After some early concerns after being announced, Flash dashed any and all haters (except stubborn ones) and proved that a “true” superhero show can happen on TV on a budget and be awesome. Very few episodes of the first season of Flash disappointed, and though a bit iffy at the ending cliffhanger (time travel logic and all that) the season 1 finale of Flash was amazing. Leaving many wondering how season 2 would keep up the momentum.
Sadly…it didn’t in a lot of ways.
For the record!…this was NOT a bad episode. It was just that it took too many turns that honestly didn’t fit the mold of the show in my opinion. At times, I was literally thinking I was watching Arrow, cause the tone was dark and depressing, which Flash rarely was in its first season.
After an interesting opening that I’m glad had a twist, we found out that Barry is alone, by choice, after the events of the singularity that occurred in the finale last season. Because of that, the team now has new partnerships and dynamics. While at first this may seem not too bad, given that a certain key character sacrificed himself in the finale…when the details became more clear…it actually was a bit more frustrating than clear.
Why? Because instead of focusing on the death of Eddie Thawne, it appears that Ronnie Raymond is dead…again…*sigh*. This was really offputting. Because it felt very unnecessary. Eddie killed himself so that Eobard/Harrison Wells wouldn’t exist, and thus couldn’t kill Barry. Barry would feel responsible for that, and want to push the others away naturally. But to add Ronnie to the mix, and barely mention Eddie’s sacrifice because of it? Felt really cold, and weird, and sad…and not in the good way.
This was added upon because you knew that Team Flash (named by Cisco obviously) would come back together eventually. Unlike an emerald archer he knows, Barry needs a team behind him to fight big bads. Especially metahuman big bads. Now to be fair, his “I work alone” thing did give some good interactions between him and Iris, and the Iris/Joe scene was good too, but it just felt too pushed. Barry and Iris barely mentioned Eddie, and the only “mourning” we saw from Iris was her looking at Eddie’s picture on the wall of honor.
Which of course brings me to Atom Smasher, a honestly legendary character from the DCU. A member of the Justice Society of America many a time. Here, he’s a villain, played by former WWE wrestler Adam Copeland, aka Edge. And despite some initial thoughts, he is a good actor, even has some starring roles going on. But…his time as Atom Smasher was not only forgettable, it was honestly insulting. He barely had any lines, had three very small fight scenes, and was defeated in mere seconds after the team got back together. Again, a LEGENDARY character in the DCU…wasted. Cause he dies. He most likely won’t return. Or at least not this version. Between him and Wildcat from Arrow (who I would argue is NOT Wildcat) the JSA is getting jipped.
Thankfully, not all things were lost in the transition. Cisco is still super amazing, and his tease (again) of his powers was not only cool, but a good tease of what’s to come this season in regards to dimension travel. And now that he has found his “naming” soulmate in Professor Stein, only good things can come of that.
Oh, and the “return” of Harrison Wells was nice as well. Wells was easily one of if not the best character on Flash last season. And we got to see him evolve into much more than a standard villain. Which was proven in spades in his solitary scene, as he gave Barry his heartfelt wish of confessing to killing Nora…
…but…that heartwarming scene of Henry’s release and return was cut short in all of 30 seconds!!!! I mean seriously, he gets released, after 14 YEARS of prison…and he wants to move away???? All so Barry can be the Flash without fear? Really? I mean…REALLY?!??! That makes no sense! Give it an episode or two, have something happen to make Henry have to move away, don’t do it right away!
Look, in the end, “The Man Who Saved Central City” was a good return for the Flash. Could it have been better? Absolutely. But it did set some ideas together for the second season. And hopefully with the “darkness” out of the way, the fun can soon return.