Midseason TV Review: The Flash
by Tony Ortega
Barry Allen aka The Flash – the fastest man alive. This writer has never been a huge fan of the comic, despite having grown up reading the classic Carmine Infantino run. However, the TV version of the character surpasses the comic version on so many levels as well as appeasing to long time comic book fans and non-fans alike. The show has always had strong characterization and compelling story lines, despite time paradoxes (hint hint Steven Moffat). It touches on classic comic book story lines that thrills the comic reader and fascinates the non-comic reader. Clearly, The Flash has been this writer’s favorite show since the hey day of Glee.
Previously on The Flash: After successfully defeating The Reverse Flash (the man responsible for Barry’s mother’s death), a singularity opened that endangered Central City. The Flash and Firestorm (then Ronnie Raymond and Professor Stein) successfully closed the singularity, however, opening up portals to Earth 2. Enter Jay Garrick (now powerless), Zoom, and Earth 2 version of Harrison Wells and a sundry of other Earth 2 iconic characters. Ronnie seemingly dies, however, Jason joins the Firestorm matrix. Joe’s ex-wife returns and reveals to Iris that she had a son they never knew about – Wally West. Cisco got and lost a girlfriend. Hawkman and Hawkgirl are introduced. And Barry keeps a girlfriend for a change.
So, on to the mid season finale and, as always, in my best River Song voice: SPOILERS!
The episode marks the return of the Weather Wizard, Captain Cold, and The Trickster, plotting to kill the Flash once and for all. Flash flans probably squealed at the possible formation of what will be known as The Rogues (however, we all know that Captain Cold will be joining The Legends of Tomorrow). Iris reveals to her father that he has a son he never knew he had. Captain Cold leaves the budding Rogues and warns Barry of the villain’s plans. One wonders why the sudden altruism on Captain Cold’s part (clearly, Legends of Tomorrow will answer that). The Trickster, disguised as Santa Claus, distributes presents to the young citizen of Central City, however, each present contains a bomb. Again, with Team Flash on hand, the bombs are teleported away. The Trickster and Weather Wizard are quickly subdued by the Flash but not before Patty seeks revenge against the Weather Wizard for the murder of her father. The Flash doesn’t use his super speed to save the day but his desire for the next right action, preventing Patty from killing Weather Wizard. Barry stares at Earth 2 Harrison (Harry) Wells and forgives him. Jay and Caitlin kiss. Team Flash celebrates Christmas. And a last minute guest arrives – Wally West himself. Does this indicate the appearance of Kid Flash in the future? One can only hope.
Since its inception, The Flash has been an exceptionally written show. My favorite thing in watching TV shows is the ability to relate to the characters. With respect to Barry, despite being the fastest man alive, he portrays an emotional vulnerability and occasional sense of inadequacy mirrors my own life. His camaraderie with his supporting cast reminds me that alone, I am powerful, but together, we are unstoppable. We also get a multidimensional show with multiple story lines that are tight, easy to follow and just as important to the big bad of the episode. Classic comic book Flash story lines are so marvelously interwoven into the show. The special effects are epic. I have never been disappointed with an episode of this show. Every episode reminds me that Barry Allen is not just some guy who was struck by lightning.