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The Flash - The Man Who Saved Central City (Season Premiere) - Review: "Forward"


2.01 - "THE MAN WHO SAVED CENTRAL CITY"
Directed by Ralph Hemecker
Written by Andrew Kreisberg and Gabrielle Stanton
Reviewed by Gavin Hetherington



Click on a title to be taken to the review for that episode.

2.01 - "The Man Who Saved Central City" (October 6, 2015)
2.02 - "Flash of Two Worlds" (October 13, 2015)
2.03 - "Family of Rogues" (October 20, 2015)



What a long summer since the season one finale of The Flash aired and left us with that pretty epic cliffhanger. The singularity was sweeping up Central City and Barry, in an attempt to stop it, ran straight for it. I was so anticipating what happened next so I was a little taken back by the opening of the episode. For a second, I was like "oh, it's a time jump, that's a bummer" then Eddie showed up and Harrison and then I realised it was just some sort of dream. But then it did go into a time jump and I was a little disappointed again, thinking we wouldn't get to see what happened in the black hole. Fortunately, they didn't gloss over that huge, epic event. Through flashbacks later on, we see Barry enter the hole and run as fast as he could, but he wasn't enough to stop it himself. Ronnie and Martin formed together to help, which resulted in the death (or so we think) of Ronnie. It's devastating yet brilliant in order to move the narrative forward and allow us to see the consequences of that death.

Just to put it out there, my heart bled for Caitlin. I love her and I find her to be an amazing actress, especially when handling the heavy stuff. We didn't see much of it when she was first told of Ronnie's death, but we could see how much it affected her when she separated herself from the others by working at Mercury Labs and not wanting to return to STAR Labs. The scene when Barry visits her was very emotional and I do love the chemistry between them and how well they compliment each other. It's so very sweet the kind of friendship they have and that they really did help each other with their grief. Barry was feeling guilty because Ronnie was the true hero that day yet he couldn't save him, while Caitlin didn't blame him, but herself. Once these two characters became honest with their feelings, that's when things progressed and it shows just how pivotal their friendship is. I love them when they have scenes together.

And of course, I love the friendship between Cisco and Caitlin too and I realised how much I missed them together when Barry decides to fight Atom Smasher with the help of everyone and Caitlin talks about the radiation thing because Cisco visited her. He knew what to do and how to get Caitlin to help because they really are the best of friends and I cannot imagine this show without them all together. It was painful seeing them apart and Barry pushing them away, but for them to come back together before the episode ended was amazing. I was expecting it to maybe drag out a little longer as the whole hero complex Barry had has been a recurring plot device in superhero media - guilt, wanting to protect the ones they love by pushing them away - but Barry caved by the end when he realised that yes, his friends were the most important thing to him because he needed them more than they needed him.

The villain, played by the Edge a.k.a. Adam Copeland, looked like he would have been a very formidable foe for Central City. He took in radiation which made him bigger and stronger so that's kind of perfect for the actor. He also kind of reminded me of Bane, and I like the little Flash symbol reminiscent of Batman too. Silly Caitlin having to ask where Cisco got the idea from. But the villain, nicely named the Atom Smasher by Martin, wasn't actually that formidable. He had a good introduction during the Flash parade but his defeat was very brief and highlighted how stupid this villain was. I mean, it was pretty obvious Barry was luring him somewhere, did he seriously not think for one second that it was a trap of some sorts. Never mind, I still enjoyed it a lot. I especially loved when Martin came up with the name and Cisco was just so proud. More of this in the future as I was worried the show wouldn't carry itself without Harrison as he was a big part of season one, but I'm kind of liking this direction.

Also, as part of a happy little storyline, Harrison left a video message where he confessed to killing Nora - Barry's mother. Aw I was so happy when he did this and seeing Barry's face when he realised this could actually help his father escape jail where he didn't belong. I didn't expect Henry to announce that he was leaving though when he has just been reunited with his son, I'm actually still a little confused about why he would do that. I mean, I get his reasoning, sort of, but I thought he would just be more happy to be with his son and not want to leave him just yet. He's been without him for so long. And then we ended the episode on the appearance of Jay Garrick who ominously tells them that their world is in danger. A nice little ending of the premiere to really set the wheels of season two in motion and I look forward to exploring him and what is coming to Central City. It was hilarious how they had just been talking about the better security of the labs and that nobody can just waltz in, but then somebody did just that.

Humour was pretty good in this episode as I found myself chuckling a few times. When Joe, Cisco and Iris were at the police station discussing Barry not wanting to go to collect the Key to the City from the Mayor, we had this nice little exchange:

Joe: Maybe his best friend?
Cisco: Joe, believe me, I've tried.
Joe: I meant her.

Awesome. Just to quickly talk about the other characters I haven't mention, Joe was typically the good guy that helped Barry with his issues and provided that father figure he desperately needed to see that he was just getting himself hurt by pushing his friends away, and I love the sassiness of Iris now. Hated when she was in the dark and being pushed away last season but now she can come into her own and do some awesome things by being part of the team. Can't wait to see more of that.


EPISODE VERDICT

Really good, solid premiere. I loved the flashbacks to what happened and that the team suffered that tragedy so we had that bittersweet pay-off at the end when they all reunited. It made me appreciate the team being together so much and I never want them separated ever again - they are literally the best! Even though the villain was a little stupid and the pay-off was underwhelming, I still enjoyed how it worked into the episode. Awesome ending and I can't wait for more Flash!

What did you guys think of the season two premiere? Glad the show is back? Let me know in the comments and be sure to watch the next new episode of The Flash on October 13th!



About the Author - Gavin Hetherington
Award-winning author of the 'Abyssal Sanctuary' series. Gavin joined SpoilerTV in August 2014 and reviews 2 Broke Girls, Devious Maids, The Flash, Mistresses, Pretty Little Liars, Salem, Scream Queens and Sleepy Hollow. Gavin will write previews for Devious Maids and Shadowhunters, and backs-up Empire, iZombie, Once Upon a Time, Reign, Scandal and Supergirl. You can contact him at gavin@spoilertv.com.
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