The Flash, Episode 24 “The Man Who Saved Central City” Broadcast on October 6, 2015
Teleplay by Andrew Kreisberg & Gabrielle Stanton
Story by Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg
Directed by Ralph Hemecker
“Last season on The Flash,” Barry Allen becomes the Flash, other metahumans appear, Caitlin marries Ronnie Raymond, Dr. Wells reveals himself to be the Reverse Flash, a wormhole is created above Central City, and the Flash rushes in to close it. In the present, the Flash is facing off against Captain Cold and Heat Wave. He’s assisted by Firestorm and the pair return to S.T.A.R. Labs after their victory. Everyone congratulates them on their job: Cisco, Caitlin, Joe, Iris, Eddie, and Dr. Wells. This opening becomes something else entirely as a computer alarm breaks Barry from his melancholy and he grabs his suit and zips out of the building, giving his opening narration from the first season; however, there’s been a few additions: “I thought I would finally get justice for my family, but I failed. It’s been six months since the singularity. I’m on my own, decided it’s better that way. Keeps the people I care about safe.” As he’s racing through the city streets, banners start to appear on buildings and skyscrapers praising the Scarlet Speedster. “There’s only one thing I can do now. I run.” Cue opening title card.
Joe finds Barry at a crime scene over the body of a welder from a nuclear plant. Barry says the man has been strangled by “someone very strong and very large…It wasn’t Grodd.” Sighing with relief, Joe asks if he’s going to appear at the city’s “Flash Day.” Barry says he doesn’t know and awkwardly hurries off, unaware that someone is taking pictures of him. At Central City Police Headquarters, Cisco appears: he’s now the scientific advisor for taking down metahumans. After going over what his latest creation will do, he tells Joe he hasn’t heard anything from Caitlin since she started to work at Mercury Labs. Iris shows up to see Joe and asks if Barry is going to Flash Day. She thinks she can convince him to attend. Before she leaves, she sees Eddie’s picture on the wall of those officers killed in the line of duty. That night she finds Barry at Jitters where his super speed is allowing him to quickly rebuild the interior. Several businesses have been rebuilt at night in secret: Barry’s obvious handiwork. She hands him a flyer of the event that celebrates him. “Central City believes in the Flash. So do I.” After she leaves, Barry thinks back to the day of the singularity. Firestorm has to assist him in closing it. Once in the eye of the event, Firestorm rips off his protective shield causing an explosion. Barry grabs the body falling before him and safely takes the man down. It’s Doctor Stein: Ronnie is gone. He tries to comfort Caitlin, but the guilt is plain on his face. It’s no wonder he doesn’t feel like a hero any more. Cue first commercial break.
It was neat to have the series begin six months after the first season’s cliffhanger. The opening sequence was a nice way to address what’s changed; especially with Eddie and Harrison present. Opening with Captain Cold and Heat Wave, plus Firestorm was a nice “rah-rah” beginning. Grant Gustin did a good job as guilty Barry, pushing away everyone he cares for. Carlos Valdes got the best one liners of the show, though Victor Garber was a close second. It was good to see Cisco’s “dimensional sense” surviving, and being key in this episode. The way Caitlin was brought back into the fold was clever, and I thought that Danielle Panabaker did an excellent job in having her win over Barry. Tom Cavanagh’s scene was great, which put a close on one of Season One’s big plot points. The effects for Atom Smasher were good; in fact, much better than I thought they would be. That villain’s final line had me cheering. I didn’t like the lure that the Flash used on the Atom Smasher; yes, it was explained as a joke, but let’s not return to that device ever again. I also didn’t like the overly dark filming of the first third of the episode. I know it was done to symbolize the regret Barry was going through, but I think that the script was strong enough that it didn’t needed to be visually hammered in.
The good: Grant Gustin, Carlos Valdes, Tom Cavanagh, Jesse L. Martin, John Wesley Shipp, Cisco’s one liners and shirt choices (Where do I buy the one from Flash Day?), the effects on the Atom Smasher, Joe’s scene with young Barry — which went into an excellent scene with both in the present, and Teddy Sears’ reveal in the final scene.
Fun lines: “He went up,” “I’m throwing. You’re shooting,” “That’s great name. Welcome to the team,” and “I believe that’s already been well established.”
The bad: A lack of normal lighting for the first third of the episode and the device used to lure the Atom Smasher.
The final line: Not a fantastic episode, as much of it was clean up from the previous season, but fun. I’m looking forward to spending my Tuesday nights with The Flash. Overall grade: B