The Flash

Season 1 Episode 0

Pilot

5
Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Sep 20, 1990 on CBS
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
44 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Barry Allen, a police forensic scientist is working one night during a terrible thunder storm all alone. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning crashes through the lab window, electrocuting Barry and dousing him in chemicals. Barry survives the accident, and soon learns that he is now able to move at almost incomprehensible speed.
Meanwhile Nicholas Pike, an ex-cop turned gang leader, is seeking revenge against Barry's brother Jay. With the help of Tina McGee, a scientist who works with the ultra-advanced Star Labs, Barry constructs a suit that will withstand his super speed and also conceal his identity so that Pike's men won't retaliate against his loved ones.
Now Barry must find a way to stop Pike before it is too late.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • no clever title, just the facts

    6.5
    Solid pilot episode for the series. Seems to try to be sorta a soap opera version of Burton's Batman with a camera view and score to match it.
  • Running Start

    9.0
    This was the start of something very good. For a pilot I thought this was a very good start I really like how the origins of the "Flash" were handled and his reason for why he does what he does.



    This has a good amount of drama, comidy and action. I like how it shows how Barry is both amazed but also confused and may'be a little scared at the new superpowers he has inherited. And that is always one of the things I really like about superhero stories is that suttle sense of humanity, if I inherited superpower I would probably feel the same things as Barry, they would look and feel awesome but I wouldn't have a full comprenshion of them.



    Two of my favorate parts that I always found fun and funny was when Barry was running toward a pay phone but then suddenly we see him accelarate and I'll admit the cinematography is just amazing it successfully created the illusion of super speed and then suddenly finds himself at a beach with his clothes slightly shreaded. Or there was that part when Barry was getting something to eat we then see he practically has eatten all the food in his house litterally due to his rapid metapolism, just seeing that I though dang and laughed a little, it's a part like that where I can't help but wonder about Barry/The Flash's grosery bill.



    But I also like his reasons for why he wants to keep his superpowers. From the typical motive that I've seen dozens of times in action and even superhero stories which is revenge over the death of someone close to them. But I think it's a great motive because it's one based on emotion and that all the more makes me want the superhero/hero to win against the bad guys because I share the superhero/hero's feelings. The action is good though I wouldn't say anything spectacular right now since "The Flash" isn't fighting supervillans but just plain mortal villians, but that's fine by me we all got to start somewhere.



    The characters are all acted well and great, well except for the Iris character. I don't know I just never entirely liked how the show handled that charcter, she's hot but kinda two dimentional I don't feel they really developed her enough to care which is a real bummer because I really like her character in the comic book series. The fault I think was just simply in story direction. But this is something I can get past since it does get more than made up for in the series latter.



    And of course the final moment that really makes this episode stand out was that moment I thought was a bit emotional when Barry tells his son about his brother and who he was back then, in that final monalogue we here how he came up with his superhero name which was to honor his brother.



    The race begins for Barry/The Flash.moreless
  • Barry Allen, police lab technician, is imbued with super speed by a lightning strike. He uses his powers to fight a motorcycle gang terrorizing Central City.

    8.4
    Aside form some of the worst fight scenes ever on TV (which are actually pretty comical) and some minor acting weaknesses, the pilot of The Flash is a pretty good show for the era. The show takes most of it\'s cues from the first Batman movie, which had come out less than a year before, and some influences from Mad Max for the episode. With that kind of pedigree the episode should actually be better than it is, but budgetary constraints obviously held it back. Still the pilot does shine at moments and is fairly faithful to the spirit, if not the letter, of the comic it shares its name with. Add in some better than average special effects and some C-list guest stars to portray Barry\'s family (whom we never see in the series again) and presto! The Flash pilot is a decent watch for the average couch potato, and a must see for comic book nerds and geeks everywhere.moreless
Alex Désert

Alex Désert

Julio Mendez

John Wesley Shipp

John Wesley Shipp

Barry Allen/The Flash

Amanda Pays

Amanda Pays

Dr. Christina "Tina" McGee

Patrie Allen

Patrie Allen

Eve Allen

Guest Star

Justin Burnette

Justin Burnette

Shawn Allen

Guest Star

David L. Crowley

David L. Crowley

Swat Captain

Guest Star

Richard Belzer

Richard Belzer

Joe Kline

Recurring Role

Vito D'Ambrosio

Vito D'Ambrosio

Officer Bellows

Recurring Role

Biff Manard

Biff Manard

Murphy

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Barry: I'm asking for your blessing.
      Henry: Well, I can't, Barry. You're all we've got left.
      Barry: It's not the same anymore.
      Henry: If there's anything I tried to teach you two boys, it's that you don't fire a gun without a bullet in the chamber.
      Barry: I have the bullet.

