Grant Gustin as Barry Allen in The Flash
Man, what a season it has been for The Flash. For a first season, I was very impressed. I didn’t know how to feel about it with it being an extension of Arrow. One show is really dark and tries to ground itself in some form of realism and the other embraces the comic-book feel. It definitely had its missteps along the way but for the most part, The Flash hit all the right notes.
As far as an overarching story goes, I was very committed to seeing how it all played out. Now, I am also a huge fan of The Flash and love seeing the little nods and easter eggs along the way. We are given a great cast. I wasn’t sold on Grant Gustin as Barry Allen at first. We first saw him last season on Arrow and something just felt a little off. But all of that was rectified when this show started. He owns his role with just the right amount of humor and emotion. Jesse L Martin (who is always amazing) really adds a lot to this show. His experience really shows as he fits right in as a fatherly figure to Barry. Carlos Valdes and Danielle Panabaker bring most of the lightness to the season and I am one to always appreciate movie references. Rick Cosnett and Candice Patton aren’t always involved in some of the best stories but they really come into their own towards the end.
But the real winner of the cast is Tom Cavanagh. He is most known for playing Zach Braff’s brother in Scrubs. But I have a feeling that this is a character he will be known for; at least for a while. His scenes are some of the best of the whole season. He plays a mentor to Barry Allen, but there is also something off about him. When he talks, you listen. He has this presence that is unreal for someone that sits in a wheelchair. He has these great monologues that he delivers with ease. I never would have pictured Cavanagh in a comic role like this. But as a fan of the comics, the season arc had me very excited.
This guy is awesome
So the main story of the show is that Barry was put in a coma from something called a particle accelerator. Cavanagh’s Harrison Wells is the one who designed it. When showing it to the world, something went wrong and there was a catastrophic explosion. This caused Barry to be put in a coma for months and when he woke, he had powers that made him the fastest man alive. A lot of the show does focus on some of the other people affected by the particle accelerator. Barry and his team at S.T.A.R. Labs have to track down these people who have gained abilities (“meta-humans”) and stop them. But Barry is also looking into the death of his mother that happened as a child. He is trying to clear his dad’s name, as he was wrongly convicted of her murder.
Some of these episodes are somewhat filler and seem similar to that of Smallville’s first season. It includes a lot of the “monster-of-the-week” kind of episodes. But even the filler episodes were still pretty decent. And the really good episodes were really damn good. I don’t know if I love this show because I was watching it at the same time as the lackluster third season of Arrow or if it actually is as good as I am claiming. What I don’t want is to recommend this show to a lot of people just because I’m a DC Comics and The Flash fan when they might hate it. So, my love for the source material aside, is this a good show? I would say most definitely.
Even when this show isn’t completely dramatic and serious, it has the fun and light episodes. It includes a load of great guest stars. You get to see the likes of Mark Hamill, John Wesley Shipp, Wentworth Miller, and Clancy Brown have tons of fun and great material in supporting roles. I’d say it is around the half way point where The Flash really hits its stride. The real story and villain come to the forefront and you really get a feel of how the rest of the season is going to go. And that villain is played to perfection.
Hey! The Brothers are back! Kind of…
I love how this show isn’t afraid to show the true comic roots. There are things only comic fans will notice and understand and it is awesome to see them included in this show. As a fan of The Flashpoint Paradox, this whole season had me smiling with the possibilities. They even showed us an episode on Gorilla Grodd! And as a show on the CW, the CGI impressed me a lot during the season. The animations are mostly well-done. There are some that look pretty corny, like Barry waving his arms fast to suck up a tornado. But there are also some that look impressive. Barry’s running scenes, Grodd, and the last two episodes all were examples of making the show look good.
But the best thing about the season, by far, is Harrison Wells. Or actully, Eobard Thawne. As it turns out Tom Cavanagh’s character is the big villain of the season and he is always ten steps ahead of everyone. It is a treat to see him in action weasel his way out of situations. It is cool to watch when we know more than the heroes of the show does. We get to yell at our TVs when they don’t know what this dude is planning the entire season. But it gives us an excuse to get lots and lots of monologues delivered with perfection by Cavanagh. And it isn’t just the awesome comic moments that makes this show so good; it has all of the emotion to go along with it. Some of the best scenes are simple heart-to-hearts between Grant Gustin and Jesse L Martin, but also the ones between Barry and his imprisoned dad are the ones that will affect you. John Wesley Shipp was a great addition to the series and I am glad he was able to play a nice role in here. He hits the emotional scenes really well.
The season finale should be its own separate article because there is so much to praise. The emotional struggle, the awesome easter egg moments, and some moments you just won’t see coming. They took an awesome story and decided to do what they wanted with it and it worked. The cliffhanger may make you a little mad, but overall it was a great end to a great season. But it was far from perfect. It wasn’t without its struggles.
The love story angles weren’t very good. From the get go, you see that there is a chemistry between Gustin and Patton. Barry and Iris is the relationship they want the fans to pine for, but the issue is that they make it so unbearable at times. The love triangle between those two and Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett) got to be a bit much. Plus it made Iris’ a tad unlikable for most of the season. That and some of the really weak “monster-of-the-week” episodes were definitely the low points of the season, but it wasn’t enough to ruin the season for me. All in all, this was a fantastic start to a show I have high hopes for. Let’s just hope it doesn’t slip like Arrow eventually did.
WHAT I LIKED
- The whole cast really worked well together. The chemistry was present between the majority of the main characters. Grant Gustin and Tom Cavanagh really shined.
- Tom Cavanagh deserves his own individual praise for how amazing he was.
- Awesome villain and overarching story for the freshman season
- Easter eggs galore
- Great emotional moments
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
- Patton’s Iris West was unbearable at times
- The love triangle rarely worked and got annoying
- The monster-of-the-week episodes weren’t very strong