Season premiere review: ‘The Flash’ – ‘The Man Who Saved Central City’

“The Flash” is back for a second season, and I have a few thoughts on the premiere coming up just as soon as I ask for a badge again…

“The Man Who Saved Central City” was, unsurprisingly, a very busy episode, given all that had to be resolved from the season 1 finale, along with showing how the characters are all dealing with the deaths of Ronnie, Eddie and Wells/Thawne(*), integrating Professor Stein into the group (at least until he has to leave for the next spin-off), and showing how Central City feels about its local superhero now that he's gone public in a big way. 

(*) Not discussed, at least for now, is how/if erasing Eobard Thawne from existence affected the timeline. Everything seems to be more or less as it was, and maybe this is a temporal can of worms the show's better off not opening. But Tom Cavanagh's still a cast regular, which either means Thawne isn't as erased as he seemed, or the real Harrison Wells is about to become a regular character without somehow altering the history of everything that happened previously. (And without going to prison for the murder of Nora Allen.)

It's a lot to get through, and some of it works better than others. Barry assuming all the blame for what happened with the wormhole, for instance, seemed to be less about his foolish decision to go back in time than it was about getting credit for something Ronnie did. And Ronnie's death – necessary, I guess, due to Victor Garber, but not Robbie Amell, being part of “Legends of Tomorrow” – felt rushed.

On the other hand, Professor Stein makes a terrific temporary science mentor, and Cisco's delight at Stein giving Atom-Smasher(**) a nickname was very funny. And everything involving Henry's release from prison hit all the perfect emotional notes, particularly John Wesley Shipp's performance as Henry explained why Central City needed the Flash more than it needed Henry Allen's son at the moment.

(**) I know this show and “Arrow” try, whenever possible, to use the most recent versions of DC characters, particularly one like this where Geoff Johns was closely involved in revamping them, but would it have killed them to give Al Rothstein his amazing '80s mohawk, even if they weren't going to call him Nuklon? Also, the name Atom-Smasher makes more sense in the context of the comics, where he's a legacy character tied to the Golden Age Atom, than in this universe, where the only Atom of note is Ray Palmer, who has nothing to do with Rothstein.

Throw in a welcome logo shift that better evokes the classic Flash costume, and the introduction of Teddy Sears as Jay Garrick, and it's an intriguing set-up for the new season, even if it wasn't as thrilling overall as some of last year's best episodes.

I'll be checking in on this one periodically, but likely not weekly.

What did everybody else think?