HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Flash: The Complete Second Season
HTS Overall Score:84
“My name is Barry Allen, and I’m the fastest man alive”! Well, not exactly. Especially not this season. “The Flash” was a direct spin off from “Arrow” when nerds like me got all giddy when Grant Gustin appeared from Central city as a forensic investigator named Barry Allen. Everyone who keeps up with DC comics was ecstatic over the little cameo, but were even MORE ecstatic when we heard that the Flash was getting his own TV show next year. Season 1 of “The Flash” started out on the same incredible high that the second season of “Arrow” enjoyed. It was an all-around amazing season, introducing everyone to the loveable speedster and his nemesis, the Reverse Flash. It still stands up there as the very best the DC TV-verse has to offer with an amazingly likeable version of Barry Allen thanks to Grant Gustin, and fun side characters. There’s some tweaks to the origins story of Barry and the rest, but it’s all in the spirit of the comics and keeps that geeky tone throughout the season.
Season 2 picks up shortly after the events of season 1. As always, there’s a few spoilers for season 1 included in this review as it’s a continuation of that story. Last we saw Barry (Grant Gustin) and the rest of team flash, Barry had just defeated the Reverse Flash and travelled backwards in time. Coming back to the future set off a giant wormhole that threatened to destroy the planet. Now we get to see the aftermath of that cataclysm. Things don’t play out exactly as Barry had hoped. He was able to stop the wormhole with the help of Firestorm, but not without loss. The younger “half” of Firestorm (Ronnie, played by Stephen Amell’s cousin Robby Amell) dies and leaves Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) a grieving widow and The Flash deciding that he needs to stay away from the people he loves so that no one else gets hurt. However there is ANOTHER side effect of the wormhole event. It has created breaches all over Central City and those breaches lead straight to another dimension. A parallel universe that is nearly identical to ours, but one that is lorded over by a maniacal speedster by the name of Zoom. Dressed in pure black and using speed that Barry can’t even HOPE to match, Zoom has turned his gaze from the Flash in that world (which we will call Earth 2) and turned his gaze to The Flash in OURS (Earth 1).
Zoom sends meta human after meta human from Earth 2 into Earth 1 in a war against Barry Allan. However, there is not darkness without light. Earth 2 has also given a ray of hope. This hope comes in the form of two people. The first being Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears), The Flash of Earth 2 who has lost his powers, and Harrison Wells. Or at least the doppelganger of the evil Wells from season 1. Together they combine powers with team Flash in an effort to stop zoom from taking over not only this Earth, but any others that he can get his hands upon. The only problem is that Zoom is REALLY fast. Like fast enough to toy with Barry and pretty much wreak havoc everywhere he goes with impunity. Which means only one thing. Barry HAS to get even faster.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=85442[/img]“The Flash: The Complete Second Season” is a worthy follow up to the stellar freshman year it had. Barry is a more matured and seasoned superhero and the rest of the team is finally expanding out into the characters we were meant to see. Fans of the comics instantly recognized Cisco Ramon’s name (Vibe from the comics), as well the name Caitlin Snow (the ferocious villainess, Killer Frost). We were all assured that these names were not just chosen as homages, and they were right. Cisco nearly immediately starts to gain his mental powers after his run in with Eobard Thawne last season and those powers are instrumental in dealing with Earth 2 and Zoom. Caitlin’s transformation is little more complicated, as it would REALLY be hard to turn the well-loved character of Caitlin into the heartless monster that is Killer Frost. Needless to say HOW they do it is quite clever and fits well into the universe.
