When you’re not feeling well, and once the migraines sort of go away and it’s just tiredness (even though you’ve slept for hours and hours everyday), there isn’t much to do at home except watching TV from the sofa.
One of my favourite pastimes is watching series. I know, it’s sort of lame. I could say one of my favourite things to do is… I don’t know, something much cooler, but the truth is I love watching series.
I don’t normally watch actual TV. I’m not one to watch the news, or discussion programs, and all that, or QI, or Top Gear, as my brother does. This past week I watched a few episodes of Ninja Warrior UK and other variations, which I discovered make me feel super stressed, but I’m not really into that sort of thing.
Series, on the other hand, well, I could spend hours in front of my TV or laptop, watching episode after episode. At any given time, I’m following at least 3-4 different ones. At the moment, we have Grimm, Penny Dreadful, Castle, Game Of Thrones and a bunch of others. The latest addition? The Flash.
Side note: I’m going to get very excited writing about this, and I’m obviously going to talk about the series plot and characters, so it’s going to be a spoilers fest ahead. You’ve been warned!
I used to watch Arrow, but I am not following it at the moment (something I need to fix ASAP, by the way). On a few episodes, Barry Allen came from Central City and we met this dorky guy. I was hoping him and Felicity would have a relationship (even if I’m a bit into the whole Olicity thing), but except for some chemistry, nothing happened and he went back to Central City to be struck by a lightning because of a particle accelerator gone wrong. Obviously, that meant a new superhero, or super villain, I didn’t know at that time. Maybe avid comic readers knew, I didn’t.
Not too long after, The Flash was announced/broadcasted. Awesome!
For some reason, I wasn’t watching it until recently. I wanted to use my TiVo to watch it, but the series are far ahead, and I wanted to watch it from the beginning. I mentioned it to my brother, and we started watching it this week.
I love The Flash. While I think the actor is weird, physically, the character is great! I love that the series makes a lot of nerdy jokes, and that the plot is quite predictable at times. Also, that sometimes you wonder why they didn’t react in the obvious way… I love it because it makes it even geekier, for some reason.
So we get to meet Barry Allen, profession nerd. Not exactly, he’s like 12 years old but he works for the CSI in Central City, and they make a point of him always being late. Ha-ha, we get it. He’s going to be the fastest man alive (more on that in a second) but he’s always late (also a note on this later on). He lives with Joe, a cop, and his daughter (Joe’s) Iris. He, of course, has a crush on Iris and of course, he has never told her. We see the explosion, blah, blah, the lightning strikes and he goes into a coma. We knew this because of The Arrow, of course. When he wakes up, he’s in S.T.A.R. Laboratories, and we meet Dr. Wells, Caitlin and Cisco (I can’t help it, but he reminds me of a chubby Jacob from Twilight, so I’ve been calling him nerd-Jacob all series so far). Dr. Wells is on a wheelchair, and he seems super cool and very Professor Xavier, only with hair, but I don’t trust him. He has a shady look in his eyes, and a weird smile. At the end of the episode, he actually stands up, so we know he’s lying! Ha!
The series answers a couple of questions, like metabolism. Of course, Barry is running fast, so he needs to eat a lot. Here, I thought: can he get drunk? But they didn’t say anything about it, so who knows. Shady Xavier then ends the episode killing some dude to protect Barry, yeah right… By the way, by this point, I’m mesmerised by Barry’s eyebrows. It’s like they have a life of their own. I don’t find Grant Gustin attractive (OK, he is, but not my type), but whenever he’s on screen, I just can’t stop looking at his eyebrows. He has a cute smile though, but he’s still like 12 or so. Seriously, how old is he? Google says he’s 25, so there you go, a baby.
Anyway, we’re seeing some really cool baddies here. Ability to control the weather (Storm?), a guy who clones himself, and some guy who becomes a green gas. A really funny ongoing joke is nerd-Jacob insisting on making up nicknames for all the villains they encounter. It’s so lame, but so funny. Love it.
The team decides to create a prison to hold all the bad people they capture, because killing is bad, kids. So now we have a secret prison inside a particle accelerator inside a laboratory, run by shady-Xavier and his team. Dr. Wells doesn’t have Cerebro, but he has Gideon (who has a girl’s voice), and keeps looking at the news in the future, where we seem that The Flash has disappeared. He keeps being shady while pretending to be a really good friend.