    • Iris: (after sex) I can't believe it was over so quickly.
      Barry: Disappointed?
      Iris: Well, yeah. After all that anticipation, why bother?
      Barry: (pulling back to show pay-per-view boxing on TV) Twenty bucks for a fight that's over in two rounds.

    • The Flash: I realize how an unhappy childhood probably led you to all this. But that's really no excuse. (punches the gang member)

    • Julio: What happened?
      Barry
      : Ummm, I guess I lost my grip.
      Julio
      : Yeah, well, I'm switching you to decaf, man.

    • Tina: If the people I work with learn about you, they're going to take control of your treatment. You'll be studied, analyzed, tested...
      Barry: They can't do that, I'm a private citizen.
      Tina: Look, if you have anywhere near the power I suspect you do, the government will fy you as a security risk.
      Barry: Whoa.
      Tina: They'll try to take your cells apart, try to make a hundred of you.
      Barry: I think you've been reading too many comic books.

    • Chief Cooper: Pike, this is Chief Cooper. I'm giving you sixty seconds to come out of there, or we'll fill that building with so much tear gas, you'll be crying for the rest of your life.
      Pike: Who the Hell does he think he's dealing with, some punk robbing his first liquor store?

    • Barry: (to Shawn) Any time you need me, I'll be there for you. I couldn't run like your dad, but I'll be there in a flash.

    • Barry: (interrogating Lila) Pretty frightening how you and your friends were caught last night. What was it again, a--a demon? Yeah. The guys around the station think you're all on drugs, you know, or crazy. But I know better. I know you really did see a demon. He was as red as blood, wasn't he? And fast, like a flash. So if you care about Pike, you'll tell us where he is, because, Lila, if we don't find him, The Flash will.

    • Barry: Pike has been terrorizing the city. Well, I'm gonna terrorize him. You know that insignia of his? That blood dot they all wear on their backs? Well, I've got one of my own. (shows a drawing of a lightning bolt)

    • Linda Park: You're not with the homicide department, are you?
      Barry: No. Crime Lab. Want to film us pouring plaster into tire tracks?
      Linda Park: (to her cameraman) Cut it. Let's see if we can find a real detective.
      Julio: Well, see if you can find us a real newscaster while you're at it. I swear she was on the Shopping Channel selling earrings last week.

    • Eve: So what did you wish for, big guy?
      Jay: I just wish for a little bit of my brother's brains.
      Barry: Hey, leave me out of this. You're not doing so bad for your own, Jay.
      Henry: Hell, 42 years old, commander of the motorcycle division. I think you're doing pretty damn well for yourself. Not to mention taking down that Conway and his highjacking crew.
      Jay: Actually, Dad, that was Barry and the Crime Lab boys who put us onto Conway.
      Henry: Sure, sure, lab boys are important. But real cops, you know, work the street facing the scum of the earth with nothing to back you up but...
      Jay, Barry, Henry: A gun, a badge and a prayer.

    • Pike: What are you? And where did you come from?
      The Flash: I came from you, Pike! You made me when you killed my brother.
      Pike: I killed a lot of men's brothers.

    • Barry: Now I know I'm in trouble. Even the kibble's starting to look good.

    • Barry: Listen, my skin isn't affected by speed. Do I really need to wear this thing?
      Tina: Well, as your clothes keep falling apart, it's either this or you can run buck naked.
      Barry: Oh, thank you.

  • NOTES (13)

    • In the comics Linda Park is also a TV reporter, first introduced in Flash (2nd series) #28 (July 1989). She was originally hostile to the third Flash, Wally West, but she eventually fell in love with him and they married and had twins, Iris and Jai. The comic book version is considerably younger than the actress here, Mariko Tse.

    • The pilot episode aired as a two-hour premiere (1:33 without commercials).

