Oh, Barry… What have you done?
THE FLASH ended season 2 in one of the biggest cliffhangers ever. Zoom was finally defeated, but before that, the speed demon had managed to take Barry’s father’s life before our Scarlet Speedster could finally beat him. The season 2 finale was controversial, to say the least, because a grieving Barry went back in time to save his mother, just like he did in season 1. Except this time, he couldn’t keep a level head and decided to change history by defeating the Reverse Flash and saving his mom.
The problem is, by doing so, he erased an entire timeline and god only knows where we are headed from here on out. However, before we can start talking season 3 this week at San Diego Comic-Con, we need to talk about what worked and what didn’t this past season. So in order to do that, I sat down to chat with my fellow writer friends about the best and worst of season 2 of THE FLASH.
Luciana Mangas: It’s kind of a tie for me, to be honest. “Enter Zoom” remains one of the best episodes of the season, but I really, really loved the entire Earth-2 arc, so both “Welcome to Earth-2” and “Escape from Earth-2” get all the awards this time. The cast brought their A game to these episodes and, meeting their doppelgangers was just so much fun. Also, Iris was such a badass on Earth-2. I really hope we get to see more of her next season. And Killer Frost. She was basically my favorite doppelganger and I was devastated when she died.
Shana Lieberman: I’m just going to echo everyone’s sentiments regarding the Earth-2 two-parter here and move on. Good stuff. A+. Would watch again.
Lizzie Lanuza: “Escape From Earth-2,” because Earth-2 Iris was badass and her relationship with Earth-2 Barry seemed like something I could go for. Also Killer Frost was badass, and not just because of her costume. And finally, because even though I didn’t care one iota for Jay, the ending of this episode was kind of cruel and the kind of thing that should have propelled this season to a high point. Which it never really did, but that’s neither here nor there.
Meredith Zylberberg: “Welcome to Earth-2.” The entire cast was brilliant playing their doppelgangers, and some of them playing both their original characters and Earth-2 counterparts at once. The storyline was intriguing, and I was more invested than I usually am in the episode. Jesse L. Martin is one of the strongest actors on the show, and this episode allowed him to showcase that (AND SING!), which was very welcome. It was a fun, exciting change of pace, but one that made sense to the narrative. Not an easy feat to accomplish.
Melissa Smith: I’m going to call it a tie between “Welcome to Earth-2” and “Invincible.” I love Jesse Martin and he’s such a good singer. I wish they had let him do a song from RENT. Of course, I loved “Invincible” because they finally let Katie Cassidy do what should have been part of the Black Canary character on ARROW.
Luciana: I don’t even know where to start. My first impulse is anything that involves animals, because those are always just… not good. But I think this time, I’m going to have to go with “The Race of his Life”. That finale was kind of underwhelming, which was so disappointing after such an excellent arc with Zoom. But what really took the cake was those final moments of the episode, with that awkward scene between Barry and Iris, and then when Barry decided to make the stupidest mistake of his life. I can’t even wrap my head around the catastrophe he created when he went back in time and saved his mother.
I understand that they are setting up Flashpoint, but that really didn’t work for me. After such an amazing Zoom arc, that ending just felt wrong. The entire resolution to the Zoom storyline felt wrong, which ruined a fantastic season long arc; that and the fact that Barry invalidated the entire season for all the DC shows. Way to go, Barry.
Shana: That finale was a big, fat pile of no. What an awful way to end an otherwise excellent season arc. Between Caitlin telling Barry to stop and take a breath when he was emotional about his father’s death — she might as well have just hit him with a “cheer up, emo kid” to be more thorough in her lack of understanding — and whatever that mess was with Iris, there was just so much wasted time.
…and then you had Barry traveling back in time to kill Reverse Flash, thus destroying our entire timeline. This is why we can’t have nice things.
Lizzie: I’m going to say “The Runaway Dinosaur,” mostly because what even was that? The speed force? Really? So all Barry needed to regain his speed was to come to terms with his mother’s death? Oookay. That makes sense. Not. But who cares, it’s not like this has to make any sense, right? It’s all about stupid choices and Barry being very, very fast!
Meredith: I agree with Lizzie here. “The Runaway Dinosaur,” felt out of place, not paced well, and unnecessary.
Melissa: I’m sentimental and still have things from my childhood hanging around, and I still have to go with “The Runaway Dinosaur,” as well.
Luciana: Cisco is still my favorite. He is so much more than the comic relief in this show and Carlos Valdes does such an amazing job with him. He is basically the glue that holds the entire team together and I enjoyed so much seeing more of him this season and watching his powers grow and evolve.
Shana: I’m totally cheating here, but I’m going with Wally West. We didn’t get to see a whole lot of him, but when we did? It made me happy — and for purely off-topic reasons. Keiynan Lonsdale played Ollie on a little Australian series by the name of DANCE ACADEMY. So, whenever I saw Wally West, I thought of Ollie; and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Lizzie: Either Joe West or Cisco Ramon. Probably Cisco, who is always consistent, has gone through some growth this season, and yet is still recognizably himself – a lovable dork who is very, very loyal and brave. He’s literally capable of giving me feels while interacting with absolutely everyone, and same goes for making me laugh.
Meredith: Always Cisco. Cisco is consistently the strongest character on this show, managing to be layered and deep while still maintaining his unique brand of humor. He was often throughout the season the show’s saving grace for me.
Melissa: Cisco. Carlos Valdes has made the most out of could have been a throwaway character and turned it into a multilayered metahuman who has much more to show the audience.
Least Favorite Character
Luciana: Caitlin. It really pains me to say this, but aside from Killer Frost – who was amazing – Caitlin felt like a waste of screen time this season. She was just there most of the time, doing nothing, and even Danielle Panabaker seemed to be bored. Her entire relationship with Jay/Zoom just added fault to her case and I just really, really didn’t like her this season.
It’s too bad that they killed Killer Frost off, because she was – ironically – the very best part of Caitlin Snow in season 2.
Shana: Aside from Sharky and poor man’s King Kong or whatever, I’d probably go with what’s-her-name from the backdoor LEGENDS OF TOMORROW pilot. I’m still not over how bad that two-parter was — much less how poorly envisioned her “relationship” with Cisco was.
Lizzie: Can I say Barry? I love Barry to death, but I also want to strangle him half the time. He never learns from his mistakes and he tends to see the world as black and white. Plus, his drama is the ONLY drama in the world that’s important. Newsflash, kid: The world sucks for everyone. Suck it up. Don’t be so selfish.
Meredith: Ugh, I dunno. Jay Garrick? He was boring when we thought he was good, and boring when we knew he was bad, and I just didn’t buy him or it at all, really.
Melissa: They haven’t given the Wally West character enough to do. Even though he was on-screen during much of the season, I still don’t have a feel for where the character is going. I don’t think it’s Keiynan Lonsdale’s fault. They just haven’t given him much to work with yet. Wally West is Kid Flash in the comics, but there may not be much of a path for something that requires more special effects or another Flash.
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