Midseason Report Card: ‘The Flash’ season 3 brings you Killer Frost, Savitar, and joy
“The Flash” by and large remains our favorite superhero show on TV, and while there may be other shows out there that capture some specific things better, it’s hard to fathom any possessing the one quality that continually puts this show above all of the others: Emotionally resonance.
Think back to that feeling that you got when you picked up a Flash comic book: It took you to another world! It was fun, it was lighthearted, and you got a chance to watch likable people who didn’t always look at having powers as a burden, even if they did have their moments. This is a show that reflects those feelings — it’s hopeful, optimistic, has great villains, and there’s very little not to like about it if you’re a fan of superhero TV.
What worked through season 3 – The biggest surprise so far has been the powerful presence of Savitar, a villain we were not predisposed to like. The concern going in was akin to “oh boy, another speedster,” and it was hard to know how the writers would make it different. Well, they figured that out by doing a wide array of different things, and that includes having Savitar be this all-powerful speedster god who sees and knows everything, and bringing in a guy like Alchemy to be his servant. Tom Felton’s addition does breathe a little new life into the show, largely because we’ve got someone in him who marks a great foil to Barry Allen to go along with being key to the whole Flash arc to go along with it.
Also, let’s take a moment to discuss Killer Frost: AWESOME. We hope that the show isn’t done with the character, as it was nice to finally go there with the real Caitlin Snow and deliver a really great episode all about her transformation. They found a way to make this still the Caitlin we know and love without diminishing the power of the character, either. They’ve also kept that as a really-great card that they can play in the event that they want to down the road.
If we were to pinpoint one other specific thing the show did right, it is bringing Barry and Iris West together, and doing it in a way that felt natural and not over-the-top and ridiculous. This helps to keep there from being a ton of pressure on the relationship, and just allows them to be a slightly different version of themselves. We think that they can keep this relationship going without
What could still need work – The rules of Flashpoint are still very confusing, largely because we don’t see enough ramifications, outside of Stein, on “Legends of Tomorrow” with those characters traveling through time. It’s one of those things that is probably better if you don’t think that much about it. The same goes for how Cisco is able to suddenly event so many things convenient for a situation in a remarkable amount of time.
Elsewhere, we suppose that you can argue that there were a few ho-hum episodes in the middle of the run. For example, “Monster” was effectively about a projection threatening to attack the city, and there was much more that could’ve been done in “Shade” and with Mirror Master as a villain. Hopefully, these are characters we’ll see more of in some form, given that one of the great things about this show is that there’s always hope for someone to come back.
Overall – One thing we didn’t even mention yet was how amazingly entertaining the crossover was, and we actually think that the “Flash” part of it was the strongest in between Supergirl meeting everyone and allowing these characters to be the focal point for most of the action. Barry is in many ways the fulcrum, given that he was the only character to know Supergirl, and at the very least he had connections through Oliver Queen to everyone else that was there.
All in all, just about as good of a start as you could hope for to the third season. Midseason Grade: A-.