The Flash: Fastest Man Alive
October 16, 2014 7:47 AM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

In the second episode of The Flash, Barry Allen dips his toes into the pool of heroics and asks himself and others the question, can he be a hero? Meanwhile, guest awesome star William Sadler, is Simon Stagg, a renown scientist rewarded for incredible advances in growing organs for transplant, who becomes the target of Central City's second Meta-Human's violent goals. The mystery continues to deepen concerning who Dr. Harrison Wells is or when is he from.

Missed this episode when it aired? Check it out on Hulu.com or on CW's site!
posted by Atreides (32 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
When Simon Stagg came on screen I started shouting about Metamorpho and jumping on the couch but then I slipped and fell and woke up and it's now now.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:34 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


That last moment was so crazy! "I have to keep him . . . SAFE."
posted by leesh at 9:56 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


The first non-pilot episode was more enjoyable for me than the pilot. The writing and pace of the show felt better, and despite the perennial usage of the go to "Isn't that sad?!" spot of "You're not my father!" it wasn't too bad. I do think I would enjoy watching Barry deal with being a hero for a bit more, more self-doubt, and perhaps they will touch upon that down the road. Perhaps the biggest question raised by the end was, "Will Barry's salary support the gorging necessary to keep his metabolism up when he gets sick of those super power bars...?"
posted by Atreides at 10:03 AM on October 16, 2014


Yeah, I'm feeling way more confident in Wells being Hunter "Make the Flash a better hero by being a total jackass" Zolomon now.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:08 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


You get the sense that the writers really had a long conversation as to whether or not Ramon should call the treadmill he built for Barry "cosmic." If it was the Gotham writers room, they instead would have been arguing over whether or not to call it a cosmic treadmill four times or five before finally settling on six and adding a line that it can be used for time travel.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:36 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Fun episode, but such a waste of a perfectly good William Sadler. You could say they melvined him.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:02 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the biggest question raised by the end was, "Will Barry's salary support the gorging necessary to keep his metabolism up when he gets sick of those super power bars...?"

Atriedes, you got me in trouble for laughing.

I really enjoy Arrow but the lighter overall tone of the Flash (even given the wrongly convicted dad and creepy Harrison Wells) is definitely appealing to me. The second episode only got two real complaints: first, nobody has any patience with Barry who is how long out of his coma? "Barry, you didn't blah blah blah" is Iris' big refrain and you'd think she'd remember that a month ago she thought he might not wake up again. Second is minor but really, I wish they'd stop acting like Wells getting out of his wheelchair is a thing. Some people in wheelchairs can get up for short periods and it doesn't mean they're somehow cheating when they do it. The implication here is that OF COURSE he's faking it and could walk anytime he wants, which reinforces some nasty stereotypes about disability and faking it that rub me wrong.
posted by immlass at 8:43 PM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


I appreciated that the show made us see that Barry really is in huge danger as The Flash. He's a superhero with a neat power that isn't necessarily all that great in a fight, which means if anyone gets their hands on him, he's in real trouble. Batman getting his ass kicked by a bunch of everyday dudes (all clones of the same everyday dude or not) is not much of a worry. I presume that Barry will learn to use his powers offensively before long, may even just take a self-defense class, and this will no longer be an issue. But it's cool to see that he isn't magically now a brawler just because he can run fast.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:38 PM on October 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


Basically, my new metric for this show is "If Harrison Wells stands up, you'd better fucking run."
posted by Kitteh at 8:35 AM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


To be honest, that was kind of the thing that kind of bugged me the most (besides the "Barry is FRIENDZONED!!!!!!" subplot, which, *eyeroll*) - the part where Wells just flat-out stabbed Stagg to death.

I mean, doesn't Mr.-Man-From-The-Future (maybe?)-SuperGenius have a variety of ways to kill the dude so it looks like a heart attack or an accident or a stroke or something? Because there's just been a huge public fuss about multiple attempts on Stagg's life, and then you just leave him in a pool of his own blood, obviously murdered in a supposedly secure room? How is that not gonna kick up an even bigger fuss, especially inside the police department?

Which is to say, there'd better be some fallout from the *obvious murder* in the next episode or two. If the writers just had Wells stab Stagg to emphasize that "Wells might be rilly rilly bad, you guys!!" and then never mention it again, I'm gonna be mighty grumbly.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:28 AM on October 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I was thinking about that too. Like, Stagg isn't gonna have any kind of security footage in his building, after all the previous murderin' attempts?

In any case, the grumble is tiny for me because I am honestly enjoying the show so much. It's considerably less grimdark than Gotham or even Arrow, it's touching and sweet, and frankly, it just feels good in terms of watching it.

