By James Nelson
Last night saw the premiere of season 2 ofThe Flash, and although it was full of some cool action and interesting character development, the show still can’t reach the proper escape velocity to overcome it’s own CW-ness.
So just to recap, in case you missed last season, the epic arc of the first season ended with Reverse Flash, aka Harrison Wells, aka Eobard Thawne, finally trying to reach his home time … that is until Eddie Thawne shoots himself, killing Thawne (his descendant), but then creating a singularity in the middle of Central City, in which we see The Flash trying to close as the final episode ended.
So instead of picking up right where we left off, we fast forward six months. Cause, you know, fast forwarding through the epic climax of your season is an acceptable thing to do. Anyways, the team is disintegrated at the behest of Barry Allen, who thinks that their proximity to him will put them in danger. Caitlin is now working at Mercury Labs (the season one competitor to Star Labs), Cisco is working with Joe West to stop metahumans, and Barry is trying to stop the bad guys while doing his day job and single handedly rebuilding downtown Central City (which is still not rebuilt from the Singularity incident, somehow). It’s the classic, “we’ve got to break the team apart at the beginning of the season to build them back together by the end of it” trope that happens way too often in shows that center around ensembles. Agents of Shield is sort of going through the same thing right now (except they do it in a non-convoluted, less CW-like, way). So let’s get to the good stuff.
In case you didn’t realize it from the promos, season 2 is going to revolve heavily around the DC multiverse, specifically the interaction between Earth-1 and Earth-2. I go into more detail on it here. The episode does a great job of setting up a new threat in one word, “Zoom.” Someone, for some reason, wants Barry Allen dead. He knows he’s a great hero, and sends a powerful metahuman to take him out on “Flash Day.” Fans of the comics will both be excited and perplexed by the name Zoom, as it’s the name that Eobard Thawne goes by in the comics, but seeing as the iteration we got last season more closely follows the Hunter Zolomon Reverse Flash, we can assume that this Zoom will hew somewhat closer to the source material.
Also, the way Jay Garrick strode into Star Labs was the best thing ever for my nerd heart. I have always wanted to see a real live-action version of the original Flash, and now I’m getting it. This gets me excited for this season.
More Needless Melodrama
So the best thing about season one was how well they were able to straddle the line of melodrama and needed drama. Granted, a lot of the Barry-Iris-Eddie triangle came dangerously close, as well with the constant “father figure gives uplifting advice,” but somehow they managed to avoid the pitfalls of most CW shows (including Arrow) of giving us needless melodrama. This episode manages to steer nearly every single heart-to-heart into needless melodrama territory. Barry’s struggle of “I really didn’t save the city” is garbage. I get that he thinks that he didn’t save the city, but casting the hopelessly positive Barry Allen in a Oliver Queen broodmaster routine doesn’t fit. I never bought that this would stick and it felt shoehorned in to create a tension in the team sheerly to fill airtime.
I visibly and audibly eye-rolled when Barry and Caitlin had the “No, I killed Ronnie” conversation, especially because we know Ronnie’s not really dead. And the conversation between Barry and Henry (after they got Henry released from jail, you know, The Flash’s life mission) where Henry says “I can’t stay in Central City because you need to be who you’ll become” speech just screamed, “there’s only room for two father figures on this show, not three. Besides, they probably can’t afford me anyways.”
I almost thank the writers for this. If I had to sit through three “be the hero I know you can be” speeches an episode I’d stop watching.
Was that really CGI or a fourth grader’s drawing
Seriously, Atom Smasher’s CGI was awful. Just saying.
Potential Plots this season
I hate to say it, but they better have some great plot twists in store. If this episode was any indication, I’ll be able to call what’s going to happen before it does. Right up until the reveal last season I was kept guessing as to who Harrison Wells was, now I already know too much, so I’m just going to sit back, grab some popcorn, and watch the pretty colors.
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