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Thursday, June 29, 2017

TNH Roundtables: End of Season Review - The Flash

  With the season now wrapped, some of the TNH Staff decided to sit down and discuss the shows and our thoughts on each series individually as well as the network's franchise as a whole. What are they doing right and what are they doing wrong? Where have they been and where could they be going? We are re-visiting this now to what has changed. Make sure you read our End of Season Review and continue on t check out some of our analysis' and theories in the 6th of this 9 part series and then let us know what your thoughts were in the comments below.


The Flash


The Flash Season 3 (DC Entertainment)
          The Flash is a show that has continued to defy - no pun intended - the odds and once again set out to do the same by becoming the first comic book franchise to keep its pace through the third season.  It proved that you didn't have to waiver from source material to make a successful adaption.  Earlier this year, some of The Nerd Hub staff sat down to discuss The Flash at its midway point and we came to the conclusion that The Flash had high expectations, but had a lot of work to do to pull them off.  Now, TNH Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Jack Flowers returns with John Ayre and Marlon Ortega to see if The Flash did, in fact, overcome their previous feats, or if they suffered the same fate as Arrow did in its third season.


What did you think about the way that they handled Savitar this season?  Was it the right choice, and did they execute it well enough?


Jack - Earlier this year I was worried because it was starting to seem as if this was to be some sort of actual speed god rather than a cult leader who thought of himself of a man.  While they didn't stick exactly to the source, I am indeed happy with what they did with Savitar.  This was a twist for all fans, including fans of the comics and it was a good twist that I believe was necessary and honestly, a time remnant that was driven to the dark side and wasn't but at the same time sort of was a speed god due to the circumstances is way better than a sacrificial cult leader.  They actually kept a lot of those elements as well with Alchemy so all in all I approve. It was a genius twist and it was crafted beautifully.

John - Savitar was a good choice for this season as they needed to show another side of Barry; a side no one wanted to admit existed.  They handled the character well and made the changes that needed to be made and Barry became the antagonist.  Showing what can happen to a time remnant when left to its own devices is exactly what this show needed and let's face it, it's exactly what Barry character development needed.  He needed to experience first hand what can happen when a speedster doesn't pay 100% attention to what he is doing and how it might affect the future.

Marlon - I think it was a great choice for a villain and wow did that final reveal blow me away.  They definitely outdid themselves once again. 


How do you feel about the choice to go with Clifford Devoe aka The Thinker for the villain in the fourth season?


John - The Thinker is a strange but possibly smart choice for the fourth season.  If they stuff it up, it could go terribly wrong, but if they get it right it will be an amazing season like nothing we've seen before.

Jack - They needed to switch it up from speedsters. Speedsters are a big aspect of The Flash, but it's not the only aspect and we needed to avoid getting stale, as well as, showcase these other villains and how The Flash handles them.  Bringing in The Thinker brings an extreme technical aspect that will test all of these technical minds like we have never seen before and likely drive the team closer.  This is a unique villain that is not only new to the flash but to the entire DC CW TV Universe.  The science talk will shift from Speed Force and dimensions and paradox's and will now show how The Flash translates these into technology and the mind.  Huge possibilities here.

Marlon - It's without a doubt an interesting choice and it will be a refreshing change of pace to not have a speedster as the big bad. I would like to see where they take this one and if they could pull it off after dealing with speedsters for so long.


Do you think they did the right thing by ending it with Wally and Jesse and do you think they executed it properly?


John - Wally and Jesse were kind of cute, but there's no one to save in the relationship.  No damsel in distress per say; which isn't a bad thing, except I think Wally wanted to save Jesse all of the time forgetting that she has had her speed longer than him and has more experience.

Marlon - Well, we need Wally.  He is a big character that just hasn't been explored too far yet.  Jesse is good to have for a cameo here and there, but with a relationship that makes either Wally go away or Jesse appear too often.

Jack - I think they did the right things ending it.  I love both of the characters but the show would be too crowded to keep them both on full time and it won't work across dimensions.  As for if they executed it properly, it's tough to say, because they did the right thing by trying to make you feel for both of them while also making you feel that it needed to end.  However, the part I have a problem with is; then why even do the subplot?


Do you think they should have worked Jesse Quick into the finale, or do you think that they did it right by keeping the "three generations" theme; despite Wally not being Barry's nephew?


John - They could have worked Jesse into the finale.  The generations should have been left until Impulse shows up, but that's just my opinion, maybe impulse will show up and not even have a relation to either Barry or Wally or anyone really.  Obviously, they did what they did for reasons only known to them at this time.

Marlon - Case in point, they should have included Jesse in the final battle.  It's exact moments like these where Jesse is a good addition.

