“The Man Who Saved Central City” Plot:
Still feeling responsible for Eddie’s (Rick Cosnett) death, Barry (Grant Gustin) pushes his friends away and tries to protect the city on his own; Cisco (Carlos Valdes) assists Joe (Jesse L. Martin) with the Meta Task Force.
Last season left us on a cliffhanger. Eddie shot himself in an effort to erase Wells/Thawne from existence. While that worked, it also created a singularity that swallowed up big parts of Central City. The last thing we saw was Barry running up into the black hole in an attempt to…run the singularity to death? We didn’t know but we were onboard.
Season two picks up six months after the events of the finale. Barry is a lone wolf trying to not only stop all of the crime in Central City but also fix the bits of the town that the singularity ruined. It is a nice and very appropriate touch for the Flash. More than most other heroes, Barry is of course focused on the world ending threats but he doesn’t forget about the small problems of the people in his city. Everyone else on Team Flash is also doing their own thing. Cisco is helping Joe and the police force with the metahuman problem. Caitlin now works for Mercury Labs. Ronnie (Robbie Amell) is nowhere to be found.
‘The Man Who Saved Central City’ is all about getting the band back together and reinstating the status quo that we are all familiar with. There is a lot to be excited for in this episode. Barry has grown since the finale. He is more mature and has a better handle on his powers. There are some moments when you worry that the Flash is going to be more angsty this season but thankfully he continues to be the more fun character we know and love. That isn’t to say that this season won’t have emotional depth. It will just be handled differently than show like Arrow handle it, which is a good thing.
The other characters have also moved forward in some entertaining ways, most notably Cisco and Joe. Their relationship is strengthened by the police force’s mission to be prepared for metahumans in the future by having Cisco create some fun new weapons for Joe to use. The reason this relationship works as well as it does is solely because of the chemistry between Cisco and Joe. You get the feeling that these actors really enjoy working together and it shows through their performance.
This episode also threw a ton of curveballs. Ever since fans learned that the Legends of Tomorrow team included exactly one half of Firestorm, they have had a feeling Ronnie would have to meet an end soon. Falling through the portal makes a lot of sense since that means they can conveniently bring him back whenever Robbie Amell becomes available. The far more surprising part of last night’s episode had to be Dr. Harrison Wells’ (Tom Cavanaugh) reappearance as part of a video message to Barry. Not only was it a big surprise that he would give Barry control of STAR Labs, but that he would confess to the murder of Barry’s father is shocking. The result didn’t change much since Barry’s father won’t be around too much but that moment was quite a surprise.
There were some rough bits about this episode. Atom Smasher (Adam Copeland FKA Edge in WWE) seems like a wasted opportunity. Forgetting about that fact that Rothstein was already one of the people killed in the original particle accelerator explosion, this new incarnation did not stay around for very long. Why bother with Atom Smasher if you are just going to kill him in one episode? There are plenty of other characters that would have fit the bill of big strong guy. Atom Smasher, while an imposing villain, is classical a hero who would have worked well with Flash in the future. He also didn’t work terribly well visually, either. The growing effect was laughable and that’s a shame because Flash usually does a great job effects wise.
The scene at Flash Day is a good example of what is working well in the Flash along with what is a bit wonky. Seeing the Flash get the key to Central City is a great moment for the series. There is an incredible amount of hope even though the city is still rebuilding from the black hole. That being said, Atom Smasher’s introduction is a really poorly composed scene. First you see Martin Stein near the front of the crowd at the celebration. Then a large hooded figure brushes past him on his way toward the stage. We are supposed to assume that Atom Smasher is going to confront Flash onstage. Fine. Moments later, a hot dog cart flies through the air from a hundred feet away and lands on the stage. That means Atom Smasher pushed his way to the front of the crowd then ran 100 feet away from the stage to throw the cart and then came back to the stage? I’m not saying it’s a plot hole or anything. It’s just a wonky scene.
All in all, “The Man Who Saved Central City” left Flash fans with a lot to look forward to. The team is back together with the new additions of Iris and Martin as full time members. We got the surprise introduction of Jay Garrick at the tail end of the episode with an all too familiar warning. Most importantly, right before his death the Atom Smasher let us know that there is a new big bad speedster on his way to Central City to fill the void left by Wells and his name is Zoom. That’s pretty good.
Matthew Nando Kelly is an incredibly cool and handsome staff writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Aside from weekly Flash recaps, he focuses on film, television, music, and video games. Matthew also has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he discusses pop culture related brackets with fellow Pop-Break writer DJ Chapman. He has an unshakable love for U2, cats, and the New Orleans Saints. His twitter handle is @NationofNando. Did we mention how handsome he was?