The Flash: 02×01+02: The Man Who Saved Central City and Flash of Two Worlds

This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics

Welcome back to Central City! Panelteers Chris and Ali are back chatting about everyone’s favorite superhero show, The Flash! For our first lap back with the Scarlet Speedster, we’re making it a double-header. Warn your spoilers because we’re talking about Episodes 1 and 2.

Ali: CHRIS!! It’s so good to be back in Central City. I think I forgot how much I love this show.

Chris: ALI! I’m so glad it’s finally time to do this again. Something’s been missing from my life and I wasn’t quite sure what it was until this show crept up on me. (no for real. All of a sudden the season just started.) Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on our first two episodes. Heads up: I had very different reactions to both of them.

Ali: I’m a little bit on the fence about the first episode, if I’m being honest. It had a bit of an Iron Man 3 vibe to it and I wish they played with it more. Barry’s gone into a Black Hole, saved Central City and the world, but loses a friend and has some serious issues because of it. But all we get to see really is Barry pushing people away and being a bit of a jerk.

Chris: I think that might be a symptom of needing to fill 20 plus episodes. As much as I would have liked to deal with the weight of all of that right up front, I can understand just dropping a couple of hints and teases. Or… you can just have Barry be a full blown dick in the second episode, I guess.

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Grumpy Barry

Ali: For. Real. I mean, I do like that they’re showing us the emotional fallout of what Barry’s been through. But we’re seeing it from outside his perspective and it feels less genuine. I do, however, love that Iris has become the one to call him out for stuff like this. She’s got bits in both episodes where she drops some truth bombs on Barry.

Chris: Unless the cast and crew have been living under a rock, they’ve heard criticisms of basically every single Iris storyline from last season. They seem to be at least making an effort to change some things. Curious to see if it sticks.

Ali: I think they’ve tied all that stuff up into her character. She’s very clear in the first episode that she doesn’t care about Barry being OK with things; she’s going to help Central City the way she knows how. She’s a woman who will not be letting people make decisions for her. And I think it also relates to her being on Team Flash now. She knows all the secrets and how best she can help. I love the direction and I love Candice Patton in the role. Aw yeah, Iris!!

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Chris: Iris kind of got an arc that we didn’t see. That sorta sums up the whole first episode. There’s been a lot of changes, we just haven’t really seen the work. In some places, it really works, in other places, it feels a little off.

Ali: Yeah, I’m not a fan of the “let’s just skip 6 months ahead” season premier. I feel like I’m getting cheated out of great stories and character development. I mean, I’ve learned to go with it because so many shows use it, but it very rarely works well.

Chris: I’m picking nits because I don’t really have complaints about the first episode. It was a fun reintroduction into this world. A minor reshuffling certainly isn’t going to hurt thing. But… look, finding out midway through the episode that Ronnie died offscreen (in between seasons sort of) was really shocking – and probably not in the way they were going for.

Ali: He dies off panel!! And off-screen really. I was really disappointed with his exit. He barely even had time to agree to Stein’s crazy plan. He was just… gone.

Chris: It’s weird and I kind of don’t get it as a decision. Like, we even get a shot of him in Barry’s weird PTSD vision.

Ali: Maybe Robbie Amell didn’t want to do Legends of Tomorrow and they had to kill him off? Either way, I don’t wike it. So we’re gonna talk about something I love: CISCO!!!!!! He is adorable as ever and I love that during the “hiatus” he and Joe have become Crime Bros. I like the natural extension that CCPD would have a meta-human task force and work with a scientific advisor. I love that Cisco just wants his own badge. But above all that, I like what they’re doing withi his powers and how he’s struggling with them. We don’t always get a lot of weight with Cisco. But I like that he has these powers that take him out of his comfort zone. And I’m really interested to see how they handle Cisco keeping things from the team.

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Chris: Giving Carlos Valdez something a little meatier to work with is a great idea. The dude’s got some range and it’ll be fun to see him play around with it. As grumpy as I am about some of the stuff coming out of the time-jump, I’m 100 percent A-OK with everyone being kinda lost in the wind since the semi-dissolution of Team Flash. I’m also glad that we dealt with it by the end of the episode. I could see them dragging that story out to six episodes or whatever and then we’d just be posting videos of us shouting about how long everything is taking! We should probably talk about Wells’ message and then get into the MEGA BS that comes up at the end of the premiere. (Doing two of these at once should have kept us from jumping all over the place, but that’s never gonna happen.)

Ali: (We’re the best at what we do. And what we do is jump all over the place). So Wells’ will. First, I don’t even know how that works. Basically the lawyer tells Barry that if he doesn’t watch the video, he forfeits Star Labs (which actually brought up a lot of questions about Star Labs – like how do Cisco and Caitlin get paid? They’re the only people who work there). Also, when Barry does hand the video over to the police for the confession, he tampers with it to pull out the futurey stuff. It’s tampered evidence.

Chris: To be fair, basically everything our lead characters do on this show is ridiculously illegal. So just add it to the bill.

Ali: It’s a very weird way to get Henry out of jail only to have him LEAVE TOWN FOR NO REASON!!!! WHY!!!!!!

Chris: Ali. It is the most manufactured piece of drama in the history of the medium. We’re all in agreement that Henry Allen is a monster, right? What is wrong with you that after 14 years of prison, when you’re accepted into this loving family of people, you decide to just peace out because… ??????

