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REVIEW: The Flash 1×06 “The Flash Is Born”

I had very high hopes for tonight’s episode of The Flash after seeing the title and noticing who was going to be the main villain. I figured it would be a monumental episode that really defined who Barry Allen was and why he was acting as the Flash. Although I enjoyed “The Flash is Born”, it wasn’t much different than any of the previous episodes. (spoilers ahead!)

Once again, the Flash meets with Iris and has a conversation with her about her blog. Flash tries to convince her that it’s a bad idea to keep talking about the hero but Iris refuses to listen. I like the vibrating voice effect that Barry uses to hide his identity, but it’s really odd that Iris can’t figure out who he is under the mask. They’ve known each other since they were children yet she can’t see through a red helmet? It seems a little fishy to me. However, I really can’t complain because it adds drama and tension, which is the heart of most entertainment.

This week’s cookie-cutter villain was Tony Woodward aka Girder, who holds the power to turn his body into an organic metal. I liked seeing this choice of a villain because he reminded me of one of my favorite X-Men, Colossus. I also thought it was clever how they tied in the character’s backstory with Barry and Iris: Girder used to bully Barry as a kid, and now they’re facing off once again.

I loved the final fight scene between the Flash and Girder and I thought it was a smart way of introducing a new battle style for the hero. The Flash knows he can’t rely on just his super speed. He has to combine it with strategy and intelligence. Barry also has to rely on teamwork once in a while. Without help from his friends at S.T.A.R. labs (and even Iris), he wouldn’t have been able to take down Girder.

The Flash Is Born

What I DIDN’T like was the end of the episode when the Flash visits Girder in his new prison cell and then reveals his secret identity. Girder recognizes him almost immediately and angrily punches against his cell while shouting at him.

The first rule of superheroes is to never ever reveal your secret identity! It never turns out well, especially when your nemesis is a sociopath who won’t hesitate to harm innocent people. Also, Barry is so concerned about keeping Iris safe that he won’t reveal his identity to her, but all of a sudden it’s all right for him to expose his secret to taunt his old bully/a guy who can turn into a chunk of walking metal? Getting real tired of your %^&$, Barry!

Then again, this could have been done intentionally. Maybe this will come back to bite him in the ass in future episodes? Barry could learn from his mistake when Girder comes back with a vengeance and tries to hurt Iris. This can turn into a lesson on pride and arrogance. I would not mind seeing that. For now, though, I’m a little annoyed at this turn of events.

There were plenty of other enjoyable moments throughout the episode. We see Barry bonding with Eddie Thawne despite the tense history between the two. Thawne seems to show that he is genuinely interested in being friends with Barry and even gives him a little crash course on fighting. At the onset of the series, I knew I wouldn’t like Thawne, but he’s been growing on me. Sure, he’s dating the love of Barry’s life, but he’s not such a bad guy. He could potentially turn into a close ally of the Flash in future episodes.

Another subplot involves Detective Joe West conducting an in-depth investigation into the murder of Nora Allen. In the midst of his case, West confronts Dr. Harrison Wells and subtly accuses Wells of being involved with the murder. The ever-charismatic doctor gives a seemingly-valid alibi and clears his name with West. However, the very end of the episode seems to lean towards a different notion.

While West is looking through his case files, there is a power outage in his home. A yellow flash zips around him and steals all of the files. When the lights come back on, West sees a picture of Iris impaled against the wall with a warning telling him to cease his investigation into the Nora Allen murder.

Ever since the first episode, I knew that Wells had to have a sinister agenda, and I’m almost convinced now that he is actually Reverse Flash. The evidence is right in your face. But looking at it from a different perspective, it’s almost a little too obvious. Maybe Wells is a red herring? Is he Reverse Flash or is he simply chasing after Reverse Flash?

Overall, I liked the episode, but it wasn’t anything different from what we’ve seen in the past. I know a lot of people were excited to see the Flash finally get his official title (I personally didn’t mind him being called “the Streak”).

I also noticed that each episode follows a set formula: Flash stops a petty crime, Barry hangs out with Iris but doesn’t reveal his feelings, a new criminal is introduced in an extravagant scenario, Flash first encounters the villain and can’t defeat him/her, Flash meets with the S.T.A.R. lab gang, Flash beats the villain, and then something about Barry’s parents. It’s becoming predictable. But hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The show has kept my interest thus far so I’m willing to keep watching.

Final Grade: B

+ The effects with Girder were pretty awesome.

+ The ending scene with Detective West and Reverse Flash was chilling (in a good way).

+ The chemistry between all the characters was flawless as usual, especially between the Flash and Girder.

– The show is following a set pattern that makes each episode fairly predictable.

– There are a couple of flaws regarding the Flash trying to maintain his secret identity.

What did you think of this episode? Do you hope to see Girder come back? Do you have any theories about how Wells ties into Nora Allen’s murder? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

About the author

Alex Reale

From a young age, Alex knew he was destined to be a writer. He also harbored a deep infatuation with superheroes and comics. Luckily, he was able to combine these two passions through his role with A Place to Hang Your Cape, where he works as Junior Sidekick and Social Media Hero.

When he’s not writing for AP2HYC or working full-time as a content manager for a small business website, Alex is diligently at work on other creative projects including a fantasy novel collection and an independent comic series.

You can find Alex's first book, Dodger's Doorway, on Amazon!

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