The Flash’s Wormholes and Plotholes

October 18th, 2015 | by Tatiana Hullender
The Flash’s Wormholes and Plotholes
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Review of: The Flash
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On October 18, 2015
Last modified:October 19, 2015

Summary:

The Flash's season premiere contained great twists and turns, but individual character arcs were sacrificed to setup an as-yet unsatisying mystery.

 

CW’s highly-acclaimed series The Flash ended its freshman season with a bang, but the premiere last Tuesday night felt a little more like a whimper. The singularity that promised to bring so much change in May led to two beloved character deaths, but returned the survivors to their status quo over the course of an episode. There were a few moments that were especially lacking in the appropriate fallout, but maybe looking at them in detail could reveal clues to the rest of the season. Shall we?

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Credit: CW

Large-scale aftermath of the singularity: The Flash retired after the events of the finale, outside of cleaning up trash and patching up broken down buildings, but how is it that he’s been able to lay low for six months? Given the wormhole that erupted in ‘Fast Enough’, many fans were expecting to see a lot more than one Flash-y stalker and one lost metahuman tracking Barry down on Zoom’s behalf. Have all the metahumans been giving Barry time to grieve, or have Joe and Cisco been handling them alone since the finale? Perhaps the ambiguity is a symptom of The Flash’s freak-of-the-week recipe, but the fact remains that Atom Smasher giving up Zoom’s name before expiring lowered the stakes rather than raising them. If Zoom is meant to be a threat greater than even Eobard’s Reverse Flash, the show should have him wreak much more havoc in the next few episodes. How many people is he bribing or controlling, and how many of the upcoming enemies will be directly tied to the wormhole?

It’s not just the villains that weren’t up to par, though. While Barry went through his usual cycle of guilt, doubt and validation, several characters who suffered as much of a loss as he did were left without a chance to process it onscreen. Which leads me to wonder…

 

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Credit: CW

Iris West’s pain and continued silence: Iris has been a supportive best friend, daughter and girlfriend for the show’s entire run so far. But when it comes to voicing her own feelings and fears, The Flash often takes a step back. Now that her boyfriend committed suicide right before her eyes, we are shown Iris swallowing her pain when she sees his photograph and falling silent when Barry almost mentions him by name. This silence is understood as a personality trait due to Candice Patton’s expert portrayal, but as the other characters never talk about what she’s going through, it’s hard to know if the writers kept her quiet on purpose or by accident. She’s not the only one silenced in ‘The Man Who Saved Central City’, though. Joe lost a partner on his watch, something he was explicitly afraid of in early season one, and yet we don’t see if that’s affected his work as a detective. Cisco considered Ronnie family and spent half a season fighting to bring him back, but in the premiere he was only momentarily concerned with Caitlin’s feelings. Even Martin Stein didn’t get much of a chance to grieve for his other half. Will future episodes show how our cast of characters are handling their respective losses, or do we assume that the case is closed now that Barry’s guilt has been absolved?

There’s one more character whose emotional arc didn’t make much sense last night: Henry Allen. What happened?

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Credit: CW


Henry gets out of jail and promptly bails: After a season-long exploration of how losing his mother and not freeing his father has held Barry back in both his personal and heroic life, Henry Allen is released from prison thanks to a two-minute video confession. Instead of taking the time to explore how having his father back in his life will affect Barry as a man and superhero, the show immediately ships him off. This was the one moment that really took me out of the story, because I started wondering why they couldn’t secure John Wesley Shipp for more episodes rather than believing that Henry truly felt Barry would grow more without him. He even pointed out that Barry still had a family in Joe, Iris and the rest of the team. After an episode that was all about Barry needing his friends to succeed, why are we asked to accept that he doesn’t need his father?

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This sounds like I thought the premiere was bad, but no. I’m as excited as everyone else for Jay Garrick and Zoom. It just felt like the show sacrificed the sort of character details that made its first season so memorable in favor of a mystery that hasn’t been satisfyingly laid out. If we find out Zoom is actually an alternate-universe Henry Allen who orchestrated the sudden departure – or if we learn the wormhole made it so that Iris and Eddie never lived together, thus the lack of concern for her grief – all will be forgiven. But for now I’m left hoping that our beloved characters will not be forgotten in the quest to make a bigger and badder villain.

Tatiana Hullender is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow her on Twitter: @MyrcellasEar

The Flash's season premiere contained great twists and turns, but individual character arcs were sacrificed to setup an as-yet unsatisying mystery.

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37 Comments

  1. Jenna C. says:

    I agree completely, especially about the lack of POV for Iris. Flash is one of my favorite shows so I hope this changes next week, since we’ve been promised her story will kick in.

  2. Katie says:

    So glad I wasn’t the only one that felt the episode was lacking and created way too many plot holes.

  3. myrcellasear says:

    Yeah, the finale set up Earth 2 and so many consequences for the current timeline.. Which unfortunately has made the beginning of the season a slight letdown.

  4. myrcellasear says:

    Iris not being allowed to share her feelings is one of the most egregious offenses to me. Barry gets to work out his guilt while talking to her, but she’s not even given the chance to say Eddie’s name? It’s been two episodes now, and nothing. I hope it changes soon, too!

  5. Naomi says:

    This is great. I agree that the premiere should have focused more on the characters’ grief instead of the meta-of-the-week plot. They tried to do both and it left me disappointed.
    Also Iris is the best and the writers need to let her speak. Even if she is someone who avoids talking about her pain, the writers need to make it clear that that’s a character trait and not just them being terrible at their jobs.

