FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 2×01- “The Man Who Saved Central City”

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The Flash (2×01) – “The
Man Who Saved Central City”

Written by: Andrew Kreisberg and
Gabrielle G Stanton

Directed by: Ralph Hemecker

After a recap of season one, season two
picks up six months later with the Flash taking on Heat Wave and Captain Cold.  Barry knocks out Mick but takes a blast from
Cold’s gun and is cornered behind a car before Firestorm arrives to make a
timely save.

Barry returns to STAR Labs to a hero’s
welcome, receiving praise from and quipping with each member of Team Flash in
turn before things take a turn for the odd when Eddie is revealed to still be
alive.  Followed by Dr. Wells. He tells
Barry that there is nothing more he can teach Barry and that he is ready to
handle things alone.

Barry turns out to be alone in a much
more barren looking STAR Labs hub, reveal the previous scene as a
daydream.  He receives an alert on a
computer and races out of the building disturbing a pile of bills marked “Past
Due” and “Final Notice.”

As he runs to the danger, a new version
of the precap voiceover reveals some of what’s actually happened in the last
six months.  Despite Central City looking
intact Barry says he failed to save the city, and is now handling things on his
own to protect those he cares about.

After the title card, we find Barry out
of the suit at a crime scene investigating the death of Al Rothstein.  He reports to Joe that Rothstein was
strangled by someone extremely strong. 
Joe worries that it might be Grodd but Barry eases his mind before he
finishes up and leaves brusquely when Joe brings up a “Flash Day” celebration.  As he leaves we see a man taking photos of
him from an alley.

At the Police Station, Captain Singh
asks Joe about the murder and during Joe’s report we learn first that during
the last six months Joe has been placed in charge of an anti-metahuman task
force and Cisco is his scientific advisor. 
Iris soon arrives and asks if Joe or Cisco have talked to Barry about
the rally.  Barry is stonewalling all of
them on the subject.

That night at Jitters Iris finds Barry
using his powers to rebuild the coffee shop by himself.  She points out that many of the businesses
damaged by the black hole have been repaired in the middle of the night this
way.  Barry demurs but when Iris asks him
to come to tell the story he says he doesn’t want any attention, when she
brings up the rally he points out he wasn’t the one to save the city.

She leaves and Barry thinks back to
that day.  Barry is able to contain the
singularity but Dr. Stein says they still need to close it, his plan is for he
and Ronnie to merge then separate inside the singularity, using the energy
release to close it.  After saying
goodbye to Caitlin they merge and fly into the singularity and separate.  The plane works and Barry is able to save Stein
but Ronnie is nowhere to be seen.

The next day, Central City has gathered
together for the rally.  During the mayor’s
speech and figure in black moves through the crowd.  Barry arrives to receive the Key to the City
and is promptly attacked by the figure throwing a food truck at him and the
mayor.  Barry gets the mayor to safety
and confronts the figure, a muscled man in a black helmet.

When Barry rushes him, the man is agile
enough to catch Barry with a backhand that sends him flying.  The police open fire on the man to no effect
and Cisco has a brief vision of the man talking to someone else who is arcing
with blue electricity.  Joe shocks Cisco
out of his vision and asks for Cisco’s latest invention for the task
force.  A weapon called the boot.  Joe uses The Boot and it fires some sort of
cuff around the ankle that lets loose with an incapacitating electric charge.

Unfortunately, this has the wrong effect on the man as he
begins to grow in size and strength. 
Barry then grabs some propane tanks, his plan is to throw them at the
man and have Joe shoot them.  The
explosion staggers the man but shrapnel is lodged in Barry leg, meanwhile the
attacker’s helmet comes off revealing Al Rothstein.  Rothstein then makes his escape.

Joe and Cisco are back at the Station and learn that
Rothstein’s body was still in the morgue. 
Cisco tells Joe something else, Rothstein was in Hawaii the night of the
Accelerator explosion, leaving the pair very little to go on.  Iris arrives and tells them that during the
fight all the X-Ray and CT scan machines at a nearby hospital failed at
once.   Cisco leaves to try and figure
that out which allows Iris and Joe to discuss Barry.

Cisco goes to Mercury Labs to get Caitlin’s help on the
X-Ray/Rothstein mystery and while she’s hesitant at first she agrees after she
makes it clear that she’s not coming back.

At Barry’s CSI Lab, an attorney for Dr. Wells’ estate
arrives and explains that STAR Labs is about to go into receivership.  He then presents Barry with a thumb drive and
an option.  If he watches the message on
the drive, the attorney will begin making the appropriate arrangements to prevent
the receivership.  The attorney tells
Barry he’ll know when he’s watched the message and leaves. 

Barry sets the drives aside but before he can do much more
than brood he receives an intruder alert at STAR Labs.  He races over there to find most of the team (Caitlin
is still absent) working on stopping “Rothstein.”  As Barry protests their involvement, Cisco
theorizes that “Rothstein’s” power comes from absorbing radiation. (Allowing
Stein to dub him “Atom-Smasher” to Cisco’s delight.)  With this theory, Cisco is able to track
Atom-Smasher to a facility in town and Barry suits up to head over there.  Leaving his com-unit behind.

