It’s been such a long summer for all of us anxiously waiting for The Flash’s return. After all, the last time we saw the gang, Barry was running into the singularity trying to save Central City from a wormhole and while I might have been anticipating something a little more epic, this was still a strong premiere.
The episode opens up six months after the events of the season finale and the STAR Labs team has been separated ever since. The Flash himself has gone full lone-wolf on everyone (as Cisco points out) and it’s all very dark for a show as colorful and comic as this. It’s a welcome change, though, as it would have been frustrating to see that Eddie’s sacrifice (and apparently Ronnie’s) meant nothing to the gang. Sure, it was more than predictable that the team would come back by hour’s end in typical comic-book fashion, but I loved that the writers didn’t shy away from handing us a gritty tone.
Also predictable was, sadly, Ronnie’s death. Even before he gave Caitlin that final-goodbye speech, eagle-eyed fans have been expecting Ronnie to die for several months, especially with all the Legends of Tomorrow trailers showing no sign of him anywhere. But where Ronnie’s predictable sacrifice was tragic and tear-jerking, the other predictable subplot that included a freak of the week by the name of Atomic Smasher was just entertaining and nothing more. The character was very ill-developed and hard to care for and, as always, it was clear that he would be a goner by the end of the episode. So it might have been fun watching this metahuman attempt to take down The Flash, but it was mostly just unnecessary considering he didn’t add much to the show.
Luckily, the writers did have a few more tricks and twists up their sleeves. Jay Garrick breaking into STAR Labs at the end (after the show repeatedly made jokes about its lack of security) was a brilliant way to end the premiere on. It opens up the season to a whole lot of possibilities and only makes us more excited about what’s to come. Even Harrison Wells officially confessing to killing Barry’s mother was a shocker. It’s a milestone Barry has been waiting to reach for a while now, so it was a nice change of pace to have the show finally put that storyline to rest. Perhaps Papa Allen could have stayed a bit longer though, no? It felt unrealistic to have him want to leave his son all of a sudden (during his own “welcome home” party too!).
Still, the show is the same way it was last year: ridiculously entertaining. It’s hard not to love the cast and characters even if the show felt the need to quickly go back to its status quo. I see no reason not to expect another awesome, pulse-pounding season this year.
– Loved the teaser with Barry and Firestorm taking down Captain Cold and Heat Wave and then returning to STAR Labs. It was a very happy opening that really gave me the chills when Eddie showed up and it was revealed to be a fantasy. Well done, show.
– How nice of Central City to have a Flash Day celebration. I would have personally liked something a little bigger and shinier than a key after saving all these people from being sucked to death, but that’s just me.
– I love Joe and am so glad that Jesse L. Martin got to have several comedic lines. Always brightens up the mood.
– Also: Professor Zoom!
– Glad to see there’s no Iris problem anymore. But how long before the show addresses her and Barry’s unresolved issues? Sigh.
– Caitlin and Barry’s reunion at Mercury Labs was very touching, but it was Joe and Barry’s heart-to-heart that delivered the biggest emotional punch this week.
– The Flash light was a hilarious, if not too on-the-nose, nod to all the fans out there.
– I still can’t understand the logic that Henry was using to explain why he had to leave. This one really annoyed me.
– I can’t say I don’t love the new suit, but it’s hardly an upgrade right?
– Hilarious bit: Cisco talking about the increased security at STAR Labs at the end right before Jay Garrick storms in.
Red Blurs & One-Liners
Cisco: Security here is way better than it was at STAR Labs, what with people walking in and out of the cortex all of the time.
Caitlin: You carry a handkerchief now? What are you, 80?
Caitlin: That light was perfect bait. What made you think of that?
Cisco: I don’t know. I think I saw it in a comic book somewhere.
Joe: You weren’t the only person making decisions that day. All of the rest of us were there too. Eddie and Ronnie, they chose to help you stop Wells, and stop that…
Joe: Singularity thing. It’s on all of us, Barry. So stop with this hogging all the blame and regret. We gotta live with it. Move on.
Caitlin: STAR Labs is now safer than ever. Increased security and surveillance.
Cisco: Re-coded, double firewalled, electronic lock sets. Nothing is getting through here without us knowing.
Iris: So people can’t just waltz in and out of here.
(Jay Garrick walks in)
Cisco: For real?
In a premiere that was racing to return to its status quo, The Flash proved that it is still an entertaining and exciting show.