The Flash “Fastest Man Alive”
By Lex Lutz
On this week’s episode of The Flash, Barry struggles with side effects of his new powers and faces off against “Multiplex”.
Now that we’re beyond the origin story of The Flash, we can move onto the fun stuff. Some of my favorite episodes of “Smallville” were the ones where Clark developed a new ability and had to learn to control it. In “Fastest Man Alive”, Barry is learning the limitations of his powers as he begins to faint after heavy running spells. Turns out Barry is dealing with hypoglycemia, and as Cisco put it, has to start consuming “800 tacos” with his new diet. I think all diets should henceforth be measured in tacos.
After Barry’s fainting spells were solved fairly quickly, he runs into more limitations with his powers. Barry desires to be a hero for Central City. He saves victims from fires, tries to stop robberies, etc. but when he get his butt kicked, he’s faced with the doubt that he could truly be a hero. It takes his support team, which now includes his surrogate father Joe, to bring him back into the game.
This episode seemed to have a heavy focus on Joe and Barry’s relationship. Through a series of flashbacks (pun intended) we see they struggled over the years while Joe helped raise Barry. Barry would run away from home to visit his “real father” in prison. It’s nice to see Barry embrace Joe as a father figure at the end of the episode. He was, after all, the man that raised him. It was a fine way to display Barry’s budding maturity.
Our “freak of the week” was a bit bland. In fact, I found myself feeling like I was having déjà vu in this episode remembering Jonathan Taylor Thomas’ role on “Smallville” where he played a character that had essentially the same power (the ability to create a clone of himself). They made it just different enough to pass, but it still continued to raise my concerns over the “freak of the week” format. There’s a reason “Smallville” abandoned this format after a few seasons. There’s only so much you can do with it.
Terrible reporter Iris West (don’t think anyone could argue with this one after she said she would “make up” a quote from Simon Stagg of Stagg Industries) decided she was going to investigate this new red blur. I have to say I’m not a big fan of this character so far. She’s nice to Barry, but beyond that, she doesn’t really have much going on. It feels like she exists on The Flash only to be the one Barry pines over. I’m hoping they’ll give her character a little more depth soon, if only to give us more of a reason as to why Barry is so infatuated with the girl who was basically raised as his sister.
The episode ended with yet another big moment from Harrison Wells when he stabs Simon Stagg to “keep The Flash safe”. I love the mystery of Wells and his intentions. His secrets from Barry genuinely freak me out. I think it’s great that they’ve created a character that can be so unpredictable this early on in the series.
Bottom line: The Flash is 800 tacos worth of fun, unless you include sour cream and guacamole. That changes everything.