Ali: I mean, I get the psychology behind being wrongly imprisoned for 14 years and being a bit freaked out when all these people want to love you so you run. But that’s not what happens here. It’s like the writers said, we can’t kill his mom again to give him Man Pain so let’s just have his dad flake out. I don’t know. Maybe they’ll surprise us later in the season but I was not happy about this.

…But then Jay showed up and EVERYTHING WAS AMAZING.

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Chris: I usually think I’m a fairly well composed guy, but lemme tell you, when that Baby Kevin Sorbo looking dude rolled up and was all “I’m from Earth-2. I’m Jay Garrick. Where’s my dumb hat?” I kinda spazzed out a little bit.

Ali: There was a lot of squeeing and bouncing on the couch and arm flailing when he showed up. And when he asked for his helmet. And most of the time Jay was on screen to be honest. We have 2 Flashes and a Multiverse and everything is wonderful.

Chris: I’m such a big fan of parallel worlds in storytelling – particularly the DC Multiverse – so I’m stoked that they seem to be going whole hog on this. No messing around. Actual earth designations. Multiple versions of people. Weird coincidences. An excuse for dead characters to show back up. Let’s DO THIS!

Ali: I kind of want Caitlin and Jay to make out. Because he’s super hot and sciency and girl can get it.

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Chris: Oh, those two are gonna get weird and it’ll be great.

Ali: ADORKABLE FLIRTING! Make it happen, Flash writers!

Chris: Way more into the two good-lookin’ science dweebs knocking boots than I am for Barry’s new love interest. What’d you think of Patty Spivot?

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Nice to meet you, Patty!

Ali: I’m not gonna lie; at first I thought she might be a Felicity Smoak rip-off. But I was quickly proven wrong. Girl’s got moxie. And she’s out for a bit of vengeance. I like her.

Chris: I like her until she starts to interact with Barry. That scene was rough. (but maybe that’s just me.) She’s also a little creepy to him, but hey. Barry might be into that.

Ali: Hahahaha! I think they were going for awkward but that first meeting was a bit wonky. But I really like them swapping Monty Python lines and, let’s face it, Grant Gustin has chemistry with EVERYONE. I’m on board.

Chris: Huge swerve here, but I’m really fond of how ridiculous the new setup for the monster of the week is. Instead of it being someone affected by the particle accelerator, it’s some random metahuman grabbed by Zoom, dropped into Earth 1 and told “Hey, go kill The Flash.” No planning. No heads up. Just “good luck, bud.” It’s way funnier to me than it should be. I love it.

Ali: I mean, it’s going to get to the point on Earth-2 where they’re going to run out of metahumans. Won’t people notice they’re missing? What if Zoom sends someone over who doesn’t want to come back to Earth-2? What if he sends over a superhero who just isn’t going to kill The Flash? So many possibilities!

Chris: Speaking of killing – Team Flash legit murders two dudes in these episodes, right? They dose Atom Smasher with a ton of radiation and turn Sand Demon to glass and shatter him. I know the last six months have been rough but Team Flash really doesn’t mess around anymore.

Ali: Right?! I’m not OK with this. This feels like early season 1 where they killed the bad guys before getting the Pipeline up and running. But it felt colder in these two episodes. They weren’t trying to subdue, they were trying to kill.

Chris: Yeah. When someone teaches you to throw lightning like you’re Goku, you know you’re going to kill someone with it.

Ali: I was really hoping Cisco was going to make a Thor reference when Jay was talking about throwing lightening.

Chris: Speaking of lightning. It’s time for the first lightning round of Season 2!

Ali: How adorable was Dr. Stein when he named Atom Smasher?! “And he… Smashes!”

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Chris: Oh yeah. Loved him getting swept up in it. Him and Cisco should keep rubbing off on each other.

I’ll go with getting a kick out of Joe just NOT HAVING IT with all this multiverse mumbo-jumbo. Having a character play dumb while others spit exposition at them usually gets under my skin, but Martin kinda sold it. At least he seemed like he was having fun.

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Ali: I like that he says, “so some of the people on these parallel earths have jobs and bills? I get that” I like that Joe is the grounded one when things get all wibby-wobbly, sciency-wiency.

Also: FUTURE WELLS, CHRIS!

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“Hello, children.”

Chris: Oh I’m a DUMMY I thought that was supposed to be Earth-2 Wells. I was psyched either way.

Ali: OMG you’re right! Earth-2 Wells makes way more sense! And he’s probably not evil! What if Zoom sends Earth-2 Wells to kill The Flash?! CHRIS!!! THIS SHOW!!!

Chris: To be fair, I was totally ready to believe your take on the Wells situation. We… kinda get paid to watch this show. Probably just because we tend to have the most fun with it, even if we’re not the most eagle-eyed. I’m kinda hoping that Earth-2 Wells is just a super solid dude and he ends up trying to help and no one will give him the time of day.

Ali: Earth-2 Wells totally owns a bowling alley and gives people legal advice.

Chris: That’s what that show is about? huh. Well(s) we’ll see everybody next week as we get things back on schedule. Thanks for hanging in there with us and we’re glad to have you all watching The Flash along with us.

Ali: THANK YOU, CENTRAL CITY! GOOD NIGHT!

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https://i.imgur.com/sOUbBJG.jpg

(Screen grabs from flashfans.org)

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