The Flash, Episode 6 “The Flash is Born” Broadcast on November 18, 2014
Written by Jaime Paglia & Chris Rafferty
Directed by Millicent Shelton
After a brief recap of last week’s episode, Iris sits after hours at her job tapping out her latest blog on “The Streak.” As she hits the enter key, she’s run up to the rooftop by the Flash who tries to convince her to, once again, stop writing about him. She refuses and asks what she should call him. “Anything but the Streak,” he replies. A wail of sirens has him end their conversation with “To be continued,” and he puts her back in the coffee shop and he’s gone. A yellow Humvee is pursued by several squad cars, its driver hollers in joy as he makes a sharp turn. A young boy preoccupied with his cellphone is almost run over, were it not for the quick intervention of our hero. Officers set up a barricade and shoot at the oncoming driver. He takes a bullet to the head, but doesn’t die–his flesh momentarily has a metallic shine. Blowing through the barricade, the driver only stops when the Flash is in his way. The driver steps out, ripping off the door and throwing it at Barry. He dodges the door and attacks the driver with a right to the man’s face, but he cripples his hand. The driver’s arm turns to steel and punches Barry over the vehicle. This metallic man approaches the beaten hero, leans into him and says, “Looks like you were born to take a beating.” As he slams his fist down the Flash runs away. Cue opening title card.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Dr. Wells, Caitlin, and Cisco find Barry barely conscious on the floor. He has thirteen fractures–all in his right hand, a concussion, three cracked ribs, and a bruised spleen. Barry says he feels like he knew his attacker; he said something familiar. He spends the night there healing. The next day Barry returns to work at the police station. He goes to a meeting where he learns this man of steel also yanked out three ATMs, so they’ve got an image of him that they’re running through data bases. This monster turns out to be Tony Woodward. Hearing this name, Barry flashes back to elementary school where much bigger Tony pushed him to the ground saying, “Looks like you were born to take a beating.” Back at S.T.A.R. Labs Joe arrives to talk to Dr. Wells. He wants assistance in learning who killed Barry’s mother. Wells looks surprised. Cue first commercial break.
The effects are good on this episode with Woodward going metallic, but the storyline of Barry confronting his childhood bully was really straining things. Every picked on child would cheer when Barry and Tony have their showdown, but was the ending really ever in doubt? Woodward was a good character, being the perfect grown up bully who now has the ability to take down, seemingly, everyone, and actor Greg Finley was dynamite in the roll. Tony’s scenes with Iris were creepy. The truly spooky moments came with the conversations between Joe and Wells. Followers of this show were watching Wells’s every reaction during their discussion, looking for any clues that would reveal who this man is. Barry gets a new ability in this episode and I’m hopeful he’ll use it again soon on a stronger and smarter villain.
The good: Tom Cavanagh and Jesse L. Martin’s scenes, Greg Finely, the effects on Woodward, Karate Kid was mentioned–!!! (Okay, it’s not the Legion of Super-Heroes character, but it made me happy), and Keystone City also being mentioned. This final locale has a Flash history, too. There’s a tease of a “burning man who doesn’t burn out.” Wonder if Caitlin would like to hear about this person? The last two minutes had me screaming at the television.
Fun lines: “You can’t heal when you’re dead,” “The key to fighting is patience,” “When did you move to town?”, “5.3 miles,” and “Stop, or else.”
The bad: I’m just not enjoying the character of Eddie Thawn. His friendship with Barry in this episode could be setting up the big reveal of who he could/should be, but, right now, I just don’t care for him at all. He’s an obstacle to Iris, that’s it.
The final line: Great villain, in okay story, with super effects, but no surprises. A little better than average. Overall grade: B-
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.