The season IS a bit weaker than the previous, but only by the barest of amounts. The good is REALLY good. Zoom is an incredibly formidable villain (once again, slightly tweaked from the Hunter Zolomon Zoom of the comics) and the mirror world of Earth 2 opens up a whole other dimension for our heroes to explore (including a guy locked in a glass case with a steel mask that has you guessing until the very end). The bad comes in the form of the throwaway episodes. Too many episodes in the season are relegated to being “villain of the week” eps, and that feels like the season really could have been shorter. Don’t get me wrong, those villain of the week episodes could be fun, but they slowed the pacing down a good bit. We had the return of Gorilla Grod, the introduction of King Shark (whose CGI took up like half of the season’s budget for only a couple of episodes), the return of the Trickster (with Mark Hamill gleefully chewing up the scenery) and countless other surprises. I almost HATE to have shortened seasons anymore as we constantly are getting shafted on episodes, but “The Flash” could have trimmed 5 or 6 episodes out and the pacing would have benefited from the shorter run time.
The episode rundown:
The Man Who Saved Central City
Flash of Two Worlds
Family of Rogues
The Fury of Firestorm
The Darkness and the Light
Legends of Today (The Flash; 1st part of 2-hour crossover event)
Legends of Yesterday (Arrow; 2nd part of 2-hour crossover event)
Running to Stand Still
The Reverse-Flash Returns
Welcome to Earth-2
Escape from Earth-2
Back to Normal
The Runaway Dinosaur
The Race of His Life
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=85450[/img]“The Flash” has enjoyed a great video experience in the past, and Season 2 is in the same vein as the previous season. Colors and textures look almost identical, but the only difference is that Season 2 happens to be shrouded in a copious amount shadows this year. The fight with Zoom has driven them to underground lairs and fighting at night for the most part, and the shift from brightly lit areas to darker grottos (like Zoom’s lair) rob the picture of a teensy bit of fine detail. It’s not a whole lot, but just enough to make a noticeable difference when compared side by side. Shadow detail is still quite nice, and while there is some banding here and there and some murky looking blacks in Zoom’s lair, most of the time there is no real artifacting to speak of. Intimate details like Zoom’s stretching mask, or the ice crystals on Flash’s shoulder all appear crystal clear and I have no real problems with the AVC encoded image.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=85458[/img]Much like the track for season 1, Season 2 enjoys a very robust and active 5.1 DST-HD MA track. For a TV show it is one of the best there is and roars with life at every corner. The Flash zooming around at top speed sizzles through the side speakers and makes from some incredible directionality shifts as well. Dialog is strong and clean, and doesn’t suffer from any abnormalities (after “Arrow: The Complete Third Season” I’ve been paying very close attention to the audio on these WB shows), and the rousing theme song for Flash fills out all 6 channels quite nicely. The LFE channel is punishing as every blow, ever explosion and every science fiction fueled future weapon hits with the impact level of Rhino. I love to gush about good audio, and “The Flash” is one of the better TV shows out there for creating a sonically immersive experience. Easily one of my favorite mixes of the year for the TV-verse.
• Behind-the-scenes visual effects featurettes for almost every episode!
• Star Crossed Hawks featurette
• Star Crossed Hawks: The Hunt for Vandal Savage featurette
• The Many Faces of Zoom featurette
• Chasing Flash - The Journey of Kevin Smith featurette
• The Flash: 2015 Comic-Con Panel
• The Flash: 2015 PaleyFest
• Deleted Scenes
• Gag Reel
“The Flash” is one of my favorite TV shows to watch in the last couple of years, and is head and shoulders taller than the recent offerings from team “Arrow”. Grant Gustin has really owned the carry of Barry Allen and the show is gleefully expanding the universe at an exponential rate, including the blending of Earth 3 for “Supergirl” and having more and more crossovers with “Arrow” (the same 2 parter that sets up “Legends of Tomorrow” is available on this set as well as “Arrow: The Complete Fourth Season, which I reviewed the other day). Audio and video are great, and the extras are REALLY nice for this 4 disc set. Definitely recommended to watch.
Starring: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Tom Cavanagh
Created by: Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti, Geoff Johns
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish DD 2.0
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 966 minutes
Own it on Blu-ray™ Combo, DVD & Digital HD September 6th, 2016
Buy The Flash: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Watch It!
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