The Flash Season Three Premiere: Flashpoint (Review)

Barry Allen/The Flash

Season three of The Flash starts with “Flashpoint.” The premiere took off in an alternate reality, or parallel world as it were, created by Allen when he saved his mother in the season two finale.

In short order we learn that Barry is in a different place in this reality. Neither Iris or Joe know who he is and Wally is now The Flash.  There is also a new speedster in town; The Rival,  who is running rings around Wally.

Barry Allen spends three months in this alternate world. Both his parents are alive and the Reverse Flash has been held captive in a glass cage that dampens his speed. Allen is not a cruel captor though as he does feed Thawne.

Throughout the episode Barry has moments where his memories flash before his eyes and then vanish. He is starting to forget key moments in his life and he does not know why.  Thawne tells him that he will be begging him to kill his mother before much longer.

He also explains that every time that Barry uses his speed, he will forget more. Finally, the Reverse Flash says, Allen will forget he is The Flash.

As Wally struggles to stop The Rival, Barry “meets cute” with Iris and he sets up a first date.  (Later Joe will not approve of this at all.)  Allen steps in as The Flash to help Wally, who he calls Kid Flash. This goes over like a lead balloon. Barry then tells young West that it will take two of them to defeat The Rival.

Allen gets together the old team, Cisco (who in this world is a billionaire), Caitlin and Iris. They work out a plan of attack. Iris takes Barry aside and asks about their connection in the other world. She says that she knew something was missing even before Barry introduced himself.

In this reality, Joe is a mess. He is always late and seems to have a drinking problem.  Later he shows up and saves Barry’s life after The Rival takes down Wally.

Both Flashes are to take on The Rival but Wally gets overconfident and pays the price. Barry steps in but only after Iris reminds him who he is. Those memory lapses slow him down temporarily but Iris’ pep talk sorts Allen out.

He reverses the double tornado that The Rival started and then takes the speedster out. As he turns his back and moves toward Wally, The Rival goes to attack and Joe West shoots the villain.

Wally is badly injured and he is not “speed healing.” Barry asks the Reverse Flash to kill his mother, seems the baddie was right after all.  When the deed is accomplished Thawne tells Barry that his world is now back to normal. He intimates that this will not be the case for Barry Allen.

Barry enters the  house to find Wally and his father  drinking a beer. After offering Barry one, things take a downward turn when he asks Joe about Iris. Joe storms off and Wally tells Barry, “you know they don’t talk.”

Things are definitely not back to normal in Barry’s world. Meanwhile, this world’s version of Edward Clariss is called by Dr. Alchemy,  “It’s time to awaken.”  Clariss moves toward the bedroom mirror to see Alchemy being scratched into the surface from other side.

As promised this season is shaking things up a bit and introducing some new characters.  This alternative world should make the upcoming crossovers pretty interesting.

Underneath all the setting up of this season, The Flash makes a valid point with the Barry Allen mash up in his new “corrected” world.  It is clear that changing any little or big thing in the past changes the present, or alternative, world…a lot.

Although apparently the more things change, the more they stay the same.  As The Rival shows up in the preview of next week’s episode “Paradox” and he clearly does not like The Flash in this world either.

The Flash airs Tuesdays on CW.

Cast:

The Flash/Arrow Crossover…Again

You have to love a good crossover. The most recent The Flash and Arrow crossover, Legends of Yesterday, proves that once again these two DC heroes are an excellent double act. This episode features a grumpy Green Arrow (at least at first) and an Immortal who is hell bent on killing Cisco’s new girlfriend Kendra, aka Hawkgirl, aka Chay-Ara.

Hawkman and Hawkgirl The Flash/Arrow

You have to love a good crossover.  The  most recent The Flash and Arrow crossover, Legends of Yesterday, proves that once again these two DC heroes are an excellent double act. This episode features a grumpy Green Arrow (at least at first) and an Immortal who is hell bent on killing Cisco’s new girlfriend Kendra, aka Hawkgirl, aka Chay-Ara. It also borrows a little from (or it could be the other way around, we are talking Hollywood here) The Mummy franchise.

In the franchise, with Brendan FraserRachel Weisz and Arnold Vosloo, two character were reincarnated lovers. This “The Flash/Arrow” crossover storyline also bears a huge resemblance to the plot of Hancock where Will Smith and Charlize Theron are two “aliens” with superpowers who are drawn to one another in order to self destruct. Very similar to Khufu and Chay-ara…

In Legends of Yesterday, Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) an immortal who suddenly shows up at Central City, starts increasing the body count while searching for someone. This happens to be Cisco’s new girlfriend Kendra (Ciara Renée) and another superhero with previous connections with Kendra; “Hawkman” aka Carter Hall, aka Khufu (played by Falk Hentschel) shows up to save the woman and reveal who she really is.

