‘Arrow’ Returns With a Flash

This week the CW delivers a one-two punch of super-heroics as we get the debut of “The Flash” and the third season premiere of “Arrow.”

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Late last year Forensics Investigator Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) appeared in two episodes of “Arrow.” At the end of the second episode Allen returned to Central City where he got caught up in an accident with an experimental particle accelerator. The pilot episode of the new series “The Flash” recaps that accident and then dives right into what happens next. Allen wakes up in the home of the accelerator, fabled S.T.A.R. Labs, nine months later, inexplicably with muscles and being watched over by Dr. Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes).

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The two scientists explain that they, along with the man behind S.T.A.R. Labs, Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), have been monitoring Allen for any unusual side-effects of the accident. It seems that the young Mr. Allen has gained super-speed, but he is not alone. The accident also gifted many others with unknown meta-human abilities and the pariahed lab has decided to find them all and help them. One of these new meta-humans, Clyde Mardon (Chad Rook) can control the weather and is using his newfound ability for nefarious purposes, namely robbing banks.

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Returning to work at the C.C.P.D., Allen ends up tracking down Mardon with the help of Detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), who witnesses Allen using his super-speed. Allen also vows to use his new power to find out who really killed his mother many years ago, a crime that his father (John Wesley Shipp, who played The Flash in the 1990s TV series) has been serving a jail sentence for. However, both Allens witnessed unexplained red and yellow blurs whisking around Barry’s mom before she was killed. Allen now realizes that there must be another super-speedster who was responsible. Oh, and The Flash gets some solid heroing advice from none other than The Arrow (Stephen Amell) who drops in from his season premiere. And the surprise little tag at the very end raises a whole lot of questions.

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Over on “Arrow” the show starts off with a tone we’ve rarely seen, with everyone basically happy. Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) has joined Team Arrow, Diggle (David Ramsey) is about to be a dad and Oliver (Amell) has decided to ask Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) out on an actual real date. Even the Lances seem to be in a good place with Laurel (Katie Cassidy) happily prosecuting the criminals that The Arrow brings in and Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) having redeemed himself and been promoted to police Captain. Of course, complications arise and several things go askew, otherwise this would become a boring show real fast.

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Oliver’s attempt to reclaim his family’s company is derailed by savvy Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh), the felonious Werner Zytle (Peter Stromare) is dealing a new version of the deadly drug Vertigo and Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) has returned to town following her rejoining the League of Assassins. At least one of those things results in a pretty shocking event in the final moments of the episode. Oliver also gets a phone call from Barry Allen, newly revived from his coma and seeking advice (see “The Flash” recap above). Last but not least, we get a flashback to five years previously with Oliver’s adventure off the island he was stranded on. Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) has brought him to Hong Kong for unknown reasons, but you can bet it isn’t anything good.

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Both shows are amazing in their premieres, together acting as a template for how comic book shows should be done. It doesn’t hurt that they are borrowing from Marvel Comics’ cinematic rulebook and closely linking both shows. Even though they are different in tome, “The Flash” being the bright side to the dark broodiness of “Arrow,” they really complement each other well. Both shows promise to share characters and storylines in the future and that’s a really good thing. Now is the perfect time to jump on board the DC Comics TV bandwagon. It’ll be a super fun ride!

joseph Dilworth Jr.

Joseph Dilworth Jr. has been writing ever since he could hold a pencil. Back then it was one of those big, red pencils, the Faber-Castell Goliath.  Remember those? Now, that was a pencil! He has been writing for the Internet for nearly ten years and for six years he served as founder, editor and lead writer for Pop Culture Zoo. He is currently co-host of the weekly The Flickcast podcast, is contributing two essays to the upcoming book The Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes and is writing a reference book about the TV series Fringe for Hasslein Books.