So even though I totally should have reviewed the X-men movie, I had to get this off my chest. So earlier I reviewed the season 2 of The Flash airing on the CW station. In there I mentioned how Barry was starting to wain on me and unfortunately it seems that the writers have already run out of things for Barry to care about other than saving the day.
The first season worked so well because we were with Barry as he learned his powers and we slowly learned about him. We understood his obsession with finding his mother’s killer and saving his dad. Once he accomplished that, we had have him focus on his love life which- while entertaining – was undercut by the knowledge that yes, he will ULTIMATELY end up with Iris West.
So all the moments shared between his lovers are muted because we know that no matter how much chemistry he shares with Patty(like so much) the writers are going to find a reason for them to break up… And boy that was a stupid reason they broke up… like the dumbest Now this may be a critique only comic book fans would make as many people who don’t follow the comics have no idea who he’s going to end up with. His tireless rehash of “I cant love because I’m a superhero” is played out! It’s a tired tool used in superhero television shows because there is a common belief that a stable yet interesting relationship cannot be written for more than six episodes.
His character has fluctuated quite a bit throughout the show.They tried to ping him as the angsty superhero who needs to do everything alone, a plot point that I mentioned earlier was trite based on the circumstances of the previous season.. My favorite version of Barry is when he joined Arrow against Vandal Savage. He was much more quip-friendly which reminded me of the old animated 90’s Flash. That version was in fact Wally West but all Flashes, aside from Jay Garret tend to usually be snarky and confident. If you ever watch that episode again recall back to when Merlin arrived and stated that Savage wasn’t expecting Flash and Arrow to be so formidable; Barry gave off a cocky shrug with a smirk that in my opinion, nailed Flash.
Now let me move on to what’s really bothering me about Barry, or rather how he’s been written. As I mentioned at first we grow with him as he learns to accept the things he cant change and to free his father. By doing so, we still have the issue with his mom being murdered while he was still a child. Now that would be fine because like Batman, his parents’ death play a pivotal moment in his lore. HOWEVER, when you build a season around our protagonist evolving and coming to terms with his mother’s death, you cant betray a season’s worth of character development in matter of seconds at the very end! The show wanted Barry’s evolution to be so up-front, that they dedicated an entire episode just to it. In Episode 21: The runaway Dinosaur, we’re shown all of Bary’s hidden fears and pain regarding his mother. The moment they shared while reading the book was the emotional highlight of the season. That episode ends with him finally visiting his mom’s grave after is revealed that he hasn’t visited since her death. It was an inspiring ending to his arc, despite his contentions that his mother’s death was the reason behind him not regaining his speed – as tacky as that seemed to me personally I accepted it for what Flash was aiming to do. However due to what seems like a last minute decision, Barry forgot all that he learned just so he can jump-start the “Flashpoint” storyline from the comics. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m truly excited to see what CW will do with such a juicy story but it all proves that.
Barry is a vehicle driven by the plot rather than feeling like a human being. Because Flash is trying to hit all the beats of his Comic book brother, nearly everything that pushes the show in that direction is at the expense of Barry making either a silly decision with very little motivation or he’s simply slung into that situation. I hope Barry finds his center and while I don’t think Greg Gustin is a “great” actor, I do think he’s hindered by some of the odd decisions of the show. All this being said, still best comic book show on cable TV.