“The Man Who Saved Central City” is a Personal and Emotional Way to Kick Off the New Season of ‘The Flash’

Barry Allen is having some issues.  He’s pushed everyone out of his life for fear that he’s going to get them hurt or killed (as he sadly has done already) and even getting honored by the city for his heroism can’t seem to shake him out of his funk.  But when a size-changing brute called Atom Smasher shows up with the expressed purpose of killing him, Barry better man up, change his panties, and get over himself before this strange newcomer makes Flash paste out of him.

All right, so… The Flash returned in a way I was not quite expecting.  At first, I thought that it has wimped out on the amazing cliffhanger that it left us with at the end of last season, but surprise surprise… they actually delivered and wrapped it up in a very unexpected manner.  I can’t say I was completely okay with it, but you can’t say it didn’t play against expectations.

Instead, we’re given a story that is more personal and emotional.  Barry is playing the lone hero and it’s obvious to everyone but Barry that it’s not working for him.  In a sense, the guy is super depressed and feeling the burden of being a hero and the ghosts of dead friends and enemies.  Every heroic character seems to go through this funk so it’s a little old hat, but at least The Flash had the good sense to wrap it up in one go instead of dragging it out for multiple episodes.

While Atom Smasher was cool and had a very visually rewarding superpower, I was a bit cold on the character and didn’t really get where he was coming from.  Sure, I understand that he was told to kill the Flash and then he was going to be send home, but there was hardly any development with this guy and nothing other than his powers to make him unique.  He felt like a thug of the week to be honest.

I also had a bit of trouble swallowing the Henry Allen plot.  Yeah, it’s always great to see Tom Cavanagh who was amazing at Harrison Welles/Reverse Flash last season, but his video confession just struck me as odd.  Odder still is that, after the said confession went to a judge, Henry is let out of prison only to immediately announce he was leaving so that his son could continue being the Flash.

Wait, what?

First of all, Henry, you’re a jerk and your timing sucks and secondly… would Barry actually give up being the Flash just because his dad is out of prison?  Was that ever a real possibility?

Just didn’t sit right with me.

Still, “The Man Who Saved Central City” was a welcome hour of television.  I loved this show so much last year, I love the characters… seeing them all again was like seeing long-absent friends and family.  The Flash is one of those series that actually makes you feel good when you watch it… it’s like a warm blanket on a cold day and, despite a couple of missteps, the premiere was a lot of fun.

Welcome back, Flash.

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