(No, YOU cried when Barry told Joe about all the fatherly stuff he's done over the years.)
posted by Kitteh at 10:01 AM on October 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Like, Stagg isn't gonna have any kind of security footage in his building, after all the previous murderin' attempts?

Exactly. Shit, he'd have cameras all over the place anyway, just because corporate espionage & he's got money to burn - "Oh, the Super Deluxe package with cameras every 10 feet is only another $100,000? Sure, why not?"

it's touching and sweet, and frankly, it just feels good in terms of watching it.

So far I'm enjoying it mostly for the "goofy youthful fun" aspect, although I do like that this show & the grimdark Arrow exist in the same universe.

I also like the quasi-realist aspect of, "well, you're a hero with special powers and a secret identity - sooooo . . . . . how does that actually work?" Like the needing to keep his calorie intake up, and having to figure out how to balance his civilian job with the superhero exploits. (IMO Arrow did a pretty good & interesting job of examining this in the first two seasons - now, not so much. I'm starting to pall on Arrow, some.)

Which is one of the reasons the FriendZone thing annoys me, I think. Not only is it a shite bit of sexism in the first place, but given the direction Arrow has gone, I could see this show heading in a direction where Barry being The Flash becomes just a way to Add Complications to his pining for Iris, and not really anything interesting in & of itself. At which point you might as well just make him a bike messenger or something, and I'd lose interest.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:06 AM on October 18, 2014


I really wanted to enjoy this as a lighter crossover show to Arrow. But the writing is so extremely kludgy and clichéd that I couldn't get into it. It felt like every character was either verbalising stuff that was really obvious and happening right then already, or they were abusing old tropes (oh wow, bad guy is monologuing, that never happens!). I also couldn't suspend my disbelief that almost no one looks like they're over twenty, yet they're forensic crime-scene analysts or highly specialised doctors.

I also found Gotham a little clunky in the pilot, so I hope both of these shows improve.

I also kind of hope we've reached peak superhero-TV because there is a lot right now.
posted by tracicle at 11:07 PM on October 18, 2014


Eh, I'm willing to cut The Flash some "early shows, first season" slack on the writing, so far, as they establish characters and tone. Plus I think as a "lighter" show, there's maybe some value in kind of sticking to some of the established tropes - if the audience is too engrossed in trying to figure out what the heck's going on, the show won't feel "fun" to watch, so much.

I also couldn't suspend my disbelief that almost no one looks like they're over twenty, yet they're forensic crime-scene analysts or highly specialised doctors.

I would swear this was kind of addressed in the Barry guest appearances on Arrow (before he became The Flash) - something something about how he's basically a genius (I know, another cliche, heh) and zipped through all his schooling ahead of his age group, but between the unjustly-imprisoned Dad and the cop foster father he decided to use his Science Genius to help solve crimes and assist in the pursuit of Justice.

I could be misremembering and making this all up, though.

As far as everyone else goes, well, I'm old enough that pretty much anyone under 30 tends to look about 16 to me, so . . . . *shrug*. I guess I've kind of stopped noticing this kind of thing.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:56 AM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm old enough that pretty much anyone under 30 tends to look about 16 to me

This is compounded for me by the fact that they hire 30-year-olds to play high school kids in a lot of teen-oriented shows. Looking online because I know I can't tell from looking, I find that Grant Gustin (Barry) is 24, Danielle Panabaker (Caitlin) is 27, Candice Patton (Iris) is 26, and I can't find out from IMDB how old Carlos Valdes (Cisco) is. Barry seemed like the baby of the crowd and I would have guessed him for college-aged before Iris despite the character's immaturity, so I'm glad to see my age-meter isn't completely broken.
posted by immlass at 3:34 PM on October 19, 2014


So anyone have odds on Caitlin's dead fiancé turning up later (as a villain perhaps)? They've sure mentioned him enough.

Speaking of Caitlin, I really enjoyed Danielle Panabaker's acting in Shark and I don't think I've seen her in anything since. Looking on IMDB just now I'm reminded that I still need to catch up on Justified.

The whole passing out and not telling his "team" is worrying to me because I really really hate the "Here's this piece of information that I really should share, but I won't for no reason." I can tolerate it a bit, but it seems to get overused a hell of a lot in TV.

And yeah, everyone looks so young in this. I'm guessing this trend will increase as I age.
posted by ODiV at 9:39 PM on October 19, 2014


I liked this episode better than the pilot. I liked that Barry's superpowers still left him vulnerable to something as mundane as a beatdown.

I loved the sweetness of Barry and Joe's conversation at the end. OTOH, the more they push the "Joe is a father figure to Barry" angle, and have flashbacks with Barry and Iris growing up together, the more incestuous and weird Barry's crush on Iris feels to me.