Soon enough, Felicity makes an appearance, which confused my brother a lot, because he hadn’t watched Arrow, so he didn’t really get the Previously… and had no clue who this girl was, but I was super happy with the cameo because Felicity Smoak is the best. Wentworth Miller from Prison Break also makes an appearance as Captain Cold, and it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. That is, Snart (Miller) makes a whole train derail so that the Flash (oops, so far he’s still called the Streak, sorry) gets distracted saving people and so he can wait patiently to then kill him. Everybody is a bit upset because nerd-Jacob created a gun designed to stop Barry if he turned out a villain, which to me makes perfect sense, but of course, the gun had been stolen by Snart. Ah well. Nerd-Jacob and the team appear with what looks like the proton pack straight out of Ghostbusters and tell Snart his gun is bigger than Snart’s, and so Snart decides to leave before they capture him or something. Literally half a second later (not enough time for Snart to be far away), nerd-Jacob almost shouts that he’s not really carrying a gun, but rather the laboratory vacuum cleaner with a lot of lights. How did Snart not hear that and attack again? That’s the magic of Hollywood!
During the whole episode, my brother and I were making jokes about how weird Wentworth Miller looks some times (he always looks super intense, or as if he has some pain, maybe from excess of gas) and about Prison Break (we kept insisting he was going to take his shirt off at any moment and show a tattoo of Central City or S.T.A.R. Labs, or something else). At the end of the episode, Snart decides to enlist the help of one of his friends, and as a joke I pretty much shouted: Imagine it’s his brother! (from Prison Break, that is). And oh, what a geeky series this is! It was. By this point, I could only keep repeating, mantra-style, how awesome The Flash is.
They keep testing Barry and his abilities so he can learn more about himself. It’s funny when they’re trying to make things explode to figure out a way of defeating another villain, and when going through the items nerd-Jacob has brought, mostly Frisbees, Caitlin discovers a boomerang and she says something like you didn’t think this one through, did you?. Very stupid, but so funny.
Meanwhile, Iris gets some sort of crush on the Flash, even though she doesn’t have a crush on Barry. She writes a blog, anonymously and when Joe asks Barry to talk to her so she will stop, he tells her at some point she can’t be serious anyway, because she’s not even signing the posts. Seriously? I wonder what will happen next… Sure enough, she signs the next one, and she gets kidnapped. Yeah, we totally didn’t see that one coming.
It’s bits like that one that make me think of a lazy script, but then again, it’s a series to have fun watching, not to make you think hard, so I think it makes it endearing.
Iris and Eddie start dating. Every time Eddie says hi to Barry, I always mention that he’s like the happiest dude on Earth. Seriously, he always talks like he’s adorably stoned. On that note, when he’s actually stoned from painkillers in the hospital on one episode and Barry runs fast in front of him and Joe. Eddie gets all serious because hey, he has just seen Barry run really fast, and Joe tells him he’s imagining stuff because he’s so stoned. The way Eddie replies that he had forgotten about that is truly hilarious and endearing.
Oliver Queen makes an appearance, and I’m pretty much over the moon. Now, the way he smiles or grits his teeth or whatever he does with his mouth, gets on my nerves. Also, the way he moves, a bit like a robot sometimes is annoying… but, he’s the Arrow. He’s hot. He’s good. And he doesn’t have super powers. Everything he does, he does it himself (seriously, have you seen him on the salmon ladder? Only for that the whole series is worth watching!).
He’s a true ninja warrior!
I have to say here, it seems Stephen Amell has said that we’re all hung up on the salmon ladder (pun intended), which even though it’s difficult, he does as part of his training, but nobody ever talks about him climbing the rope (0:19 in the video), which was a much more difficult task to do! I must say I appreciate both equally! (wink!) I would link to the comment, but I can’t remember where I read it…
Anyway, Oliver teaches Barry that even if he’s super fast (and super angry in this episode), he still has a lot to learn. He shoots arrows at him because that’s what he does. OK, and to prove a point. He’s so super fast, but he never scouts the place before going in, so essentially, he just runs blindly into any traps. I love how the characters have these little jokes and chemistry between them, like Oliver telling them to keep his identity secret at the end of the episode, while Felicity translates it into him looking forward to working together again. The face of Diggle when he meets the Flash for the first time is amazing (see funny video below). At some point, Barry is late to meet Oliver, and Oliver says how amazing it is that he’s super fast but still manages to arrive always late, to which Barry responds that his super tardiness neutralises his super speed. Well played, writers, well played…
So, it seems it was someone with the same abilities as Flash who killed Barry’s mother. By this point, I really think they should change the intro because, My name is Barry Allen and I’m the fastest man alive doesn’t seem to apply anymore. Inside Dr. Wells’ secret room we discover he has another secret room, and there he has a yellow suit. He’s the reverse-Flash (another of nerd-Jacob’s nicknames, if I recall correctly, and I’m disappointed they didn’t call him Flasback, but well…). I told you he was shady! It seems he killed Barry’s mother. For what reason? I don’t know. How? I don’t know. But he’s bad. And a liar.
