‘The Flash’ TV Pilot Review
I just finished the pilot for The Flash and I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It wasn’t perfect (what pilot is?), but it was fun.
There were great performances across the board. Although the writing was still searching for its tone (Are we Arrow? Are we Smallville? Are we something new?), the cast did a fantastic job. Grant Gustin, of whom admittedly I was skeptical when he cameoed on Arrow as Allen, has an innocent charm that makes his dramatic scenes that much more touching and his comedic scenes that much sweeter. Among the cast, the standout performance for me was that of Jesse L. Martin, whose portrayal of Detective Joe West (Iris’s father) was the perfect tonesetter for the show. As a veteran of playing a detective on tv (Law and Order), he naturally falls into the role and gives the audience a relatable outsider character.
Easter. Eggs. Galore. First off, there was the traditional canon backstory of Barry’s mother’s murder. Spoiler for those who haven’t read the comics, watched the animated shows, or know anything about the Flash — she was killed by Professor Zoom (villain of the Flash, equipped with the same powers). Also, when the particle accelerator explosion site is examined, there is a broken cage labeled Grodd — Gorilla Grodd. And, lastly, when you have a spin-off of Arrow, you must have a cameo from Oliver Queen himself. For Arrow fans, there is a great moment of seeing Oliver facing a brand new world of meta humans (with the best “Holy hell” face). Although his exit was a bit “Spider-Man,” it was an entertaining scene.
The one area I feel the show fell short was in special effects. The graphics did not seem much more advanced than when we saw Clark speeding around on Smallville. Particularly when the Flash is running through cars during the intro of the episode, I was underwhelmed. However, it is a pilot, and with that comes budget restrictions. I am optimistic the show’s visual component will improve as the show officially airs.
In the end, I felt it was what a Flash pilot should be. You had a smartass, hero-worshiping Barry Allen thrown into a world he once stood at the sidelines of. You have the introduction of meta-humans in the Arrow-verse. You have the development of a solid DC television universe. Personally, I think the DC cinematic universe could learn a lot from Arrow and, now, The Flash. I know I’ll be tuning in starting October 7th (and so should you)!