The Flash Recap And Review — Season 2 Premiere: The Man Who Saved Central City


Yes! Apologies, but I can’t think of a more eloquent way to describe how excited I am that The Flash is back for Season 2. I’m assuming he’s somehow managed to defeat that time anomaly that was about to gobble up Central City. It only came about because Eddie Thawne sacrificed himself to rid the world of the Reverse-Flash by erasing him from history, but you know how that goes. No good, noble deed goes unpunished!

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We’re in for a time jump of several months as we zip into “The Man Who Saved Central City.” We’ll be looking out for a new costume, new foes and the same old Rogues, but I’m prepared for some total surprises too. Into the Multiverse we go!

Not-So-Fast Recap: After a review of Season 1, it’s right to the action we go, with the Flash facing off with Captain Cold and Heat Wave. It looks like Cold might have the drop on Barry at one point, but Firestorm arrives with a timely fire blast, and the villains are quickly disarmed.

The Flash — “The Man Who Saved Central City” — Image FLA201b_0084b — Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/ The Flash, Robbie Amell as Ronnie, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow and Victor Garber as Professor Stein — Photo: Cate Cameron /The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, everyone is happy with the swift victory, including Ronnie Raymond, Martin Stein, Cisco Ramon, Caitlin Snow, Joe West, Iris West and … what the heck, Eddie Thawne and Harrison Wells? As Wells stands up out of his chair and declares there’s nothing else he can teach Barry, we realize it’s just a dream. Barry has taken to fighting crime alone in the six months since the wormhole was stopped, the better to keep those close to him safe.

He still has the same day job, and Joe runs into him on a case. The dead man on said case is Al Rothstein, strangled by something very strong and very big. No worries, it’s not Grodd. Joe asks Barry if he’s going to show up for Flash Day, where the mayor is going to give the hero the key to the city. Wait, they still do that? We also see someone mysterious taking pictures of Barry. Hmm …

At the police station, we learn that Joe’s boss is letting him lead an anti-metahuman task force with Cisco as scientific advisor. Alas, no badge for Cisco. He’s working on something he calls “The Boot” that will allow cops to take down metahumans. He also mentions that Caitlin is working at Mercury Labs. Iris stops by and wonders is someone should try talking Barry into attending Flash Day, though she is saddened when she sees the memorial picture of Eddie.

Of course, that means Iris is going to talk to Barry. He’s busy putting his super-speed to use cleaning up Jitters, and Iris mentions that a bunch of businesses are being mysteriously rebuilt at night. Barry seems strangely unwilling to take credit for it, and he even says he’s not really the man who saved Central City.

Next we see why, as we head back to the night of the wormhole. Flash had it stabilized, but Stein said the only way to close it was if Firestorm flew into the eye and separated into the two men who make him up. Caitlin didn’t want Ronnie to go, but he told her it was the only way. The Nuclear Man flew into the anomaly and split, and Flash was able to save Stein as he fell — but Ronnie was gone.

We snap back to the present and find that Flash Day has arrived. Joe and Cisco are there, and to Cisco’s surprise, so is Caitlin. The mayor gives his speech, but will the Flash show? Of course he does, but no sooner does he get the key (I guess that is still a thing) then something huge comes hurtling outof the sky toward the mayor. The Flash saves the mayor and finds himself face to face with a big masked man. Also bulletproof.

The Flash — “The Man Who Saved Central City” — Image FLA201a_0168b — Pictured: Adam Copeland as Atom-Smasher — Photo: Cate Cameron /The CW — © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

The direct approach goes nowhere. Meanwhile, Cisco has a vision of the villain and only snaps out of it when Joe asks for The Boot. He fires the gadget at the bad guy, who simply grows large enough that he breaks out of the restraint. Flash arrives with propane tanks and tells Joe to shoot them after he throws. The explosion hits Flash with shrapnel and seems to blind the giant, who removes his mask for a second to reveal that he’s Rothstein.

That’s impossible though, because Cisco confirms Rothstein is dead. Iris has a lead, good reporter that she is, saying that all of the x-ray machines within a mile of the incident went haywire. Cisco is “92 percent” sure he didn’t so anything to cause that. Iris also tells Joe that Barry can’t go it alone, so they should just stop allowing him to do so.

Cisco heads to visit Caitlin at Mercury Labs and is immediately jealous of the tech she has there. Though she says she can’t help, Cisco is able to convince her to just do one thing for them.

