HOLLYWOOD—A new superhero is hitting the small screen and we got our first glimpse of him in 2014 in The CW hit “Arrow” where Grant Gustin appeared as Barry Allen, a geeky CSI who struck by lightening. Gustin stands front and center as a man with lighting speed. The series opened with Barry telling his story about his life as a kid being picked on by bullies, and re-chronicling the night that his mother was murdered and his father was sent to prison for the crime.
Allen has a friendly relationship with Detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), who happens to be the father of his best friend Iris West (Candice Patton). Patton exudes a bit of perky energy as the girl not really aware of the intelligence of her BFF. She pushes him in the direction of meeting the right girl one day, even though it appears he might have a crush on Iris.
The duo attends a press conference by Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), the brains behind the S.T.A.R. Labs Particle Accelerator who is an idol to Allen, but the shindig is interrupted when Iris’ laptop is stolen by a common thief. Barry attempts to be the hero, but finds himself being no help, which allows Detective Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett) to be the hero.
The inability to shut-off the particle accelerator creates a chain reaction that places our hero in a firestorm of electricity and chemicals. While being treated by doctors at S.T.A.R. Labs he meets Dr. Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes). He soon discovers that he has been in a coma for nine months, and that his idol is now confined to a wheel chair. I will admit Gustin’s geeky charm makes our hero appear a bit more realistic than what has been seen in previous shows.
Allen soon begins to discover that he has ultra sensitive senses, and it appears the particle accelerator has affected more people than just Allen, as Clyde Martin has absorbed weather related powers, Allen discovers his ability to move at unbelievable speeds. With his newfound powers, Cisco, Caitlin and Dr. Wells became allies in Allen’s newfound powers, as he continued to recollect memories from the night his mother died.
The Central City Police Department continued to investigate the string of robberies, as Eddie suspected a paranormal occurrence to be responsible. Iris secretly carried on a relationship with her father’s partner, as Barry came to grips that the woman he cared for is off the market. She begged him to keep the secret as he went after Clyde Martin, and discovered he isn’t the only one with superpowers.
Allen demands answers from Dr. Wells as he realizes that multiple people, metahumans have been created because of the Particle Accelerator. His frustration leads him to Starling City where he comes face-to-face with Oliver Queen, Arrow, asking the age old question of what it means to be a hero. The dialogue between the two superheroes was quite stale to say the least, but it was interesting to see the character unite with a former ally.
Barry decides to become the hero for his city, and with assistance from Cisco and Caitlin, he gets his first look at the costume, which will eventually become ‘The Flash.’ When Detective’s Thawne and West attempt to apprehend Martin, they discover his weather related powers, but Allen takes on the villain and wins. West becomes the first non S.T.A.R. labs member who learns Allen’s secret.
In a heart-warming moment, Barry pays his father portrayed by John Wesley Shipp a visit in prison to inform him that he plans to find the person responsible for his mother’s murder. The final scene of the episode saw Dr. Wells enter a special chamber where it became apparent he is hiding secrets; he can see into the future, and things don’t look promising for our newest hero. This new installment in the superhero franchise breaks the rules of the hero being the ordinary hero. While the dialogue isn’t the strongest, I’m hoping that improves as the episodes move on. “The Flash” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.