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Recap / The Flash (2014) S1 E2 "Fastest Man Alive"

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"This is the part where I'm supposed to the whole intro thingy. "Barry Allen, Fastest man Alive," but you know all that. All right, let's get to the good stuff. You see that smoke? That's a fire on Western and 3rd downtown Central City. And that blur...? That's me on my way to it. I'm going 352 mph, and it's a slow day."'
Barry's opening.
Barry has to fight a self-cloning villain while juggling secret identity, his two mentor's arguments about his heroic career, and sudden dizzy spells.


  • Anger Born of Worry: Caitlin isn't happy about Barry putting himself in danger to handle a fire rather than metahumans. Later when she learns about his dizzy spells.
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  • Anti-Villain: Danton Black may be a revenge seeker, but when you learn that Stagg stole his research and fired him before he could save his dying wife, it makes him all the more sympathetic.
  • Apologetic Attacker: As Well takes out Stagg by stabbing him in the heart, he apologizes, saying it's Nothing Personal, it's just that Barry must be kept safe.
  • Arc Number: Engine 52 responds to the fire in the Cold Open.
  • Asshole Victim: Simon Stagg. He was amoral, greedy, was the cause of Danton becoming a villain, and planned to exploit Barry. He had his death at Wells' hands coming.
  • Because I Said So: In a flashback, Joes responds with this when Barry asks why Joe won't let him visit his dad in prison. Not exactly the best thing to say to a young boy who's recently been traumatized by his mom's death and his dad's wrongful imprisonment.
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  • Both Sides Have a Point: During Barry and Joe's argument about Barry's heroics both bring up valid points for either continuing or stopping it. Joe brings up the fact that Barry is just jumping into this and relying on his powers to deal with metahumans while having no idea how to actually handle them and Barry points out that the police aren't able to effectively deal with metahumans while he actually has the powers to do so.
  • Foil: This episode helps set up the contrast between Barry to Oliver in his first season. Oliver was a very big picture thinker, entirely devoted to his plan, and needed to be convinced to do things of a Small Steps Hero. Barry, on the other hand, has the instinct to help others, big or small, and has to be reminded of the bigger picture (deals he made, proper procedure, etc.).
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Joe asks Wells if he knew about Barry having Super Speed all along.
    • After Wells arrives at his office and snarked at him, Stagg mockingly snarked back saying that "he shouldn't get up"...
  • The Glasses Come Off: Harrison coolly takes off his glasses before standing up and murdering Stagg.
  • Heroic Fire Rescue: Barry saves people from a burning building in the beginning of the episode.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Barry overshoots the scene of a fire by a couple of blocks, even when Cisco is guiding him.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Barry's Super Speed and Healing Factor requires enormous amounts of food to maintain. He gets a brief Heroic RRoD and fainting spells before he realizes that he needs food.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Harrison Wells quite coldly murders the amoral, greedy businessman Simon Stagg entirely for the sake of keeping the Flash safe.
  • Motive Misidentification: Initially, Barry and the others thought that Danton's reason for going after Stagg was because he stole the credit for his organ growth research. Danton explains that the real reason was that he had developed the research in order to grow his ill wife a new heart, only for Stagg to steal it, resulting in his wife dying.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • The centrifuge in the forensics lab does not work, so Barry makes his hand its own centrifuge. This is a Shout-Out to the 1990 series, where Barry does the same thing, except he had to keep it secret from the other lab tech, who wasn't in on the secret.
    • He also tells Iris how he feels about her in Bullet Time.
    • Using his super speed to steal clothes and change into them.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The gun store that was robbed was named "Hex's Gun Shop" with "Hex" in a Wild West font.
    • Stagg and Danton Black/Multiplex are both particularly obscure DC characters. In fact, Multiplex isn't even a Flash villain, but a Firestorm one.
    • Barry running to a treadmill as the S.T.A.R. Labs crew figures out what's wrong with him is directly taken from The Flash (1990), under the same circumstances.
    • Speaking of Firestorm, Caitlin's fiancé is mentioned as "Ronnie", a.k.a. Ronnie Raymond, one half of Firestorm who is set to appear later on in the show.
    • Cisco's first attempt at naming Multiplex is Captain Clone, a nod to the inordinate number of "Captains" in Flash's Rogues Gallery (especially Captain Cold) as well as the original character in the comics, who first gave him the same nickname verbatim.
    • Simon Stagg calls the Flash "like Mercury on Earth". In the comic book Earth 2, the Flash, Jay Garrick, got his powers literally from Mercury landing on Earth.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • When Danton Black is punched by Java, he multiplies himself and they all surround him, killing him this way.
    • Also gives one to Barry during their second encounter
      Barry: I just got my ass handed to me.
  • Nothing Personal: Wells says this when he kills Stagg.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Simon Stagg's reaction when Wells stands up.
    • Also Barry's when Caitlin comes over the intercom instead of Cisco.
  • Papa Wolf: Joe: You're just a kid. MY kid! Barry's response is Calling the Old Man Out. See Both Sides Have a Point, above.
  • Personality Powers: Danton was a stem cell researcher before he gained the power to make clones of himself.
  • Person as Verb: Cisco notes that the super-treadmill has been "Ciscoed".
  • Protagonist Title: The title refers to Barry and his abilities as the Flash.
  • Psycho Supporter: Wells is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Barry safe, no matter how morally wrong. Although whether this concern for Barry is because he genuinely cares for him as a person, or he has ulterior motives for which he needs the Flash alive is unclear at this point.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: Harrison Wells shows up at Stagg industries sarcastically clapping and snarking about what a humanitarian Stagg was.
  • Save the Villain: Barry attemps to save Danton Black but fails because he doesn't want to be saved.
  • Self-Duplication: Danton's power is the ability to create countless amounts of Empty Shell clones that he can control.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Barry's efforts to save Stagg are rendered pointless when the latter is killed by Wells. Then again, it's also Shoot the Dog, as Stagg wanted to experiment on him, and Wells is protecting him.
  • Tempting Fate: Stagg mocks Wells' paraplegic state by saying he shouldn't bother to get up from his wheelchair. Cue Oh, Crap! from Stagg when Wells does just that.
  • This Is the Part Where...: Played for Laughs in the opening, where Barry, in a voice-over, notes that this is usually the part where he says who he is and what he is, but that the audience already knows that stuff. Even more funny, the audience has already sat through that same opening just seconds before anyway.
  • Title Drop: By Wells regarding the show itself, at the end—
    Wells: The man in the red mask is called the Flash...or at least he will be one day.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The lone security guard that attempts to stop Danton Black as he and five of his copies are robbing the science conference has a serious case of suicidal overconfidence. Going up against six armed guys as just one man, especially while standing out in the open and drawing attention to yourself by calling him out, seems very ill-advised on every level.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: A motivational speech from Joe is what gets Barry back on his feet to finish off Multiplex. Then at the end, they share a wonderful moment, bonding over their renewed search for Barry's mother's killer.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Caitlin wasn't exactly pleased when Barry didn't tell her about experiencing dizziness whenever he uses Super Speed.
    Caitlin: We're your doctors! Do not keep secrets!
  • You're Not My Father: Barry tells this to Joe but latter amends that he was like a father to him after all.
  • Zerg Rush: Danton Black's general strategy is to make huge amounts of replicas and overwhelm his enemies.