850 Tacos! | The Flash “Fastest Man Alive” Review
The Flash is back with its second episode, “Fastest Man Alive,” and what an episode it was. Second episodes can do wonders for shows, especially if Pilots are shaky. But, as you read in the previous review, The Flash’s Pilot was absolutely flawless. So, could the second episode of The CW’s newest Superhero hit live up to its lofty expectation?
This weeks episode started off with a monologue by Barry Allen, those cringe-worthy moments you hear before most superhero shows, but Barry Allen’s was quite different. Instead of the overbearing protagonist explaining why he must saved the world, you have the quirky, fresh-out-of-college guy mocking those monologues. It’s really what sets The Flash from most superhero shows, even that of The Arrow. Where The Arrow goes for a dark and gritty world, The Flash is much more lively and upbeat. Barry Allen perfectly portrays The Flash as an actual human that enjoys his powers, instead of a character that has the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Throughout the episode, we get to delve further into how Barry Allen is dealing with his newly found power. One scene in particular really hammered home this point. The crew over at S.T.A.R. Labs built a treadmill to test his speed, mainly to find out the underlying cause as to why Barry was fainting after running. As they would later find out, after Barry fainted and flew off the super modded treadmill, it just so happens that if you run that fast, you burn up sugar in an instant. And, in typical Cisco fashion, he stated Barry would have to eat 850 tacos to sustain his glucose levels. It’s these little jabs of humor, interspliced within the dialogue, that make you feel a part of this world. Nothing feels surreal, sans a human running extremely fast of course.
While seeing Barry harness his powers was great, even more impactful were the dynamic between him and Joe West. At the beginning of the episode, there is tension between the two because Joe doesn’t believe Barry should be fighting crime, while Barry feels that he shouldn’t waste such a great power. A heated exchange that ends with, “you aren’t my father,” is coupled with the fact that Barry is right. But, as is seen later in the episode, Barry understands that Joe was just looking out for him, as he has since his dad was convicted of murdering his mom. After the apology, Joe agrees to finally help Barry track down who, or shall we say what really killed his mom.
Speaking of killing, the villain Barry takes on in this episode is Mutliplex, the geneticist turned cloning extraordinaire. Everytime he cloned himself, the only thing I could think of was Agent 47, for better or for worse. The villain was a step back from last weeks Weather Wizard, in the fact that it just wasn’t really that interesting. There wasn’t much characterization, nor were we given a strong motive as to why he was doing what he was. Sure not every villain can be interesting, but even a little hint into the past of Mutliplex would do wonders for a character that, if fleshed out, would have been far more interesting.
We may not have been given a strong villain this week, but we were treated with a killer end scene. Harrison Wells and Simon Stagg, two dueling scientists are in somewhat of a fight over Barry. While Wells’ motives seem far from pure, Stagg wanted to basically capture Barry and use him as a pawn. This didn’t sit well with Wells, and Stagg was indeed stuck with the pointy end. The scene was a perfect cliffhanger moment, leading you to question the motives of those closest to Barry Allen.
Although this week’s villain was a bit lackluster, the show shined in every other aspect. Grant Gustin is absolutely killing it as The Flash, the supporting cast is strong, and the entire world of The Flash is just fantastical enough to be extraordinary.
+ Everything about Barry Allen is spot on
+ Strong supporting cast that is both humorous and mysterious
+ Not campy, just flat out humorous at times
+ Strong emotions between Barry and Joe West
+ Final scene works as a great cliffhanger
– Not the best villain, pretty bland and unimagined