Okay. That was a lot to take in. The way season one left off set this episode up so much, and a lot did happen. Lets talk about the premiere of season 2: The Man Who Saved Central City. Spoilers after the jump.
So, am I the only one who felt cheated with this episode? I was anxiously waiting like any good fan girl to see the grand conclusion of the singularity. We didn’t have any sense of danger - of course the Flash would save everyone. Even the previews showed the Flash Day celebrations which pretty much told us he did. However, the way it was handled could have been better.
The sequence in the beginning, was it a daydream Barry had? Not sure. It felt like a super odd way to start the show though. Flash taking on Captain Cold and Heatwave, only to be aided by Firestorm. They have some good banter and save the day before returning to the lab, only for Barry to be congratulated by a standing Wells.
Then it’s back to reality, Barry standing alone in a dark Star Labs.
It’s been 6 months since the singularity threatened the city. Barry gives his traditional “I’m the fastest man alive speech” finishing it with him saying he’s doing “the one thing I can do now. I run.”
Okay. So...we’re going to skip that big climactic ending of season one? I can live with that, for now, I suppose.
Now we start the episode with a crime scene, where Barry and Joe are examining the body of a deceased welder at a nuclear power plant.
Barry: “He was strangled by someone very strong and very large.”
Joe: “...or something?”
Barry: “It wasn’t Grodd.”
Joe: “Thank God”
I like that they’re name dropping him at least, maybe we will see his return later in the season. Meanwhile we see the preparations for Flash Day, which everyone seems to want to convince Barry to attend, and he seems adamant about not attending.
Next we see what happened to Cisco now that he’s no longer employed at Star Labs, he’s working the Meta Human Task Force with CCPD. Which is pretty much the same job, different boss. I gotta say, I’m loving the Cisco-Joe Dynamic here. We got a taste of it last season when we saw them on their own mission in Starling City and I’m glad to see more of it. Cisco complains about not having a badge of his own.
Then we learn how Barry’s been spending his nights the past six months. He’s been rebuilding the buildings damaged by the singularity. Iris joins him as he’s working on -yeah, you guessed it-Jitters. The coffeehouse we’ve seen as much of as Central Perk it seems like. (Full Disclosure: writing that joke made me feel old.)
Iris again tries to convince him to go to the Flash Day rally. He says she of all people should know he wasn’t the hero that day. His implication being it was Eddie, who sacrificed himself, was the hero.
Then we finally get the flashback to what really happened that day. I’ll be honest, it was really hard to follow along the pseudo-science. (Possibly because I didn’t understand some of the words, possibly because I’m running on 5 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours.) What ended up happening is Barry ran opposite the direction of the spiral, but what they needed was a way to split it. So naturally Firestorm enters the singularity and separates into Ronnie and Stein. Stein falls and is caught by Barry, but we don’t see what happens to Ronnie.
And that’s it. This is where I felt somewhat cheated. The whole sequence is only a few minutes and feels a bit anti-climactic after such a long break since the cliffhanger. I especially don’t like how they handled Ronnie’s death. I knew it was coming because of the way that they’re setting up Stein for Legends of Tomorrow, but they could have used a little more emotion.
Bank in the present it’s time for the Flash Day Rally, which looks like something you’d see at Rydell High before a football game. The mayor makes a speech with a few choice jokes about the state of a city filled with Meta-Humans. Then he presents the key to the Flash, and everyone holds their breath waiting for him. Of course he shows. The moment doesn’t last for long however before someone tosses a hot dog cart at both Flash and the mayor.
He has super strength and hides his face behind a metallic mask. Cisco and Joe attempt to use a new device Cisco invented for the sole purpose of diminishing the superpowers of Metas, which shoots a fairly fashionable ankle bracelet at the villain. The plan backfires however, as the villain grows several feet larger.
Eventually he is chased off after Flash tosses some propane tanks that just happen to by lying around and Joe shoots them mid-air right in front of him, which for some reason causes him to shrink back to normal size. His mask is gone revealing him to be their dead welder from earlier.
He’s not a zombie. The body was in the morgue all night. He’s not a twin. Records confirm he doesn’t have a twin. Dead guy is not a meta. He was not in town during the lightning strike. (Which seems odd that they’d say that considering they already have a Meta who wasn’t in Central City at the time either.)
Meanwhile Iris asks Cisco if he would know anything about the hospital near the rally having problems with all their X-Ray and CT machines suddenly. Cisco is 92% sure it wasn’t him...but he’s gonna go make that 100%. Joe and Iris have a cute father/daughter moment then decide that they’re going to force Barry’s hand about not working solo anymore.
