When the first season of The Flash ended, jaws dropped, fans stood up, and others raced out of the room. The season finale was so ambitious that, let’s face it, where do you even begin to compile a second season? From singularities to time travel, the first season was enough to give a normal person a headache. Yet, somehow, the show manages to make the complicated not so complicated. And, if the premiere of the second season is any indication, then fans of the show can relax because everything is going to be okay.
If you haven’t seen the premiere yet, then you may want to look away because, while it’s not intended, spoilers may be given away. So, if you’re ready to move forward, then keep reading.
The premiere throws the audience right into the middle of the action as Barry is trying to take down Captain Cold and Heat Wave. Thanks to the late arrival of Firestorm, the Flash is able to apprehend both criminals. Afterwards, everyone gathers at S.T.A.R. Labs and it seems that all is right in the world. All of Barry’s friends surround him and congratulate him on another successful mission. Even Eddie is there…and Dr. Wells?
We next see Barry doing the thing that he does as the CCPD’s resident forensic scientist, looking over the body of local nuclear plant worker named Al Rothstein. At this point, Det. Joe West shows up and based on Barry’s reaction, it seems over the six months that he and Joe have grown apart. What seems to be tireless effort, Joe asks Barry if he plans on attending “Flash Day,” an event that the city is holding to celebrate the day that the Flash saved everyone from the singularity. However, Barry is reluctant to go and walks away. As he walks away from the scene, a mysterious man is seen taking photos of him.
When Iris finds Barry, we see that he’s been spending his nights rebuilding the local coffee shop that had, sadly, fallen victim to the day of the singularity. After Barry and Iris share a moment where she tries to remind him of the hero he had become, the show jumps to a flashback where the audience finally sees exactly what happened the moment Barry ran into the big hole in the sky. It turns out that Barry, alone, wasn’t enough to stop the singularity. He would still need the help of Firestorm to seal the hole. While running, Barry witnesses Firestorm rip the device that help stabilizes professor Stein and Ronnie. The resulting explosion is enough to seal the singularity and expels the professor. The Flash is able to catch him and run him back down to the ground, but Ronnie is nowhere to be seen and assumed to be dead. Barry is the bearer of bad news to Caitlin and she cries in his arms over the loss.
A jump to Barry shows him reading the local paper which depicts the Flash being thrown aside. He’s then visited by a man who claims to be a lawyer for the recently departed Dr. Wells. It turns out that Wells had left Barry all of S.T.A.R. Labs as part of his living trust. However, there’s a slight chance Barry could lose it unless he watches a video made by Wells before his death. As the lawyer walks away, he tosses the video to the side.
After another altercation with The Atom Smasher and getting beat, the audience is taken back to a time six months after the death of Barry’s mom. Sitting at a table, West gives a young Barry some cereal only to have it be pushed away. West realizes that young Barry is acting out in an attempt to look strong during a time when Barry is most vulnerable. He tells Barry that being sad is okay and that the tougher thing to do would be to let his emotions run. West reminds him that he can’t be strong all the time and that the reason he’s around to help Barry when it happens.
Barry starts by visiting Caitlin first. He tells her that he blames himself for the death of Ronnie, but Caitlin tells him that she’s the one to blame because she had the chance to leave Central City with him, but didn’t because wanted to stay and help. Barry hands Caitlin a handkerchief to wipe her tears and, in doing so, he drops the flash drive containing the video Wells had made before his death. She asks what it is, and together they watch the video.
With a heavy weight lifted off of his shoulders, Barry gets back to business working with everyone to take down the Atom Smasher. Their plan works and the Atom Smasher dies, but not before revealing that in exchange to getting him home, a person by the name Zoom tasked the Atom Smasher with killing the Flash.
The season premiere comes to a close with a party to welcome Henry Allen home from prison. Unfortunately, Henry has no plans to stick around Central City. Back at the lab, Barry is obviously saddened that his dad has chosen to leave the city but is quickly all smiles as he sees his second family gathered in the lab. Cisco shows Barry that he’s made some modifications to the suit showing off the white Flash symbol on Barry’s costume.
As far as season premieres go, this is as solid as it gets. Within the first 10 minutes of the show things get right down to business and it neatly answers the questions audiences were left with at the end of the first season. The writing wasn’t complex and the acting was clear enough that it was easy to tell a rift had formed between Joe and Barry in the first real scene together.
Kudos to actor Carlos Valdes who plays Cisco Ramon. It’s like he never missed a beat when the show went on it’s summer hiatus. From trying to get a badge from Captain Singh to hugging professor Stein and welcoming him to the team for coming up with the name “The Atom Smasher,” he always manages to steal the scene and provide a great balance from the seriousness of being a superhero.
This episode has some of the best special effects of the series thus far. One of the best visual scenes had to have been right after the energy had been expelled from Firestorm. In the following scene, professor Stein could be seen falling alongside a building. Then out of nowhere, the Flash races down to catch him and run him back down to streets.
Another problem with this episode was the Henry Allen situation. Why couldn’t he stick around? Where did he plan on going? While there is probably a good chance audiences will see Henry again, it made for a very awkward moment. After many years fighting, you finally get your dad out of jail for a crime you know he didn’t commit. Then he tells you he doesn’t plan to stick around. Your welcome? Couldn’t you stay for a couple of days before you leave?
Still, a couple of weird moments can’t take away from the fact that The Flash is back. The final scene was pretty exciting especially for fans familiar with the lore. There is so much to look forward to such as Zoom, other versions of the Flash, and how the show will deal with the multiverse – a topic that will either make or break the show. As a final note, did anyone else think that professor Stein had been acting weird the entire episode. Maybe Ronnie isn’t dead. Since when does professor Stein use the word “pop?”
Final grade: A
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