Flash: The Flash is Born (1×06)
Synopsis: A bully from Barry’s past comes back to bully him again in the present. Joe is on the trail of whoever murdered Barry’s mother and seeks Dr. Wells’ help. And Iris puts herself into exactly the sort of danger Joe and Barry have been trying to protect her from.
First off, I hope this episode opening and ending in narration from Iris’s blog doesn’t stay a thing. As a blogger myself I clearly don’t mind that she’s a blogger – power to her! But I really don’t care to have her narrating things. Especially when he narration is so damn cheesy. The episode starts off with her thanking him and telling people they need to believe in the impossible and it’s just… I don’t know. If I were writing a conspiracy theory-esque blog about some superhero that may or may not exist I don’t think I’d be that flowery. And she’s actually writing this blog as we pan to her after the episode starts. I don’t know why but I just think it’s kind of dumb.
Barry comes to talk to her again as the Flash and tries to get her to stop it with her blog but she won’t. And the conversation doesn’t last long because some sirens start going off and Barry decides to go deal with that instead of her. Eddie and Joe are already on the scene. They try to stop some guy in a stolen hummer but Eddie almost gets run down. This is after he shoots the guy half a dozen time sand his skin just turns to metal and deflects the bullets. Eddie will have question about that later. For now, though, Barry manages to track down the hummer but he only barely survives a slugging match with this guy.
Cisco, Caitlin, and Harrison are chatting away happily when they come across a broken, bloody Barry sprawled out on the floor in a fetal position. They patch him up and his metabolism gets him healed within a few hours but it’s a blow to the guy. Harrison makes an obligatory “man of steel” joke when Barry tells them about the guy’s powers which just made me laugh. They saw their chance and they took it. The guy is a metahuman like Barry but they have something else in common. Something the man said resonates with him: “You look like you were born to take a beating.”
It turns out that the metal guy? He was a bully from Barry’s childhood – Tony Woodward. (He’s the only bad guy so far with a freakin’ normal name in this show.) But that’s not the only problem Barry has right now. Eddie saw himself shoot this guy. And he saw the bullets bounce off of him. Joe tells him to make up some stuff about it but it turns out Eddie’s less concerned about that and more concerned about Barry and Iris’s relationship. Everyone seems to realize they are on the rocks and so all throughout the episode Eddie takes it upon himself to reach out to Barry.
I know Barry ships himself with Iris but c’mon. Eddie’s a good guy. There’s absolutely no denying it.
Harrison? He’s more of a mystery. Joe goes to him for help with finding Barry’s mother’s murderer – supposedly. In reality it turns out that Harrison first moved to the city around the time she was killed. It’s actually really disappointing when this comes out because Harrison seemed genuinely happy to have made a friend. Joe has this theory that the guy in the lightning that killed Barry’s mother could have been a metahuman created from another particle accelerator – but Harrison explains that it isn’t possible. No one else had that technology and he wasn’t in the emotional state of mind to have even considered it beyond the barest of conceptions. It’s actually really sad to see Harrison’s face when he realizes Joe is pushing him for something more and potentially accusing him of some sot of connection to the murder. Before leaving, he tells Joe to look up Tess Morgan if he needs an alibi.
I think he genuinely did think that Joe just wanted to be his friend. Which for a guy with a mission from the future might not be such a bad thing. Especially when both of them have something very important in common – they want to keep Barry alive.
Eddie is on board with that, too, this episode it seems. After they find out what happened to Tony – he fell into a vat of molten metal at a girder plant after a fight with his boss right around the time of the particle accelerator explosion – they spend some more time together. Eddie teaches him to box and opens up about his childhood as a victim of bullying. A gym teacher taught him to fight ant to fight smart. Intelligence – not just power – matters when brawling, he explains.
Unfortunately for Barry, Tony isn’t an easy foe to put down. He nearly kills him when he goes to confront him at the girder plant and Cisco basically discovers that the only way he can hurt Tony is to punch him at Mach 1.1. Which, by the way, is an incredible speed and not one he’s reached before. Harrison, however, agrees it could be their only shot.
Besides, it’s not just about Barry any more. Iris has become a target of Tony’s in part because of her blog and in part because he’s apparently got a creepy, stalker crush on her. He demands answers while she’s at work though he eventually leaves. Eddie has a protective detail posted on her but eventually he comes for her again and abducts her, taking her back to their high school because of course he does. He’s a loser who peaked in high school as Barry will say. Anywya, this is all basically proving that the Flash’s concern about her getting hurt from her interest in his abilities is totally and completely valid. Not that she’ll care in the end.
Barry finds them at the school and tries to fight with Tony but while he dodges some shots it doesn’t go well. In flashbacks we learn that Joe tried to teach Barry to box, too, once. But he wasn’t very good at it. Joe told him that sometimes you have to be smart in a fight; sometimes running is the best option. So he runs away… only to get the necessarily distance to build up the speed he needed to reach Mach 1.1 and get a shot in at Tony. The problem? If he doesn’t land it right he’ll basically pulverize himself on impact.
No pressure, bro.
He manages to pull it off but it’s not enough.
It dazes Tony but it’s not until Iris takes a shot at him while he’s distracted that he’s put down for the count. The STAR Labs crew some how gets custody of him and locks him up in the Pipeline superhero prison. Barry has his fun telling Tony who he is and proving that bullies are just that – bullies. I don’t know why he goes through the effort… is this really the last time he’s going to see him? Who the hell feeds these people who get locked up!?
Barry goes to meet with Iris and they make up with one another. She won’t stop her blog, though. And she doesn’t seem to care that it’s dangerous for her. And then we get the reason that this episode is called “The Flash Is Born.” At the beginning of the episode “The Streak” asked her to stop calling him that and he gets to ‘suggest’ to Iris as Barry that he be called ‘The Flash.’ So. We now have the Flash properly!
At the end of the episode, Joe comes to apologize to Harrison about accusing him. Tess Morgan, it turns out, was someone Harrison was very closed to and she was killed back in Maryland. After her death he couldn’t function so he moved to try and start over again. They at least make good with one another. Joe asks him for his help still because he believes Barry now and he knows this was a metahuman; he’s just not sure how it was possible. Unfortunately, it seems like Harrison is realizing that Joe won’t stop looking for the truth and that might get in the way of his plans…
Someone else apparently realizes that, too. That night while Joe is looking over the case files a tornado of lightning errupts in his living room and when it disappears there’s a picture on the wall with a knife through it and the words “Stop or Else.” And of course it’s Iris’s picture. So. You know. Shit.
Next week looks interesting – apparently Barry is going to lose his powers briefly.
This will be interesting but it’s also interesting that they are going with this story idea this early in the show. No worries, though. It won’t last long. Because the Flash crossover with Arrow is coming up and he has his powers as we can see from the teaser for the upcoming teaser for the crossover episodes.
Still, it’s going to be interesting!