Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Flash Reviews: "Be My Baby"

Remember how I said I was going to finish reviewing the box set? Well after this one I don't want to anymore. Seriously, the stupidity hurts. It actually physically hurts! I don't even think watching this one after two glasses on wine could make it any better!

*Sigh* Let's start shredding this with razor sharp kitten claws shall we?

The Plot: Barry (as the Flash) saves a young woman on the streets from an attacker. He soon finds out she has nowhere to stay and is also caring for her baby girl. He takes her in and the next day finds her a place at a shelter for mothers and infants. He is, however, suspicious that there is more to this than meets the eye. Sure enough, baby Lily's father shows up and Philip Moses proves to be a crime boss who wants his daughter back at any price... Any. Price. The only way Lily and her mother can be free is to get Moses behind bars but to do that risks Lily's being taken by her father... forever.

My Take: There's so much wrong here I'm not even sure I know where to start.

First and probably most maddening is the fact that the series fails yet again to give viewers an actual supervillain. It's really bizarre the way the show is willing to put the Flash in a costume but is so afraid of putting any villains in costumes. Not only is our creep du jour here not a supervillain, he's not even in the Flash's weight class! Because of this the writer seems to bend over backwards to pad out the story to make sure that the villain and the Flash pretty much never meet up. Throughout the episode the special speed effects are used mostly for entertaining kids... no, I'm not talking about the audience, I'm talking about literally, in the story. What a wast of the FX budget!

Which brings us to the padding. Early on in the episode it is established that Barry has some experience taking care of babies as he used to babysit his nephew when the boy was a toddler. Despite this, once Barry is left alone with baby Lily the whole thing turns into a rip-off of Three Men and a Baby. And it's so dumb it's painful.

Then there is the villain. Better get comfortable, we're going to be here a while.

First, there are indications Moses is a germaphobe yet this is not handled consistently throughout the story.

Second, Moses's motivations are really not clear. Why does he want Lily so badly? It's obvious that he's not father material. He mentions, just in passing, that he chose Lily's mother to give birth to his child because her mother was an Olympic athlete and her father was a Nobel Prize winner. Well.... so what? That's no guarantee that Lily will be either of those things and anyone with half a brain and a basic college level biology class would know that. Plus, why does he want this supposed "super child"? He doesn't seem the type to be looking to groom his successor to his vast, criminal empire and he doesn't seem in the market for a "trophy child" and if he's a germaphobe why would he want to be around a child because, let's face it people, kids are nasty. You turn around and they're eating something (God knows what) they found under the sofa, they seem to strive to get as dirty as possible, they're nearly always somehow sticky despite your best efforts, and they'll play with stuff you don't even want to think about. Shall I tell you the story I got from one of my friends about turning her back for one minute while outside and then finding the toddler she was babysitting eating garden slugs? Yeah. So why on Earth is this man so fixated on this baby?! We're never given a good reason.

Thirdly, he's an idiot. No, actually, being an idiot is too kind. This villain is dumb as a box of rocks. You see, when he *does* finally have to face the Flash he's "prepared" and produces a sonic weapon. Well, okay, that works. It isn't supervillain level but bless him at least he made a little showing... and then it all goes downhill. Why? Because said villain has the Flash down and does he shoot him or something? No. He *kicks* him. And you know the old saying about never kicking a man when he's down... he might get up. The villain and his thug have the Flash down for the count and they do nothing. Nooootttthhhhhiiiinnnngggg to make sure he stays down. They don't disable him, they don't try to make him even the least little bit dead, oh no, they kick the guy and leave. And then, as if that were not bad enough, said villain doesn't even have the forethought to keep the sonic weapon handy and consider the possibility that the man who can run faster than the speed of sound might recover and catch up to him! Aaaaarrrrgggghhhh!

Fourthly, as a villain, Philip Moses isn't scary. We're told he's a crime boss but we don't actually see him doing much crime -- at least not until the end and by then it's far too late to try to convince the audience to respect this guy. No, we're told he's bad news but, aside from him being a slimy creep, we don't get to see any of it. Here's a newsflash writers: SHOW don't TELL! Geeze.

So of course, with a villain as incompetent as this it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that once the Flash sets off the whole thing will be wrapped up quickly. And it is. With pretty much not a lick of tension. Booooorrrrriiiiinnnngggg.

The capper on this turkey of the story, though, is reserved for the end. Lily and her mother are safe and happy now and Lily is preparing to say her first word. And can you guess what it is? That's right... "Flash". And she says it while looking directly at Barry. And she even says it two more times. *Facepalm* First off, this is a really, really bad bit of overdubbing as it is very clear that the little actress playing baby Lily is not saying the word. Second, the voice they use to say "Flash" doesn't even sound like a real kid! It sounds like what it probably was -- an adult trying to sound like a baby. It doesn't work. Third, we're expected to buy that a toddler has figured out Barry is the Flash. Because, you know, toddlers are renowned for their cognitive thinking. I mean, the name "Flash" is rarely ever spoken around Lily and I don't think it's spoken around her in connection with the Flash at all, let alone spoken around Barry. And yet the writer wants us to believe that somehow Lily managed to pick up on the idea that Barry is the Flash with little to know association of that word with an idea let alone a person. This is just insulting.

Even composer Shirley Walker must have been insulted by the stupidity levels here because for once her score is uninspired. It seriously sounds like she just phoned this thing in and, as an Emmy Winning composer and knowing her tremendous body of work with the various DC Comics' animated series from Batman: the Animated Series to Superman to Batman Beyond she can and usually does do better.

"Be My Baby"? No, this story is more like a dirty diaper.

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