TV Review: The Flash Pilot
Right or wrong, DC Entertainment has been accused of lacking a sense of humor. In theory, it’s hard to argue against since both Man of Steel and Arrow tend to be more somber than bombastic in their approach to characters. Even the recently premiered Gotham has a much more grounded approach to story-telling. The Flash is the first light in this “Dark and gloomy” world, and all the better for it.
Like most pilots, The Flash has a lot to accomplish in an hour, and it does an admirable job with it. The show opens with the death of Barry’s mother (we’re not quite sure what it is with DC and dead parents either), and then skips ahead to the days before Barry’s accident. During this time, we are given a glimpse of his life before the accident including working for the Central City Police Department, his segregate family made up of best friend, Iris West, and her father (And Barry’s father-figure), Detective West. In addition, we meet the newest recruit, Eddie Thawne and a handful of other characters. Then we get a recap of the lightning storm from a different angle, and jump 9 months into the future.
But all of that you’ll learn in the pilot and more. The tone that The Flash strikes is unlike anything else DC has done on television in recent memory. If I had to compare the tone of The Flash’s pilot to anything, it would be the Raimi Spider-man films. Even down to the main character narrating the opening and closing of the episode. It strikes a balance between having likable and relatable characters and the nature of super-powers that few get right.
It shall be interesting to watch as Arrow and The Flash exists in the same universe, but tonally they are slightly different. It may have been the performance or the time, but the minor cameo by Stephen Amell’s Arrow is the most jarring part of the entire pilot. It strikes an odd balance that seems at odd with the character we have come to know on Arrow, and seems out of place on The Flash as well. Hopefully, the kinks are ironed out before the big mid-season crossover.
Aside from the Arrow’s appearance, there are a few other easter eggs sprinkled throughout the episode that hints at grander things to come in the future including a monkey-sized surprise and a certain dark future. It leaves just enough out in the open to excite fans without slowing down the action and drama.
Speaking of the action, they nailed it. The special effects are top-notch, and does make you wonder if they can keep it up on an episode to episode basis. We get a big climatic battle that gets to showcase the Flash’s power range, and one of his more visually intriguing villains. It makes us excited to see when the bigger Rogues come through the show.
Review 7 (Out of 7) – The Flash is everything you want out of a pilot. It’s fun, it’s well-paced, as well-acted as you’d expect from the CW and has a visually exciting finale. It’s worth checking out.