You have to hand it to the writers and in particular to show runner Greg Berlanti, they surely do not take the easy road when it comes to hit TV Show The Flash. Having overcome the Reverse Flash in Season One, only to open alternative Earths and endless possibilities, the end of Season Two saw our hero Barry Allen finally overcome the evil Zoom, but victory came at a huge cost.
Take a deep breath and here goes:
With the murder of his father by the hands of Zoom aka Jay Garrick, Barry ran the race of his life and defeated his once upon time friend, freed The Man In The Iron Mask who was revealed to be the original Jay Garrick and also the doppelganger of his Dad who was from Earth 3, but overcome with guilt and the loss of both parents in his life, Barry raced back to the past to stop his mother’s death at the hands of the Reverse Flash/Eobard Thawne, a decision he once stopped himself from doing as he knew it was a bad one. The climax ended with Barry seeing his mother alive and scared but also he glanced to see himself from Season One, looking on until finally disappearing from sight, like he had been erased from time.
Now if you have never seen The Flash and just read that, you would quite rightly think what a load of “nonsense” but for the fans, it was an open mouth shocker that can only pave the path to one thing……..Flashpoint!
The much praised storyline from the comics is one of the greatest ever told. Barry awakes to a whole new world as a result from meddling with past events. Bruce Wayne was dead, shot as a child which resulted in Thomas Wayne becoming Batman and his mother, losing the plot and becoming the Joker. Captain Cold is not a bad guy but actually the hero of Central City and is called Citizen Cold, while there is no Justice League and hardly no heroes. The world is a mess and Superman himself killed thousands of people when his spacecraft crashed into a highly populated city, than into the Kent Farm…..
Now with Batman and the Joker and the countless of other stuff never being referenced in The Flash, we know for sure Season Three will not go that deep and introduce Thomas Wayne, but we can be sure that Barry Allen’s shocking events may have changed the whole face of the show we love.
For a start, by stopping the Reverse Flash, we are for certain that the original Harrison Wells is now alive and well and should be working on his own particle accelerator, which means no explosion and no Barry Allen becoming The Flash. So if there was no explosion and no Reverse Flash, it should mean the likes of Robbie Raymond and Martin Stein never becoming Firestorm and Eddie Thawne never sacrificed himself for the good of the cause.
So if there is no Flash, then the ripples causes even more trouble because in theory, the universe of Arrow and Legends Of Tomorrow should rapidly change, because if Barry is no longer The Flash, then who saved Oliver Queen and Co when trapped in Ra’s al Ghul’s dungeon of poison? Does this mean then that its possible that Laurel Lance is now alive? and that Captain Cold never ended up joining the Legends crew?
While I very much doubt that the writers of all the shows are brave enough to change the entire timelines of each show to suit Barry Allen’s misjudged actions, we can guess though that when The Flash Season 3 starts later in the year, we are in for a much different path than what we are used to. How long will this stay in the alternative universe though? With Season Two leaving endless possibilities like Wally West becoming Kid Flash, we are betting we should return to the world we have invested in since the beginning, most likely witnessing the scene that ended season one, with The Flash peeping from the door and seeing himself from the future, warning him not to change a thing and leave his mother die! I bet that that Flash from the future is the Barry we are sharing this journey with and if the writers play it like that, it does tie in everything we have seen so far, into a very nice knot. All of this is of course is hearsay and the writers of The Flash have surprised us many times with their own twists in the tales but one thing we can be sure of, is the race to get there, is going to be quite a brave and interesting one….
While there has been nothing but praise from fans for The Flash’s brilliant end to Season Two, Arrow concluded its own season four with less fanfare. Lets not beat around the bush here and simply say the once great show is struggling. While many believe it has never really recovered since Oliver Queen was stabbed through the chest and plunged from a cliff top only to survive, for me personally, the show put its final nail in its own coffin when they killed off Laurel Lance.
