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“The Flash – Season 1” Review

If you’re like me, you’ve been wondering how fast you need to run to time travel to the start of season 2 of The Flash, and if you watched the finale, you’ll know that the answer is “about mach 2”.

The-Flash-Wallpaper-the-flash-cw-37862535-1920-1080If you’re concerned about what you may read here, I promise I’m not going to spoil anything at first. I’ll start with a spoiler-free review of the season and the finale so that those who haven’t watched it can get a real review, and then later on we’ll get into the spoilery stuff in the finale.

The cast of The Flash is one of the strongest on television right now. It’s mostly relatively unknown actors, playing characters that all have some sort of DC Comics Easter Egginess to them. One of the biggest shames is that Grant Gustin won’t be playing The Flash in the movie universe, because he is Barry Allen. I can’t imagine Ezra Miller filling those shoes as well as he has. If he didn’t bring a tear to your eyes during the finale, you don’t have a soul.

The series has a great collection of villains from the comics. In the first season we’ve seen Barry Allen’s arch nemesis, The Rogues, and even a certain telepathic gorilla that we all know and love. Most of them have been well-cast, with the exception of one. Most of the rogue episodes are fantastically written, but almost ruined by Dominic Purcell‘s overacting as Heatwave. His Prison Break co-star Wentworth Miller however, is fantastic as Captain Cold.

flash_012014_1600The Flash is everything Arrow isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love Arrow, but The Flash is basically the opposite in every way. I love that two shows can exist in the same universe, and one of them can be so dark and the other so much fun. DC needs to use this same formula in their film universe- not everyone needs to be brooding, Warner Brothers. Save the brooding for Batman.

One of my favourite parts about The Flash is that it’s so self aware. They spend so  much time beating around the bush with most superhero shows and movies, avoiding just saying the names that we love. The Flash wastes no time giving characters their names from the comics. It’s actually one of the main purposes of the character Cisco. He’s there to name the baddies, and he’s damn good at it.

the-flash-season-finale-promo-spot-fast-enoughAfter a pretty “meh” third season finale last week from Arrow, The Flash showed fans what a real season finale looks like this week with episode 23, “Fast Enough”. The cast acted the crap out of this episode- particularly Grant Gustin, Jesse L. Martin, and Tom Cavanagh. It had an awesome story, great special effects for television, some tear-jerking moments, Easter eggs galore and an awesome cliffhanger. From this point on we’re gonna get pretty spoilery.

That opening scene with Cavanagh and Gustin was so good. It’s like Cavanagh was suddenly a completely different person. From that opening scene to his scene with Cisco (with the Vibe references), Tom Cavanagh proved that he is one of the best actors on the show.

The other stand out scene is Barry saying goodbye to his dying mother. After traveling through time to the night his mother was killed, Barry gets a warning from the future version of himself and decides not to stop her death, but rather be there with her when she dies. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.

When he gets back to the present timeline, unaltered by his trip to the past, a fight breaks out between The Flash and The Reverse-Flash. When things seem to be favouring RF, Eddie Thawne, a distant relative of Eobard Thawne/ Reverse Flash, shoots himself in the heart which alters the future and removes RF from existence. Nobody saw this coming, and when it happened my jaw dropped through the floor. With a name like Thawne, nobody expected Eddie to become the hero of this story.

Lets get into some of the Easter Eggs from this episode. The one we’ve already mentioned is Eobard Thawne setting up Cisco’s “Vibe” story. Those who read the comics recognized his name from the start. There was also a couple references to the upcoming spinoff series, “DC’s The Legends of Tomorrow”. When they build the time machine, Eobard says that Rip Hunter, who built the first time machine would be proud. Rip Hunter is the character that Doctor Who‘s Arthur Darvill will be playing in the new show. There is also a quick shot of Clara Renee as Kendra Saunders/ Hawkgirl in the final scene of the episode.

hawkgirl
Ciara Renee as Kendra Saunders AKA Hawkgirl

When the time travel portal is open and Barry is running through the speed force, it is Easter egg city. Barry sees various things from his past, present and future, including a look at the Legends of Tomorrow, himself in jail, Caitlin Snow gone full Killer Frost, and a Flash Museum.

legends
A look at the upcoming spinoff series “Legends of Tomorrow”
jail
Barry sees himself in jail in the future
killer frost
Barry sees his friend Caitlin Snow when she eventually becomes Killer Frost
museum
Barry sees a future museum dedicated to The Flash

And of course, The Reverse Flash got his “cue to leave”-  The first Flash, Jay Garrick’s helmet.

garrick

And the episode ends with Barry running into a black hole that opens up above the city. Where will this show go next?  Is this the crisis storyline we were expecting? All I know is my current crisis is that I don’t know what to do on Tuesday nights for the next few months.

crisis

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