  6. myrcellasear says:

    Exactly! Iris’ silence and repression of her emotions could be a very clear-cut character trait if we saw her struggle with it or if other characters commented on it. But the way they gloss over her point of view makes it seem like the writers forgot about her, which is a terrible way to feel about a character that’s so important to the mythos. Not to mention that she’s played by a talented actress who could easily handle the material.

  7. Infallibledreamers says:

    I agree for a season premiere, this one was definitely lacking. It felt like they were going ‘let’s forget most of season 1′ and start up this new story. Many characters’ especially Henry were incredibly OOC. Also Iris’ grieving was pushed aside to move along the story but I feel the writers need a better job to show that Iris actually feels something and even vocalise exactly what she feels about his death. All in all though, the episode was alright, just minor details that annoyed me.

  8. WALLY IS COMING says:

    Great article. I completely agree, personally for me the premiere wasn’t up to the standard we know The Flash to be.
    Very disappointed that the writers refused to acknowledge everyone else lost people that day. Iris lost her boyfriend, and one brief little scene of her looking at a picture, why wasn’t there a scene where she grieved out loud and her father or best friend Barry asked how she was holding up?
    Henry leaving was one of the biggesr fails, I did not understand it. Same with Eobard’s confession, this was a man who hated Barry so much he killed Barry’s mother. A man who if he knew his plan may fail would have prepared for that. Are we supposed to suddenly believe Eobard would confess and get Henry out of prison without any hidden agenda? (Maybe it was so Wells could easily come back onto the Team)
    Also it seems like Star, have no problem with killing metas. I just don’t think the Barry we know would ever be alright with killing metas.
    Zoom is supposedly a greater threat than Eobard, I would like to see him actively be that threat rather than his minions.
    Overall I was expecting more from the premiere I hope the rest of the season delivers.

  9. Alexis says:

    Great article! Nice to see I wasn’t the only one who felt the premiere was lackluster. I agree with you on a lot of things particularly Iris’s lack of voice.
    Question: Why is this just being posted? Anyways, I recommend posting the article in a timely fashion

  10. Trish says:

    I relate to this article so much. The first episode was lack lustre to say the least maybe my expectations were just way to high.. but it left me really questioning he directionthis show is going amd whether they ate trying to do to much too soon. As for how they have treated Iris West thus far it leaves a lot to be desired especially for a character that 1 is so important to the flash mythos 2 they apparently went through a lot to get the casting perfect and 3 who happens to be so loved by so many in fandom. I’m going to remain positive that there is a bigger plan at play here but to.be honest I don’t think the writers are that clever. But time will tell. Great article again hope to get more of your perspective on future episodes to come.

  11. SydneyWB says:

    I loved the first season of The Flash and I enjoyed the Season 2 premiere. But you are so right, the premiere was lacking in comparison. The most jarring moment for me was how Henry Allen’s story was resolved. It felt very ad hoc. I hope we’ll learn something down the line that explains it – otherwise it makes zero sense.
    This quote is perfect: “After an episode that was all about Barry needing his friends to succeed, why are we asked to accept that he doesn’t need his father?” IKR? WTF?

    I also agree with you about the lack of attention to character grief. Barry’s grief got focus and I understand why it would get more prominence. He is the lead character after all. But I think they could’ve done so much more with all the other characters affected. Iris got the most short changed for sure. She lived with Eddie and saw him commit suicide before her eyes. I think that warrants a bit more of a reaction than what we got. I’m shocked that Stein got NOTHING given how much attention was paid to the Stein and Ronnie “bond” But as you said, why couldn’t we get a little moment for Cisco or Joe too? Ignoring character grief just diminishes the whole show. It doesn’t need to take up the whole hour but a few more moments here and there would’ve given the episode greater poignancy and heart and kept me invested in the characters.

  12. Nolmore says:

    Great article. It feels good to know that I wasn’t the only one who felt the episode didn’t really pick up the ball running with the black hole and all the horrific events that occurred in the finale. Hopefully, the next few episodes can dedicate a little more time to characters we are invested in instead of focusing all their time on a bunch of new additions to the show.

  13. BandWagonerPaysTheDues says:

    The major plot hole in this show that no one is talking about is that Barry had a choice which is quite hilarious if you explain it out loud to any conscious human. One one hand, he could continue trying to defeat Wells on his own timeline, even try to force a confession from him or even bargain for a confession in exchange for taking him back to his time, which shall shorty become clear is a truly evil proposition. On the other hand, he could risk the fate of the entire planet, solar system and possibly galaxy through the possible creation of an out of control black hole because he wants to save his mom. Save mom, risk the entire planet. What hero in his right mind decides that is the rational option? His friends saying things like, “You’ve got to do this Barry. It’s all about you this time.” It’s making me hate this show. The planet isn’t asking why this black hole was created? No government investigation into how this happened on top of Star Labs? The main characters certainly aren’t rushing to the press to tell them they created a black hole that likely killed a whole lot of people and cost billions in damage. THIS is the plot hole no one is talking about. The main characters are criminally negligent in the deaths of a lot of people.

  14. myrcellasear says:

    I will admit it seemed a little silly in the finale, but I assumed everyone just thought time would reset. Now in the new season, I’m left wondering why no one seems too concerned about 52 holes leading to another Earth? And Barry keeps murdering metahumans left and right and if lives no longer mattered, lol.

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