‘The Flash’ season 2 premiere review: Smashing atoms and breaking hearts

Barry -The Flash” season 2 kicked things off in a way that showed us they are not holding anything back. How else do you explain them killing off an important character within the first few minutes of an excellent premiere?

That person was none other than Ronnie Raymond, who interestingly enough was presumed dead when the show first started last year. We’ve come almost full-circle with his life and death. He gave up his life in order to stop the Singularity, and while Barry was able to save Martin Stein (who flew up with Ronnie as part of Firestorm), he couldn’t save both. Think of this as one of many reasons why you cried during the premiere, because there were a few tear jerkers. Caitlin was devastated again, and feeling as though he failed, Barry isolated himself from all of his friends for months. (The scene with Captain Cold and Heat Wave at the start of the episode was a little oddly-timed, and felt almost like they just wanted to remind you that the characters were still out there.)

Since we’re talking about reasons you cried, let’s bring up #2: Harrison Wells confessing in a video to the murder of Nora Allen, finally allowing Barry’s father to be freed after spending well over a decade behind bars. The D.A. was able to clear him, and by the end of the episode we had a welcome home party for a man who has to be thrilled to wear something other than prison clothing. Also, Henry getting a welcome party was reason #3 for tears of joy. Reason #4 was when Henry suggested that he could leave town, mostly feeling that he would be a distraction to what both Barry and Central City really needs. Writing Henry out for some time is a bold move since we just got him back, but we understand the purpose: He obviously wants a chance to start fresh, and if he stayed, he would certainly make STAR Labs rather crowded.

The primary villain for this episode, other than Barry Allen’s own demons, was Atom-Smasher (Edge a.k.a. Adam Copeland), a man who could expand both his body and his strength with the help of radiation. Sure, we never figured at any point in the episode that he’d be the Big Bad of the season, but he was formidable and required Barry to team up with his friends to come up with a solution. It just so happened to be a simple one: Giving the guy more radiation than he knew what to do with.

The significance of Atom-Smasher was not so much a one-off villain for Barry, but to introduce the character of Zoom for the first time, a man who promised to take him home if he could bring him Barry’s head on a platter. With that, our major arc for season 2 is born! With the arrival of Jay Garrick in the closing seconds, we also have our most notable new hero.

We’re going to miss Ronnie on this show, but for the most part, we would say that “The Man Who Saved Central City” is a worthy introduction to Zoom and to the second season as a whole. Fittingly, it was fast-paced in regards to its storytelling, and in between the acting and the effects, we were deeply immersed. There’s still time for many other superhero shows to counter, but for now “The Flash” has a solid claim to the title of Best Superhero Show on TV. Grade: A-.

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