I wasn’t sure what to make of The Flash at first, but I grew to love the first season, as cheesy as it could be at times. With that said, the ending wasn’t fantastic. I don’t usually like when TV seasons end on cliffhangers. Strangely the first episode of The Flash doesn’t open with the resolving of the horrific cataclysm terrorizing Central City, but 6 months down the line, the same as Arrow Season 4 — the same gap of time as between seasons.
This left me feeling out of step at first, but it’s a good way to cut the run time down and just get into the meat of things in a more interesting way. As the title of the episode suggests the episode is built around The Flash being officially celebrated for saving Central City from the wormhole 6 months on as part of a “Flash Day” where he will be awarded the key to the city.
We catch up with the Flash team to get to grips with the new status quo, with a large part revolving around Flash Day. Some interesting changes have been made. Cisco now is now working at the Police Department alongside Joe, who now heads up an official metahuman task force, and Caitlan now works at Mercury Labs. Barry has been working solo since the end of the first season — he believes he doesn’t deserve to be celebrated as Firestorm had to help shut down the wormhole, and as a result Ronnie went missing, presumed dead; and also doesn’t want to work with the team because it could be dangerous for them.
The villain of the week this time is Atom Smasher, a guy who looks like a Bane knock-off (from Batman & Robin) and can swell to a massive size. He’s a pretty boring villain, but his strength is more than enough to present Barry with a challenge when he’s not thinking clearly, which he isn’t. The only real interesting thing about Atom Smasher is that his DNA seems to be an identical match to a dead body. Needless to say, this provides an excuse for the band to get back together — though the end result seems needlessly violent and it’s more than little strange this goes unaddressed considering how bright and cheery The Flash usually is.
The murder of Barry’s mother from last season is also wrapped up, getting over the problem of her murderer, Eobard Thawne, being erased from existence at the end of the last season. Henry Allan is released from prison at last, cleared of murdering his wife, and presumably has picked up a healthy settlement from the government as a result. It doesn’t seem like the show really knows what to do with this thread, as he is quickly written out for reasons that seem quite flimsy — “don’t want to get in the way of you being The Flash son, bye!”
It’s a bit of a murky episode, and overall it’s not very strong. It’s fun to check back in with the Flash team and get to grips with the new dynamics, which seem like they could be great going forward. Even starting out 6 months on from the Season One cliffhanger this feels a little bit like a non-episode, moving the pieces back onto the board and introducing the key elements for Season Two — the wormholes, a mysterious new evil Speedster known only as “Zoom”, and another mysterious new character claiming to STAR labs that the world is in danger. It doesn’t really make any statements, and that’s a bit of a shame.