The Flash Zoom-In: The Man Who Saved Central City
After season one of The Flash it’s needless to say that the hype was real for this season two premiere, but did it live up to that hype like everyone was hoping it would? Not for me sadly and I’m about to tell you a few of my thoughts on why. Unlike our fantastic The Flash Reverse review series we had written by Brad Bell last season, I’m going to be picking out the good and the bad of each episode and telling you my thoughts about those things specifically instead of recapping and reviewing like normal.
Warning: SPOILERS may follow for this episode!
1. They opened the show up with a kind of “dream” sequence which didn’t really fool anyone, but was cool none the less. Even though The Flash and Captain Cold had made a deal that Cold wouldn’t kill people, that didn’t stop this dream Snart from yelling how “one of these days I will kill you” to The Flash which seemed odd to me, but then again he’s a bad guy so I’m not too bothered. Having said that, I’m not 100% sure that this fake sequence worked for me. We left Barry last season running up into a wormhole in the sky, and opening with just an average fight with two of The Rogues was a bit of a downer in terms of expectation. That being said it was fun to see Eddie and Wells on screen again.
2. So apparently Barry is super sad about Eddie and Ronnie (we’ll get to that in point 5) dying and has pushed everyone away so that he can fight bad guys and fix up Jitters all by himself. This worked and didn’t work for me. We ended with Barry being the undisputed hero among heroes last season, so this was another character growing plot (I guess) to show that Barry isn’t just celebrating his wins. It works in giving the character depth, but I came into the show expecting the same hero we saw in the season one finale, not this mopey baby who tells his friends to go away when he obviously needs help. I’m glad this got ironed out quick in the end.
3. So if Ultron and Bane had a baby it would be Atom Smasher. While I’m not a big DC comics reader, I did some Google image searches and confirmed that they did Atom Smasher’s look pretty dead on. That being said, his motivations were pretty strange and scattered to my outsider eyes. First he throws a food truck at the mayor (and maybe The Flash but he had to know The Flash was fast) from like a half mile away, but then we find out he also killed his Earth-1 self as well. I can imagine that he saw his normal Earth-1 self who’s married and happy, but why not just kill him and take his identity? I get that he wants to get back to Earth-2 but honestly it doesn’t seem like it’s that great there… Also, can we stop writing villains that can only be killed by pumping them too full of the juice they’re powered on? That’s becoming a very used trope and we already saw this used in season one.
4. That CGI is so bad! I get that the CW isn’t a movie company and has a lower budget for TV shows. I truly understand why it would be bad CGI, but after last season and Grodd I had expected the show to get some kind of influx of cash for the ability to do more and more special effects. I was horribly wrong. While they did an OK job on Atom Smasher, the CGI for him was like watching a cut scene in a PlayStation 2 video game. Not only was it bad on Atom Smasher, but there were those scenes of Firestorm throughout the episode that they obviously created after Robbie Amell had left the building. My main hope here is that this means that all the CGI efforts are being put elsewhere this season… More Grodd please!
5. When seasons end and begin anew it’s not uncommon to see character exits on either the finale or a premiere. Sometimes their contract runs out or isn’t resigned or sometimes the writers just have nothing left for those characters, but the exits in this premiere were pretty lame. Ronnie somehow dies in the portal collapse while Stein lives. I felt this scene was shoehorned in and was so fast that it came across as emotionless for me as well as for the characters. Hopefully when they start to realize that the portal was a gateway into another world, they’ll all realize that he could just be in Earth-2. The second exit, while not permanent, was Barry’s dad Henry. So I was so excited that we were going to be getting some great Barry/Dad time this season when Henry got released, and was imagining all of the possibilities to ensue by throwing Barry’s dad into the personal side of the show. It was going to be so great! But no… Henry is leaving Central City to get out of Barry’s way of becoming a hero. First of all… does this even matter? The Flash can run to anywhere on the planet in a matter of minutes… OK maybe this younger Barry might take a few hours, but still why does Henry leaving even matter? He could move to Smallville and Barry could run there and see him at any point so why is Barry sad? This was super lazy writing and it made me not like Henry’s character like I had before. Honestly who spends almost 20 years in prison and leaves right as he is released?
There was a lot of stuff about this episode that made my eye twitch when they happened. Caitlyn got married in the last season, and just six months after Ronnie’s apparent death she’s already reverted her name back to Snow. Was the marriage annulled or what? The Flash signal was cute but they should have had Cisco make his “I think I saw it in a comic book” joke before they actually showed the signal, because when I saw it in the sky, I thought it was some kind of actual Bat-signal Easter egg and was let down.
It may seem like I really didn’t like this episode and am nitpicking. The truth is I kind of didn’t like it (as a premiere) as much as I had hoped, but I feel like this was more of a finale for season one than a true premiere for season two. The introduction of Jay Garrick really saved this episode for me in the end. The introduction of him and the Earth-2 crisis is why I was hyped for this season in the first place and I feel like they should have pulled the Jay Garrick card way earlier in this episode and had this mystery new speedster take down Atom Smasher. I assume he could since it’s one of his home world villains. I can almost guarantee you that episode two will be noticeably better than this premiere and I can’t wait until then for season two to really begin to take off. This week’s point goes to Arrow.
Let me know if you agree or disagree with any of my points in the comments below!