When The Flash raced onto our television screens three years ago, it quickly became one of the most beloved superhero shows of recent history. The Flash was fun. It was full of DC Comics easter eggs. It had great storytelling and villains. Season 1 was a nearly perfect season of television, other than the very end of the season finale (just didn’t do it for me).
Then Season 2 rolled around, and we found an even more menacing and creepy villain in Zoom (Hunter Zoloman). The season was emotional, full of hurt for Barry, and great character development. As a fan of both DC Comics and the Flash, I nearly lost my mind when they pulled off the scene in the season finale showing Barry saving the multiverse by paying tribute to the classic Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline (well worth reading, by the way). However, after those events, the tone of the show changed.
‘The Flash’ Has Become Too Dark
Barry was no longer the fun, upbeat, heroic protagonist that we as an audience and fans had come to adore. Suddenly, Barry was becoming selfish. Personally, I hated that they went the Flashpoint route. Although this seems to be a popular comic run to modern readers, I think its a poor Flash story. The Flash just repeats the same fails over and over again, and it is very dark.
Season 3 started with Barry living in the alternate timeline he created but quickly found he needed to set things back to the way they were. As one might expect, that doesn’t quite work. Barry returned to find the lives of those he cares about affected in negative ways.
But instead of owning up to his mistakes, he sought to travel in time (again!) to fix things. Granted, he did eventually tell his friends and family what happened, but all season long Barry manipulated the future and made incredibly selfish/stupid choices that put people in danger. He made choices that weren’t heroic. Barry never seemed to learn this lesson.
Even the victory over Savitar (who turned out to be an evil Barry from the future) seemed uninspiring and fell short from the previous two seasons. Then, riding on the heels of victory, as Barry and Iris were finally getting their wedding plans together, Barry was taken away into the Speedforce. All the joy from the recent events was sucked right out of the story.
The show has become too dark. Arrow can pull off darkness because that is the foundation that the show set from the beginning. The Flash, however, laid a foundation of high energy, fun, and heroics. A dark Flash doesn’t work.
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