'The Flash is Born' was a mixed bag of cliches and some good character development. The latest particle accelerator-created baddie was Tony Woodard aka Girder who can transform his body into solid steel. But to the writers that wasn't good enough because he just so happened to be the childhood bully to Barry Allen. So you knew right off the bat what the trajectory of his storyline was going to be. Jerk in a flashback, jerk with powers in the present, then ultimately defeated by the good guy.
Don't get me wrong the climax was beautifully shot, exhilarating and crowd-pleasing but Girder was a one-note villain like some of Barry's first opponents who were there to be used as sparring partners essentially. The cool part was that Iris, who's been the damsel in distress sometimes of her own making, gets to finish Girder off with a shot of her own. She's been the most problematic character so far and having her insist on writing her blog will certainly lead to more calamity for everyone in Central City.
Despite multiple warning from Barry, Joe and The Flash, Iris continues to chronicle the heroics of 'the fastest man alive' even though it's clearly putting her life in jeorpary. Journalistic integrity and grit? Perhaps but if she insists in drawing attention to herself and her work it may be time to let her in on the secret. I mean even Girder himself knows it's Barry under those red leather duds. In an ill-advised and selfish moment of triumph Barry reveals himself to Girder as the conquering nerd. He had beaten his bully but how long can he hold on to his anonymity?
On the upside, Iris did find out through her blogging that there was guy out there who is on fire but doesn't burn. An exciting Easter egg for Firestorm fans. So maybe her blog isn't such a bad idea if she's able to keep up with breaking meta-human news.
Barry, Eddie, Joe and Dr. Wells has some significant exchanges that helped elevate the episode with some great developments. Eddie was allowed to open up and add some depth to his persona while bonding with Barry when they worked out on the punching bag. Telling Barry he felt intimidated by his close relationship with Iris was surprisingly candid and open. Barry was taken aback but it seemed to impress him that Eddie isn't such a bad guy even though he's dating the love of his life.
Joe continues to look at the murder of Barry's mother which leads him to seek help from Dr. Wells. Despite Wells poo-pooing the idea of a Flash-like being pre-accelerator Joe delves deeper and starts to suspect Wells. This is where things get good as we see Wells finally cornered and interrogated. He's uncomfortable and perturbed but remains calm despite taking offense to the questioning. It's the first time we see Wells shaken a bit. The stoic exterior of the good doctor finally showed some minor cracks. Joe later apologizes for his accusatory questioning.
At the end of the show Joe gets a visit from a red and yellow blur surrounded by lightning that leaves him an ominous message to stop. It's way to easy to suspect Wells as the culprit, Professor Zoom, right? That would be too obvious considering he was just under scrutiny from Joe.
Wells remains a compelling character, dark and mysterious with a tinge of evil but all for what? To protect Barry? To make him a better hero? He can see the future after all so what does he know?
Overall, a solid episode with great character building despite some stereotypical villainy in between.
Those questions and more will have to make way for an awesome crossover week starting Dec. 2 when #Flarrow takes on Captain Boomerang. Check out the preview below:
Get ready for the epic clash between your favorite heroes. The Flash vs. Arrow 2 night event begins Tuesday, Dec. 2!