightly before that freak accident, possibly right as Barry gets back from Starling City. We get to see him running clumsily and slow, which is a little over embellished, and get to see him at work as a forensic detective. We meet Barry’s colleague and adoptive father Detective Joe West and Joe’s daughter Iris, who Barry seems to have a crush on, and a few other detectives like Joe’s cop partner Eddie, who Iris has an eye for.
If you’ve watched the seven minute preview for The Flash on YouTube, you’ve seen the scene where (presumably) Professor Zoom is whirling around Barry’s mother. Just like Arrow, The Flash has scenes from Barry’s childhood scattered around this episode. I’m not sure if the rest of The Flash will have these flashbacks or if only the pilot will. This was an origin episode, and the scenes were important to know a bit of Barry’s background, but I wouldn’t hedge my bets the flashbacks will continue on to episode two. No one wants to see Barry as a teenager getting beat up and running slowly into people. Eventually we get to see the event that happened at the end of Arrow, where the Central City particle accelerator explodes causing a lightning storm that strikes Barry dead on and leaves him comatose. When he inevitably wakes up the Flash is born, kind of. The episode is what you’d expect from an Arrow spin off pilot. We get Barry learning his new powers, Easter eggs of things to come (like an open cage with the name Grodd on it!) and a bit more I’m sure I missed. Oh and I didn’t mention, but the scene where Barry and Oliver talk, literally gave me goose-bumps. I love crossovers.
The sour part in my opening metaphor, is that now I have to wait over three whole months before seeing episode two. Another thing I didn’t care for, or didn’t expect to have liked, was that the non-Flash graphics for say, Weather Wizard. The fog and tornado effects aren’t too impressive. Much better than Smallville ever managed, but not too far from it. It’s clearly a CW budget level of graphical CGI. Other than a few little things that people might nitpick about, like the episode feeling rushed or that Grant Guston isn’t blonde, I don’t have much else negative to say.
I enjoyed the pilot of The Flash just as much as I enjoy Arrow. It was a quick but seemingly solid origin episode and it made me excited for what’s to come! Grant Guston kills it as Barry Allen, although he isn’t as cocky as I thought the Flash normally is, but maybe once he’s more comfortable with his powers, he’ll end up that way. I’m definitely going to be reading back from the start of “The Flash New 52” comics, to get to know the character a bit better in preparation for the first season. There is plenty of time to kill between now and October, so if you’ll excuse me, I better run to the comic book store.