The Flash: The Man Who Saved Central City
October 7, 2015 5:04 AM - Season 2, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Picking up months after the singularity threatened Central City, Barry is struggling to deal with the aftermath.

Concerned about putting his friends in danger, Barry has pushed everyone away and has chosen to protect the city on his own. When a meta-human named Atom Smasher attacks the city, Iris tells Barry that he needs to let his friends help him protect the citizens of Central City. Meanwhile, Cisco helps Joe with his Meta Task Force.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich (24 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Definitely better than the season finale, but still an up-and-down episode. Mostly fun fights and interactions between Team Flash, and I do love Central City holding Flash holidays, but dispensing with both Ronnie and Henry so quickly was quite jarring, as was the team's willingness to straight-up kill the Atom Smasher. I figured Ronnie was doomed from his conspicuous absence in Legends of Tomorrow promos, but didn't think it would happen between seasons. Oy.

Highlight of the episode was either the Flash-Signal or Prof. Stein's joy in naming a supervillain. Victor Garber is so much fun.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:35 AM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

Ronnie isn't dead. Come on! This is comics and there's no body. He'll be back.

Speaking of which, the entire Wells story takes even more suspension of disbelief than usual. If I recall correctly, didn't Wells fade out of existence? I guess if the STAR scoobies swore they saw him get sucked into the simgularity, maybe he could already have been declared dead. But no one wonders why he left everything to Barry, or questions the validity of his confession in light of the will?

Very likeable episode overall. This stuff bugged me, though.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:15 AM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

Despite being a huge comic book fan -- or perhaps because of it -- I've never been a big fan of these types of shows: original Flash, Smallville, Arrow, etc., but I really like this one.

There were some cool images with Atom Smasher, in particular the one side-on shot of him stalking Barry and towering over him in the radiation-thingee-place at the end.

I'm glad Wells is going to continue to be a presence on the show this season. He's an important part of the tone of the show.

I'm so glad that Iris is a full partner in things, finally. And she was the one to decide that the team would get back together with-or-without Barry's asking for help! I hope the character continues to show that kind of agency. (I still think Barry's crush on basically his step-sister is super-creepy, and will squick out whenever it comes up.)

I do wish they would introduce some sort of official government meta-human prison. They don't seem to want to engage with the moral quandaries of secret prisons or killing villains, and I don't think I want them to. Why wouldn't the government have a jail at this point?

Iris seems to be dealing with Eddie's death pretty well. In fact, unless I missed something, everybody was talking about Ronnie's sacrifice, but not Eddie's.

Did Joe say that it was Barry's fault that Ronnie died? Joe has a weird sense of accountability for a cop.

So, is the big bad this season going to be the kid from the old Mazda commercials?

Henry's going away speech couldn't have been less believable. Unless he's meant to be a huge narcissist? "You can't possibly live up to your full potential with Henry Allen in the picture! So, thanks for dedicating your life to getting me out of prison, I guess. See you around!"

posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 6:17 AM on October 7, 2015 [4 favorites]

Ronnie isn't dead. Come on! This is comics and there's no body. He'll be back.

Well, obviously. Not in time for the spin-off, though!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:18 AM on October 7, 2015

Yeah, the Henry Allen thing was total bullshit and I'm hoping it's some weird cover story, otherwise IT MAKES NO SENSE. After an entire episode about how Barry needs support to be a superhero, his dad comes in and is like 'nah, me being around to help you will keep you from being a superhero'. Flash Dad, you are weird and wrong.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:49 AM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yeah, that scene about Henry leaving was dumb. I understand if for various reasons they needed to get him off the show (or at least avoid him being a regular), but nothing about that reasoning as we saw it makes any sense. I can see that Barry being with his dad who just got out of prison would be more time-consuming and life-altering that it would be for another young adult in his position vis a vis a parental relationship but then, by the same token, having a relationship with your dad who was missing from much of your childhood is the kind of thing that totally would make that disruption worth it. And that would be Barry's decision to make, not Henry's. Given that Barry probably always felt subconsciously like his dad abandoned him, leaving now is like the worst thing Henry could do. It's not a favor to Barry and trying to sell it that way is extremely dumb.

What would have worked more for me would have been something that compromises between Barry's rightful desire to get to know and spend time with his dad with some reason that actually makes sense that Henry couldn't stay in the city. Henry could have said simply that despite Barry being there, there are too many bad memories for him and for his mental health he needs to make a new start somewhere else ... but that it's very important that they regularly get together, visiting each other and spending time with each other. That would have made sense, been fair to both characters, and would have provided the rationale for not including Henry as part of the regular cast. But no, we get something stupid instead.

Note that there was this weird look between Henry and Joe when Barry and Henry were hugging and Joe gave a little nod. So we should consider the possibility that there's actually something going on that makes that scene make more sense. Not that it helps in-universe as a reason to give to Barry; it's still very stupid. But at least then it would arguably be Henry being stupid in making up some bullshit reason and not the writers being stupid in making up some bullshit reason.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:59 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's like the writing staff are clued in on how to make great inside-baseball shout-outs and other things that appeal to modern fandom, but have absolutely no clue how to write a script that isn't full of cliches, head-scratching, ham-handed plot devices, and WTF characterizations. I really enjoy this show overall, but they need to improve the writing by about 35% to keep it watchable. Or go the Full Adam West. Either one.

