THE FLASH, SEASON 2 PREMIERE REVIEW
By Jarrett Kruse
In what I think is the best superhero TV show in the history of the genre, I spent my summer watching and re-watching the epic first season of The CW's The Flash. The first season of the series was a hit and in this critic's mind, a solid "A" all around. The narrative was more like watching a movie each week and not just a TV show. From the top notch special effects to the clever crossing over into the Arrow-verse, The Flash Season 1 was an exciting and near perfect dose of comic book TV with repeat worthy episodes and a knockout of a maiden season one finale.
When last we saw Barry and the gang in Central City, Harrison Wells had been wiped from existence when Detective Eddie Thawne took his own life stopping the timeline of the Thawne family. However, a Singularity event took over the city with Barry caught in the middle of the tornado-like event. When Season 2 begins, we first get the impression that all is well and that Barry, along with the help of Firestorm was able to stop the Singularity and all is well in Central City back at S.T.A.R. Labs. However, those scenes were just a positive vision Barry had of what he wanted to happen. In reality, Ronnie was killed (again) inside the eye of the Singularity. Six months have gone by and the reality of the situation is that Barry has decided to go it alone without the help of his S.T.A.R. Labs comrades. Caitlyn has taken a job at Mercury Labs while Cisco is still working with Joe and the CCPD. Needless to say, Barry is in a major funk and doesn't want anyone else around him to get hurt.
The mayor has called for a "Flash Day" in Central City that Barry is hesitant to participate in. However at the last minute amongst thousands of attendees, Barry suits up to accept the key to the city. But it is then, right when we think things are ok that the Atom Smasher shows up to put the kibosh on Flash Day. The effects department did a great job with the Atom a Smasher (WWE's Adam Copeland) and his ability to grow in stature. When Joe and Barry see the giant villain without his mask on, they realize it is the same Al Rothstein who was their victim from earlier in the episode. What is going on?
It seems that the late Harrison Wells has left everything to Barry including a video message on a thumb drive that he is hesitant to watch. Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry's team has returned to work against his wishes to take on the meta humans in Central City. It is nice to see that Iris has joined the team now that she is in on Barry's secret identity. The Flash leaves his comms behind to face the Atom Smasher but his strength is too much for Barry to handle. Plus Barry and the team cannot figure out how this can be the same Al Rothstein who was already dead. He assures Barry that he won't believe him if he told him before being beaten and retreating back to STAR Labs. It's obvious that Barry needs his team back to assist him.
Barry visits Caitlyn at Mercury Labs out of guilt for Ronnie's passing. However, she lets Barry know that she never held him responsible for Ronnie dying in the Singularity. Together they watch the video message from Wells and it turns out to be a confession to murdering Nora Allen in 2000 that will exonerate Henry Allen. Reinvigorated, Barry and the team at S.T.A.R. Labs set a trap for the Atom Smasher using a "Flash Symbol" in a tongue in cheek tribute to Batman's calling card. After taking down the Atom Smasher, Barry asks why he did all of this and Rothstein confesses that he was told he would be sent home if he took care of The Flash. When Barry pushes Rothstein to who promised him that, he confesses "Zoom." Whoa!!!
Henry is sprung from Iron Heights and despite Barry hoping that he and his Dad could move in together in Central City, it seems that his Dad needs to get far away from Central City, at least for now. Somber, but understanding, Barry lets his father go. I am hoping that he returns to Central City and is part of the Flash storyline for the future. Cisco unveils the Flash's new suit, the one that Gideon showed them from the future. After discussing all of the new S.T.A.R. Labs security measures, someone enters the lab and it's the man that was taking snaps of Barry earlier in the episode. He lets them know his name is Jay Garrick and that their world is in danger. Double whoa!!!
This was a seriously perfect episode to me and I am dying to see what is up next. This start to season 2 has set the bar pretty high for The Flash's sophomore season and I seriously wish I could binge all 24 episodes at once, but that's not gonna happen. I never give a perfect score for movies and TV, but this was a flawless episode so I'm breaking my rule and giving it a five stars out of five stars. Well done.