This season started off with strong possibilities, beginning with an adaption of the popular “Flashpoint” storyline and the anticipated “Invasion” crossover event. While they seemed to miss the mark a bit on the earlier part of the season, the final stretch began to pull things together in time for a solid conclusion.
The Flashpoint episode was a bit of a letdown. Going in, it became apparent that the new reality would be primarily contained within “The Flash.” The comic book that inspired this story featured some dramatic character shift, for example Bruce Wayne died and his father became Batman while Superman was held in a government lab his whole life and never got his powers. Obviously, I didn’t expect to see these characters, but they could’ve had a bit of fun with some of the other Arrowverse shows. The real letdown with “Flashpoint” was that it was quickly wrapped up. Fortunately, the new timeline featured some interesting twists. Some of them were things I assumed they we revert back to normal after a few episodes. It was a pleasant surprise to see them keep many of them the rest of the year.
Some of the bigger changes to come out of this new status quo were the transformation of Wally into Kid Flash, Caitlin becoming Killer Frost and the addition of Julian (played by Tom Felton.) While just an annoying thorn in Barry’s side at first, he eventually finds his groove and truly becomes part of Team Flash. While not quite a new character, Tom Cavanagh plays yet another version of Harrison Wells. He was a bit too odd at first, but soon became a fun character.
Once again, the show had to rely on another evil speedster as the main villain. Although Dr. Alchemy initially seemed to be this season’s major bad guy, that wouldn’t be the case. He wasn’t really the most interesting character, but it was a nice change of pace until Savitar showed up. The fully CG design looked too much like a poor man’s Transformer. And besides his arm blades, he brought very little new besides being yet another bad guy that’s faster than The Flash. After painfully dragging out the reveal of his true identity, his motivations became clear and he became somewhat sympathetic.
Now to one of the biggest spoilers of the season. We were teased for months about the impending death of Iris. When it finally came time to pull the trigger, the show gave us an emotional and extremely well put together moment as Iris couldn’t outrun fate. The only problem was that these shows have become infamous for the bait-and-switch. All I could think as I watched this was that her death was aa trick or something that would be undone. It made it impossible to totally buy into the drama. It made the reveal the following week lack any emotional punch and what really transpired just didn’t garner any reaction.
Overall, this was probably a better season than the previous, but still nowhere near as good as the amazing first season. The main villain was probably the most complex on the show so far. The cliffhanger wasn’t the most engaging, and we’ll have to see if they just rush through the conclusion at the start of season four.
*** out of *****