    • There were three Flash costumes which the production team had created for John Wesley Shipp. The suits were specially designed with flexible rubber tubing running through the interior lining. When not filming, ice water was run through the tubing, so Shipp wouldn't overheat and didn't have to remove the suit between takes.

    • Originally Richard Burgi was to star in the role of Barry Allen. He did find a place on the show later as the Deadly Nightshade when he appeared in the episode named after his character, "Deadly Nightshade."

    • The "Star Labs Test Track" where Barry breaks the sound barrier was actually the Olympic (originally 7-Eleven) Velodrome, a track for bicycle racing, on the campus of California State University Dominguez Hills. Opened in 1982 for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic games, the velodrome was demolished in 2001.

    • One of the early teasers for the show (before it premiered) started off with the Superman logo, followed by Batman's and The Flash's. The voice over was something like, "In 1978, you believed a man could fly. In 1989, the Dark Knight returned. Now the Fastest Man Alive is streaking into action."

    • Another tribute to the Wally West version of The Flash is the speed limit. In the pilot, Barry barely breaks the speed of sound. In the comics, all 3 Flashes could travel near lightspeed; however, when Wally started out as The Flash, rather than Kid Flash (in 1986), he also topped out around the speed of sound. He unlocked greater speed starting in issue #50, which was published during the show's run.

    • Dean Mitzner and Jeannette Gunn received an Emmy nomination for this episode in the category "Art Direction, Miniseries or Special".

    • Dave Stevens, the creator of the Rocketeer, was the conceptual designer for The Flash's suit, as well as for the CCPD's badges and logo. His character, the Rocketeer, was the subject of a 1991 movie scripted by Flash writers Danny Bilson & Paul DeMeo.

    • During the climax, Pike fires a bazooka at The Flash and misses. The round strikes an electrical substation, sending an electrical arc shooting upwards across the moon, which creates The Flash logo, similar to the scene with the Batwing against the moon in Batman (1989).

    • Barry Allen is actually the second Flash, having debuted in Showcase #4 in the '60's. The original was Jay Garrick, who wore a completely different costume consisting of red boots with wings, blue pants with yellow lightning bolts, a long sleeved shirt with a yellow lightning bolt and a winged helmet. Carmine Infantino designed the red and yellow cowled costume that has become the character's trademark.

    • Barry's brother's name, Jay, is a nod to Jay Garrick, the original DC Comics Flash who debuted in 1940.

    • In the comics, Tina McGee also works at STAR Labs, but was not introduced until Wally West's Flash. Her (abusive) husband Jerry, was in an accident which gave him speed powers and drove him completely insane. He named himself Speed Demon.

  • ALLUSIONS (5)

    • Pike: In the days of Genghis Khan, a disloyal warrior was tied to a wild horse and then set free.
      Genghis Khan (1162?-1227) was the emperor of the Mongol Empire, uniting the nomad tribes under his rule. His horde occupied much of China and Central Asia and commit brutal acts of slaughter. However, Genghis Khan also introduced the concept of religious tolerance within his empire and required his diverse tribes to use a single shared language, helping to spread culture and knowledge.

    • Murphy: How much is that doggy in the window?
      Referencing (How Much is) That Doggie in the Window?, introduced to the public in 1952 and written by Bob Merrill and Ingrid Reuterskiold. Patti Page performed the song that same year and it went to and stayed at number 1 on US Billboard magazine's chart for eight weeks. It has since become a popular children's song and used to promote anti-puppy mill campaigns.

    • Murphy: And I'm Marie Antoinette.
      Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) was born an archduchess of Austria and married King Louis XVI of France. She became the Queen of France in 1774 and, although initially loved by the people, became a figure of derision and hatred. She chose to remain in France to oppose the excesses of the Revolution and help her husband retain power, but was arrested in 1792 and later executed in 1793.

    • 50 Garrick Avenue
      When Barry first talks to Tina McGee, she arranges to meet him at 50 Garrick Avenue. Jay Garrick was the original Flash, the Golden Age predecessor to Barry Allen. 50 may be a reference to this show premiering 50 years after Garrick's debut in Flash Comics #1, printed by All American Comics in 1940.

    • Barry Allen: Laserdiscs.

      Barry, being in tune with the early 90s, no longer rents videotapes - he's upgraded to laserdisks (for you who don't remember them, imagine a DVD the size of an LP).

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