Barry, helps his pal Ramon out by promising to protect Kendra from this new threat, but since The Flash is having speed issues, he needs to be faster to defeat season two’s big bad, Zoom, and cannot do it on his own, he asks Oliver Queen to help out.

Standout Moments:

Felicity Smoak giving herself a verbal pat on the back for the magnetic arrow “gag” and annoying Oliver as he can hear every word:

Felicity (mimicking Oliver): “Felicity, the magnetic-arrow gag will never work.” [chuckles] Yes, it will, my love, because I am really smart. And guess what, Oliver. It did work.”

Oliver: “Felicity, honey, it’s a little hard to fight with you doing that in my ear.

Felicity: “Oh!  I totally forgot that this was an open line. Keep doing what you’re doing… Make smart decisions.

Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) has put a death grip on Green Arrow, chuckling evilly as he drains the life from Queen, and The Flash zips in and rescues not just Oliver but all of Team Arrow. Darhk is delighted at this turn of events:

(Darhk laughing) “What was that?”

These two scenes, over in Arrow-land, aka Star City,  actually ruled in the stakes of comedic moments. Of course Felicity totally rocks in terms of great delivery and clear delight when she is proven right…in anything.

Cisco calling,  referencing the 1986 Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery fantasy film Highlander, when Savage shows up for Kendra:

“Kendra’s not going anywhere with you, Highlander.”

The whole storyline of an immortal baddy who tracks down a pair of doomed lovers whom he has to kill in order to become even more invincible is entertaining and does contain at least one amusing interaction.  Khufu explains that Savage has killed him and Kendra 206 times and the captured Hawkman then  tells The Flash and Green Arrow group how he alone can  save Kendra.

Cisco is a tad cynical:

Cisco: “You’re 0 for 206, and you still think you’re her best bet, hmm?”

It goes without saying that Vandal Savage and Carter Hall are all on par as denizens of the DC verse as are the backstories behind their characters.   As usual it is very easy to get caught up in all the action.

Honorable mentions:

Barry Allen’s reaction to Malcom Merlyn entering the room, from the shadows twice,  “Is that the only way this guy knows how to enter a room?” This reaction to the second time Merlyn (John Barrowman) “appears” is on par with the first time he suddenly shows up.

Allen: “Who the hell is this?”

Thea/Speedy: “It’s my dad…”

Merlyn, Speedy’s daddy dearest, shows up while Carter is explaining the whole “Vandal Savage” backstory and he reveals that if the Immortal gets the Staff of Horus, he will be practically unstoppable.  Hawkman also tells Kendra that she needs to reveal her true self that that the only way to do that is to fall to her death.

Somewhat understandably no one thinks this is a good idea. Although Oliver tells Barry that he believes that Kendra should do just that.  Later, after the gang split up (Oliver and Allen head out to stop Savage from getting the staff) Kendra decides to jump on her own and her wings suddenly appear.

Cisco is excited to the nth degree that his new girlfriend is “Hawkgirl” and Khufu now believes that they have a chance to defeat Vandal Savage once and for all. Back in the lab, Velocity 6 is finished, with a little help from Dr. Snow. Patty shoots Dr. Wells and Jay Garrick save’s the Earth two man’s life after injecting himself with a little of the serum.

The “other” flash warns Snow to keep the serum away from Barry and Wells thanks Jay for saving his life.  Back in Oliver’s turf, the gang fail to kill Savage. The Flash and Green Arrow, and the rest of the group head back to Central City, where the Immortal has returned. In the coffeeshop, Oliver sees a familiar face.

CW has utilized the Arrow/The Flash crossover several times and these two heroes work very well together.  As previous teaming of the two has shown, not only do Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin have splendid chemistry together on screen (the two really feel like siblings with a great give and take attitude) but the casts from each show also work very well together. 

The Flash airs Wednesdays on CW, Arrow on Tuesdays. Tune in and see how long it will take the two heroes to defeat Vandal Savage.

 

Arrow and The Flash It’s Not Easy Being Green

The Flash and Green Arrow

Ah, Barry Allen (Grant Gustinand Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell, how we have missed you and all the issues surrounding, Arrow, The Flash,  the DC verse and the two cities, now (very briefly) connected via a high speed train.  As CW do not deem MikesFilmTalk worthy of having access to their press site (the only other network apart from CBS to, rather snootily, cite size as being the issue) there will be no episodic pictures for this review, which has also been combined rather than done separately.