Next we see a lawyer visit Barry from Wethersby and Stone who gives Barry the last message of Harrison Wells, which he must watch or lose the properties of Star Labs. Barry of course doesn’t watch it, instead he rushes to Star Labs after an “Unauthorized Access Alarm”.
It’s the team. All set and rearing to go. They work out where the villain is hiding, at a nuclear power plant. They also work out a bit of what the villains powers are, and Stein dubs him “Atom Smasher” after which Cisco welcomes him to the team with a hug.
Barry does not thank them and rushes out without his communication device. Needless to say it does not go well. The Flash’s opponent is several sizes larger and very much stronger. He leaves him with the message “you are not worthy of him” which Flash thinks nothing of at the time, as he’s more focused at getting out of their thanks to a diversion Cisco was able to do with the alarm system.
Barry passes out right as he reaches Star Labs and has a memory-dream from when he first started living with Joe. The message is it’s okay to be sad, and not having to be strong all the time. Great message.
Barry then goes to see Caitlin. They have a touching moment and then Barry (for the 2nd time this episode) says he wasn’t the hero that day, this time implying it was Ronnie, who also gave his life. Caitlin tells Barry she blames herself for not leaving with him when he asked her to. Barry, instead of reassuring her that isn’t the case, pulls out a handkerchief that also conveniently is where he put that video message from Wells.
Again, it feels like they’re skipping over Ronnie’s death.
Anyways, the message from Wells is that maybe they weren’t ever truly enemies, but also that Wells thinks that even if Barry got what he thinks he wanted, he would never truly be happy. Wells proceeds to give Barry what he thinks he wants by giving a solid confession to the murder of his mother, Nora Allen. Happiness abound!
Then the team is really back together. We see a Flash signal in the sky illuminated in the clouds. It lures Atom Smasher to Flash instead of Flash trying to find him.
Which brings us to Cisco’s line of the week:
Flash runs off, but not too fast that Atom Smasher cannot catch up. Flash leads him to a power plant. The plan is pretty simple and works like a charm. Give the Atomic Man so much radiation that he cannot absorb it all. Flash finally gets to question him as he lay dying.
Atom Smasher: “He promised he’d take me home if I killed you.”
Flash: “Who? Who promised you?”
Atom Smasher: “Zoom.”
Okay, so I think it’s fairly obvious that both Atom Smasher and the new Zoom are alternate dimension versions, right? He killed the version of himself from this reality and wanted to kill Barry to get back to his own life in his own reality, as promised by Zoom.
And then we have the super happy celebration. Henry Allen is released from prison after the D.A. deems Wells’s confession genuine, which included details only the murder would know. Happy music plays, Cisco gets a badge from Joe, Stein gives a cheesy but upbeat “Forward!” cheers. Yay! for everyone.
Then the other shoe falls. Barry gets excited talking to his dad about finding a home for the two of them, and working on getting his father employment. Henry is less thrilled.
Henry: “Do you think-Can you be all you are becoming with me here?”
Barry: “You’re the only family that I have left.”
Ouch. At least Henry says what I’m sure a lot of fans were thinking.
Henry: “Well that’s not really true, is it? Don’t you have another family in this room?”
Henry decides to leave, and asks Barry to tell him it’s okay. Barry ends with the message “Every time I win, I still lose.”
Then we see everyone at Star Labs, which has been newly upgraded, especially the security (I wish they had consulted a certain expert in this matter, but I digress). They state that now they won’t have anyone just waltzing in, just as someone waltzes in.
He isn’t a threat, however. He’s Jay Garrick and he has a simple message. “Your world is in danger.”
- Cisco added the white to the Flash symbol on Barry’s suit. I still don’t really see the significance of this, other than it does look better.
- We saw Cisco again see some alternate version of reality, either another dimension or another timeline, it wasn’t too clear on that point.
- I’m not sure if they name of the law firm was important, the only “Stone” I know is Victor Stone, and I don’t know a Westersby at all.
- What exactly is Barry going to do with Star Labs now that he owns it? Does he need to pay taxes on it? Does he need to make revenue somehow?
- Also, did Wells leave him anything else that is relevant?
- I have to admit, given how important imprisoning the Metas was last season, I’m surprised they did kill this one. Even if that reality’s version of him was already dead. I think.
- Are we going to see more of the Flash Signal now? Not sure how I feel about that one yet. Have to see more of it first.
So that’s enough of my rambling. What do the rest of you think?
My post on my suggested viewing order if you want to marathon watch the last seasons of Flash and Arrow on Netflix now that both are on the streaming service. (In the US at least.)
I’ll add more as the day goes on.