And boy, am I glad that Barry saved those people in the burning building at the beginning, because otherwise, most of his efforts in this episode were ultimately futile--he didn't save Black or Stagg.
posted by creepygirl at 10:04 PM on October 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm not loving this show so far, but I'm sticking out a little longer. I find Arrow a lot more compelling. I think the action sequences are a lot better there, for one. I also don't like how the season plotline seems to be being developed only in the last 60 seconds of every episode. I hope that gets a lot more integrated soon.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:56 PM on October 19, 2014


So anyone have odds on Caitlin's dead fiancé turning up later (as a villain perhaps)? They've sure mentioned him enough.

I would bet my life and the lives of everyone I know on it.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:29 AM on October 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


So anyone have odds on Caitlin's dead fiancé turning up later (as a villain perhaps)? They've sure mentioned him enough.

I don't want to spoil in the thread, but the character name has meaning to those of us steeped in DC comics lore, so it seems likely to me that he'll be showing up later (especially given related casting announcements for the show).
posted by immlass at 8:47 AM on October 20, 2014


but the character name has meaning to those of us steeped in DC comics lore, so it seems likely to me that he'll be showing up later (especially given related casting announcements for the show).

Well, now I've got a dilemma - to Google or Not to Google?

Nah, I'll let it be a surprise.

The other thing it feels like they might be heading towards wrt Caitlin's dead fiance being mentioned so often is an unrequited love triangle between Caitlin, Barry, & Iris. Like, emotionally vulnerable Caitlin meets this nice Special guy, and her job is to watch over him & take care of him, and . . . . . . you know how this goes.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:40 PM on October 20, 2014


I loved The Flash growing up. The older I got though, the more firm my belief that the Carmine Infantino drawn Flash (and the writers of that time,) told the best Flash stories.

I'm having to swallow a lot of that old love for this show. I understand the need to fit everything into a TV budget, and having the S.T.A.R. Labs team gives the show more to work with on ol' Earth CW. Yeah, I get that. But the constant telegraphing of Professor Zoom (and tying him in so awkwardly with Barry's backstory) has to stop. We -- the fans -- get it, and there's no need to make it so clear to the folks just tuning in. Couldn't Barry have just proclaimed his father's innocence and then had the 'flashback' of the event saved for a later episode mid-season? Are the producers even going to plan on a second season?

Also, Iris as his half-ish sister? Makes my head hurt.

They better not fuck Mirror Master up. (Or the rest of the Rogues for that matter.)
posted by Catblack at 9:59 PM on October 20, 2014


Eh, I don't know if it's super clear to those of us not tuned in to DC stuff. While watching the pilot I was kinda hoping it would end with Barry going back in time and killing his mom accidentally though I knew that would be extremely unlikely.
posted by ODiV at 10:08 PM on October 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


While watching the pilot I was kinda hoping it would end with Barry going back in time

I had the exact same idea. It would be *amazing*.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:48 PM on October 20, 2014


he didn't save Black or Stagg

Black (Multiplex) lives! Or at least the door is open to him living if it turns out that was a clone that jumped out the window not the prime.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:21 AM on October 21, 2014


How did Black's clothes replicate when he replicated? (I know, I know, comic book show.) I suppose it could be an Odo-like "his 'clothes' are actually part of his body" thing, but I don't think there was anything in the show's explanation of his ability which would justify that.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:39 PM on October 27, 2014


Or the gun in his hand, etc....etc. I started to go down that rabbit hole too, but had to jump out to enjoy the episode. I get where you're coming from, tho'.
posted by Atreides at 6:42 AM on October 28, 2014


He stole 6 guns at the start of the show, so at least the guns don't multiply.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:18 PM on October 28, 2014


Ah, thanks with regard to that. We'll leave his cloning abilities to cloth, then, and not chemistry and metallurgy.

(Psssst! Marvel! If CW can do this, that means you can do the X-Factor tv show everyone wants!)
posted by Atreides at 7:02 AM on October 29, 2014


Not X-Factor! X-Statix! Doop!

DOOP DOOP DOOP DOOP DOOP

DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:31 AM on October 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


Gah, reality tv show based superhero team or film noir crime solving superhero based team?! It combines the worse best of modern television!
posted by Atreides at 8:51 AM on October 29, 2014


I concur that if Joe is pretty much Barry's foster dad, it's a little ick to have him hot for foster sis.

Iris...reminding me of Laurel too much. I get the impression that the actress is trying to be charming, but they're not giving her much to work with. Also hate the "keep her in the dark for no good reason" plot.

But that said: Barry and Joe's moment at the end was teary-eyed goodness and the show did a really good job of pointing out the whole Fragile Speedster thing and that he won't be beating asses right off the bat.

Also, Grant Gustin is adorable.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:50 AM on November 5, 2014 [1 favorite]


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