TNH Roundtable: Mid-Season Reviews – The Flash

With the season now mid-way through, some of the TNH Staff decided to sit down and discuss the shows and our thoughts on each series individually as well as the network’s franchise as a whole. What are they doing right and what are they doing wrong? Where have they been and where could they be going? We are going to visit this now, and when the seasons end we are going to come back to re-discuss and compare. For now, check out some of our analysis’ and theories in the 4th of this 9 part series and then let us know what your thoughts were in the comments below.

Please note that due to technical difficulties this and other articles were prevented from being published at their original dates. This article was written February 25th, and only takes account up to episode 2.13; “Attack On Gorilla City”.

The Flash

The Flash was a signal of what was to come. A new slate of comic book shows had been introduced every year since. The CW network has led the charge in this initiative by being the only channel taking part in the new additions each year since. The Flash was one of the first shows that stuck to the source material and proved that they didn’t need to be changed to be accepted by the masses. The Flash went head to head with Daredevil and Constantine for the top spot in a year of television that had reshaped the medium and raised the bar. This is the show that allows us to hold others like it in such high regard; That allows us to stop saying, “well, it’s just a comic show, it did okay for what it is”. So, it would only be right to continue to hold this show to a higher accountability than most, and with its second season, it did just that. It held the bar, and to some, raised it even higher. Now, with judgment so high on its third season, it would be easy to be seen as being more faulted than it really is; It would also be easy to follow suit of Arrow’s third season and have a steep decline in quality. The TNH Staff sits down to determine whether or not it has. Can we safely say that The Flash is on the right track to another successful season?

The Flash has set some heavy expectations for even itself. Have they live up to them this season so far?

Witt- I think that the series has done the best out of the current 5 DC television series -including Gotham- in maintaining the quality that it started with 2 years ago. That’s not to say that the quality hasn’t dipped as far as character dialogue, episodic storylines, effects, and overall creativity.

Marlon- I think The Flash is moving along just as well as ever. I’m really enjoying this season.

Remington- It is definitely moving slower and with less fluidity, but it’s still very good and reasonable.

Jack- Each season of the flash has started off slow and more lacking than its second half; so the decision on that question for me would have to come after a final product. I do think, while the show is good, it needs to improve on a lot of things to finish stronger than the previous two seasons.

What are your thoughts on Savitar so far? Can they improve after such a high caliber speedster? Was he the right choice? Finally, are they using the character properly?

Witt- Once again the show is starting to rush through its storylines and plot devices and the main antagonist is yet ANOTHER speedster, only this one looks like a Michael Bay Transformer now. Which in step with “Zoom” goes COMPLETELY against the character as he appears in the comics. Savitar is supposed to be a human who runs a cult of followers and uses their blood for blood sacrifices to siphon off speed from the Speed Force and fancies himself a god, but he’s not ACTUALLY a speed god.

Remington- I think that Savitar is being used better than Zoom. He is really getting personal with Barry and making him feel like he can’t win through mind games and his loved ones.

John- Personally I like Savitar, I just think this character could have been saved for a later season because it is going to be hard to top.

Jack- They are really making this guy seem like an actual god which not only keeps to what he is but makes him such a high caliber villain that they won’t be able to top it or provide the right story to execute him properly. Hopefully, there is a curveball with this guy’s story that makes it all fall together.

Next season do you think they should bring in another speedster or go a different route? Do you think they could pull off bringing in the entire Rogues Gallery for next season’s main Antagonist’s

John- I think the Rogues Gallery would be perfect next season but they would need to be aided by a speedster, as “Team Flash” has access to at least 4 of them. I think Johnny Quick being this Speedster would be a great way to introduce Impulse as an Amnesiac speedster from the future.

Remington- I actually like speedsters as the main villains, the result has been very satisfying. having the Rogue Gallery work properly in a season wide format would be too messy.

What are your thoughts on the portrayal and progression of Wally West and Jesse Quick? 

John- Without seeing any of Jesse’s training on earth 2 or any stats on her powers it’s hard to comment. Is she getting faster quickly like Wally or slower like Barry? Can she phase running at full speed or only going slow? Wally, on the other hand, it’s good to see him getting faster all the time, it shows how much effort he is putting in, but I don’t think he should have phased yet. They should be saving that for when he has to save Iris.

