Series Issues: The Flash 2×01 – The Man Who Saved Central City

Spoilers might zoom past you. Welcome to Season Two.

(Source: The CW)

(Source: The CW)

I love the way this episode is structured. We get Barry Allen, back in action as the Flash, working to rebuild Central City. If it seems we have skipped a major explanation, we have. Barry has sent everyone away and is working alone. He’s trying to ignore an upcoming event, Flash Day, in which the Mayor will attempt to reward the Flash by giving him the key to the city. Yeah, apparently we still do that. But Barry doesn’t think he deserves it. So he’s secretly helping rebuild the sets – err, I mean – the city’s most iconic places like the cafeteria.

Joe has enlisted Cisco as a scientific resource to help him build up his Meta Task Force. Caitlyn has gone to work in Mercury Labs. So, what happened to Ronnie? Flashback time! The way that the Singularity was actually solved was not unlike a comic book solution. The Flash stabilized the wormhole and Firestorm closed it. The way he did that was separating into Ronnie and Professor Stein in the midst of it. High above the city. The Flash races to rescue a falling body. It’s Stein. Ronnie is nowhere to be found. Presumably he died, but more than likely he ended up on the other side of the wormhole. Stuff for a future episode… or spin off.

Finally, the Flash makes an appearance at Flash Day to receive the key to the city. And yeah, it goes as well as you think. New meta! A man capable of increasing his strength and size by means of radiation ingestion. Stein’s the one to baptize this one as Atom Smasher. As it turns out, this is the same guy that Joe and Barry find dead earlier. Parallel dimension theories can begin now. Let’s wrap this one out quick. Although he made for quite a threatening super-villain, Atom Smasher doesn’t care when Barry lures him with… a Flash-signal? Oh, I’ll get to that. The jig is up for Atom Smasher as he follows the Flash to a very convenient open-and-close nuclear reactor core. The result is radiation overload. Did they really kill that guy? Of course, Barry has a few words with him before he goes into the great beyond.

The man was promised a ride home… I’m guessing to his original dimension… by Zoom. As in, possibly maybe, Professor Zoom. Another name for an incarnation of the Reverse-Flash. Possibly from an alternate dimension.

And speaking the man known as Harrison Wells, he’s left Barry a USB drive. Really, I can pick those over at the nearest store for few bucks… Ok, not the drive itself but the message contained in it. The lawyer explains once Barry plays the message, he will inherit STAR Labs. Because, of course he will, it’s the only outcome. Oh, and the lawyer will know when Barry plays the message because the device will notify him. That’s a bit on the super creepy side. Whatever.

(Source: The CW)

(Source: The CW)

Barry finally agrees to watch Wells’ message when Caitlin offers to watch it with him. Wells only has a couple of words before he gives Barry something he’s always wanted. His confession that he killed Nora Allen. And this is the plot device that finally gives Barry his victory from Season 1. He gets to free his father. Henry Allen is exonerated of all charges. This was an unexpected bonus, a long time coming. But as we know, John Wesley Shipp is not part of the main cast and this was more of his goodbye party. They have to spin it differently in the show, saying that Henry is letting Barry become his own person and the Flash and blah blah but we know it’s just we can’t have him on every episode. However, chances are he’ll make appearances here and there to mentor Barry when he doubts himself.

The episode ends with a revelation/cliffhanger. Jay Garrick steps out of the shadows to warn Team Flash that their world is in danger. And, in case, you live under a rock in a parallel universe, you should know that Jay Garrick is also known as Earth 2’s Flash.

Great episode. In my opinion. A new dynamic has been established for Season 2.

Highs/Lows:

  • Ronnie/Firestorm leaves the show in a blast of glory. Is Stein going to stay to become the new resident mentor of the team at STAR Labs? He would be the most obvious choice. Every team needs its Obi Wan, its Giles. I mean, there’s Joe West, but we need the professor too. No, that was not a reference to Gilligan’s Island.
  • By contrast, it was such a high to learn that Henry Allen is finally free but we already knew the low. John Wesley Shipp isn’t joining the main cast. So Henry takes a bus/train out of town. The explanation doesn’t make much sense.
  • Jay Garrick! Flash without the “The”. He was Flash from the so-called Golden Era of comics. Later it was retconned that he was from Earth-2 and… We’re just going to wait and see what happens. Hey, can he get his helmet back now?
  • They have to do the full “some time later” to reconcile the fact that Iris is not crying her eyes out about Eddie Thawne, but it’s still fresh in most of our minds.
  • Cisco hugs Professor Stein after he nicknames the new meta baddie, “Atom Smasher”
  • The Flash signal. Caitlyn asks Cisco where he picked that up from. Cisco replies casually that he saw it on a comic book. That’s as far as we’re going to get to a Batman nod without bringing lawyers in.
  • Harrison Wells aka Eobard Thawne aka… Professor Zoom? Is Tom Cavanaugh done with the series or will he return from another dimension? We’ll just have to tune in.

That will do for now.

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