Thanks to critical praise and word of mouth, CW has another hit on their hands with their sophomore series ‘The Flash‘. Banking on the success of ‘Arrow’, Greg Berlanti and company have been able to crack the DC universe wide open (quite literally, but more on that later). Unlike their rivals over at Marvel television, who constantly have to worry about how their stories tie-in to the larger cinematic universe, usually in a disappointing fashion, DC has managed to establish separate worlds for both mediums to play in. That is not to say that we will never see a DC television/movie cross-over, but as for now it’s not in the cards.
While Berlanti and Warner Bros. continue to expand their television universe, I thought this would be a good chance to stop and take a look back at the first season of ‘The Flash’ and highlight what I believe to be the “Top 5” episodes from season one. If you are reading this article but have yet to start watching ‘The Flash’, I highly recommend hopping on Netflix and just binge watching the entire first season. But if your really on the edge and having trouble committing to another show, then I suggest watching the episodes listed below before forming an opinion. Here is countdown list of what I consider to be the top 5 episodes ‘The Flash’ from season one.
WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON!
￼ 5. “THE FLASH IS BORN”, Episode 6.
This episode is fantastic. Following the Freak of the week format, we are introduced to Tony Woodward, The Flash’s childhood bully. Although still early in the series, the show pulls no punches..and I mean that quite literally. In this episode we finally see Barry break the sound barrier, with a “super-sonic” punch.This episode provides some heart felt flashbacks, focusing on Barry’s childhood and Joe teaching him how to handle a bully. Barry and Eddie bond over boxing lessons and we find out that Eddie was bullied as child as well. Iris finally stops referring to the new hero in town as the streak and finally omes up with a more suitable name, The Flash (thanks to Barry’s help..) To top the episode off we get a great button sequence where the Reverse Flash breaks into Joe’s house in an attempt to scare him and threaten his daughter Iris if he doesn’t stop investigating Nora Allens murder.
This episode is fantastic. Following the Freak of the week format, we are introduced to Tony Hayward, The Flash’s childhood bully. Although still early in the series, the show pulls no punches..and I mean that quite literally. In this episode we finally see Barry break the sound barrier, with a “super-sonic” punch. This episode provides some heart-felt flashbacks, focusing on Barry’s childhood and Joe teaching him how to handle a bully. Barry and Eddie bond over boxing lessons, ultimately finding out that Eddie was bullied as child also. Iris finally stops referring to the new hero in town as the streak, finally coming up with a more suitable name, The Flash (thanks to Barry’s help). To top the episode off we get a great button sequence where the Reverse Flash breaks into Joe’s house in an attempt to scare him and threaten his daughter Iris if he doesn’t stop investigating Nora Allens murder.
4. “GRODD LIVES”, Episode 21.
The episode opens with a group of highly efficient bank robbers, but still no match for the Flash. Upon capture, we come to find the out General Eiling is in charge of the heists. Once they get him back to Star Labs, we learn that Eiling is under telepathic control by a meta gorilla named Grodd. The group has no choice but to go hunting for Grodd in the sewers. While in pursuit, Grodd captures Joe. Grodd’s telepathy is to powerful for Barry or anyone member of the group to overcome. So Cisco and Caitlin develop of headset that will eliminate grodds telepathic powers. The flash tries to take Grodd down with a super sonic punch but he just shoved him off. Grodd is just way to powerful for Barry to physically overcome. So he uses the headset and lures Grodd into a trap, ending with him being crushed by the subway.
Whats makes this episode so memorable is not just the fact that we get to see a ten foot gorilla with telepathic powers, but that the telepathy added a level of intensity and effectively made Grodd more terrifying then if he could actually talk. This episode also marks the first time Iris joins forces with the The Flash and his team. This is also the episode when Iris West not only finds out that Barry is The Flash. The two discuss their feelings, but agree that they have to table those coversations until they find Eddie.
3. “THE SOUND AND THE FURY”, Episode 11.
Like most episodes of The Flash, the show most always opens up with a crime in progress and The Flash running to save the day. The opening of this episode is one of my favorite opening scenes in the series so far. A group of bank robbers on bikes are spreading throughout the city pulling, The Flash in many different directions. In a moment of panic, we see Barry freeze up with the look a of failure before Dr.Wells steps up and devises a plan of attack. This scene showcases Dr. Wells affinity for the game of Chess, as this will come up again in the episode.
By this point in the season, it has become clear that Dr. Harrison Wells has been sitting on quite a few secrets. In the episode “The Sound and The Fury”, we find out what really happened the night the particle accelerator exploded. This is also the first time that Hartley Rathaway makes an appearance, as the villain “Pod Piper”. Despite the fact that Hartley is quite possibly the most snide, annoying characters we have yet to meet throughout the series, Hartleys origin story makes him one of the more interesting characters. Part of me really wants to see the good in Hartley and at times would even like to see him join the team. Harley’s beef isn’t with Barry or Central City, it is solely with Wells.
