After a few days of forgetting to make this review, I am finally writing it. Just a disclaimer: this review will be spoiler filled as I talk about the first season of the Flash on the CW.
Basically if you want to have a quick opinion about it: I adored it. From here on there will be spoilers.
Much like with my Arrow Season reviews, I talk about it in two segments: pros and cons and like always I will start with...
1. Barry Allen/The Flash - Grant Gustin
When I first heard that a kid from Glee was going to be playing as the Scarlet Speedster, I had my doubts because of a few things. CW tends to cast people because they are pretty to look at and he looked like an Andrew Garfield wannabe. However from the moment we are first introduced to Barry Allen in the Pilot, Gustin won me over and has me fully convinced that it will be hard to find somebody else to play the character in the cinematic universe. I have faith in Ezra Miller but he has some mighty huge shoes to fill.
Gustin is a fantastic actor, wide range of emotions, he has great chemistry on screen, and he looks great in the suit. Won't deny, a few times Gustin's acting got me to tear up. Make fun of me if you want but he's just that darn good. Can't wait to see what he delivers in Season 2.
2. Team Flash
The other thing that had me worried was that the Flash was going to have two sidekicks helping him out. One looked like a typical annoying comic relief and the other just looked like another girl for Barry to maybe have a love triangle with since that's something Arrow tends to do with the female characters...was I shocked to find out that these characters could carry their own shows if they were given the chance.
First there is Cisco Ramone, the young genius who builds Flash's suit and helps him at S.T.A.R. Labs as his own Oracle.
Like I said, they could have gone the route many movies take: the annoying one liner spewing sidekick who makes you groan when he's on screen but boy he is anything but that. Cisco is written very well, very funny, he feels like a real nerd unlike Big Bang Theory's stereotyped obnoxious characters. Cisco also has some great stories such as the issues with his family, his love for Dr. Wells, and how his friendship with Barry grows. Actor Carlos Valdes nails the character perfectly and manages to also have a wide range of emotion. Cisco is a character who I was sure I was going to hate and ended up loving, way to go writers.
Then there is Caitlin Snow, who looked like another pretty face written to be an obvious love interest for Barry.
Once again, the writers slapped me in the face and proved me wrong: Caitlin is a scientist who is engaged to the character of Ronnie. She lost everything when the particle accelerator exploded and so when we first see her she is a little damaged but when she becomes friends with Barry, she warms up and becomes a reliable tough member of the team who has to kick them into shape, time to time. Danielle Panabaker shows off some really great acting on her part, especially when the episode's evolve around her fiancee Ronnie. Speaking of...
At this point of the show I was already sold on the Flash but when the show takes two episodes to focus on Caitlin's "dead" fiancee, we are introduced to one of the coolest new heroes on TV: Firestorm. Ronnie is played by Robbie Amell (cousin of Arrow's Stephen Amell); Ronnie was a scientist was was going to be married to Caitlin but when the particle accelerator exploded, it caused Ronnie to merge with another scientist by the name of Martin Stein. Together, they form a being who controls nuclear fire and is an absolute badass. Robbie Amell does a great job as Ronnie and the physical form of Firestorm and I loved the relationship between him and Caitlin, it actually felt like these two loved each other. Unlike Arrow which has the most obnoxious relationships possible.
However the mental side of Firestorm is Dr. Stein, played by Victor Garber, and holy crap, this guy was awesome! Again, you could have written him to be the stereotype old scientist that you have seen in about 10,000 other sci-fi stories but the character is full of character, he's likable, he's funny, and at times a bit of a badass when out of his Firestorm form. Personally, Firestorm is the hero I am looking forward to the most when Legends of Tomorrow premieres.
4. The Reverse Flash/Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne
Batman has the Joker, Superman has Lex Luthor, and the Flash has the Reverse Flash or Professor Zoom as he sometimes called in the comics. At firs the show builds up the involvement of this character but at around the half way point, Reverse Flash becomes the main villain for the show and he is quite the threatening villain.
