All of DC's TV series have been released with the mindset of exposing the general audience to the world of lesser comic book superheroes who have practically different ways to save the world, whether it's with a God-given superpower or just raw skills and training. The Arrow epitomizes the latter with literally the only superhero so far released after Batman on television to featured no superpower and use his skills, technique and strength to beat the odds. He also needs a lot of arrows because he is such a good shot. Yet the show did not garner as much positive attention as the other DC TV series, Barry Allen's "The Flash". What makes them apart are the opportunistic time to change the direction of their respective shows and create moments that will leave viewers wanting more.
The Flash plays on its success based on the U-turns created in the show. In Season 1, we saw Dr. Wells turn out to actually be Eobard Thawn, aka Reverse Flash in the midseason finale "The Man in The Yellow Suit". The whole mentor being the greatest enemy of the protégé comes in full force, just like in The Arrow, and even though the audience was given a taste of the suspicious nature of Wells and his ability to walk on his two feet rather than be paralyzed, as well as travel from the future, the episode hinged on shock drama rather than a slow-burner from the episode prior to the midseason final, where it was full of emotions and feelings. Fast forward to Season 2, and we have yet another shocking twist in Jay Gerrick's betrayal of our friends. Turns out, the once Earth Two Flash is the master speedster, Zoom. This shocking twist is arguably even more memorable considering the audience were slowly being built-up to accept that there was something fishy about Dr. Wells, but who in this case would have guessed that Jay Gerrick is indeed Hunter Zolomon aka Zoom?
It was mind-boggling, it was bittersweet, it was strange and it was emotional. It was the whole package needed in a commercialized television series that wants to reach the mass people. It not only adds to the different dilemma that Barry and his friends have to face as a team, but also the manner in which the shock came to them will last a lifetime considering they saw Jay being killed by Zoom before being sucked back into their realm. Getting betrayed by a friend, a lover, an acquaintance will all feel sting for the Flash and his friends. And this was portrayed beautifully in a manner of two episodes before the break, where the repercussions of Jay Gerrick being Zoom and taking Earth Two hostage and free of any protectors. Also, we have a small matter to reveal about the man in the iron mask. Guesses are, it could be Earth Two Wally West, since Hunter Zolomon and Wally West are enemies in the comic world. Who knows.
In any case, the success of The Flash's second season hinging on dramatic twists and turns is reflected by a Metacritic score of 81% by critics, and a User Score average of 7.4. What generates interest in the series is the manner in which not only Barry Allen develops, but Cisco, Kaitlyn, Iris, Joe, Harrison Wells all develop as characters. The twists affect them emotionally and these dramatic changes in story line are better developed in this series than it has been in The Arrow. The character development is deeper and feels more involved.
Where do you know when to stop with the U-turns? Possibly when the story has come to a point where the characters have have not come their full cycle and need to find new territory to explore as human beings. In this case, possibly when Barry finally confesses his love for Iris, or when Barry's father returns for a long-haul, or basically when there is no stability yet in the story line of our heroes, should there be less twists to allow these inner stories to travel their course.
The Flash might easily be the best superhero television series beating The Arrow, Supergirl and DC's Legends of Tomorrow. But in truth, it is still a commercialized series aimed at the mass audience rather than comic book fans, so we have to take everything shown on television with a pinch of salt. As such, it is wonderful when the story line remains fresh with a dramatic talking point when things get stale, and Jay Gerrick's villainous turn is one for the masses to talk about for many a days to come.