How are the special effects on The Flash? How long will we have to wait for Iris to learn about Barry? Are the one and done metahumans good or bad for the series?
Chat about all of that and more in The Flash Season 1 Episode 2 round table with TV Fanatics Jim Garner, Tanya Moat, Hank Otero, Narsimha Chintaluri and Carissa Pavlica. Pull up a chair and dig in!
What do you think about the special effects on The Flash?
Jim: I give them a solid A- for the effects... I loved seeing the little sparks/lightning on Barry as he started running faster and faster. And, I won't lie, watching him on the treadmill was pretty freaking awesome.
Tanya: I have been really impressed overall with their special effects. It's one of the things that did concern me because TV shows don't have a movie budget and sometimes CGI looks terrible on the small screen. Thus far, they are knocking it out of the ball park.
Hank: I agree with everyone, the VFX are insane on this show. Berlanti, Kreisberg and Johns would not have jumped into The Flash if they didn't think they could do the character justice effects-wise. Weather Wizard and Multiplex are nothing compared to what's coming up. Can't wait to see Firestorm! I'm with Jim, the treadmill sequence was just too cool.
Narsimha: They're great! It just adds another layer to the comic book feel the show has going for it. I know Arrow is stylish too, but it seems more similar to the gritty Nolan-esque Batman universe while The Flash reminds me of a more genuine comic book hero. The treadmill sequence wasn't my favorite, actually. I loved the special effects in the burning building at the start, as well as the signature Neo slow-mo bullet dodge, and the final showdown (which, now that I think about it, also reminds me of the Agent Smith clones from the Matrix).
Carissa: I'm much more impressed than I thought I would be. I was worried it would look cheesy, which just proves I'm stuck in the "old days" because this is movie caliber. The idea of a Flash movie already upsets me. Grant Gustin is The Flash!
Are you concerned that we're going to get too many one and done metahumans?
Jim: That's pretty typical of comics in general. That being said, I'm willing to bet my Flash Fan Club membership badge that by episode 5 we've seen a recurring bad guy that starts phasing out the "one and done" criminals.
Tanya: Not yet. Right now it makes sense. They are in their world building stage where we are still getting to know Barry and company, so one and done metahumans fit the bill nicely. I would feel very differently at the end of the season if every episode had a one and done villain. But from the spoilers I've read, I'm not concerned about that being an issue!
Hank: Nope, it worked just fine for Smallville. Besides, we know the creators are working toward the Rogues. Therefore, at least some of these baddies will team up against the Flash in future episodes. Not all the metahumans will die by the end of their episode like on Arrow.
Narsimha: Just like Hank said, it worked perfectly well for Smallville for the longest time, and they eventually tied in larger plots as well. If anything, because it exists in the Arrow universe, I'm sure a larger arc will unfold sooner than later (Wells is already up to some shady business). Plenty of shows like this work with a "case of the week" type approach. I just hope it continues to be interesting!
Carissa: I prickle at the comparison to Smallville. That said, I'm not worried yet, but it seems like our readers are a bit, so I wanted to get some thoughts. Mutliplex could come back. It only takes a drop of blood!
Do you have any further thoughts on who Harrison Wells might be?
Jim: You mean other than a cold-blooded-murder? NOPE! Him stabbing Stagg would be totally out of character for "future Barry" so I've got nuthin'.
Tanya: I really thought he was future Barry, especially after his scene with Detective West, but then he murdered Stagg. I cannot reconcile this sweet Barry from the present to a cold blood murderer in the future. So to answer your question, I have no idea and I'm 100% okay not knowing. In some ways, it's more fun speculating!
Hank: While I liked the "future Barry" theory, it just didn't fit somehow. That said, if Wells were Professor Zoom why would he be looking out for Barry? Unless there's a certain time frame or date he needs to make sure Barry reaches. Since he's from the future, he's probably protecting his own timeline.
Narsimha: Nope. But that knife to the gut at the end of the episode certainly showed that he means business. At least Detective West is actually looking out for Barry.
