After finishing the latest season of The Flash I found myself wanting to talk about some of what I saw, yet I didn’t want to actually write a review for it. For that reason I’ll just call this little segment “Talking About” and do just that.
As any reader of mine should know already, I like comic book TV Shows/Movies so it should come to no surprise that I’ve kept up with shows like Arrow and The Flash. Despite me loving the first season, I was pretty disappointed with season 2 for a number of reasons. While I like that they attempted to add in the multiverse and everything that came with it, the show got bogged down by useless filler episodes and subplots that weren’t well executed. Season 3 takes a big step in fixing some of these problems by adding some cool elements and streamlining their central narrative. I enjoyed a lot of what I saw.
So in this season Barry starts off by having to deal with the consequences of him altering the timeline. He creates an alternate reality that he refers to as flashpoint where his parents are still alive and everything is going great. After realizing why he can’t stay there he gets the reverse flash to go back in time and kill his mom to try to repair the timeline. I like that not everything was repaired when he came back to what he thought was the original timeline. This means that there were consequences for his actions and gives him a legitimate reason for not trying to do it again in the future. With this change it meant that the writers were allowed to sneak in some new elements to the world. They decided to write in Julian (played by Tom Felton), who proved to be a great addition to the cast. It was a little weird at first because I look at him and immediately think Draco Malfoy. Took a while to look at him and just see that character. Of course he landed up being the villain of the first few episodes (named Doctor Alchemy).
For once I thought the central villain of a Flash season would not be a speedster. Yeah I was wrong. After all of the Doctor Alchemy stuff gets taken care we learn that the actual villain of the season is Savitar, the god of speed. Savitar in concept is an example of the Flash writers going back to the well and pulling yet another speedster out of their ass. The execution here works out better than expected though and it feels fresh.
Here’s basically how it goes down. After Barry realizes that a stone is the key to stopping Savitar, he lands up throwing it into the speedforce so no one could get their hands on it. In the process of doing that he pops out of the speedforce in the future and witnesses Iris being killed by Savitar. This changes the whole format of the show because the point becomes stopping that day from ever happening. They’re basically trying change the future. I thought it was pretty clever to do this because it meant that everything was on a time limit and at the same time it gave a legitimate reason why there might be a couple of useless episodes.
They also tried to keep up with the juggling of the multiverse. They show earth 2 and 3 a few times. They show Supergirl a few times as well who is from earth 38. Easily my favorite thing they did was with Harrison Wells. It seems like it’s becoming a tradition to bring in a new Harrison Wells every season. Season 1 Wells landed up being Reverse Flash, Season 2 Harrison Wells was from Earth 2, and Season 3 Wells came from Earth 19. Apparently Earth 2 Wells (known as Harry) could not stay to help team Flash with their problem so he used a test to search for a Wells from somewhere else in the multiverse. Eventually they find Earth 19 Wells who calls himself HR.
HR is the best part of Season 3. He’s this goofy lighter character than the other Wells that fits on the team almost immediately. His character arc is probably the best executed in the arrowverse. Let’s break it down.
So when HR comes to Earth 1 he fakes being a genius. A lot of the team are on to him almost instantly and call him out on this. He reveals that he came to Earth 1 to find a new purpose. His life wasn’t meaningful back on Earth 19 and he feels like he can do some good helping the Flash. So his whole arc centers around him finding a purpose. I found that to be so interesting because of where he fits in with the group. There is nothing super about him. He isn’t a genius and he isn’t a meta so what can he possibly contribute? Apparently a lot.
One of the subplots this season is Wally West becoming Kid Flash. While no one else wanted Wally to use his powers, HR was there to inspire him and coach him along. He brings this energy to the group and sense of team spirit. He doesn’t add an above average intellect, but his input applies common sense. He throws ideas out there and Cisco is there to apply it to their situation. His relationship with Cisco helps this along too, including one conversation that they had.
Cisco mentions that Harrison Wells was a mentor to him. HR asks Cisco what kind of things Wells said to him that inspired him. Cisco tells him that he was told that one day he would be a hero, and all he needed to do was show up. When I heard this I knew it was foreshadowing, but I wasn’t sure for what. That is until near the end of the season.
When the day finally comes for Iris to die, the team tries all they can to stop Savitar from getting his hands on her. It was revealed that Savitar was a time remnant of Barry that knew everything Barry would do. The plan to stop Savitar was to take Iris to Earth 2 and not tell Barry about it so Savitar wouldn’t know either. It’s kinda confusing to explain, but it does make some sense. Savitar later comes to Star Labs without his suit on (he looks identical to Barry) and HR mistakenly blurts out where Iris is. Boom now the stage is set for Iris to die.
Joe is on the rooftop looking down at the situation while Barry stares hopelessly as Savitar completes the vision and stabs Iris. HR comes from behind and runs up to Joe revealing that he is actually Iris in disguise. Earlier in the season HR showed off technology that has the ability to change someone’s appearance. While I was caught up in the moment I never thought about him possibly using that technology to switch places.
We find out that after Iris was initially kidnapped by Savitar, HR went to try to save her to make up for his mistake. When he’s spotted he changes places with her without them knowing and lands up saving her.
In that moment HR’s death hit pretty hard because of what I mentioned before. He was a character that had nothing “super” about him, yet he contributed to the team time and time again. He did mess up a lot, but always looked for a way to fix the problem rather than dwelling on it. In that moment he proved that anyone could be a hero and I thought that was fantastic. It’s crazy how most of the characters thought he was an idiot yet he outsmarted the person who had been 1 step ahead of the team the entire season. I thought back to the conversation with Cisco and realize that he showed up.
To me that was the perfect way for him to go out. Everything that happened after that didn’t really mean much if i’m being honest. The season finale wasn’t really that great. Despite all of the momentum built in the previous episode, they chose to explore the idea of Savitar not being that bad after all. I wasn’t buying it, and after wasting 15 minutes of the episode they decided to move on from that idea. All we had left from there was the last fight which was a lot of fun. There’s the moment when Jay Garrick shows up to help. Also, Iris being the one to kill Savitar in the end was alright. I like the irony of it. My favorite part though is when Flash sees Savitar running at Iris so he runs after him. At this point Flash has never been able to keep up with Savitar, but in that moment he went so fast it looked like Savitar wasn’t moving at all. He landed up phasing into Savitar’s suit and kicking him out. It was just a cool moment that lets us know that Barry is way faster than he realizes.
The very end of the season shows Barry getting trapped in the speedforce. I assume Wally is going to pick up the mantle of the Flash now and that’s where we’ll pick up with season 4. They also dropped the hint of someone named Devoe possibly being the villain next season too, which sounds interesting.
Overall, it was a good season. There were still some shortcomings, but it was a lot easier to get through than Season 2. If you actually read through all of my rambling I appreciate it a lot. I’m definitely going to do one of these for Arrow Season 5 because I have some thoughts on what I saw there as well.