Tuesday, October 06, 2015

The Flash Review Season 1 - Team Flash

With Season 2 of The Flash getting ready to start, let's look at where we find our heroes. The world changed at the start of Season 1, and at the end of the season it was near the end of it all.

Barry Allen has gained phenomenal powers, and is eager to make use of them. Through his experiences he gains a number of friends and allies. So let's look a little at his friends, then get back to Barry.

Cisco is a genius who began as a optimistic nerd, at least at appearance. He began work for Wells full of hope, but he saw everything go wrong. Friends died. His future seemed over. And the city hated him and STAR Labs.

So he's tried to make things right. But it didn't come together until he got himself a real life superhero. As part of Team Flash he's able to get more into the world again. He's in the field. He's working on the fly to develop technical solutions.

While he's done this, he's also had his failings. He built the weapons that spawned the first Rogues (Captain Cold, Heatwave, and Golden Glider). He was forced to reveal Barry's identity. And he's died once.

But out of this, he's learned that like Barry, he has some special ability. How it will further manifest? We'll have to wait and see.

Caitlin is in a similar situation to Cisco. They both began with optimism that was dashed. And they both have been able to find redemption and a path back into the world from STAR Labs. But Caitlin was also a more withdrawn person

She also lost her fiance, Ronnie Raymond, in the accident. It left her with a level of regret and hopelessness about the future. The effort to catch criminal has helped. But discovering Ronnie was still alive also helped.

Now she actually see bright options in her life.

Joe West has acted as a father figure for Barry. And as one of the first to learn Barry's secrets he's placed a lot rules on Barry's activities. Key among them is the Iris is not to know about his secret.

This places Barry and others like Eddie in a painful spot. The lies are damaging relationships, but Joe is determined that he knows best. He's driven by a fear. And even when Iris begins to get targeted, he won't relent.

He acts out of love, but can't let go of his role as protector. It takes quite a lot, including Iris just working it all out, and injecting herself into events to get through to Joe.

All season, as the father figure and secret keeper, I was worried we'd lose Joe to tragedy. But, thankfully, he made it through the likes of Weather Wizard, Grodd, and Reverse Flash. But now his little girl is in the midst of the danger. What will he do now?

Iris West has been struggling all season. She's been chasing a mystery, and been getting manipulated by all the people she cares about. Her dogged passion kept her going.

She's taken her first steps into journalism, and has become the Flash's voice in the media.

Iris has had to push through a lot of her dad's hardheadedness. But she's been dealing with that her whole life. So she's got the stamina to keep going. Her belief in Barry also helps. She brings brains, inquisitiveness, an amazing level of trust (despite everything), and an understanding of Barry that can help a team that now lacks the leadership, confidence, and insight of Harrison Wells.

It was frustrating for most of the season to see Iris constantly getting sidelined. (It's like reading stories where Superman screws with Lois's head.) Thankfully, it all lead to Iris rising to that place she always should have been. I look forward to seeing her keeping it going as Season 2 proceeds.

Next season we know more of the West family is coming to town. How will that affect her and Joe's work?

Eddie Thawne started the season looking like the jerk. But he quickly grew to actually be a nice dedicated guy who wants to do right by everyone. He's loyal and loving.

Then he's drawn into the Flash's secret. With that he's hiding things from Iris. And that damages his relationship with her and leaves him questioning the point of the lies. But Joe has him in a hard spot.

When he learns that he's fated to accomplish nothing, while his family will spawn villains, he decides to sacrifice himself to try and end the Thawne threat.

Henry Allen spends most of the show in prison, except when he's being kidnapped out of prison. As Barry's dad, he is as confounded by the mystery of how Nora Allen died. But he has tried to let his son go. When Barry won't let him go, he's worked to believe in his son.

With the Reverse Flash dead it's unclear how they will clear his name. Of course, with Reverse Flash dead, I am unsure how Nora Allen is still dead. Time travel.

Tina McGee runs a rival lab to STAR Labs. Mercury Labs. (Which makes me hope for a Max Mercury reference soon.) She was an old friend of Harrison Wells. But when Wells was taken over by Thawne, their friendship ended. She has a brilliant scientific mind, and I hope we'll be seeing more of her working with Team Flash.

Firestorm emerges from the particle accelerator accident. Dr. Stein and...

Ronnie Raymond merged to form a new gestalt form.

In this form they have access to vast nuclear-based powers. He can blast things, fly, and transmute matter. (The last one got omitted from the episode it appeared in.)

The military was hunting them at first, and the pair couldn't stand each other. But once they were able to separate (thanks to Wells technical help) they came to appreciate what they had become. They are learning to better control their powers.

Also, Ronnie and Caitlin finally were able to marry.

Oliver Queen finally gets to team up with a superhero (of the super powered variety...non-Mirakura). Queen is leery of the Flash. He likes him, but he sees his greenness and lighthearted approach. He worries that the Flash tends to walk into trouble and just assumes his speed will fix things. (I can't disagree.) But he comes to respect the Flash more for his innate abilities.

While the Flash needs to grow, Queen is learning to not teach each day like a grim struggle.

Felicity makes some visits to Central City. She at first is checking in with Barry. They both decide that while they had some romantic interest in each other, it's passed. Her tech skills prove invaluable in improving Team Flash, and their tools help her on her mission for the Arrow.

Ray Palmer makes a brief entrance into the Flash's life. He gets to help out against a villain, and trash his power armor. So now the Atom has ties to the Flash. If only he could get that shrink tech to work.

Back to Barry Allen.

This season Barry has to do a lot of growing. He's been chasing the mystery of his mom's death for years, but he's never been the action hero. And now he is. Power beyond most everyone in the world.

He's gotten cocky.

He gets really cocky about his powers. They are great. But he has a habit of assuming that he can run in fast and punch someone. He doesn't often think about his other abilities, like creating wind sheer, So when he meets Girder, he gets pissy about not being able to punch him. He needs to work on new approaches.

But this is a show and he is green. He needs to be allowed to grow, but I tend to agree with Ollie on some of this. Barry could race through a place and check for threats and then make an official entrance. Barry is just impatient.

He has a lot to learn. But I look forward to see him grow in his abilities. It's the fun of watching the heroes journey.

He's struggled with keeping things secret, with his dad's incarceration, missing out on Iris, and whether the Man in Yellow is beatable. He's needed to work hard and push his limits to become the legend he is destined to be. Reverse Flash spent the season having Barry run a race to meet his needs.

Now Barry is left to lay out his own course. He should just remember he has a lot of friends happy to help, or just listen.

Another thing to look forward to.

Not properly introduced in Season 1, but we do have Hawkgirl and Hawkman coming up in Season 2, or at least in Legends of Tomorrow. But seeing as we saw this movie poster in Season 1, I wonder if they will be referenced in Legends time travel stories.

The Hawks have a history of reappearing through history, going back to ancient Egyptian. During the period of the Old West, the pair apperared in the Americas under the name Nighthawk and Cinnamon. It and their history is apt to pop up in Legends, and maybe impact Season 2 The Flash.

Let's see what the many worlds opened up in Season 2 offer. More Flashes, Atom Smasher, Hawks, Rip Huner, Zoom, and a list of new speedsters.

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