Its amazing to think that a character that was not much loved from the start, whose death could have easily been greeted with fanfare back in Season One and Two has caused such hatred due to her demise, its a clear example that the writers have lost their own vision in what made Arrow once great.
Out of them all, Laurel’s character development was taking shape, from an Oliver/Tommy love triangle, to a grieving sister, her transformation to the Black Canary was built up from her very start of the show and while Kate Cassidy never looked quite convincing in the fight scenes, it was the fact that she got to the point of a well known DC Character that the fans loved and to see it ruthlessly taken away from us for no other reason than a shock value, left a bitter aftertaste.
The most upsetting part of her death was the impact it had on the character of her father Quentin who the writers had to make us believe that he had lost a daughter, only for her to come back from the dead, to losing her again, only for her to come back from the dead once more and then to lose another daughter. Its needless and stupid and one of the reasons why Arrow fans hate such a storyline.
When they decided to do a “whose in the grave” plot, the most obvious victim should have been Felicity. Now I am not one of the haters of her character, I do believe that she was brilliant in the first two seasons, but making her and Oliver and a love interest along with poor writing, has somewhat dimmed the light on her creation, so her death would have been more fitting to the show. It would have made Oliver more dangerous again, more like the guy we were first introduced too, a threatening foe that the city needs. Instead by choosing the simple option in Laurel, the show has continued to stagnate, resulting in more relationship problems than an actual evil development that the viewers could grasp.
The finale of Arrow was as poor as the show has been. The victory over Damien Darhk made no sense to me personally. So people power rid Darhk of his powers? Did I nod off and miss that vital plot point? The problem with Season Four is that the likes of Magic does not fit in well with the world Arrow has created.
Despite the best intentions of actor Neal McDonough, the character of Damien was weak and the final outcome was laughable. Did we once feel the tension that the world could end? Where was the police force, the army? Why was it left to Oliver and a bunch of extras to save the day?
Arrow was once bold and grounded, now by trying to fit into the world of The Flash and Legends Of Tomorrow, its lost its own identity when really it should not be like this!
The simple pleasure of Seasons one and two was Arrow using his father’s book to rid the city of evil while the flashbacks tied in beautifully to the danger that he was facing in the now (the Deathstroke arc was ingenious). It was just Oliver, Diggle and Felicity against the world, while the family issues was served quite well. By the end of this season, everyone was either wearing a suit, the Arrow Lair was a place anyone could walk into, and the viewers just felt that the show was over bloated and refusing to move on with its own plot, I mean how many times do we need to see Malcolm Meryln change sides at the last minute to join the good guys, its tiresome and watching the show these days, you can not help but feel its a hard slog.
While The Flash had the nerve to offer us a tantalising twist, Arrow served up a real poor climax that was a mirror reverse of the finale of Season Three, with everyone leaving the Superhero roles and with just Oliver and Felicity left to save the city. Is this the end of Team Arrow? I doubt it, but if it somehow breaks the overblown vibe and goes back to the grounded feel of the original series, then it would be a welcome change.
If Arrow want’s to see to learn in how to improve the next season then they must look at one episode of Season 4 where there was no flashbacks and no one noticed or missed them one bit! Yes the dreaded flashbacks have been diabolical this season and while season 5 finally offers the Russian tale that fans have been waiting for, they must improve and quickly otherwise fans who are already debating on giving up on the entire show, may find they have had enough.
Barry Allen’s decision to change the past has no doubt caused a massive Butterfly effect and basically Arrow could actually start again as the events since Season Two has now not really happened. But like I said earlier, I very much doubt the writers will have the creative guts to show this in Arrow, so despite what Barry faces in Season Three and the changes to his world, I expect Season Five of Arrow to continue as normal, but here is hoping that we at least get back to basics.
Season 3 started the rot and now Season 4 has dropped the standard even more, Team Arrow needs urgent help and lets hope they get it, as another season of this and the show that started the WB Superhero TV Trend could well be the first to say goodbye!