The strongest comic-book show made to date proves to the masses that you do not need a big budget to be the best. The Flash had a seemingly unstoppable force of a first season and now the second has hit its midway, and it’s still carrying the velocity and spark of its opening series.
This season has seen Grant Gustin take on a horde of new meta-humans, however this time, they’re changing their home town in the form of Earth 2. The villains have ranged from a giant shark to a new speedster and have elegantly reformed older friends from series 1. Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold deserves vastly more air time for his impeccable portrayal, and with Prison Break series 5 on the way, his fate on the show may be in be in flux. His character has been fleshed out further to truly create an anti-hero that fans can root for from a safe distance. The main bad guy of the season is now Zoom, a comic book favourite who has been adapted into a dark and mysterious speedster insistent on causing havoc for Barry. He has been used tastefully in the show to be a genuine threat to our hero but also to dangle the black and electric blue carrot that keeps us tuning in every week to find out more about the masked marauder.
Another new character to this series comes in the form of old-school comic Flash: Jay Garrick, in the Flarrow verse: Earth 2 Flash. Jay is woefully underused as the series progresses and feels a bit like leaving your key player on the bench, but this could be tactful for a potential story progression this season. Teddy Sears dwarfs Barry physically and looks like a formidable Flash in comparison and has the knowledge to match his muscles too. I hope to see more of Jay Garrick this year and his Earth 2 fun needs to be shown on screen more as there are far too many hints to his war against Wells and Zoom.
Now for Wells. Comically named Harry this season, it still doesn’t help the fact the writers have decided to make ‘Reverse Flash Wells’ again by making the most of Tom Cavanagh, but I can hardly blame them. He is a brilliant actor and can perform a challenging villain to the mysterious scientist excellently. I applaud him for sticking around, but I feel it may be time for him to go and shake the cobwebs out of this show that’s slowly becoming formulaically stale.
The development of Central City in the DC small screen universe has been exponentially superior this season with ‘Flash Day’ and the Flash’s own coffee. The CW has created and sustained an impressive chunk of what is otherwise a ridiculously expansive comic universe. In addition, the set just adds to the forced character bonding relationships which are wasting precious time for fighting, villains and Cisco puns!
“Budget will always be an issue on shows like this, but the coffee house set has been used and abused more than a season box set of Friends”
One significant change this season that has divided fans is the extensive misuse or creativity of The Flash and Arrow merchandise. The producers have placed the toys in various appropriate shots, showing off real life and readily available to purchase Flash and Green Arrow action figures. I am undecided whether this is ballsy or outrageous, but if it makes people buy them and fund more Flash episodes, who am I to get in the way of multimedia capitalism?
The Flash has developed a more exhaustive world for the characters to inhabit. Villains are getting radiantly quirkier and stronger, but the episodes are becoming formulaic and riddled with clichés.