Flash Episode 1 & 2 Review
In case you haven’t noticed, Superheros are everywhere. In the cinema, on TV, all over Netflix. Sometimes the films are just okay, like Iron Man 2, sometimes they’re downright awful (X-men Origins: Wolverine). For the most part however, the quality is pretty good, from Guardians of the Galaxy to Daredevil. And one of the best shows out there is the Flash, but do the first two episodes of the third season match the rest of the quality of the show? I will now force my opinion on you, whilst trying to minimize spoilers.
So if you missed the end of last season, the Flash, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) has decided to run back in time and save the life of his mother, who had been murdered when he was a child. If your are familiar with Time Travel in the media, you will know that this sort of thing rarely ends well. How will this affect his life, his friendship, and his budding romance with his adopted sister (don’t ask), Iris West (Candice Patton)? Well let’s find out.
Episode 1: Flashpoint.
Barry Allen wakes up in a world he doesn’t recognize. Iris, and his adopted father Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) have only a vague idea of who he is, his best friends Cisco Ramone (Carlos Valdes) and Dr. Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) live very different lives, and there is a new super-fast hero protecting Central City from the villainous ‘Rival’. Over time, Barry realizes this brave new world, called the Flashpoint, may not be the dream world he wanted, even if his parents are still alive. Doing more time travel shenanigans, Barry, with the help of his greatest foe, the Reverse-Flash, tries to put things back the way the were. Returning just after he left at the end of season 2, everything seems back to normal. OR IS IT?
This episode is not bad, but it’s not great either. The highlights are both Valdes’ acting, playing against type, and the delightful insanity of Matt Letscher as the Reverse-Flash, watching Barry fall apart. On the other hand, this is a story line that could have had a way longer lifespan, and even explored the rest of this worlds differences (This is a TV universe that includes Arrow, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Vixen, not to mention the loose connections to Supergirl and Constantine). Flashpoint was a 2011 comic book with a similar premise, but explored the world much more, including having Thomas, not Bruce Wayne as Batman. In addition, whilst I like Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West, I felt his superspeed imbued ‘Kid Flash’ was a little whiny, and could have been developed more. Finally, the Rival has the single worst costume on this show so far, it seemed like a reject from the 1990s Flash series.
Overall, an less than amazing start to the series, but servicable. 5/10
Episode 2: Paradox.
After altering time once again, because he’s an idiot, Barry finds that the world is back to normal, but with a few minor differences. Cisco’s brother is dead, Joe and Iris are no longer on speaking terms, and Draco Malfoy himself is now his coworker (Thats not a joke, it’s actually Tom Felton). Furthermore, whilst talking to Felicity (Emily Brett-Rickards) from Arrow, he discovers the changes extend to that show as well. So, as all good heroes do, he decides to run away from his problems. However, his attempts to change time again are stopped by Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp), the Flash of an alternate universe, who explains time is fragile and he’s got to accept the mess he’s made. The episode culminates with Barry fighting the Rival, who has managed to survive Flashpoint, and his friends accepting that he messed up and moving on, as well as the reveal of new series villain, Dr Alchemy.
This was a fair bit better than the previous episode, with some really nice moments, such as the return of Garrick, the really exceptional acting of Valdes, the fact Barry has accepted he’s not perfect and a villain introduced who isn’t just a speedster (although I bet he will be revealed to be Felton’s character). A few issues are the serious underused nature of Caitlin and Wally, the fact Iris acted way out of character, and the fact all the issues were resolved in the last 10 minutes, like an episode of the Simpsons. I did really enjoy Paradox though, and I’d give it 8/10
So that’s my review of the first two episodes of Flash season 3. Agree or disagree? Comment or tweet me @00jelwes