Barry is back at his lab when he gets a visit from a lawyer named Greg Turk. It seems Wells left Barry S.T.A.R. Labs in his will, and if Barry doesn’t do something, it will go into receivership in a week. But there’s more: a video message to be viewed only by Barry upon Wells’ death. He ponders watching it after Turk leaves but is distracted by a security aleart from S.T.A.R. Labs.

It’s only Iris, Cisco and Stein working on figuring out how to track Atom-Smasher. Seems the villain absorbs radiation, so they might find him be looking where there should be radiation but isn’t. Barry is unwilling to put them in danger, so he runs off to confront Atom-Smasher, leaving his communicator behind.

Naturally, that backfires immediately, with his arm-generated whirlwinds and punches having little effect on Atom-Smasher. Rothstein says he’s only here to hurt the Flash, but that the her wouldn’t believe his story even if he told it. With some quick thinking Stein gets Cisco to activate the alarm system where the fight is taking place, and the Flash escapes being choked to death — though he blacks out as soon as he’s back at S.T.A.R. Labs.

I guess when you almost get choked to death, you automatically head back to your childhood. Or at least Barry does, recalling a talk when Joe told him it was okay to be sad about his mother’s death. Not surprisingly, that thought carries forward to when we see Barry wake up, hooked up to some medical monitors. Joe gives a nice speech here, urging Barry to move on and to rebuild “some things that really matter.” Aw yeah, we’re getting the band back together!

And he heeds the advice immediately, going to visit Caitlin. She tells Barry that she doesn’t blame him for Ronnie’s death, but herself. If you recall, he asked her to go away with him, and she wanted to stay and work with Team Flash. While they talk, Barry drops the drive with Wells’ message, and he admits that he’s been too scared to watch it. Caitlin offers to watch it with him.

This is where a Buzzfeed style headline like, “You’ll Never Believe What Happens Next” would come in handy. Because you really might not — it’s a confession from Thawne/Wells, who says that even if Barry gets what he really wants, he’ll never be happy.

The D.A. thinks the confession will hold up, but there’s still the small matter of Atom-Smasher. Caitlin suggests giving him all the radiation he can handle, so the Flash sends up a signal for the villain and lures him into a chase. After Atom-Smasher follows him into a reactor core of some sort, Flash escapes and the S.T.A.R. Labs crew cranks up the radiation.

As you might guess, Atom-Smasher can’t handle it all. Flash apologizes and asks why he attacked in the first place. Before he dies (I think), Atom-Smasher says that “he promised he’d take me home if I killed you.” Who? Zoom. Cue ominous music.

But hey, that’s a problem for later. Barry goes to get his dad out of jail, and a big welcome home party commences. Stein makes a speech and gets everyone to commit to moving forward. Barry tells Henry that they can look for an apartment together, but his dad reacts strangely. It’s because he’s not planning on sticking around, reasoning that he’d be holding Barry back from what the city needs him to be: the Flash. He just wants Barry’s blessing to leave. THE FEELS!

Joe sees that conversation and checks on Barry later at S.T.A.R. Labs. Barry mentions that even when he wins, it feels like he still loses. But hey, he still has the key to the city. The whole gang is back at S.T.A.R. Labs, and Cisco has given the Flash suit an upgrade, inspired by the symbol from the costume they saw from the future. Stein notes that the lightning symbol pops more against white.

Cisco and Caitlin also boast about the improved security around the place, saying no one should be walking into the cortex undetected … so of course, that’s exactly what happens next. Joe pulls a gun on the man in the shadows, demanding that he indentify himself. He steps forward and introduces himself as Jay Garrick — and also says their world is in danger.

Favorite Moment: I’m a longtime DC Comics fan who always loved the Justice Society and Earth-Two heroes, so the first appearance of Jay Garrick was a highlight. Still, the best moment had to be when the Flash made his own version of the Bat-signal with his lightning bolt logo and used it to attract Atom-Smasher to the climactic showdown. Asked by Caitlin how he got the idea, Cisco said he “saw it in a comic book or something.” Meta jokes are the best kind.

Final Thought: Good, good stuff. We got our answers about how the wormhole was defeated and why Robbie Amell won’t be around, though poor Caitlin has been through a lot. The whole “I need to protect my friends by not having them involved” thing is something we’ve seen on Arrow, but it didn’t feel forced. It was also great to see that the Henry Allen situation won’t be held over us all season long. The mystery of Zoom should be enough of a hook to help give Season 2 its momentum.

Next: The Flash: Who is Jay Garrick?

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