Welcome back! If you’re wondering where Corrina has gone, I’m afraid she has given up reviewing Flash because stupid plot events drive her nuts. Instead, she’s amusing herself by writing “Cory loves Martin” in the margins of her notebook.Thankfully, I live to snark. Shall we?
We open with facing off against Cold and Heatwave. Cool visuals, and smarter use of super speed than almost any episode last season (although reaction times are still weird). What a cheerful beginning, gotta be a dream sequence. And yes, yes it is.
The “my name is Barry Allen” monologue establishes that a solid half a year has passed since the finale. Barry is on his own because it will protect the people he cares about. Yeah because that worked out so well last season. There’s going to be a Flash Day, but Barry isn’t interested. Cisco is now working for Central City PD, and is cute as ever. No one has really seen Caitlin, who is now working at Mercury Labs, with Tina McGee. Then Iris shows up and reminds Cisco who Barry’s best friend is. Her brilliant idea? Actually go and talk to Barry. Wait, no one thought of that in the last six months?
Barry is apparently fixing up buildings destroyed six months ago, and is now up to where they all hung out. Part of me wonders if that’s the most constructive use of The Flash’s time, and the other part of me wonders why it’s taking so long. Anyway, flashback! Barry stopped the singularity by running around really, really fast…really. But it’s not enough and Ronnie and Stein have to merge and then un-merge in the singularity. This can Only Go Well
Barry snags Stein midair, but nope, no Ronnie. So now we know why Barry is punishing himself – for not saving Ronnie, and because he doesn’t think he actually saved the city at all.
Cut back to present day; specifically to Flash day. Man, someone is making a killing on those Flash shirts. Insanely, they’re going through with this despite no clue that the Flash will actually show up.I don’t think any mayor is going to “present a key” to someone who might not show up. Oh look, there he is!
Aaaand someone throws a hot dog truck. Meet Atom Smasher, aka Al Rothstein of another universe, aka the doppelgänger of the guy we see murdered at the beginning of the show. The special effects for him growing huge were pretty neat. Not sure why his mask opened, but hey, now we have a hook. Oh, and it turns out that nearby x-ray equipment was damaged by the fight. I guess we know how Al gets his nickname (and wait till you see who gives him the name).
Iris has a new plan to get Barry to let them work with him – Let’s not ask Barry if he wants us back in his life, let’s just go for it. You can tell she was raised by the same guy as creepy Barry. Meanwhile, an attorney comes for Barry. Turns out STAR labs was left to Barry, and is going to go into receivership unless Barry watches a video on a thumbdrive.
This was a whaaaa moment for me: Eddie shooting himself made Eobard vanish, but everything happened exactly the same way? Because if he never existed, then how are we where we are? But before we can think too much about that, an alarm at STAR goes off…Barry speeds off to find Team Flash there, not a threat.They use the equipment to find the big bad, but Barry runs off without his com system.
Oh G-d, Atom-Smasher eats radiation? That’s so cheesy, in a “but I love it” way. It’s nice to see Barry whipping out the twin torneadoes right away, but in the time it takes Al to bulk up, Barry could have run away. Again, super speed, writers. Geeze. But we have another flashback! Joy. And that one has jumped 6 months too. Very touching scene with little Barry and Joe, resolving to another touching scene with Barry and Joe.
Then we go on to Barry and Caitlin having a “I-blame-myself-for-his-death” off visa vi Ronnie. Speaking of death, we get to see Harrison Wells’ will…and wow, good thing Barry watched it. Wells/Eobard confesses, setting the wheels in motion to free Barry’s dad.
So everyone is happy and Team flash is back! They use a Flash Signal to call Atom Smasher out… which is cute (as is the quip Cisco throws out about how he came up with the idea), but how exactly does no one else go to investigate that? They trick him into a nuclear power plant, and somehow overload him.We find out that someone put Atom-Smasher up to killing Barry, someone named Zoom, and then he dies (convenient). But who cares? Barry’s dad is out!
Is it okay to note that Henry’s welcome home party is kinda sad? Did he have no friends other than Joe who would want to see him freed? Maybe that’s the real reason he tells Barry he has to leave town. Seriously, that is a really weaksauce “because we need it to be like this for the story” writing. What man gets out of prison after that long and just runs out of town?
I’m willing to forgive that though, because our episode ends with Jay Garrick. Without spoiling anything, Jay was the original comic book Flash. This is going to be such fun.
So how’d they do? Absolutely one of their stronger episodes in some ways. The cast is clearly comfortable with each other and Iris is given stuff to do. One can argue that Ronnie was fridged, although we all know he’ll be back. In fact, I suspect we’ll see Barry and Caitlin flirt – but not get together, as Linda is due back as is Patty Spivot, another Flash love interest – and then Ronnie comes back and they fight over her.
Overall though? They have me for another season. Pass the popcorn.