The Flash: The Man Who Saved Central City

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By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

 

The Flash is back. After an exceptional freshman year, The Flash tries to hold onto the vibe that made the first season fantastic.

 

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

 

“The Man Who Saved Central City” is an episode that didn’t quite capture the magic from last season but nevertheless was a strong season premiere. It’s hard to nail a season premiere. In a premiere, the writers have to wrap up old business from the previous season, explore a new dynamic between characters, and set some plot points up for the rest of the upcoming season. As a result, they tend to feel rushed and have too much content. That’s exactly what happened to The Flash.

 

Last season The Flash tried to do a couple of episodes of where the series went darker in tone. For some reason that doesn’t work on this show. This episode had a somewhat darker tone with Barry’s guilt of taking credit for Ronnie’s heroic death. After a heart-to-heart with Caitlin, Barry snapped out of his funk and the series returned to its status quo of fun. It was sad to see Ronnie die, but I have a nagging feeling he was just sucked into Earth 2 and he’s really alive.

 

It was a pleasant surprise to have Professor Stein worked into Team Flash. They are without a scientific leader, so it made perfect sense to incorporate Stein. The professor naming his first villain was hilarious. Also, the hug from Cisco: perfect. Even though he’s moving to Legends of Tomorrow, he proved he would make an excellent mentor for Team Flash. And, the more Victor Garber on my screen, the better.

 

The key elements that made the series successful in the first season were there, but were rushed. For example, the storyline with Barry and his father, Henry. In my opinion, the best scenes in the series are between Barry and Henry. Grant Gustin and John Wesley Shipp absolutely nail every scene they have. To have Henry be ushered out of the show just after he was released from prison, thanks to Eobard, was an odd choice. Instead, he should’ve stuck around for a couple episodes and then realize he was a hindrance to Barry.

 

Atom Smasher was a visually interesting villain. Watching his limbs grow and shrink was fun. Besides that, there was nothing particularly exciting about the villain. The Flash doesn’t live or die by the strength of the villain of the week. So, it’s hard to pick on something that is a necessity for a superhero show, but is at the same time the weakest part of the series. Team Flash needs to save Central City every week in order to be a superhero show, or else it would be a half-hour family drama.

 

There were a couple of entertaining Easter eggs in the episode. The Zoom, Jay Garrick, and Bat-Signal references were pretty obvious ones. When Barry was running Joe said, “Run, Barry. Run!” which is a direct Wells quote from the pilot. It didn’t sound the same coming from Joe though. It was so much more dramatic coming from Wells. It was as if Joe was saying it in a more worried tone than an inspirational one.

 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


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