Spoilers to follow for The Flash Season 2…
The Flash Season 2 was another great season of television for the scarlet speedster. The show had its work cut out for it after the fantastic debut of Barry Allen in Season 1. What made the first season so great was that it was fun, it had emotional resonance and it stood apart from the darker shows in the DC TV universe such as Arrow. The show wasn’t afraid to embrace the source material either and this season certainly continued that trend with the introduction of Earth-2 and the multiverse opening up hundreds of creative avenues the show could move down in the future. Overall, this season of The Flash was fun, emotional, darker and featured some memorable episodes, great writing and strong direction. Although it didn’t quite live up to the impact of the first season, the show really benefited from its strong opening season as it quickly introduced the audience to a whole other world with its own Flash.
As with many seasons of television, The Flash season 2 saw a lot of set-up not only for Barry’s inevitable fight with Zoom but also for another show – Legends of Tomorrow. Although the episode involving the new Firestorm and ‘Family of Rogues’ involving Leonard Snart and his father was good material for the show, it was the introduction of Carter Hall and Kendra that didn’t really take off for the crossover with Arrow. As an audience we never really bought Cisco and Kendra’s relationship but luckily it didn’t last long as Kendra and Carter were soon whisked away to Legends of Tomorrow. The crossover episode with Arrow, ‘Legends of Today’ wasn’t as entertaining as the first crossover from last season where we got to see Oliver Queen and Barry face each other as adversaries before teaming up. This season there was just too much going on in the respective DC shows to tell a more personal story between Green Arrow and Flash.
The Earth-2 thread running through this season was definitely a hit as Barry and the team (including Harry from Earth 2) fought back against the meta-humans from another Earth. Things really picked up when Harry, Barry and Cisco traveled to Earth 2 for themselves which was one of the great episodes of the season and demonstrated the best The Flash has to offer, whether it’s Barry and Cisco taking goofy selfies at Earth 2’s S.T.A.R. Labs and meeting their alter egos or Barry’s heartbreaking phone conversation with his mother. Once again, writers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg proved they can move from light and fun scenes to scenes that really pack an emotional punch. Earth-2 had a lot to offer this season and seeing all the doppelgangers, who are familiar to those who’ve read the comics, was a really nice touch and it looked fun for the actors to suddenly change tracks and play someone often the complete opposite of characters such as Caitlin or Cisco. It really was quite a moment for comic book fans to see a TV show explaining the multiverse and really embracing the DC lore, it’s something the show has always done well and I hope it continues next season.
The core cast once again impressed this season. Carlos Valdes in particular showed that he can handle some more serious and dramatic material for Cisco and Caitlin’s journey also took a darker turn particularly when she was captured by Zoom. It was wise of the writers to keep Tom Cavanagh’s Harrison Wells around even if he wasn’t exactly the same as he was before. He was certainly one of the best things about last season and his terrific work continued throughout this season. Grant Gustin still looks like he’s having a blast playing The Flash and this season perhaps put Barry through emotional turmoil more than ever. It was heartbreaking to see Barry lose another parent and be tested and pushed to breaking point once again. Meanwhile, we were also introduced to Wally West this season, a name that should stand out if you know your Flash history. Keiynan Lonsdale got stronger as the season went on but ultimately he needs more to do in the future especially if he’s going to portray a certain character from the comics.
The weakest feature of this season of The Flash was actually the villain which is a little disappointing given the strength of Reverse Flash last season. The show maybe suffered in following season one’s formula too closely as Barry again went up against someone faster and stronger than him. Zoom was also a much more compelling villain when there was an air of mystery and speculation about who he was. Once it was revealed that Zoom was Jay Garrick/Zolomon Hunter then the most intriguing thing about him was removed. I never really bought Teddy Sears as the villain and he wasn’t really compelling enough as Jay Garrick either. The fact he was manipulating everyone also fell in line with the arc for last season’s antagonist.
The Flash season 2 gave us lots more twists and turns and gave us several really special and memorable episodes. My favourites included ‘Welcome to Earth-2’ and the Kevin Smith directed episode, ‘The Runaway Dinosaur’ which saw Barry enter the speed force and battle his inner demons. The core cast still performs fantastically well and have good chemistry together and most importantly the show has retained its sense of humour and emotional resonance particularly for Barry and his relationship with others which forms the heart of the show. Although the villain and his eventual reveal wasn’t particularly interesting, The Flash still has a lot going for it and I look forward to seeing what happens next season especially after Barry’s dramatic decision in the finale.
What did you think of The Flash Season 2? let me know by commenting below.