Spin-offs are always a funny thing. Sometimes they’re successful like Frasier was with Cheers; other times they’re like Joey was with Friends. It’s all about having the right dynamic and keeps things similar enough to the root show; but also making them distinct. Last night’s premier of The Flash did all this perfectly!
Considering it’s a spin-off of Arrow, which is just entering its third season, it’s probably more appropriate to compare these shows to Buffy and it’s spin-off Angel. Similarly, The Flash and Arrow will cross over a few times this season; and if last night’s fluid continuity was any sign of what’s to come, then we are in for an amazing season!
When we last saw Barry, it was early Season 2 Arrow, and he had just been struck by lightning after the StarLabs particle accelerator exploded. The Flash actually begins a few hours before that scene. When we see Barry rushing to the crime scene, he was actually late because he was just getting back from Starling City where – if you remember – he stayed late and missed his train to help the Arrow. As the story progresses we see Barry go to attend the StarLabs celebration; but ends up back at his lab after he failed to stop a mugging. Cue Star Labs particle accelerator explosion, Barry being struck by lightning; and we are NOW right where we left off with him.
Meet The Meta-Humans:
The greatest thing about The Flash overall as a series is that it expands the world of Arrow. What started as a very realistic driven story world is slowly changing into a realm where super powers are possible. We learned that the explosions was responsible for 17 deaths and more injuries. Are all of these possible meta humans? Will they be heroes or villains?
Well much of this remains to be seen; but we can already make a few predictions. We already know that Clyde Mardon has control over weather and is the counterpart for the Weather Wizard in the comics. Additionally, Dr Caitlin Snow actually shares the human name of Killer Frost from the comics. Snow already seems to be trouble by her fiancée’s ‘death’, so could she possibly develop powers at some point? Then again, could her fiancée be alive with powers as well?
There’s so many ways this can go that it’s no right to predict this early. Who knows what other powers have become possible thanks to all the anti-matter and dark elements released by the particle accelerator explosion. Who knows, maybe The Flash can even lead into the proposed SuperGirl TV series.
After Barry faces off against the Weather Wizard the first time and discovers it’s Clyde Mardon; Detective Joe West yells at Barry and casts him off as a frightened child who still isn’t able to distinguish truth from reality. He is almost immediately proved wrong about these accusations; but the damage to Barry’s self esteem is already done as someone who became like a father-figure to him has now rejected him.
He returns to Star Labs in hopes that Harrison Wells – someone Barry has just met; but respects immensely – can give him a proper direction. Wells sadly rejects Barry and says he is only meant to be an insight into medicine (thinking only of Barry’s healing factor); but could never be a hero. With his own father locked up, the man who was like a father rejecting him, and now even Dr Wells – who could be like a new father-figure to Barry – rejecting him, there is only one person to whom Barry can turn – the man who knows what it’s like to have lost a father; but yet be a hero – the Arrow.
The Arrow & The Flash – A Pivotal Bond:
We know from Arrow that Barry had an impact on how Oliver did things – most importantly his habit of wearing a mask rather than just black paint. So it was extremely fulfilling to see Arrow provide the same help to Barry. These are no longer vigilante and friend; but hero and hero. Allies!
You can be better because you can inspire people in a way like I never could, watching over your city like a guardian angel. Making a difference, saving people in a flash… Take your own advice, wear a mask – Arrow
Arrow helped give Barry the push he needed to become a hero. He even mirrored his advice about ‘wearing a mask’; but the greatest unintended help has to be how Arrow gave him the name ‘Flash’. These shows aren’t aren’t just forerunner and follow-up; but two concurrent running shows that will crossover and lend to each others tales; and this scene perfectly set that up.
The Final Twist – 2024 Newspaper?
When Harrison Wells stood up out of his wheelchair, you may or may not have been surprised. Heck, we saw Clyde Mardon survive a plane crash and gain powers. So it’s not so outlandish to believe that anyone injured by the particle accelerator explosion could have gained powers as well. Though whether he survived with powers or just unharmed is besides the point. The true twist that left everyone speechless was him looking at a news paper from 2024.
If you’ve already started searching the comics for someone named Harrison Wells, don’t waste your time. During a Q&A, it was revealed that Wells was created exclusively for the show and the mystery surrounding him and apparent time travel will be explored through out this season bit by bit. Anyone familiar with the Flash knows that time travel does usually come into play. As for whether Booster Gold – a time traveler DC hero – will make an appearance this season, no hints have been dropped; but the odds look pretty decent.
DC might be a mess when it comes to movies; but their TV presence is strong. This season proves to be amazing and full of heart. As Barry’s mother said, it’s better to have a good heart than fast legs; and this show seems to have both.