by Tony Ortega
Previously on The Flash – Thanks to a particle accelerator, lightning and chemicals, Barry Allen became the fastest man alive. Striving to solve his mother’s murder while protecting the citizens of Central City, the Flash (and his fantastic team of cohorts), did just that. We came to see that Barry was not just some guy who was struck by lightning and that the lightning didn’t hit him, it choose him. At the season finale, an apparent singularity opened to what appeared to be Earth 2 (Jay Garrick’s hat even guest starred), threatened the citizens of Central City. We saw the origins of Firestorm, Captain Cold, Heatwave, Weather Wizard, Plastique, and many other baddies from the Flash’s rogue’s gallery. Oh, and hottie Eddie died at the hands of Reverse Flash.
Season two starts off with the same momentum as season one did. So, in my best River Song voice – SPOILERS!
The Man Who Saved Central City begins six months after the resolution of the singularity event. Barry seems to be very down on himself despite having saved Central City from the singularity. Flashback – Barry stabilized the singularity while Ronnie and Professor Stein, as Firestorm, unfused within the singularity, successfully closing it. However, it would appear that Ronnie didn’t make it out alive, which is the cause of Barry’s self-flagellation (which would explain why Ronnie isn’t in the cast line up for the Flash spin-off – Legends of Tomorrow).
Central City decides to throw a Flash Appreciation day event and Barry doesn’t want to go as he feels he is not worthy of such praise. Iris convinces him to attend the event and we see an appearance by another Earth 2 character, Atom Smasher (or it Nucklon) from Infinity Inc., Justice League, and Justice Society fame. Atom Smasher then becomes the big bad of the season premiere.
However, in Barry’s current self-loathing state, pushes Team Flash away (which is short one member, Caitlyn). Flash embarks on his own to track down Atom Smasher, which is somewhat surprising as Al Rothstein apparently died in season one. Barry gets his ass handed to him on a platter, which is a pattern for the first part of the show every episode, my one complaint.
Thanks to Joe’s intervention (Jeese L Martin is flawless in any role he plays), Barry reconciles with Caitlyn, who he believes blames him for Ronnie’s death, and together, they watch Harrison Wells’ living will. Much to everyone’s surprise, Wells confesses to Nora Allen’s murder and clearing Barry’s father in the process.
Barry reunites with Team Flash to kick Atom Smasher’s ass and we even see the very first appearance of the Flash signal. Barry outwits Atom Smasher, with the help of Team Flash, and we are informed of Atom Smasher’s benefactor – ZOOM! And wait til you see the final guest appearance this episode. Ah, the hell with it, Jay frickin Garrick shows up. Yes, the Flash of two worlds in vivo. I am so a happy man right now.
Clearly, The Flash was this writer’s favorite freshman show last season and continues to be thus far (forgive me Agent Ward). It maintained a strong identity of it’s own while maintaining it’s ties to it’s parent show, Arrow. Strong character development and solid plot lines kept the show very fresh and exciting from start to finish. And even the time travel story lines didn’t fry my brain like some episodes of Doctor Who do. I don’t recall a bad episode and that’s hard for this very critical blogger to say. The show also had very strong connections with DC Comics history without confusing non comic book readers. And Grant Gustin redeemed himself in this one’s eyes after nearly mutilating my crush, Blaine Anderson, on Glee.
If the season premiere of season two is any indication of what is in store for us Flash-natics (I coined that phrase just now), we are in for an even better ride than season one. You too will believe that the lightning didn’t hit Barry, it chose him. IT’S GO TIME.