Witt- Arguably the most disappointing aspect of The Flash for me has been the often rushed episodic storylines and rushed character development for characters such as Wally West and Jesse Quick. We get very little sense of their trials and tribulations in training and learning how to utilize their speed like Barry did over the course of season 1. It feels like at the beginning of an episode they don’t know how to do a certain skill, but within the 42 minute run time of the episode, they figure it out all too easily.

What are your thoughts on Caitlyn’s struggle to hold back Killer Frost?

Remington- I think the Killer Frost side plot is pointless and doesn’t really add much to the show. side plots should play into the way main plots play out more. The plot has so much more potential than it executes, so either fix it or ditch it.

Marlon- I think this side plot show an important lesson in comics and life. You either die a hero or live long enough to become the villain. This can end up having a bigger play in the end but for now, is just influencing decisions made by “Team Flash”.

John- I really don’t know what to think about this topic right now. I like where they have gone, but then again I don’t. Originally I thought they were going down the route where she’s a vampiric type being that needs to feed by draining off others body heat and firestorm would be the only one able to neutralize her. That would have given the plot so much more depth. I don’t like how they just have her instantly become this person every time she uses her powers. We don’t really know how she got her powers either. She just had them after Flashpoint. Was it Alchemy? Was it a latent reaction to the particle accelerator? The problem with The Flash is they change things to suit whatever they wanna put in a particular episode. “Oh, let’s just change the rules of time travel, no one will notice.”

Do you think they will let Iris die and do you think this is a good plot driver?

John- I don’t think they will let her die, but does it really matter if they do? They can just find a way to bring her back or grab another Iris from another earth. *Laughs*

Remington- I don’t think they will let Iris die, she is too important of a character to Barry’s story. However, I do think that someone equally as important to the audience is going to die.

Witt- What I will give them big credit for is the creative idea to use the future death of Iris as a driving plot point that the team works to prevent from happening. It’s something fresh that creates great emotional weight between the characters during their dialogue. That was one of the best aspects of season 1; the heart that was conveyed through dialogue, whether between Barry and Henry/H.R./Harrison or Barry and Joe or any of the other characters.

What does The Flash need to do to avoid a quality dip and top the previous two seasons?

Witt- I’m pretty disappointed with the apparent drop in quality of special effects. This had been quite noticeable across all the DC show currently on the CW network. I’m not sure if they share their effects budgets or if the effects teams are just so over-worked with the sheer amount of effects demanded of all four series’ currently under their wing, but the quality is far more substandard from what we’d seen in the previous seasons. The figures look more rubbery and fake. A great example would be this past week’s episode with The Flash fighting Solovar in the arena.

Remington-  I think the series is already working the way it needs to. They just need to stay on the same path and not try to do anything too much for them to handle and mess it all up.

In conclusion, while The Flash has much going for itself, they still need to do a few things to ensure they overcome the bar oh so high bar they have set for themselves. It’s safe to say that most would agree that this has the potential to be the longest lasting growth any comic book show has seen yet even compare to Marvel/Netflix properties which have seen a sharp dip with Luke Cage, and from early reviews, Iron Fist. Do you think The Flash can pull it off yet again? If they do it will no doubt be by the hair on their chin. Not because of fault, but due to the challenge of surpassing their own feats.

Stay Tuned for our next installment of this Roundtable Review series where we give our End of Season Thoughts on Legends.

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Written and Edited by, Jack Flowers. Edited by, Trey Griffith. Contributions from Marlon Ortega, John Ayre, Witt Reese, Remington Keyes.

This article was Sponsored by  Geek Vibes.

By Jack Flowers

Editor-In-Chief and Creative Director for The Nerd Hub.
Host of Take The Piss Podcast and Gaming.
Co-Host of Running The Ropes Podcast.
Video Games, Wrestling, TV, and Cinema, Comic Books, Events and Interviews.
Contributor for Geek Vibes Nation and The Loop Sports.
Member of the US Press Association - ID: 802084951.
Chicago-Irish bred genius who may have finally found his calling.
I'm a little Jack of All Trades, and if you can teach it, I can learn it.