The Flash: The Complete Third Season

The first season ofThe Flashwasincredible, beloved by viewers & critics alike. It was so good I remember thinking at the time that there was no waythe show"s producers could top it.

My fears appear to be well-founded. Two seasons later, the show has changed a lot, & not for the better.

I lovedalmost everything about Season 1, from the terrific villain to lớn the charming cast. It wasn"t perfect but it was an impressive opening khổng lồ a promising new superhero show, full of energy & life.

Alas, the second season was a convoluted letdown, và now that we"re nearly finished with Season 3,I think we can safely say that it"s a mess, too. There are still many good moments, great characters và I still care a lot about what happens. It"s just not the same show it used to be.

Here are seven of my biggest gripes with The Flash now that we"ve learned who the arch-villain, Savitar, truly is. Let me know if you have any others.

Read my nhận xét of last night"s episode "Cause & Effect" here.

Spoilers ahead.

1. This is just a new version of the same twist, but now it makes less sense.

In Season 1 we discovered thatEobard Thawne was masquerading as Harrison Wells. Here was a Speedster from the future trying to get home, và the only way to vì that was khổng lồ train his nemesis, Barry Allen. It was a great plot with a fantastic twist that kept fans guessing.

Evil Harrison Wells, played beautifully by Tom Cavanagh, was one of the best super-villains I"ve ever seen, if only because while he was an awful, evil person, you still grudgingly liked him. Even after his villainy was revealed, Barry and Cisco và Caitlin had a hard time not liking him.

Then in Season 2 we got Zoom, another Speedster but this time even faster và more evil than Thawne. & once again, Zoom turned out to be someone from within Team Flash. Jay Garrick, it turned out, was only pretending to lớn be the Flash from Earth 2. He was actually Hunter Zolomon, a psycho speedster who had the real Flash locked up in an iron mask.

Now we"re in Season 3 & the bad guy is yet another Speedster, Savitar, who is even more evil và speedy than Zoom or Reverse Flash, only this time he wears a suit of armor. Oh, & the twist is that he"s actually Barry from the future! Or, rather, a Time Remnant duplicate of Barry from the future. It"s, uh, confusing. We"ll get into that more in a bit.

Either way, once again we have an evil Speedster who just so happens khổng lồ be part ofTeam Flash. Màu sắc me shocked.

Even if you didn"t see the twist coming, it"s just more of the same. Once again we have time travel, only it"s not used in nearly as interesting a way as in the first season. There we had Thawne plotting for decades his return khổng lồ the future, grooming his enemy, taking a secret identity for years, & sparking the entire meta-outburst in Central City. Here we have scary Barry in a mask, hopping back và forth in time & meddling with things with a strange degree of accuracy given how badly each time change works for Barry the hero. It"s an unmitigated disaster.

What makes it all so much worse is that Alchemy was actually an interesting bad guy, but instead of going with a new kind of villain they stuck with the Speedster angle và the Team Flash twist. Alchemy could have been a really fascinating new nemesis, but I guess it just wasn"t in the cards. Instead we get time travelgibberish.

2. I love Harrison Wells, but enough is enough already.

Let me rephrase that. I love Tom Cavanagh và his performance in Season 1 will always hold a special place in my heart, but enough is enough already.

At the over of the first season ofHeroes,they should have killed off Sylar instead of trying lớn make him into a semi-hero (to be fair,Heroesshould have done so many things differently it"s impossible to danh sách them all.) By neutering the character Sylar just so Zachary Quinto could return to make fans happy, the show sacrificed its soul.

There"s something similar going on with Wells. In Seasons 2,The Flashbrought Harrison Wells from Earth 2 over khổng lồ Earth 1 lớn help out Team Flash. He was an enemy of Zoom, who had his daughter held captive, and it all worked well enough as part of the parallel Earth storyline. Wells 2.0 was a grumpy, unlikable, self-centered prick, also, which was a fun twist to the character. Instead of a likable villain, he was a curmudgeonly hero (or sort of hero.)

But here we are in Season 3, và instead of just sticking with Wells 2.0 the show has introduced H.R. Wells, a not-genius version of the same character, this time from Earth 19. He"s a goofball, an author, a lady"s man (kind of?) and has a lot of funny lines about the differences between Earth and Earth 19. His reason for being on the show is flimsy at best.