I’m still not entirely sure how Dr. Wells managed to steal the tachion thingy while he was there, watching the yellow Flash inside the cell they made. Somehow he ends up inside the cell with the yellow one, and he gets beaten pretty badly. How? No idea.
Ah, another thing my brother and I keep joking about… Every time people are talking in the corridor where Dr. Wells has his secret door to his secret room, we keep wondering what would happen if one of them decided to rest against the wall, placing their hand on it. Imagine! Oops, what’s this? It probably has some sort of digital/DNA recognition, but still… It’s funny to think stuff like that. Or like when the Flash was fighting against the electricity guy, I kept wanting for him to take his mask off and have all his hair standing up from the electricity… Didn’t happen. Such a missed opportunity, if you ask me.
At some point, Joe realises that there were two different streaks when Barry’s mother died, one red and one yellow. I think because he sees the Flash fighting the reverse-Flash, and remembers what Barry has always said he saw back then. Do you know what this means?? Barry is not even the second fastest man alive!! He is about the third… He’s becoming quite a normal chap, to be honest!
When Snart comes back with his brother from Prison Break (not his real brother, in real life or in Central City), all hell breaks loose. They want to steal a painting called Fire and Ice, very aptly named, as Snart has an ice gun and Mick has a fire gun. The people who bought the painting in Europe arrive at a private airport, and even though they paid 25 million (Dollars? Euros?) for the painting, they’re just carrying it around, not even bothering to wrap it in some bubble wrap, let alone carry it inside some box. I mean, when I buy a print that costs me £20 I already freak out it might rain on my way home and damage it. Expensive painting brought all the way from Paris? Meh, why bother. Snart and Mick intercept them and manage to steal the painting. Mick wants to get out, arguing that they’re rich now and they can retire to the Caribbean or somewhere equally hot, but Snart makes a convincing argument that they can get rid of the Flash and keep Central City for themselves, to which Mick replies he’s in. He doesn’t really says he’s in, but he burns the painting, which is about the same. I still don’t know why he had to burn it, but I get it, he’s impulsive and a bit crazy. They played quite a lot with the whole hot-headed Mick and cold-reasoning Snart. A bit too much maybe, but it worked great. At the end of the episode, when they’ve been caught and are being taken to a prison, and after Mick has been all angry about the fact they had won and had the painting, and now they had nothing (dude, nobody asked you to burn the painting…), they get rescued by someone else (insert disappointment here that they didn’t have to break free from the prison itself). It seems it’s Snart’s sister who rescues them. My brother is hoping it’ll be the doctor from Prison Break. I don’t remember who it was, but we’ll know soon enough.
Not only we’ve had Oliver Queen, but also now we have Stephen, from The Tomorrow People (who is the cousin of the actor who plays Oliver in real life, meet the Amell cousins!), so in my eyes, this series is getting even better. It turns out it’s Ronnie, Caitlin’s dead fiancé, who happens to be some sort of human torch. They call him the Burning Man, and I can’t help of thinking about the music festival every time they say it.
We also meet the Harry Potter/Elijah Wood lookalike. He’s truly annoying, and really mean. He knows Dr. Wells’ secret, and attacks him at his home. He keeps using these sound waves, mostly to get caught so he can do his thing. When Joe hears Dr. Wells’ account of the attack, he realises he’s lying, so he starts suspecting he’s the bad guy behind pretty much everything. It turns out Dr. Wells decides the secret Hartley wanted him to tell everyone was that he’s guilty of the explosion (because nobody knew…) and that Hartley had warned him about the risk of an explosion when turning on the particle accelerator, and he had decided it was worth the risk. As my brother pointed out, every time you switch on anything, there’s a chance (big or small) that it might blow up, so yeah, no big surprises there. I think people would have been more interested in finding out he can actually walk, but hey, admitting your mistake and your responsibility is also brave and all that.
