Published on October 20th, 2015 | by Maggie


The Flash S2E1: The Man Who Saved Central City

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It’s been months since the events of the singularity: how has it affected Barry and company? And what’s to come for Team Flash and Central City?

This review contains spoilers.

The Flash’s season premiere picks up several months after last season’s finale. After a very strangely constructed opening scene, we learn that Team Flash has dissipated. Caitlin now works at Mercury Labs, Cisco assists Joe at the precinct, and Barry works to recover what was lost in the singularity. Deeply affected by the loss of Eddie and the subsequent loss of Ronnie, Barry attempts to alleviate the guilt by rebuilding destroyed businesses in Central City while operating solo out of STAR Labs.

To honor their scarlet hero, Central City celebrates Flash Day in hopes of awarding him key to the city. The festivities take a turn when a metahuman appears and attacks the mayor. Barry struggles to apprehend the villain on his own and Team Flash begin to reform, this time with newcomers Iris and Dr. Stein. Together they pursue Atom Smasher, who reveals a terrifying secret.

Meanwhile, a lawyer representing the late Harrison Wells contacts Barry with a confidential video serving as Wells’ living will. In this will, Well decides to give Barry the one thing he’s always wanted: a confession to Nora Allen’s murder. With this video, Barry finally frees his father from prison and comes home to all of his family and friends. The joy is short-lived when Henry declines Barry’s invitation to search for an apartment together. He asserts his son that having a father would only make Flash vulnerable. The Allens say their good-byes and Barry returns to Star Labs, where a mysterious figure reveals himself as Jay Garrick.

The Atom Smasher in The Flash S2E1

The Man Who Saved Central City played out like many other Flash episodes. The villain hardly seemed problematic or developed, was easily defeated, and failed to really create a sense of urgency. As a viewer, I felt more pressed to watch Harrison’s tape than confront Atom Smasher. I was also a bit put off by Caitlin’s scenes. Perhaps she is beginning her descent into evil- she has every reason to, but there wasn’t enough evidence in the show itself to support that. It just came off as though she was being moody in a majority of her scenes.

The buildup of the singularity was quickly fizzled out when I learned how it was handled. From the size of it and its implications in last season’s finale, I surely thought we were diving headfirst into the multiverse. Although it’s my fault for having my hopes up, all of the events surrounding the singularity just seemed to add up to a lot more than what ended up happening. But who knows? Whatever is behind Jay Garrick’s appearance and Atom Smasher’s revelation remains to be seen.

The hints of what’s to come have my attention, but the lack of emphasis on a well-constructed, actually threatening villain exposed weak points in the writing. I’d personally be fine with ditching a huge rogues gallery in favor of one extremely well-developed villain for an entire season. The big bad in season one is what kept the show going, so I’m hoping that element will be just as strong, if not stronger in this one.

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