As I mentioned, Dr. Wells has been keeping far too many secrets, and he is finally going to see the repercussions of that. What we come to find out that is that Hartley was not only aware of the potential risks involved with turning on the particle accelerator, but that he also informed Dr. Wells of the potential dangers involved. Wells went through with launching the accelator anyway, causing the tragedy.
Through the flashback scenes we learn that Hartley clearly had a special bond with Dr. Wells, as both a colleague and mentor. But when Hartley learned that Wells was following through as planned, Hartley did everything possible to try and stop progress on the accelator. When Wells found out he had no problem betraying Hartley stealing his work and having him banned from STAR Labs, despite their close relationship,
2. “FAST ENOUGH”, Episode 23.
The Flash season one finale is easily one of the best episodes of the show to date, and honestly was a toss up for my number spot on this list here. The whole series up has been building up to events that take place in this episode– and boy does it pay off.
At this point we know that Dr. Wells, a.k.a Eoboard Thawne, is The Reverse Flash. We also know that he is responsible for Nora Allen’s murder and the wrongful arrest of Henry Allen.
With the particle accelerator now back online, Barry has the ability to go back in time and stop Eobard Thawne on the night of his mother’s murder 15 years ago. All his life, Barry has struggled to find the the truth about what really happened that night. Now Barry is finally given the chance to not only go back and find out what really happened, but prevent the events from ever taking place. The one hang up…The future that Barry has grown to love, will never take the same shape, and Barry would never end up becoming The Flash.
So what do you do? Go back in time, and your mother from being murdered and prevent your dad from rotting away in jail? Or do you move on with your life and accept that maybe this all happened to you for a reason. Maybe you are part of something greater.
The genius of this episode is we sort of get to have our cake and eat it too. Barry does end up breaking the time barrier, successfully creates a stabilized wormhole and travels back to the night of his mothers death just in time to prevent it all from ever happening. But instead of changing the course of history, we end up with a much more deep and moving moment.
Barry knows that saving his mother will change everything he has ever known, and although he is willing to make that sacrifice, Barry realizes the real sacrifice is having to let go and say goodbye. Despite all the heart ache Barry experienced throughout his life, he realizes he doesn’t want to trade all the god memories he has for a life of uncertainty. The timeline where Barry comes from needs a hero. They need The Flash.
1.”TRICKSTERS”, Episode 17
Mark Hamill plays the role of James Jesse, aka The Trickster. Enough said…
Not only does this episode have one the best villians throughout the entire season, but it also has one of the coolest (although brief) fight sequences in the beginning of the episode. The episode begins by revisting the night of Nora Allens murder. Just like previous epsiodes, we see the red and yellow whirlwind of speed. But this time, we actually get a glance at whats happening. This time, we see the scene from a new vantage point as it plays out in slow motion, and we actually see The Flash and Reverse-Flash fighting and landing punches! The effects used to create the illusion of two speedsters zipping around a room fighting, with a blend of slow motion, looks surprisingly good for network tv. In my opinion, this episode showcases some of the best visuals of the season. And thats just to start the episode!
The real reason this episode makes it to the top of my list is because of Mark Hamill’s performance as the Trickster. Although most of us know him from his role as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars trilogy, or the voice of the joker in Batman the animated series, it is role of “The Trickster” that Mr.Hamill was born to play. Hamill absolutely steals the show every time the camera falls on him, and deservedly so. The amount of effort he puts into this role is almost shocking, knowing that this was filmed right around the same time Star Wars was in production. Mark Hamill could of easily just phoned in the performance, collected his paycheck, and walked away knowing the offer to return is always on the table. Hell he could of walked in and took a dump on set and still be invited to return. Thankfully though that is not the case when it comes to Mark Hamill. Not only is he known to be an overall nice person, he is also a total nerd! Out of all the villains introduced throughout this season of The Flash, none were quite as terrifying as the Trickster. Despite a goofy name, the character still manages to overcome that and really bring life and intensity to the role. Honestly Hamill plays a pyschopath almost too good, leaving you to question weather or not he my actual be this crazy in real life…
Although I could continue to rave about The Flash and the many memorable moments from season one, I promised myself I would cut it down to my personal top 5. Just to be clear that is not to say there isn’t episodes in this season that could of easily made my list (example: “Rogue Time”). I chose the episodes above because they are strong stand alone installments, each highlighting deffierent elements of the show I find appealing.