Barry finds Atom-Smasher soaking up radiation, when Barry
asks him why he killed Rothstein the man says he wouldn’t believe him even if
he told Barry.  The two fight and Barry
is quickly over-powered but before Atom-Smasher can kill him Cisco hacks the
alarm giving Barry a chance to escape. 
Barry manages to make it back to STAR Labs but collapses.

While Barry’s unconscious, Joe remembers a night not long
after Barry started living in the West home when Joe helped him through his
anger.  In the present, Barry wakes up
and Joe tells him he and the others will no longer let Barry push them away if
he is only out to get himself killed. 
When Barry says that’s better than him getting them killed Joe explains
that Eddie and Ronnie made their choice to help him and that was their right.

Barry goes over to Mercury Labs to talk with Caitlin.  He tells her he was surprised that Caitlin
was at the rally when they both know he failed to save Ronnie.  Caitlin tells him she doesn’t blame him, she
blames herself and that was why she couldn’t come back to STAR Labs knowing
that her decision to stay when Ronnie wanted to leave got him killed.  When Barry offers her a handkerchief he drops
the thumb drive on the floor. 

Caitlin offers to watch the message with him, and pair sit
down at her computer.  Wells’ message is
rather taunting, telling Barry that no matter what he does he’ll never truly be
happy because it will never be enough and he has a way to prove it.  He then confesses to Nora Allen’s murder in
detail.

Later at STAR Labs, Joe is talking with the DA and he tells
Barry that Wells’ confession had many of the right details and she thinks it
should be enough to get Henry out of Iron Heights.  While Joe’s dealing with that Barry asks how
they can stop Atom-Smasher.  Caitlin has
an idea to get him to gorge himself on more radiation than he can absorb.

Atom-Smasher is in a hotel room or apartment somewhere when
he sees a “signal” in the night sky.  He
follows it to Barry’s location, and Barry leads him to a nearby nuclear
plant.  Barry baits him into the reactor
core before trapping Atom-Smasher inside as Cisco opens it.  The plan works and as Atom-Smasher lay dying
Barry asks him why.  Atom-Smasher says
that he was promised a chance to go home if he killed Barry.  When Barry asks who, Atom-Smasher says “Zoom”
with his dying breath.

Later, Barry meets Henry outside of Iron Heights to take him
home.  Joe and the others are waiting to
celebrate his homecoming.  During the
celebration, Dr. Stein offers up a speech and toast that they move “Forward.”  Barry pulls Henry aside and as he excitedly
tries to help his father get his life moving again Henry tells him he plans to
leave Central City for a while.

Barry protests as he’s all the family Barry has left.  Henry tells him that he does have a family
and he doesn’t think Barry can take care of his family while he’s concentrating
on his father.  The next morning at STAR
Labs, Barry and Joe talk about Henry leaving before they meet up with the rest
of the team.  Cisco shows off Barry’s new
suit that he based on Gideon’s 2024 Newspaper, Caitlin and Cisco have also
upgraded security.

Apparently not enough though as the man taking Barry’s
picture arrives and he reveals himself to be Jay Garrick with a dire warning.

So, we’re back.  I for
one am glad to see that they decided not to pick up where they left off last
season.  I always prefer shows
acknowledge that time has passed since we watched last. But that’s a personal
taste issue.

As for the episode itself, it had its ups and downs as the
cast and crew shake the rust off and get into swing of things.  As has become the norm, any scene with Grant
Gustin and Jesse L Martin interacting pulls you in and carries much of the weight. 

It was also nice to see Harrison Wells one more time and his
insight into Barry’s nature was spot on. 
Barry’s biggest strength is also his biggest weakness; he is never
satisfied and he always feels like he can do more.  The teases of the Zoom and Jay Garrick
storyline were interesting and Adam “Edge” Copeland was very good for a one off
villain.

I’m also glad that they didn’t stay long on Barry bought of
brooding.  We get more than enough of
that from Oliver Queen, no real need for Barry Allen to do it too.  I was almost disappointed they wrapped up the
Henry Allen plot so quickly.  I have to
assume that even with a confession it would take some time to clear a person of
a murder conviction and it could have given the writers some interesting things
to play with.

One other thing:  Dear
Producers, Never do this:

Again.  Ever. 

All in all, decent episode with some good hooks for the
coming weeks.

Three Things We
Learned This Week:

1)     
Cisco has not told anyone about his power.

2)     
Barry now owns STAR Labs.

3)     
Cisco is providing technical support to the
CCPD.

Three Questions:
1)     
Was Atom-Smasher from the same place a Jay
Garrick?
2)     
How much was Stein affected by Ronnie’s presumed
death?
3)     
Who is Zoom and what is his plan?
Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson

Contributor at WOBAM! Entertainment
Just another guy on the internet.
Jason Thompson
Just another guy on the internet.