The latest episode of The Flash, â€œThe Flash Is Born,” provided us with another test of Barryâ€™s abilities against a villain that was a bit of a step back from the previous episode. Itâ€™s fair to say that itâ€™s quite a challenge to keep up with villains that are memorable and lend some sort of storyline the the show. While the â€œman of steelâ€ isnâ€™t necessarily an awful villain to use, he was a bit too stereotypical of a character. Muscle head? Check. Bully? Check. Alcoholic? you bet. It seems they went a bit too far to characterize that this person is pure evil. Itâ€™s almost as if there is no middle ground to characters in this show. Itâ€™s either pure evil, or guardian angel pure. Yes, the last episode seems to be an anomaly on this front.
The villain, an enemy that can turn himself into steel proves to be quite the adversary for Barry, both physically and mentally. Tony Woodward, aka Girder, just so happens to be Barryâ€™s childhood bully. He said, â€œLooks like you were born to take a beatingâ€ which tipped Barry off the metallic villainâ€™s identity. But, as with every episode, Barry has met his match and must push his limits to discover how far his abilities can go. Enter an ecstatic Cisco and a more cautious Caitlin, they tell Barry he must move extremely fast to hit Girder with enough Force to defeat him. How fast? Oh just over mach 1!
Since Barry can actually die, Caitlin explains that if he doesnâ€™t reach the exact speed needed, he could obliterate. But, of course, he reaches the speed and knocks Girder down, and even Iris takes a swing at the perp. Yes, the whole villain was a bit overstated; we were given the chance to delve into Barryâ€™s psyche and realize that he is still human and still has to fight back emotions. He went in trying to get revenge, and this ultimately landed him back at STAR Labs with a slew of broken bones and a concussion. It wasnâ€™t until Iris was taken that he began to think more strategically and put her safety above his need for revenge.
I am generally not a fan of the dynamic between the two characters, but this episode did a great job of pulling them back together. The awkward relationship between the two may not be completely solved at this point, especially since Barry and Eddie are becoming strangely close. But, it appears that Barry knows he wonâ€™t be able to stop Iris from posting her blog, so he mentions a name for her to use, The Flash. But, as with all superhero media, it seems the best thing for him to do is to tell her that he is The Flash. Yes, she would know the secret to The Streak, but it would most likely convince her to stop writing about him, thus diverting attention away from her. But, I guess that would change the dynamic between them completely, and then, Eddie would be left out in the cold.
The whole Barry and Eddie friendship sprouted from Joe doing some digging into the death of Barryâ€™s mother, and the mysterious Dr. Wells is in his crosshairs. What started out as a simple drink with a friend, quickly turned into an impromptu interrogation. Joe knows that Wells has the most knowledge about meta-humans, since it was the STAR Lab explosion that created the metas, namely Barry himself. Joe questions when Wells came to Central City, which happened to be one month after the death of Barryâ€™s mother, and ends up getting a story that essentially adjudicates Wells. He simply says to look up the name, â€œTess Morgan.â€ Tess is his late lab partner and wife who died in an accident, and Wells wanted to go somewhere no one would know him, thus landing him in Central City. Joe, realizing his fault, apologizes to Wells and brings him an apology gift, some Bourbon. They talk that it could be possible that there was a previous explosion to create metas before the one that occurred in Central City, but itâ€™s highly improbable.
The shroud of mystery is beginning to be pulled back from Dr. Wells, or so we think. Having no knowledge of the comics leaves me with a very interesting take on this character. Clearly, he isnâ€™t quite who we think he is; the question is what is he hiding? The entire season has done a great job of showing glimpses into his past, and it ainâ€™t pretty. My suspicion, which could be heavily influenced by just seeing Interstellar, is that he is molding Barry into the superhuman he wants him to be. Possibly, working toward Barry being able to travel back in time to save Tess? But, that really doesn’t explain the ending scene of the Reverse Flash reappearing, but this time he steals all the case information on the murder of Barryâ€™s mother and leaves a strong threat to stop looking into it.
The Flash is having a stellar first season, and this episode continues that trend. The villain may have been overcharged and almost seemed like a satire in and of itself, but with Girder becoming a guest start later on in the show, maybe there is more to tell than his frat boy/dudebro person that was shown. Dr. Wells, feeling the heat from Joe, and the Reverse Flash reappearing really ratchets things up to 11 on The Flash, and teasers about Heatwave being in the episode further that feeling.
+ Nice relationship building between Barry and Iris
+ Barry and Eddie is a strange duo, but it works
+ STAR Labs crew still providing quality entertainment
+ Eyes are wide open anticipating why it seems Wells is pushing Barryâ€™s powers further and further
– Looking into Wellsâ€™ past should provide for some great scenes in the future
– Villain was almost a satire in and of itself, a little heavy handed there
– Iris is a bit too much of a damsel in distress