Monday, September 4, 2017

TV on DVD Review: The Flash - Season 3

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Still good superhero action and story
Cons: Definitely growing darker
The Bottom Line:
Reality changed
Flash deals with consequences
Series growing dark

“You Are Talking Way too Fast.”

During the first season of The Flash, it was the fun, light superhero show.  I enjoyed it because you could count on the show to provide some laughs as Barry Allen raced to save the world.  However, in season three, I found the show growing darker, and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much.

The season starts out with Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) in a happy place.  He’s gone back in time and saved both of his parents from being murdered, and this new world he’s living in is wonderful.  That is until he starts to realize that this alternative reality is having serious side effects.  With an unlikely ally, he sets out to correct the timeline.

Returning to the correct Central City, he finds that there are still some changes he can’t fix.  They range from the sex of Diggle’s child (yes, the effects reached to mother show Arrow) to Barry’s new boss in the crime lab.  Julian Albert (Tom Felton) hates him and won’t put up with any of Barry’s disappearances.  Meanwhile, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) is in mourning because his brother is dead.

But there are more serious forces at work.  A new villain, Savitar, is in town and he is helping people find their abilities.  While Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) is thrilled since it makes him a speedster, Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) fights it since it is turning her into Killer Frost.  Meanwhile, Barry has a flash of the future and the loss of someone dear to him.  Can the team prevent it from happening?

I was actually surprised when we only spent the first episode of the season in the Flashpoint alternative reality, but we then spent the rest of the season dealing with the consequences of Barry’s actions so it made sense to me.  As you can see, the consequences are rather severe, which is what helped take the joy out of the show.  This is especially true in the second half of the season when the show begins to really focus on Barry’s vision of the future and trying to stop it.  It’s hard to have much fun when you are counting down to a death.

Not that the show is all darkness.  They introduce a new version of Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) this season, and Tom has a fantastic time playing him.  The character can be a bit over the top for me, but that’s a minor issue.

Then there’s the annual crossover, which involved characters from all of the Arrowverse shows this year.  The story really started on an episode of The Flash, but the payoff for it and for storylines on the show spread across the rest of the episodes in the crossover.

And I can’t leave out the musical episode.  Melissa Benoist from Supergirl comes over and we get characters from that and other shows in this universe popping in to sing.  It’s a lot of fun, although I did find some of the singing to be less than expected, usually only at the start of a song.  However, the final song of the episode, “Running Home to You,” is one of the best things of the entire season of the show.

The actors are all still going strong.  They are obviously comfortable with the characters at this point, and they are making the most of every scene they have.

This set contains the wide screen and full surround versions of all 23 episodes in the season.  The set also contains over two hours of extras, including looks at the crossover, the musical episode, deleted scenes, a gag reel, the 2016 Comic Con panel, and more featurettes.

Fans of the show will definitely continue to enjoy season three.  Believe me, each episode goes much too quickly.  Here’s hoping the writers can bring back some of the fun in the new season.

Season 3 Episodes:
1. Flashpoint
2. Paradox
3. Magenta
4. The New Rogues
5. Monster
6. Shade
7. Killer Frost
8. Invasion!
9. The Present
10. Borrowing Problems from the Future
11. Dead or Alive
12. Untouchable
13. Attack on Gorilla City
14. Attack on Central City
15. The Wrath of Savitar
16. Into the Speed Force
17. Duet
18. Abra Kadabra
19. The Once and Future Flash
20. I Know Who You Are
21. Cause and Effect
22. Infantino Street
23. Finish Line

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