Season four of Arrow, where Oliver Queen has returned to Star City and assumed the mantle of “Green Arrow,” a name much more familiar to this viewer than the plain “non colored” nom de guerre of the series.  Barry Allen in The Flash, the other CW offering and frequent crossover with the older, by three whole seasons, series meets another Flash, Jay Garrick (Teddy Searsfrom an “alternative” Earth and each of the two shows appear to be all about change and getting the old team(s) back together again.

They both also share a bleak and deadly future and a villain, Zoom (who will be voiced by the iconic Tony Todd) who is mentioned in The Flash, and also in Arrow at that grave by both Allen and Queen at the end of the season four opening episode.

In the verse of Arrow,  Oliver and Felicity attempted to do a Mr and Mrs Smith (without the competition and fighting) and get called back after the “ghosts” concentrate on killing the city per Damien Dhark’s wishes.  Played by the increasingly busy, and uber talented Neal McDonough, Dhark is a charismatic and darned scary villain in his own right, even without HIVE and his mystical abilities.

Queen left Star City for a quiet life in the suburbs with Felicity after trust issues make it impractical to work with the team any longer. It seems that Queen is more than ready to leave the darker side of himself in the attic and enjoy life sans weapons and crime fighting.

Barry Allen disbanded the STARS team after defeating Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) last season and stopping, with a little help from Ronnie and Dr. Stein, the wormhole and establishing the singularity.  Ronnie died as a result and Allen has blamed himself.

Over on The Flash, as the hero is offered the key to Capital City, another meta-human crops up.  Haven star Adam Copeland guests as Al Rothstein/Atom Smasher a guy with issues that deal with size and a very bad attitude. He  needs to kill The Flash because if he does, Zoom will send him home.  

Despite Allen’s desire to work alone, the STARS team get back together once they realize the Barry cannot take down Atom Smasher on his own.  Once the gang (Cisco, Caitlin, Stein, Iris) defeat the newest villain in town and reform the team, Garrick shows up and warns them all that things are about to become very bad for Capital City.

Over at  Arrow, there is a similar storyline in that the band has gotten back together but reluctantly on the part of Diggle (David Ramsey), who still has not forgiven Oliver for last season’s kidnapping and breach of trust.  In the case of Queen and co, Dhark is not defeated so much as thwarted and he survives to be a continued thorn.

We also learn that, between flashbacks and the one flash-forward (no pun intended) , that Laurel’s dad Lance is colluding with Dhark, although he is not happy with the aspect of innocents dying.  It is apparent that little sister Thea (Willa Holland) has some major anger management issues and that Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) has been doing a little colluding of her own, with the guys and gals back at Starling City. 

Both series’ opening salvos deal with trust issues, to a degree, and as before, The Flash is a “happier” place to be. Allen’s dad is cleared by Dr. Wells’ posthumous confession and the old guy is finally let out of prison for  murdering Barry’s mom.  Celebrating his release, Allen is a bit disturbed to learn that pops is planning on leaving the area.

Over on Arrow, however, it looks like Oliver Queen, with his name change to Green Arrow, will learn that, like Kermit, it is not easy being green. Just as it was not easy being just plain old Arrow…

Last year, both shows crossed over and this year will  repeat  this popular device. There are also plans, confirmed by Constantine star Matt Ryan via his Twitter account, for his character to pop up on CW this year. While the news is that John Constantine will be on Arrow, aka Green Arrow now, with all this crossover business, he could well turn up on The Flash as well.

Here’s hoping.

Until the appearance of Brit actor Ryan on CW, Arrow and The Flash air on Tuesdays and Wednesdays on the network. It should be pointed out that one does not need to be an expert in all things DC to enjoy either of these two shows. The writing and the acting make both series great fun to watch.  Tune in and geek out…

The Flash: Mark Hamill to Reprise Role on CW Reboot

The Flash: Mark Hamill to Reprise Role on CW Reboot

It has been a pretty exciting season thus far for young Barry Allen, aka The Flash, aka, Grant Gustin on CW with this comic book reboot, a crossover with Arrow and now news that Mark Hamill is to reprise his role on the show will no doubt make fans of the 1990’s version of the speedy superhero very happy. Back when Allen’s pappy, Henry Allen, aka John Wesley Shipp was much younger, around 20 years younger, Shipp was The Flash, aka Barry Allen in the original CBS series. Along with Shipp’s version of the fast hero, Mark Hamill played his nemesis the Trickster in the series that only lasted one season.