Jack - I wish they would have included her, but perhaps the reason is that they felt Team Flash would be overpowered at that point and would lose its wow factor of the defeat.  Perhaps they are working to completely phase the character out to make room for Impulse.  I don't know why they made the choice that they did and I'm not sure that it would be better or worse off had they done otherwise.

Click Here to Read 'TNH Roundtable: Mid-Season Reviews - Arrow

Do you approve of how they executed Caitlin's subplot? What would you like to see them do with her next season?


John - Caitlin's subplot ended really well.  Killer Frost helped in the end and while she's no longer Caitlin, she was able to control her basic desires and instincts.  I was worried they would try to lock her in the pipeline, but the way she just walked away, in the end, felt right.

Marlon - There is no good Killer Frost.  If she can learn to control her powers and become Caitlin, that's fine.  If she cannot, then she has to be a villain.  There is no in between for this character.

Jack - This is tough.  I like the way they did it, but next season is going to be decision time.  I would love to have Caitlin be Caitlin and still have her powers, but it cannot be. I say this as a huge fan of the Killer Frost character as well as a huge fan of the character they have developed in this show with Caitlin.  The whole point behind the Killer Frost character is that she is incapable a normal life because she is so cold that she is turned cold at heart. Personally, I would prefer them to bring back the Suicide Squad with King Shark, a real Artemis perhaps, Definitely Captain Cold, Black Siren and Killer Frost on the team.  This would provide us a way to continue to root for Killer Frost as a villain and a hero without contorting the character.  Not only that, but this would provide a great set of relationships and comedic rivalry between King Shark, Captain Cold and Killer Frost.  A dynamic that can't be done anywhere else.  Honestly, they don't even have to do the entire squad.  They can just bring that trio back to The Flash, but I think doing so as part of the Argus program would make perfect sense with where they left off as well as provide my initial point of the ability to cheer for the villain.  Fuck, why not do a Suicide Squad show?  Fuck the movies.  A show has always been a better format for that story. 


Did The Flash let you surpass itself once more this season or did it let you down?  What were your high and low points of the season?


John - In short, yes; I do believe that The Flash successfully surpassed itself again this year.  The only downside to this season, I think was 'Brooding Barry'.  It felt like Arrow far too often.  Hopefully next season we return to a more happy and optimistic Barry.

Marlon - This show cannot do anything wrong, each season gets better.  That is something I haven't seen anywhere else in comic book television and is a rarity in television in general.

Jack - This season started off a bit shaky, but pulled off the victory it needed in the end and defied the odds set not only by decades of television history but by the bars it had previously set for itself.  If I had to pick a low point, I would say that it was Wally and Jesse's relationship, because I didn't see the point of even doing it if they were not actually going to go through with it.  As for a high point, I would say that the best part about this season was that they threw even the most die hard Flash fans for a loop and that is something we needed.  Would I have rather seen them do it with an original character?  Yes, but I still approve of how they did it.


What does The Flash need to do next season to come out strong and stay that way for another successful season?


John - Next season, all they need to do is keep surprising us.  Keep throwing us in a spin.  Not just us fans either, even the casual watchers that have never rad the comics. that's the key.  They have set the precedent and now they need to build off it in an even bigger way. 

Marlon - Bring in Impulse and Blue Cobalt and it's a guarantee that ratings will soar.  Enough said.

Jack - They need to bring more fun to the show.  They need to bring more science and experiments and training and whimsical yet purposed dialogue.  But most of all, they need to take a note from the comics and Agents of SHIELD.  They need to do 2-5 episode arcs with their side character and have those everyday enemies affect how he adapts to his even larger threat, without having direct ties to one another.  The flash doesn't just focus on one enemy.  He has a city to protect.  He also has one of the largest and most diverse Rogues galleries in all of comics.  Use them.  Bring us a 2-3 episode arc with Gorilla Grodd.  Bring us a 3-5 episode arc with King Shark, Killer Frost, and Captain Cold.  Bring us a Mirror Master, The Top, Captain Cold and Weather Wizard arc that requires all of the speedsters.  Bring back The Trickster for a 2-3 episode arc.  Let's see these villains!  He is the fastest man alive!  Push him to his limit and force him to evolve!


In conclusion, The Flash set out with high standards and a large hurdle in front of them.  The goal was to do what no other comic property has done before and what Arrow failed to do.  The Flash did just that with the third season in a row improving on the last.  However, there are some who felt differently and that vote is only at risk of becoming more popular with another make or break season ahead of them.  So far, it looks like they are aware of this and are making the proper changes to avoid this, but only time will tell.  So check back with us next season when we review The Flash and determine if they were able to achieve another incredible feat.



Stay Tuned for our next installment of this Roundtable Review series where we give our End of Season Thoughts on Arrow.

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Written and Edited by, Jack Flowers. Contributions from Marlon Ortega, John Ayre

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