Thursday, August 23, 2007

Live Action: "Be My Baby"

“Be My Baby” (February 21, 1991)

Writer: Jule Selbo
Director: Bruce Bilson
Editor: Lawrence J. Gleason

Synopsis: One night on the streets of Central City, Barry Allen encounters Stacy Ann Doubec, a troubled young woman on the run with her baby, Lillian. Though Stacy is reluctant to reveal the reasons for her distress, Barry soon learns that the imperiled mother is being relentlessly pursued by Philip Moses, the child’s father, a cruel multi-millionaire who will let nothing stop him from stealing back his only heir.

Commentary: Could there be a nicer hero than Barry Allen? During the course of the series our impeccably polite, kind-hearted, and mild-mannered police scientist hero has taken in homeless teenagers, crotchety senior citizens, and a wide variety of beautiful damsels in distress. It's all a bit much, really. Unfortunately, this episode takes that trend to a new level when he returns home one evening to find a bassinet on his doorstep. In “Be My Baby,” the fastest man alive gets to spend quality time with a bouncing baby girl. As a result, there are endless scenes featuring Barry as babysitter. It’s odd to see guest star Bryan Cranston--now familiar to viewers for his roles in a number of high-profile sitcoms--as the story’s dastardly villain of the week, Philip Moses. Despite exhibiting a number of personal quirks, Moses is an uninspired antagonist and his malignant motivations simply aren’t convincing. This is an episode that never takes off and, sadly, never attempts to offer us the sort of twists that we’re so eagerly anticipating. If the synopsis seems skimpy it’s because the plot is too. Worst of all, “Be My Baby” is never particularly fun or funny, despite the intent of its script. After a few tantalizing hints of superhero style and comic book action earlier in the season, The Flash has seemingly plunged back into the realm of mundane drama.

High-Speed Highlight: Highlights? Watch as the scarlet speedster aims to entertain a dozen cranky toddlers simultaneously! Marvel as the crimson comet constructs a child’s crib from simple laboratory equipment! Thrill to the sights of the fastest man alive using his astonishing superpowers to make a run for baby food! That’s right, baby food.

Quotable: “One of your adventures before you became the Flash, eh Barry? ‘Dearest Barry: Be back in the morning. Please take care of Lilly. Love,’--or, rather, annoying, cute little drawing of a heart--‘Stacy.’ Are you sure you’re not the father?” --Tina McGee teases Barry Allen upon finding a basket, a baby, and a note on his doorstep

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