Don"t get me wrong. I like H.R. As a character, probably because Cavanagh is one of the best thingsThe Flashhas going. But with every new Wells introduced, we cheapen the legacy of the Reverse Flash. Thawnewasn"t Harrison Wells.Harrison Wells on Earth has been dead for years. The man & mentor whoCisco and Barry loved was never Wells khổng lồ begin with. He was Thawne in Wells"s skin.

Butthe show keeps dragging new versions of actual Harrison Wells into the story for no good reason. It feels forced more than anything, & it contributes lớn #3 on my list.

3. Team Flash is still too big,but now it also has too many Speedsters.

What makes Barry Allen so interesting? Not his personality, really. Barry"s a nice guy, but he"s hopelessly earnest, và when he"s not hopelessly earnest he"s hopelessly mopey. No, what makes Barry interesting is one simple thing: He"s the fastest man alive.

Well, the fastest man alive if you don"t countevery other Speedster villain he encounters, & maybe Wally và Jesse, two new younger Speedsters who are part of the team. Because, you know, a TV show lượt thích this needs not one, not two, butthree Speedsters.

I"ve already complained plenty about the sheer form size and scope of Team Flash (and Team Arrow) but things have gotten truly out of hand in Season 3. Team Flash is now comprised of:

Barry Allen Iris West Joe West Wally West Harrison Wells 2.0 H.R. Wells Jesse Chambers/Wells Cisco Julian Albert Caitlin Snow, when she"s not Killer Frost

Plus we have Joe"s girlfriend, Cecile, & the academic, Tracy, who are both at least "in the know" at this point.

This is an incredibly long danh sách of characters khổng lồ keep track of, let alone write into a television series where much of the time they"re all just standing around at Star Labs talking with one another. Besides, aren"t superheroes with secret identities supposed to lớn be at least a little secretive about those identities? Joe West would be more interesting if he was a cop who still didn"t know Barry"s true identity. Julian would be way more fun as the prick co-worker & rival of Barry. I miss the smaller team of Cisco, Caitlin và Barry. They could still work with Joe, etc. But it would feel more lượt thích a tight-knit team than this ensemble.

When the Team is at its best, I enjoy these characters a lot. But making it so bloated also opens doors for silly melodrama, like so much of what we saw at the beginning of the season.

Meanwhile, having two Speedsters is one too many, and when Jesse isn"t off on some other world being a hero, we have three (plus the villain.) It"s just too much.

(I"m willing khổng lồ give & take here. The vi xử lý core three may be too small; maybe Joe should be part of the team still, for instance, but what we have here is too sprawling.)

4. Iris và Barry are almost as bad as Olicity.

I know I"m not alone in thinking the whole Barry/Iris thing is deeply creepy. They are basically brother & sister, and Barry spent all of season 1 being really weird và icky about her. But it"s not even the creep-out factor that works me up about the pair.

The real problem is that there is absolutely zero chemistry between Barry và Iris. They are the most boring couple of all time. In one episode they go on an actual date và find themselves with absolutely nothing lớn talk about. It"s lượt thích they both idealize one another but have nothing in common beyond the Flash.

Even worse, just lượt thích inArrowwhen Oliver và Felicity became "Olicity," when Barry and Iris became a couple, sheessentially loses whatever identity she previously possessed. Rather than following her own story as an intrepid up-and-coming reporter, the show consigned her to lớn Barry"s girlfriend/fiance/damsel-in-distress. Ever since, their relationship has beena drag, và Iris has become less a fully realized human being & more of a prop. The question isn"t who Iris is, it"s how she can be saved from Savitar. That"s no fun.

My only solution? The relationship, as it is now,needs to lớn end.Arrowhas been better since Olicitybroke up(though that"s not the only reason, và I can actually see them rekindling that ill-fated relationship after last week"s episode) andThe Flashwould be better if Iris went back lớn being an actual character (with or without a boyfriend) & Barry went back khổng lồ being a superhero, untethered khổng lồ silly relationship drama.

Yes, the couple has genuinely touching moments (we saw one last night) but they don"t ảo diệu for the lack of chemistry, & would work just as well, if not better, if they were moments betweenreally good friends. Or, uh, quasi-siblings as the case may be.

5. People are still lying all the time.

Speaking of silly relationship drama, I honestly can"t believe that this show is still using the whole "lied to lớn protect you" gimmick.

Sure, The Flashisdoing it less than before, but we just saw Joe lie to Cecile and then try to break up with her to protect herand the whole thing, predictably enough, backfired.

