Monday, August 26, 2019

TV Show Review: The Flash - Season 5


Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Action packed and mostly fun
Cons: Nora at times, Sherloque most of the time
The Bottom Line:
Unexpected guest
Launched mostly fun season
Show still entertains




“Maybe I’ll Have to Leave the Old-Fashioned Way and Breach on out of Here.”

Season 4 of The Flash left us with quite a shock when a mystery woman finally identified herself.  In season 5, we got to learn more about her and how her presence affects the present, and the result was mostly fun.

That young woman, of course, was (SPOILER ALERT FOR THE END OF SEASON 4), Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy), the grown daughter of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), aka The Flash, and Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton).  She’s arrived from the future for a couple of reasons.  One, she really wants to meet Barry.  See, in the future she comes from, Barry has vanished and no one knows where he went or why.  Nora is hoping to change that, and part of doing that is stopping Cicada (Chris Klein).  The only problem is, by coming back from the future, Nora has changed history and Cicada’s identity is different from what it used to be.  Fortunately, they have a new detective on the team in the form of Sherloque Wells (Tom Cavanagh, of course).  But can Sherloque help team Flash figure out what is really happening?

Naturally, there are more storylines going on this season, including Cisco (Carlos Valdes) finding a potential new love interest and Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) finding out more about her family’s past and her Killer Frost personality.  Cecille Norton (Danielle Nicolet) deals with a new born while, sadly, Jesse L. Martin’s Joe West is absent for a chunk of episodes due to a real-life health issue.  (Fortunately, his back is better now and he returns part way through the season.

While this show has gotten darker than the first season, it still manages to have fun.  It finds that balance between comedy and drama that keeps it from getting as dark as Arrow, for example.  And that is one reason why I continue to enjoy the show.

Having said that, I do have some issues with this season.  The biggest really is Nora.  At first, I really liked her, but as the season progressed, she began to feel whiney to me, and it seemed like if she could make the stupidest mistake possible, she’d make it.  I was getting very annoyed by her by the time we reached the end of the season.

Poor Ralph (Hartley Sawyer).  After being such a huge part of the previous season, he was made a series regular for season five.  Sadly, he wasn’t given nearly as much to do.  While most of the regulars have their own storyline at some point, he was regulated to B stories or fight scenes mostly.

Then there’s Sherloque Wells.  I find it takes me a bit of time to warm up to each Wells introduced on the show, but Sherloque took longer than most.  Even the nods to the Sherlock cannon didn’t help much.  It almost makes me shudder to think what they will come up with this season.

On the other hand, they managed to mix up the storyline a little this season in the second half, and it was refreshing.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil any more than that.  It also left me hooked on the last few episodes as always wondering how we were going to defeat the main villain of the season.

As always, the acting is great.  Grant Gustin leads an impressive cast, and the writers put them through their paces over the course of the season.

And, I must give a shout out to the special effects, which are almost always on point.  A few of them don’t quite work, but given the limited budget and turnaround time of a weekly TV show, I’m more than willing to let that pass.

Complaints aside, I still found season 5 of The Flash to be mostly fun.  I’m hoping that continues into the new season even as the gear up for the massive, game changing crossover coming mid-season.

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