Carissa: Like Hank says, the Zoom thing could happen, but what's weird is the almagamation of characters because of Eddie Thwane (one of the Zooms). I like the idea of protecting his own timeline, but damn if he doesn't look amazingly proud of Barry more often than not. I just cannot fit in that Stagg murder.
How long do you think it will be before Iris knows Barry is the red streak?
Jim: Hmmmmm well, it took Chloe until season 3 or 4 to learn Clark had super powers, so I'm giving her at least till Season 2.
Tanya, I hope it doesn't take that long, Jim, although a part of me worries that you are right. There is a reason why superheroes are no longer keeping their identities secret from their love interests in the movies these days. I would prefer Iris to know sooner, rather than later. It's perfectly fine and reasonable for her to not share Barry's romantic feelings at this point. I also worry if they keep her in the dark for too long that she will end up being another Laurel.
Hank: I have a feeling Iris will find out before the end of this season, perhaps in the finale. Hopefully the writing team has learned from their "Laurel" mistakes and give Iris more to do than be the damsel in distress. It's only the second episode and she's already looking into the red streak. Like Joe told Barry, she's not stupid and hopefully he let's her in on the secret sooner rather than later.
Narsimha: The show seems to be moving at a solid pace, so I don't see them dragging it out too long. Barry really does want to "share his feelings" with her (how cool was that scene where he runs circles around her while confessing, well, everything?). But I doubt he'll break his promise to his surrogate father, especially now that their relationship is stronger than ever. Barry has a lot on his plate, even moreso now that Detective West has joined his crusade to free his father, so I hope Iris just kind of falls to the wayside. I doubt the writers will grant me that wish, though.
Carissa: It would be nice if Joe came to his senses and gave Barry the OK to share with Iris. Maybe that will happen when he discovers she's dating Eddie.
How would you describe The Flash in comparison to Arrow and Gotham?
Jim: The Flash knows it's a show based on a comic book and embraces it. Scenes like Barry saving people from the fire by having them just "poof" outside in a blur of red and gold are just awesome. On the other hand, Gotham can't decided if it wants to be a comic book show, with over the top characters like Fish Mooney. Or a gritty pulp-noir crime drama, and right now it is kind of failing at both.
Tanya: I stopped watching Gotham after the second episode. Tonally it's all over the place and too bi-polar for me. The Flash has been spot-on with it's tone. There is such joy in Barry as he is realizing his super powers (love the intro) that works well with more emotional beats, such as Barry telling Detective West that he is his dad too. Barry is definitely a lighter character than Oliver, but both shows seem comfortable in the worlds they are creating.
Hank: I agree with Jim that The Flash embraces its comic book origins. Flash is on the fun side of the spectrum, with Arrow in the middle leaning toward dark and Gotham at the opposite end. I'm enjoying Gotham though, it's attempting to carve out its unique niche... "pulp-noir comic book crime drama" is pretty spot on. I think folks are having a hard time categorizing it because it's trying something new. The Flash, on the other hand, is exactly what we expect from a comic book show.
Narsimha: I haven't started watching Gotham yet, but I truly appreciate the aesthetic of The Flash as a parallel to Arrow. It really reminds me of Smallville, especially Barry's innate innocence and childlike demeanor. Arrow doesn't seem like a superhero origin show, even though all the flashbacks serve essentially that purpose, while The Flash feels like watching Clark Kent grow into Superman all over again. Barry has some growing up to do, and some childhood demons to confront. And he had a point when he said that he wasn't fit for this job yet. So, and maybe I'm reaching here, Oliver training Barry at some point would be soo awesome.
Carissa: Lighter, definitely. The lightest of the three, with Gotham the darkest. I've always had a hard time with over-the-top acting and performances, and that's why Gotham isn't resonating with me. The characters in The Flash and Arrow seem like people who I could know, even the criminals and metahumans. Fantasy based in reality, versus Gotham that's not in any reality I understand. I'm glad there is something for everyone now!
Did you say you missed the installment? There's no time like the present to watch The Flash online!
Also, here is your peek ahead to The Flash Season 1 Episode 3, "Things You Can't Outrun."
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.