The Flash is back for the second half of season one. The return of the Flash brought back old faces such as Captain Cold now accompanied by his new sidekick, Captain Flame. So far CW has done an amazing job with superhero themed shows–Smallville had a run of ten years with a large fan base. However, there are several structural issues in the show that I hope the writers and producers notice before the second season of The Flash.
In “Revenge of the Rogues”, a few weeks have passed since the last attack from the Reverse Flash. Barry is dedicated to stopping him by improving his speed and overall training. Iris West is moving in with her boyfriend Eddie, and Joe seems to have become fully used to the idea of Barry as the Flash. Even though the main plot was centered around fighting two master criminals, the foreshadowing of Barry’s future was also tackled. There were several hints and nods from the writers to the audience on what will be explored on the second half of season one. Now that the Flash has been properly introduced to the people of Central City the show can head explore the dynamic between the hero and his city.
The episode was filled with touching moments between Iris and Barry, as the two try to cope with recent events. However, I found that the episode was still based on the weak structure of the first half of Season One. Unlike the Arrow, which figured out early on that facing new villains each episode was a horrible and repetitive structure, the Flash has continued on to simply add different villains each Tuesday night. Now, what is the problem with this model? For one, it has become corny. Captain Cold’s acting was not ideal–instead of coming out as an experienced criminal like he did during his last appearance, he rubbed off as a try hard. My biggest worry is that the writers will run out of ideas. One of the reasons the Arrow has been a success is because each season has an arc–a larger story which may or may not have mini villains.
The Flash tackles these minor bad guys with a cheese tone. The Flash’s theme is so happy, so heroic, that it adds to the whole “why am I watching this battle I know Barry is going to win?” effect. Smallville noticed it’s mistake on always having the same theme, oh and don’t get me started on the kryptonite over use. The Arrow went with a dark tone, a mysterious vibe which adds to the Arrow’s character as well as to the show. The Flash on the other hand is based on hope. There is nothing wrong with hope, but it is the way that it is presented that makes it dull.
I hope that the writers catch on and learn from their past mistakes. It’s not to say that I do not think the show is good–the Flash is entertaining which is the goal of a TV show. There are several elements of the show that I do admire. The Flash has done a great job at kick starting its plot, characters, and relationships while other TV shows take at least two seasons to get the characters in order. But, it could also be because many people are already familiar with the comics.
The episode was well written, but I do think that the acting between Captain Cold and his sidekick was cheesy. There were several foreshadowing for the upcoming episode especially with the hint to FIRESTORM. In the end, the Flash still has a lot of ground to cover and it is still in its first season. As a superhero TV show it is not easy to adapt it from the comics. However, the Flash has shown to be heading into a good direction.