The Flash Season 1, Episode 6: The Flash Is Born
Written by Jaime Paglia and Chris Rafferty
Directed by Millicent Shelton
So the Flash is finally born. After being dubbed the Streak by Iris West early in the series, what is for the most part a run-of-the-mill episode gives Barry Allen’s alter ego the moniker comics fan have been waiting to hear said on-screen since the series began.
But a run-of-the-mill episode for this freshman superhero series is still a good hour of entertainment. The Flash is moving at steady pace as it develops Barry’s abilities and continues story arcs that will run through the season.
Much like Smallville did in its early days with “meteor freak of the week” episodes, “The Flash is Born” introduces another meta human for The Flash to take on. Only this time, it’s someone from Barry’s past who now can turn parts of his body into metal and has gone on a crime spree. Turns out he bullied Barry in grade school and knows Iris as well.
Not unlike previous episodes, Barry is presented with an opponent that he’s not sure he can defeat, but this story device once again helps him further his journey as a superhero. It’s a bit of cliché to have the good guy superhuman who was actually the victim of a bully as a child, but it works for the purposes of character development.
Meanwhile, “The Flash is Born” continues other story threads: Joe continues his investigation into Nora Allen’s murder, which has him approach Dr. Wells for help, while the division set up last week between Barry and Iris continues, as she insists on chronicling the exploits of the Streak, only to come up with a better name for the city’s savior by the end of the episode.
We already know there’s more to Dr. Wells than meets the eye, and Joe’s consultation with the scientist furthers that thread nicely. What Joe and Wells have in common is they are both looking out for Barry, only the latter is willing to go to extreme lengths to meet that end. Fans of the Flash in comic book form are no doubt speculating about how the character relates to the comic’s mythology.
While the guest villain and the bullying back-story is somewhat unoriginal, “The Flash is Born” is a pretty solid episode for a series in its first year, and ends with a cliff hanger that makes it clear Iris’s blogging is definitely going to place her in danger.