To say that I hated The Flash’s second season is an understatement, so I had very low expectations for this overhyped premiere. And yet I was still massively disappointed.
There are dozens of things weighing down this show right now, but the most obvious one is the writers’ fixation on that fateful night Nora Allen was killed. It was a powerful, effective plot to kick off the freshman season, but since then we’ve seen Nora and Henry Allen so many times and revisited that tragic night on multiple occasions (to various degrees of success). Not only does that rip the moment of its efficiency and sense of urgency, but it also makes the show even less grounded and much more exhausting to watch.
As expected, the Flashpoint storyline only takes up one episode to resolve because God forbid the writers shake up the status quo for once. The new Iris immediately swoons over Barry while her brother Wally (still horrible as ever) is Kid Flash in this alternate reality. Even less convincing is how the West siblings instantly trust Barry and his time-traveling stories, and while I usually enjoy a fast-paced premiere, this one was remarkably rushed. I honestly don’t know whether to be glad the Flashpoint arc ended so quickly or just shocked that it ever happened.
This show still has a lot of heart, especially when it’s reexamining the Barry/Nora/Henry relationship in the alternate timeline, but these characters are extremely one-dimensional and dull here, they often looked like they were merely figments of Barry’s imagination. The weekly villain, called The Rival, is just as shallow and uninteresting (yes, even with that cliffhanger), and the fact that Barry still needs a cringe-inducing pep talk to start running only makes this episode worse.
It would be a miracle if the writers stopped retreading these same story beats over and over again, and it would be an even greater miracle if I could finish this season without wanting to pull my eyes out. I still genuinely want to love this show again, especially with Supergirl joining its universe soon, but I can’t help but worry it’s becoming the new Gotham.
– Cisco is always delightful, but Rich Cisco at Ramon Industries felt like a variation of the Earth-2 doppelganger storyline the show already did last year. Lazy writing, if you ask me.
– It’s unclear why Jo is a terrible drunk in the alternate reality, but him shooting down The Rival is possibly my favorite moment of the premiere.
– Matt Letscher is still incredibly threatening as Reverse Flash – but again, we’ve seen all this before. Can they maybe come up with a new Big Bad?
– Harrison Wells was obviously not invited to the alternate reality.
– Caitlin acting all fine after Barry kidnaps her was laughable. In a sick, disgusting way.
– Seriously wanted to scream when Iris gave Barry that atrocious pep-talk. Yes, Barry, all you need to do is RUN.
– Are we supposed to believe all of these events happened in one day, including Iris falling in love with a stranger she didn’t remember from school?
– Fun fact: Captain Julio Mendez (from the alternate timeline) was played by Alex Désert, who also starred in the 1990 version of The Flash alongside John Wesley Shipp (Henry).
– Barry messed with the timeline again after asking Reverse Flash to go back and kill his mother after all, and Iris and Jo do not speak to each other in this new reality. Yes, more soapy subplots please.
– The final teaser reveals that we’ll be seeing this show’s version of Dr. Alchemy soon.
Red Blurs & One-Liners
Reverse Flash: (to Barry) The you I know from the future, he’s not this stupid.
Caitlin: Have I been kidnapped?
Cisco: This guy’s like a weather wizard or something.
A rushed, contrived and unexciting premiere. The Flash is back, people!