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'Flash' Review (S1E2): 'The Fastest Man Alive'

As we've learned from watching Arrow producers are not afraid to introduce characters right out of comic book canon. The same goes for The Flash as the villain of 'Fastest Man Alive' was Multiplex (Captain Clone didn't quite stick) another meta-human courtesy of the particle accelerator explosion. His capability to instantaneously duplicate himself into endless controllable clones made for some amazing special effects but the heart of the episode was Barry's daddy issues.

Barry's resentment of Joe for keeping him from his father growing up was misplaced and that conflict leads to some great scenes between Grant Gustin and Jesse L. Martin. Martin especially does a great job of conveying anger, concern, regret, and ultimately acceptance. Flashbacks lend to some of  their history when Barry was a boy but it's the complicated surrogate father/son working relationship in the present that needed to be addressed and it was tied up nicely. It's the other relationship dynamic that still needs work. 

Iris has been the unrequited love interest and "step"-sister to Barry and now she's dating her dad's partner and dabbling in journalism. Even though there's a cool scene where Barry opens up, unbeknownst to her, because  he's traveling at high speed around her while she pours sugar in her coffee the 'will-he-won't-he' of it all could get very stale. Here's hoping there'll be a breakout episode for her.

Simon Stagg of Stagg Industries is the target of Multiplex's ire after his organ regeneration research was stolen just as it was headed for a breakthrough. Danton Black as Multiplex was known when he worked for Stagg is determined to kill him after it cost him his wife to a heart condition that may have been prevented had Stagg not stolen his work. It's only episode three and Barry is already being challenged by villains derived from the comic books. They may not be A-listers of course or even from his rogues gallery, Multiplex is one of Firestorm's foes, but the consequences of the particle accelerator is quickly demonstrating that meta-humans are a blessing and a curse. Thus giving viewers and especially Flash fans characters that have continuity with the source materials. 

The special effects are becoming more impressive and as the villains vary and Barry gets stronger I'm sure they'll continue to advance. From Multiplex multiplying by the hundreds to Barry running super fast on a 'Cisco-ed' treadmill the effects belie its TV budget. And they're getting more creative as with the scene between Barry and Iris. 

Cisco and Caitlin as the support team continue to be interesting without being an annoyance. Cisco is the comic relief but his enthusiasm for helping Barry and conjuring up new hi-tech devices is infectious. Caitlin is understandbly stoic and serious after losing her fiance to the same explosion. They actually mention his name, Ronnie, which for fans of the comic books know it's Ronnie Raymond, one half of the nuclear man known as Firestorm. Robbie Amell has been cast as Ronnie and Victor Garber as Dr. Martin Stein who'll make up the meta-human later in the series. 

Tom Cavanaugh as Harrison Wells is the most enigmatic figure on the show as he'll do anything and we mean anything to keep Barry safe but the reason remains why?

The Flash continues to grow both in chemistry and abilities. It's confronting some of Barry's personal baggage upfront so it can concentrate on saving Central City and finding his mom's killer. There's a showdown coming against Reverse Flash at some point and we can't wait.

Check out scenes from next week's episode, 'Things You Can't Outrun.'


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