This speaks as much lớn the show"s creativity deficit as the regurgitated plot-twists & villains. It"s as thoughThe Flashhas no other tools in its kit khổng lồ set characters at odds with one another. There are never any philosophical disagreements or hard choices made between equals. Instead, the drama is all about characters lying to lớn one another, a cycle of deceit/fallout/redemption that never ends & that no character seems to learn from.

In anotherCW show,The 100,there are real differences of opinion at play. Characters oppose one another on fundamental grounds, and actions have consequences that go beyond hurt feelings & betrayal. I want more of that inThe Flash.

6. Time travel works best when it"s used very little.

One of the lessons ofThe Flashis that meddling makes matters worse. Meddling with time và the Speed-Force is about the worst kind of meddling, sure khổng lồ make everything go haywire.Either the Time Wraiths will get you (or some other Time Enforcer) or you"ll make a huge mess of everything.

In Season 1, all we had to keep track of was the fact that Eobard Thawne is from the future, & has manipulated Barry"s life in order khổng lồ get him to help propel Thawne back home. The time travel in the first season was minimalist, and worked very well because of it. Even when Barry goes to lớn save his mother in the past, he (this time at least) decides not to, since he knows it will change the future so drastically.

Fast-forward to Season 3 and time travel is completely out of control. Barry has gone và changed the past, và only managed khổng lồ return to lớn his own future with the help of Thawne, who now is on a different time trajectory, I guess? I"m not sure. Now everything is different but also the same in the present, with only minor details out of wack. Oh, and Barry can travel lớn the future now, pretty easily.

He"s created a Time Remnant version of himself in the future who became Savitar. That"s how the big badknows what"s about khổng lồ happen, but also he can travel to lớn the present/past & do stuff there without changing the future for some reason. I"m not sure why Savitar"s actions don"t upset the timeline the same way Barry"s do. None of it really works or makes any sense, lớn be honest. There"s simply too much time manipulation going on for the plot to click. Just like Barry should avoid meddling so much with the time-line,The Flash"swriters need to lay off the time travel plot device.

7. The show has lost its joy.

Last night"s episode, & the earlier "Duet" reminded me of the most essential piece of The Flash"s puzzle that"s gone missing: Its sense of joy and mirth. What The Flash used to vì chưng so well was juxtaposereally, truly scary scenarios lượt thích Eobard Thawne"s incredibly evil plan to use & shape Barry, with lots of humor và lightheartedness.

Now the show is so dismal all the time. Seeing Barry happy last night made me wish I could have that Barry back again. I wanted him back almost as badly as Iris did, because the sad fact is, this show just isn"t as much fun anymore. It"s supposed to be fun. It"s at its best when it"s fun. But now, even episodes about giant psychic gorilla armies feel weighted down by a thick layer of misery, and Barry has become hardly tolerable.

The Flash used khổng lồ be funny, and that made it"s frightening bits all the more powerful.

I miss that show. I want it back.

Bonus gripe:Why is Barry always too slow? He should be able lớn run circles around Killer Frost, but she constantly gets the jump on him. I get that he"s slower than Savitar, but why is that he seems lớn constantly find himself bested by bad guys who basically move like molasses compared lớn him. I don"t get it.

That"s all folks.

I love the characters inThe Flash & I"m eager to lớn find out how they stop Savitar from becoming an evil deity now that Barry pulling aLooper is apparently out of the question.

So far, this season has had its ups và its downs.Episodes lượt thích "Duet" and "Cause và Effect" have played khổng lồ the show"s strengths really effectively. But overall, Season 3feels kind of likeArrow"sthird season, redundant and depressing, & that"s a real shame.


I write about TV shows lượt thích House Of The Dragon, The Witcher, The Rings Of Power, Stranger Things, Yellowjackets, Severance & many others. I also cover movies, clip games, comic books and novels, largely in the fantasy, science-fiction, horror và superhero genres. Some of my favorite đoạn phim games khổng lồ play and write about include Dark Souls, Elden Ring, hotline Of Duty, XCOM, Mass Effect, Titanfall, The Witcher & many other action, RPG & shooter games. My favorite films include Braveheart, Tropic Thunder, Arsenic and Old Lace, Schindler"s List & far too many others to list here. I often discuss the "pop culture wars" & how shifting cultural values impact our art and entertainment. I prefer deep conversations và debate to lớn shouting matches, & welcome readers from all walks of life and all religious và political backgrounds to join in this conversation. Thanks for reading!

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