Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
The Flash ended its first season with an excellent, if slightly infuriating episode, with Flash running into a wormhole which appeared over the city. “The Man Who Saved Central City” interestingly doesn’t immediately answer how Barry escaped or even dealt with the wormhole, instead jumping the story ahead a few months to show how the fallout of Barry’s battle with Eobard Thawne has affected his friends. Along with moving Barry’s story forward, the Season 2 premiere had a lot to catch everyone up on, and with the exception of one or two nitpicks, it largely succeeds.
“The Man Who Saved Central City” drops in on Barry operating as a lone wolf, shutting his friends and family out for fear that they might get hurt. His isolation is then interrupted by Atom Smasher, a size-changing metahuman (who is actually a hero in the comics). Atom Smasher is out for Flash’s blood, and taking him down will require Team Flash to come back together. The scenes showing Caitlin and Cisco working at Mercury Labs and CCPD did a great job of filling in everyone’s whereabouts since the wormhole, and the former STAR Labs team is still as entertaining as ever. The episode also helpfully uses flashbacks to resolve the wormhole incident, showing Firestorm sacrificing himself to close it while Flash kept it stable. It’s that sacrifice that forms the foundation of Season 2, and it’s great to see how Robbie’s “disappearance” affects everyone on Team Flash.
Atom Smasher, for his part, turned out be an entertaining, if single-note, bad guy. The VFX team stepped up again and did great work showing Smasher’s power to grow bigger, and even went for a fairly comics-accurate costume for him. Like many of the show’s villains, Atom Smasher wasn’t very fleshed out, offering very few details about his backstory or motives. Though, he was a way to showcase another comics character and foreshadow this season’s big bad.
“The Man Who Saved Central City” did exactly what a great season premiere should: offering resolution to the previous season while moving the story forward in a meaningful way and creating excitement for the future. The new status quo set by a six-month time jump pushed the core cast into some interesting new directions, and the teases of alternate universes in the final act and a long-awaited appearance by Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick proves that The Flash is not only still great, but it’s just getting started.
Did you like the six-month jump? Was it great to see more DCU characters? Tweet me @MaxMielecki. And be sure to follow us @YouNerded.
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