Meanwhile...Jay Garrick!
posted by briank at 7:22 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I am disappointed that "Flash Day" didn't involve a marathon for some kind of rebuild-the-city (or rainy-day-fund to rebuild the city next time) charity. I mean, c'mon, Flash Day and no foot race? Somebody missed the boat on that one. Still liked the conceit of it, though. I was a little surprised that nobody such as Joe sat Barry down to give him the "this celebration-of-a-hero thing isn't for you, it's for them" speech when he was hemming and hawing about showing up. But mostly because it's not like the Flash writers to miss a glaringly obvious superhero story cliche like that.

And I absolutely agree with everything Ivan said re: Barry's dad. There's gotta be some kind of secret reason...although I half-suspect that the writers just knew they needed to get him out of there so they wrote that scene and figured they'll come up with the secret reason later. It was certainly handled terribly.
posted by mstokes650 at 8:31 AM on October 7, 2015

Was Eddie even ever mentioned? I found that so odd.

The excuse his dad had for leaving was just about cringeworthy. I really hope there's more to it because it was so bad. So so so bad.
posted by the webmistress at 8:37 AM on October 7, 2015

As a person who doesn't usually find slash in places but did feel Flash slash last season, I liked that Barry seemed more torn up about his fake boyfriend Eddie dying than anyone else who actually had a relationship with him.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:02 AM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

I know this is based on a comic book and I am all for it. I am also great at suspensions of disbelief, but I can't wrap my head around how Wells was able to film (and they were able to watch....) his confession if he didn't exist.
posted by the webmistress at 10:05 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Maybe the law firm was ALSO in the singularity.

Yeah, I got nothing.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:13 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

If Eobard actually never existed then the entire first season shouldn't have happened, Barry's mom should be alive, etc. If any show has ever had a cohesive theory of time travel, it ain't this one.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:19 AM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

It wouldn't make any sense -- since they remember Eobard-- but what if Eddie never existed in this reality? That would explain why no one seems to remember him.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 10:20 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I can get on board with that, He Is Only The Imposter. If I don't think about it for more than 2 seconds. Thanks for curing my headache ;)
posted by the webmistress at 10:23 AM on October 7, 2015

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thought Henry's leaving speech was total BS.

Also, the whole thing with Wells/Eobard's video will is such a weird paradox. Unless time in this universe works in a weird way where someone's current existence can get erased because their ancestor dies, but time at that point splits from the foreseeable future into a new one where current people remember that person, it's a freaking mess.

Aaaaand, "oh I saw it in a comic", WTF Cisco, you guys are in the same universe as the Batsignal!
posted by numaner at 10:35 AM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

Aaaaand, "oh I saw it in a comic", WTF Cisco, you guys are in the same universe as the Batsignal!

When I said this last night, I was told by my couch mate "Cisco saw it in a different comic."

Speaking of comics, Eobard never existing but still seeming to have existed very much did bother me too, but let's be real: "totally bullshit time travel" is the show being very faithful to its roots.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:47 PM on October 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

Now I'm not gonna hold my breath for the Arrow premiere tonight.

(But I am gonna hold it for the Supernatural premiere!)
posted by numaner at 1:17 PM on October 7, 2015

After seeing Atom Smasher, I admit that I was hoping for the Golden Age Atom to be running around, trying to track down The Flash so that he could call up Brandon Routh's Atom so the two could fight it out for the title.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:40 PM on October 7, 2015

I really enjoyed it. Berlanti has picked up the idea that you don't leave hanging swords hanging for half a season. We didn't have to have six episodes of Barry being a whiny weenie. Sometimes this is going to mean they resolve things too fast (see: Henry) but I'm hoping that's a plot thread they'll reel back in later. My theory on Ronnie is that he's on the other side of the singularity and that Jay's appearance will ultimately lead to his rescue. If there's a second universe, that's where he should be.

Eddie was mentioned/shown several times and it was clear to me that Iris and Barry both thought of and missed him. He was able to talk about Ronnie but the whole Eddie thing with Iris has to be another guilt thing. Also, the time travel stuff is pretty messed up with the USB confession, but that's a gimme I can handle if the plot goes somewhere interesting.
posted by immlass at 8:58 PM on October 7, 2015

There's a photo of Eddie on a wall in the police station, surrounded by photos of other (presumably dead) cops. So he's mentioned, but he certainly isn't given as much attention as Ronnie for whatever reason.

Thank god this show has gotten past the "everybody and their mother knows who the Flash is except for Iris" stage.
posted by brundlefly at 11:02 PM on October 7, 2015

There's a photo of Eddie on a wall in the police station, surrounded by photos of other (presumably dead) cops. So he's mentioned, but he certainly isn't given as much attention as Ronnie for whatever reason.

"Two, whenever Poochie's not onscreen, all the other characters should be asking 'Where's Poochie'?"
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:34 AM on October 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

Yeah his Dad leaving was hilariously bad writing. "Son, I want to see you, but only on a shall we say semi-regular basis? Like four or five episodes a season? TTFN".

I'm so glad that Iris is a full partner in things, finally.

Ugh me and the wife hate Iris, she's so dumb and boring. Barry belongs with Caitlyn!
posted by smoke at 3:50 PM on October 17, 2015

There are three cut scenes from this episode in the iTunes subscription. I can see why the second and third were dropped (Barry yelling at Joe about how it's everybody else who was a hero = redundant; Iris getting Stein back to STAR Labs is a nice plot piece for her but the sexist "oh the wife wants the husband out of the house" was lame) but the first piece was Barry and his dad and I thought it would have been nice as a part of the episode.
posted by immlass at 11:39 AM on October 18, 2015

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