Season 2 of The Flash started strong. The season’s premise built on the successes of the first, but the show suffered from a sophomore slump. The season balanced some aw-shucks honour and stellar performances with hard sci-fi elements, but its plotting and tendency to fall back on some oh-my-god moments almost toppled the show. Here is a rundown of some of the OMG moments.
OMG Moment 1 – Zoom’s Brutal Beatdown
Enter Zoom gave us the first proper introduction to the season’s big bad, Zoom (voiced by Tony Todd; played by Teddy Sears). After breaking Barry’s (Grant Gustin) back and parading his crippled body in front of his loved ones, it was clear Zoom was a monster.
Then, Zoom was foiled by poor plotting. His motive and endgame were unclear. He was evil for evil’s sake and in a season that would be compared to the one that came before it, having Barry fight another speedster was a mistake. It was too similar to what came before and reduced Zoom’s threat level. Reverse Flash (Tom Cavanagh) just wanted to go home. The audience could relate to Reverse Flash’s anguish, but Zoom’s world eating antics didn’t do the trick.
OMG Moment 2 – He’s Back
Tom Cavanagh was the all-star MVP of The Flash’s first season. So, it was just a shame his character was wiped from the timeline. After it was confirmed Cavanagh would stay as a series regular, many wondered how he would be involved. The answer was simple: he would be playing Earth 2 Harrison Wells (a.k.a Harry). Yes, The Flash was going all Fringe as it introduced another dimension. Cavanagh plays the asshole well, and his chemistry with Carlos Valdes’ Cisco was a joy to watch. This season kept the small character moments that made the first season shine. You want to spend time with these characters and, however hackneyed the writing became, you still cared about what they were going through.
OMG Moment 3 – Infinite Earths
In the comics, the Flash is able to run so fast he can travel between dimensions and the show ran headfirst into hard sci-fi territory. The first season was ballsy giving us time-travel, nuclear explosions and a telepathic talking gorilla? Check! The show wasn’t afraid to embrace its source material’s more out-there elements. The second season followed in its wake, for better and worse.
Barry et al. jumping between dimensions delivered the strongest episode of the season (Welcome to Earth-2). Earth-2 was a retro-futuristic hoot and a game-changing revelation for the show that allowed it to nod at the famous Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline. But, its inclusion led to the show having too much to balance with important elements like Zoom and the Man in the Iron Mask being underserved.
OMG Moment 4 – Shippers Rejoice
Barry and Iris (Candice Patton) finally hooked up. The kiss capped off both characters’ season-long arcs and for a show with brash swagger, The Flash has handled this romance in a sensitive and well-developed manner.
Iris has grown this season and Patton nuanced Central City’s number one reporter. She has started to usurp her father, Detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), as Barry’s main support network. Whilst this means we get less of Martin’s tear-jerking delivery of on-the-nose speeches, we have seen Iris come into her own and be an actual character.
Whilst the Barry-Iris coupling is a nice development, the writing makes it feel the characters are committed to this relationship because they know they get together in the future. They’re together because of destiny and how they know they’ll feel in the future, not how they feel now.
This destiny also made Barry’s relationship with Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten) feel like filler. VanSanten was a brilliant guest star and hopefully, she’ll be back in future seasons. It’s just a shame they made her a roadblock love interest.
OMG Moment 5 – Barry Changes Everything
After all we’ve been through, Barry decided to run back in time and save his mother. Gustin sold that Barry was torn about doing this. His performance has been stellar all season and he is now the Flash. But, for all of Gustin’s acting ability, he hasn’t been able to hide how frustrating the writing has been. It has been the thing that has let this season down and, if it wasn’t for the acting and cast chemistry, it would be a major warning sign.
Having Barry save his mum changes everything about the show and negates everything that has happened over the last two seasons. This move may be too ballsy, but it depends on what the writers are going to do with it.
Season 3 should be interesting.
Overall Season: ★★★★
Highest-Rated Episodes: Running to Stand Still, Welcome to Earth-2, Versus Zoom
Lowest-Rated Episodes: Enter Zoom, Potential Energy