Tom Cavanagh plays Harrison Wells and the show makes it seem like it's such a shock that Wells is the Reverse Flash...too bad I called it since the pilot episode. What I didn't call though was that Eobard Thawne took over the life of Harrison Wells, which is shown in a very very very disturbing scene. Personally, I think that if Reverse Flash ever returns, Tom Cavanagh should be the only one to play him because the other who played the true face of Eobard Thawne might be a good actor but I think that without the face of Wells, it just wouldn't be the same. Cavanagh plays this hcaracter fantastically from the calm and often times kind Harrison Wells to the cold hearted and threatening Reverse Flash and a few times I was scared by him. Props to the fantastic acting.
5. Eddie and Joe
speaking of Thawnes, you have the ancestor of the Reverse Flash, Eddie a detective for the Central City Police Department and partner of Barry's guardian: Joe West.
Normally in shows like this, you don't care about the supporters, they are just there to help tell some stories with our hero and in most shows (Arrow) they cause WAY too much drama. Well here, they may be supporting cast but they are just as important as Team Flash in my opinion.
Joe took in Barry after his mother died and became a father figure for Barry when his real father was wrongly accused and sent to prison.
Not only is Joe one of the best father figures in TV but I think he's one of the best characters in this show. Very likable, VERY funny, and provides some of the best emotional moments in the show, like in the Finale when he and Barry call each other Dad and Son.
Eddie is Joe's partner and his daughter Iris' boyfriend which Iris (who I will talk about later) keeps a secret from Joe.
I was sort of indifferent to Eddie when he was first introduced because he's introduced in a way that he might be a complete jerk or he's a cool dude. Luckily it's the latter. Eddie actually becomes good friends with Barry and he's very likable as well. Most characters in this show are likable, even the villains. I have to ask, how is it that the same writers who do such a great job with characters on this show, do such a crappy job with characters on Arrow?
6. Supporting Characters
Other than maybe one or two, for the most part minor characters such as Captain Singh and Barry's Father were all very nicely portrayed here. Jon Wesley Schnepp plays Barry's father and everybody who's seen the 1990 TV Show about the same superhero should be grinning to see him.
Having him return for this show is pretty freaking cool and once again, he's well acted and is very good moral compass for Barry. Captain Singh is a decent character too; he mostly goes through an attitude change since in the beginning he's a grouch and in the end he's still a grouch but he respects the Flash.
7. Episode 17 - "Tricksters"
This was by far my favorite episode because it featured fan favorite villain, the TRickster rebooted for this series but that's not all. This episode featured the ORIGINAL Trickster returning to the role as an older Trickster.
That's right Mark Hamill is the Trickster once again and if you've seen my reaction to this episode, you probably know that I adore Mark Hamill as this character and he goes all out with the role showing that even in his old age, he can still be an awesomely insane villain. Plus this episode featured the Flash learning how to pass through solid mass which is definitely a bonus of awesomeness.
8. The Natural Progression of the Flash's Powers
When this show first began, I was ready to be sort of let down since I was certain they would not introduce all his abilities since they would be impossible to do on TV. YET AGAIN, I was proven wrong. As a DC Comics nut, seeing all these powers done in live action made me giddy like a school girl....did I really just say that? Still name it. Moving through solid mass? We got it. Harnessing the Speed Force? We got it. Fast enough to reverse a tornado? We got it. Time Traveling? We got it. Cyclone Hands? We got 'em. Every iconic power is done and done well in this show and that makes me happy. What's great is that the powers are not perfect immediately, it takes the course of a whole season before we reach the perfect Flash with all these powers and they made it make sense.
9. The Rogues
Can't have a great hero without some great villains and once again, the writers treat us with (for the most part) well done villains. Reverse Flash is the biggest one but just below him is a villain who is NOT a metahuman but a very smart and skilled robber named Leonard Snart AKA Captain Cold.
Most of you know Wentworth Miller from Prison Break but since I grew up with it, I just think of him as David from Dinotopia. Yeah remember that miniseries? Wow do I feel old.
