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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
Talk about a sophomore slump. The first season of The Flash was light, fun fluff. It wasn’t game changing, but it was enjoyable with enough character beats to keep me invested. The second season took a crap on all of it making it such a trying experience by the end.
Where to begin? The season starts out okay with an interesting premise introducing the concept parallel worlds (allowing for a creative way to keep Tom Cavanagh on the show), the classic comic book character Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears), a terrifying new villain known as Zoom, and a new love interest for Barry (Grant Gustin). All good stuff that made for a promising season of ideas.
But the show’s writing slowly began going downhill at a steady pace. First, they ditch Barry’s girlfriend in the most awkward and unconvincing way ever. Then the team of supposed scientists continue to make awful decision after awful decision. They are supposed to be smart, but they cannot concoct a scheme to take down this season’s villain when they have him directly at their mercy. These people are stupid. More on that later.
The biggest sin is in this season’s villain, Zoom. We are never given a clear idea what exactly he wants. Does he just want Barry’s speed because he wants to go faster? Or because he’s dying? Don’t know. It is later revealed that he wants to destroy the multiverse. Why? What does he gain from this? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He kidnaps Caitlin (Danielle Panbaker) for “reasons” and then later lets her go for “reasons”. His motivations and desires are all over the place.
Even more maddening is that the basic idea behind Zoom is exactly the same as the villain from last year. A mentor figure to the team is really the villain who is helping Barry to get faster in order for him to ultimately steal his speed. Did the writers and/or producers not see that they were already repeating themselves?
As mentioned above, these characters are stupid. And Barry is incredibly selfish. The season ended with Barry, feeling bad about himself because his father just died, goes back in time to save his mother from being killed. For starters, this plotline was resolved a year ago. Second, how dumb is Barry?! He knows that if he saves his mom, he is destroying the future. And, on top of that, he should know that changing the past like that has the potential to wipe out existence as it almost did at the end of last season (which subsequently set-up this season’s problems). And even further, it goes completely against the lesson he learned a few episodes prior that Barry needs to work through and accept the tragedies in his life. And finally, did he conveniently forget the time wraiths who go after speedsters for messing with time – the very thing that defeated Zoom?
And don’t get me started on the nonsense “time remnant” plot point or the over-the-top narrative gymnastics/fan service with the John Wesley Shipp reveal.
This show had turned into garbage. There are some bright spots still with some fun interaction between the characters and some good additions to the case. But, overall this show has fallen. People love to give the Batman prequel Gotham a lot of crap, but at least that show is consistent. The Flash’s producers really need to reconsider what they are wanting to do with this series. I’m not going to give up on it yet. I think it is recoverable. Hopefully the third season will give the writers to iron out whatever issues they are having.