At the moment, a lot of things are happening…
First, Barry is dating a new girl. Somehow, he can’t get drunk or taste the strength of alcohol (ah, yeah, they made a whole episode focused on that aspect, and they even made a special alcohol for him, so he can get drunk for about 20 seconds, see funny video below), but he pretty much dies from eating hot peppers… (I feel like I should have used a literally back there, just for fun). OK, alcohol and hot peppers probably affect the tongue in different ways, but still. They also bring up a topic we’ve all been wondering all this time… Is he super fast for everything? There’s a brief moment in which he seems to turn into some sort of vibrator when making out with the girl, which was quite funny, and which his new lady friend didn’t find bad at all, but yeah, he’s not too happy about the possibility of being way too fast, so he pretty much runs away. We don’t know what will happen when he doesn’t get cold feet and finally goes through with it. We’ll see. We discover Iris might have feelings for him, because she’s tried to boycott his new relationship. Ah! The drama!
Ronnie and the other guy, whose name I can’t remember (Martin? Dr. Martin? Or am I thinking of the boots? The older lawyer from Legally Blonde), were together in the same body because of the explosion, and when they tried to separate them, they ended up exploding, nuclear bomb style. The military is going to get Firestorm (which I think they mean the Burning Man, but I’m not too sure on this one), so we don’t know what will happen there. So far, it seems they’re both dead. A big stress on the so far though.
Dr. Wells is still hiding he’s Flashback (OK, it’s not going to happen, reverse-Flash, then) from everyone, and we discover he has a secret gun in a secret compartment inside the secret room inside the secret room. This guy is so mysterious and shady.
Joe and Cisco go back to where Barry used to live when he was a kid, to have another look at the crime scene. Of course everything is changed now, and some lady having the hots for the cop lives there. They discover an old mirror with a backing of some silver based coating, and Cisco realises it will have worked like a film and taken photos from what actually happened back then. For all of you, kids of today, that’s actually a thing, way before smartphones and digital cameras, when film photography was all the rage… It’s a long shot, especially with not even a double, but a decuple-exposure. Cisco, who is the nerdiest of them all, decides not only to develop the film, but to create a 3-D hologram of the images… He had all the equipment with him, of course. We see there are two different streaks indeed, and discover some blood in a wall, which is still there, 15 years later.
Cisco makes a discovery when he runs a test on the blood they found and they get a match. The blood, from 15 years ago, belongs to Barry, but not child-Barry, but an adult-Barry. So, it seems time travelling might be possible. It seems that yellow-Flash went to kill Barry’s mum, and red-Flash tried to save her (and theoretically, failed, but it’s a superhero series, so who knows).
Barry’s dad is still in prison, and he’s been beaten up a fair bit because he’s been helping the cops with some intel on one of their latest cases.
Iris and Eddie seem happy together, even though Iris is all sad because Barry has told her he doesn’t have feelings for her anymore. She’s also annoyed because she only got hired at that newspaper to write stories about the Flash, not because she’s a real reporter, it seems.
Caitlin… I don’t know, I guess she’s sad because her Ronnie is super dead now (is he, really?).
Where is Grodd, the gorilla living in the sewers? Early on we see a cage destroyed with a sign that reads Grodd, and then later on we learn that they were performing experiments on him. When we see Grodd again, it’s down in the sewers, attacking some workers, while the walls are covered in scratching marks that read Grodd. Can he write? Is he intelligent now? Is he a super gorilla? Is he also faster than Barry? So many questions…
And we still don’t know who Snart’s sister is…
(OK, if you’ve been watching the series as episodes have been released, then you probably know the answers to all my questions, but please, keep all major spoilers to yourself!!)
All in all, I’m loving The Flash, is entertaining, it has superheroes, nerds, crossovers, a lot of actors that I know from everywhere else, and an easy plot to follow (and Grodd, the fastest gorilla alive!). Some stuff could be polished a bit more, true, but I really like the lame jokes and the awkward conversations. I think I like the fact that those moments act like winks to the viewer, the characters don’t take themselves too serious (except when the script requires them to be serious, of course), and they play with the weird, silly conversations we all have in our lives, especially when some of us are a bit on the geeky side.
Here’s a collection of some of the lame jokes I’m talking about, edited in a very simple but really great way! This is exactly what I’ve been talking about:
I honestly can’t wait to watch more! Who knows, maybe it will turn out Barry Allen is only like the tenth fastest man alive or something… I do feel that he should be a bit more sassy with the villains when fighting. The whole dynamic of the series is making me think of a Spiderman being all clever and witty when fighting, but we can only dream.
On a final note, my brother and I can’t keep this song off our heads. We keep singing bits of the chorus, over and over again… (yes, we know it’s about a different Flash!).
Do you watch The Flash? What do you think about it? Are you obsessed or do you hate it? What other series are you watching at the moment?