Wentworth Miller pulls off the intelligent and smarmy villain perfectly and to me personally I thought he was the best villain of the season with much love for Reverse Flash. Like I said, Trickster was fantastic but then you have Captain Cold's partner: Heavtwave played by Dominic Purcell, yet another Prison Break star. This was a role that Purcell just ate up because the character is insane and so a lot of scenery was ate up by him at times. Enjoyably cheesy but that's not always a bad thing. I find Captain Cold and Heatwave odd choices to be on the team in Legends of Tomorrow. Other villains like Grodd, Weather Wizards, and General Eiling were all great additions as well.
10. The Twists
The Season really never let up with the twists and turns and most of them surprised me which is rare for a TV show to do other than Doctor Who. Other than the predictable reveal of the Reverse Flash's face, the twists were great. Example: in the finale Barry destroys the time machine that was about to send Thawne back to the future and so he threatens to kill everybody but who should save the day? Eddie...by shooting himself. Yep he stopped Eobard from being born. Wow...that's a good twist I didn't see coming.
11. The Action
OH yeah, it's a superhero show! Gotta have some action in there. It's great when the fighting isn't the focus and yet you love the characters and story. However the action that does occur in the show is FAN-FLIPPIN-TASTIC! When Flash utilizes his abilities to fight the villains is amazing especially the Sonic Punch. The fight between Arrow and Flash in the crossover episode was also great and it lead to one of the only good episodes of Arrow's Season 3 (sensing a pattern that I was not happy with that season?).
12. The Easter Eggs
If you are a DC nut then you will have a field day with the whole season because there are Easter Eggs galore with this show. Starting with the biggest one: the newspaper.
1. WayneTech = Batman Exists! WOO!!!
2. Flash's Brighter Red Suit
3. Crisis On Two Earths!
Then there is the Central City Police Department's wall which shows a hint towards the Justice League.
And in the finale this little gem appears which made comic fans like myself launch out of their seats:
And my reaction?
And that's only to name a few things.
Overall, I loved the stories, the characters, the action, all the Easter Eggs. The Flash did the character so much that I loved this show like I loved Man of Steel. Just like I said with Man of Steel: it was almost perfect. ALMOST. Nothing is without flaws so let's take a look and the very few flaws I had with this season.
1. Iris West
Just when I think CW was just learning how to write women with Caitlin, they bring in Iris and wow did this character just annoy me. First off, her relationship with Eddie was cute most of the time...but then the writers decide to make her one of "those characters." The character who freaks out once they realize somebody has a secret they won't tell. Yep, they brought that cliche into the show. When Eddie decides to not tell Iris that he's working with the Flash, she threatens to leave him and when she learns that Barry is the Flash, she gets angry and whiny. God, I hate this cliche. The character was written poorly, I didn't think she was likable, and I just didn't care for her.
One word: pointless.
3. Slight pacing issues.
For the most part, the pacing was a good solid pace through out the show however one maybe two or three episodes, the show just slowed dramatically in pace then continued to be nicely paced. The best example is the episode Rogues Air which had a fantastic fight with Reverse Flash, Arrow, and Firestorm was pretty boring for the rest of the episode.
4. Sub-Par Villains
Like I said above, most of the villains were done very well but once and a while they would bring a villain in that was just kind of lame to me. The Mist had impressive CGI and decent look to him but he was sort of average. The only villain that I REALLY didn't like was Queen Bee.
How do you go from tyranical dictator from the county of Bialya to... PMSing robotics nerd who makes robotic bees? Seriously? While I enjoyed the episode because I loved seeing how the Atom and Felicity work with Team Flash but the villain really annoyed me. And a couple more villains like Peek A Boo and Multiplex didn't do much for me.
Now do these cons hurt the Season? Nah, I still don't like Iris but maybe she can come around in Season 2. Despite the small flaws, the Flash Season 1 was an amazing introduction to an underrated superhero who I think is going to become a little less underrated when Season 2 comes around.
What were your thoughts on The Flash Season 1 and did you like this article? Let me know in the comments below!