Welcome to January, otherwise known as no man's land for entertainment.
Hollywood's “Dump Month” floods the cinemas with uninteresting properties, and all the best TV shows are taking time to regroup and refocus the back half of their big yearly arcs from secret writer war rooms.
Over at CW's “Legion of Doom Content” headquarters, the Arrowverse (The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow) teams must be working overtime. To say these last few months were an uneven outing would be an understatement. There were a lot of pitfalls to avoid across too many writers rooms. Especially when they've just learned that gigantic four-show crossover stories can let CW print their own ... money? Ratings? They do quite well, is what I’m trying to get across.
But I'm focused solely on the myriad of problems plaguing this season of The Flash. Sure, it just got renewed for an extra season, but who will care if executive producer Greg Berlanti and company can't return this show to the roots that made it DC's breakout TV property?
Let’s start at the beginning. Season three kicked off with a single episode set in Flashpoint — the alternate timeline created by Barry when he accidentally forgot every rule that governed his world and made an alternate world he immediately had to abandon. For being the most important universe-altering event in Flash lore, this toe dip and run away signaled the kind of half-chewed choices that would plague the rest of the season. There's some fallout, but it’s nothing a few team hugs can't fix.
We've also managed to give superpowers to everyone on the team except for Iris, who we now know will be killed by Savitar in one of the possible futures. As a mid-season cliffhanger, how can we be empathetic for anything that's already been excused as a changeable future event. Even Doctor Who doesn't allow for these kinds of faux stakes. Do you want to make this show to have weight again? Maybe it's time to kill Iris. Barry certainly ruined everyone else's life enough. Why not pay the ultimate price?
The rumor is we'll have a new big bad to eclipse Savitar's place, and Doctor Alchemy has mostly run his course here after being revealed as an evil Indiana Jones. But guess who we're bringing in to pick up the Speed God's slack? Reverse-Flash, and maybe even Black Flash. It’s time we got a non-speedster villain on this show instead of bringing the usual cast of characters back from the dead.
Finally, the rest of team seems to be taking a back seat ever since acquiring their
superpowers. The explosion at STAR Labs may have given everyone in the city some kind of power, and I truly hope the long game is to build toward a Buffy: The Vampire Slayer series finale where the latent powers of the world are awakened to participate in some grand final battle. Sorry, but dudes made out of tar just aren't cutting it anymore.
Some of the greatest hope I have for The Flash moving forward rests in hipster universe HR and his investment in building Wally as a deus ex machina for when Barry falls apart. Let's hope they strike out on their own and build a more competent league of justice that will show Team Flash just how ridiculous their infighting has become.
Again, I really can't hit this enough: Iris needs superpowers or a super crazy death. It's time to stop abandoning her somewhere in the middle.
That's what we're looking for Flash team. Bring us back in.
P.S. More gigantic telepathic apes if at all possible. Thanks.