After one of the better pilot episodes in any genre in recent memory, fans were a bit cautious about getting excited for the second episode of The Flash. No one likes being burned and after its epic premiere, it seemed that The Flash had nowhere to go but down. Luckily, the creators behind the series know the characters that live within the new CW series and, better yet, they know its fans. For those that were a bit skeptical about where the show would take them, tonight’s episode wiped away any doubt in the series, and for those that were already in for the long haul, the episode rewarded your loyalty with yet another almost perfect episode.
The episode starts with Barry’s inner monologue but this time, rather than rehashing what we already know, we get right to the “good stuff”. Barry is finding his way as a hero and the audience witnesses the fastest man alive rescuing people from a burning building. Not everyone is excited to find out that Barry has decided to take on the life of a hero, which does create a bit of conflict with a couple of the characters, especially Barry’s father figure, Joe West. Much of the episode is devoted to digging deeper into the Allen/West relationship and viewers get a glimpse of just how important Barry is to Joe and vice versa. On top of all of this, audiences were also treated to another supervillain, Multiplex (I actually prefer “Captain Clone” but whatever), a scientist who specialized in cloning and can now create multiple copies of himself. Just another day in the life of The Flash.
For an episode that had so much stuffed inside, director David Nutter managed to handle the episode in a way that felt exciting rather than rushed. The effects in the series remain strong and the story is very enjoyable. The writers gave Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) a meatier part this episode and it paid off. Caitlin displays the perfect blend of concern and scientific curiosity, which lends to the likability of her character. On the other side of that coin, Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) also has a bigger role but rather than adding likeability to the character that will eventually become Vibe, his comic relief was a bit grating once or twice, which is really the only thing that kept this episode from blowing the pilot away.
One of the more interesting mysterious in the series is finding out exactly who Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) is and what his motives are. The question of whether or not he is truly a villain is answered in this episode but it is done in a way that only raises more questions regarding his true identity. The mystery behind Wells will likely last throughout at least most of the season and fans of the show will enjoy trying to break through that wall until the big reveal.
As mentioned, David Nutter did a fine job directing this episode and it is very apparant that he, along with the writers, completely understand and respect the characters that they are writing and treat them with the respect that they deserve. There are no damsels in distress or over confident heroes – instead, we are given a strong, diverse cast of characters who are trying to do the best they can with what they have and Nutter is able to inspire the performances necessary to get that point across without banging the audience over the head with the fact. His handling of the many action scenes throughout the series so far definitely demonstrates how he got the gig in the first place but even beyond that, when it’s time to get serious, he is able to bring out the best from every actor. The final scene between Barry and Joe, for instance, is handled beautifully without becoming cheesy or sappy. All in all, it was another great outing for the freshman series.
There are plenty of reasons to be watching this superseries and if you are sitting it out for some strange reason, it’s time to join the masses. Not only is it a great series for comic book fans, it’s a great series period. There are plenty of humorous moments sprinkled throughout but not to the point where the show seems silly; there is plenty of drama but not enough to drag it down; and while it is very much rooted in its comic book source material, it appeals to those who may have never picked up a comic book in their life. Yes, Cisco could have toned it down a bit during this episode but that can be forgiven once you take the episode as a whole. Was the second episode better than the pilot? Not necessarily, but it did make a point of letting audiences know that we aren’t waiting for a build up or a big tie-in movie reveal (S.H.I.E.L.D., I’m looking at you) to get right to the good stuff. Instead, the series promises to be nothing but the good stuff and I, for one, cannot wait to see where it takes us.