Welcome back, Flashophiles! Here we are at Season 2 and I can tell you that was greatly anticipating this first episode. If you haven’t watched the episode yet, I’ll do my best to avoid spoilers but a few may trickle out.
Last season ended on a cliffhanger with Barry running across debris to close a giant portal in the sky. Since the end of last season, we’ve been teased about parallel universes, cameos of heroes from DC Comics Golden-Age and a major change to status quo. Did we get it?
We got everything they promised us and a bit more, but it wasn’t the pulse-pounding adventure that was expected. In fact, the episode reverted back to relative normalcy so quickly that it was jarring. Instead of beginning at the end of last season, the episode starts several months later with Barry still dealing with the aftermath. Essentially it was an episode based around getting the band back together after a tragedy. Rather than building anticipation, the jump in time and circumstance was frustrating and it bred apathy for Barry’s current situation. In a series that usually times its plot devices well, this felt off balance and padded.
Once the initial surprise of the beginning had worn off and we finally got some payoff for last season, this episode was really entertaining as we catch up on the recurring cast of characters. As always, Cisco Ramon was my favorite character and watching him play off of Detective West and Martin Stein was a delight. Speaking of Stein, it looks like he’ll be stepping into Harrison Wells’ shoes at STAR Labs. I’m a big fan of Victor Garber so that will be a pleasant addition. The rest of the cast performed well and it was refreshing to watch Candice Patton as Iris West do something other than be angry at another cast member. I am crossing my fingers that her character is allowed to step out of her boyfriends’ shadows and come into her own.
Flash Day. Something that separates the Flash from the rest of superhero fiction is his relationship with Central City. Flash always represents hope and the best of Central City and CC rewards him for being its hero. In the comic, the Flash Museum is a common setting for many of Barry’s adventures and it’s not unusual to see the Scarlet Speedster running right beside the local police on a case. Central City adopting the Flash and celebrating his heroism is a very Midwestern attitude. The cities on both coasts just change too often but in the Midwest? One can easily imagine billboards emblazoned with “The Home of The Flash” and envision grocery store, ribbon cutting ceremonies. In the comic, this is always presented without the slightest bit of camp and seeing that attitude reflected in the TV series was a real highlight for this episode.
We did get to see characters from a parallel universe and the hint of a growing crisis but that was peppered in among the shifting status quo. The Flash is serialized fiction, after all, and I don’t mind waiting for answers.
As for the change in status quo, there is a development with Barry’s father that left me scratching my head. Not to give anything away, but a choice Henry makes runs against any kind of logical fatherly sense. I don’t get it and I hope that his decision turns out to be based on circumstances we haven’t yet been made aware of.
For all the complaining I have done, I really did enjoy this first episode of the second season though it wasn’t exactly what I expected. Not giving us what’s expected can be a good thing and the first season proved that I can always expect an entertaining show.
See you next week!