The third season of The Flash was a little disappointing to me. Arrow has always been the champion of dark and brooding, while Barry Allen’s story was always meant to be fun. Going back to basics, by reinjecting humour and fun, was a good idea and one that worked for the most part.
The season started with Barry imprisoned in the Speed Force, but the opportunity wasn’t taken to explore Team Flash led by Kid Flash. It would have been nice to see, but it would have been difficult to balance. Grant Gustin was always coming back, so much success for New Team Flash would have been bad for Barry, and too many setbacks would have been bad for everyone else. Wally was criminally underused, it’s bad when you are the second fastest man alive, and so it was good that he moved across to Legends.
Of course, it was the team’s saving of Barry which lead to the main story arc of the season, the bus metas. It was a good change this season that the big bad wasn’t a speedster. I thought that Clifford DeVoe was an interesting antagonist for Team Flash, but it was the relationship he had with his wife Marlize which made both three dimensional. It was also a nice that the key to defeating DeVoe was through his wife, mirroring Savitar using Iris to break Barry.
And that brings me to Team Flash. It finally felt that Iris had something useful to do in this new team coordinator incarnation. In Barry’s absence, she became the glue that kept the team together, and since she has become his partner in more than one sense. Harry has been the biggest beneficiary of the lighter tone of this season, and it worked really well with his arc this season. He may have been the smartest person in the room, but it didn’t mean that he didn’t still need to grow as a person.
I need to touch quickly upon the two new members of the team, Cecile and Ralph, who are both going to be regulars next season. We are beginning to transition away from Joe constantly being Barry’s father figure, having Cecile around gives us other ways to explore his character especially now that he has a meta daughter. As for the Elongated Man, Ralph was a good addition, but I think that this is where they went too far with the humour and I didn’t feel anything for the character.
That leaves Caitlin. I always thought that Killer Frost was helping the team not through any want to be a hero but because of expediency. The revelation that Frost and Caitlin were leaving notes for each other makes them sound as if they are flat sharing. It just felt strange that the two now seemed to be besties.
A big shout out to Katee Sackhoff for her turn as Amunet Black. Much scenery was chewed, as she was channeling her inner Mary Poppins. One also to Danny Trejo for simply being Danny Trejo and I am afraid of what would happen to me if I didn’t.
Story wise my favourite part was when Barry was locked up in Iron Heights. I liked the resolution (and the foreshadowing) of Ralph playing DeVoe. However, it was that moment when Barry accepted his new life in his father’s cell that moved me. There isn’t anything wrong with a little bit of darkness in a season.
As for the name Nora. Isn’t that also the name of Damien Dhark? They must be running out of names to use.
Overall, I felt that while this season was an improvement from the previous it still didn’t reach the heights of the first two. I think that they tried too hard, and it felt at times that things were forced. It worked best in the big Thinker episodes otherwise it kinda just spun it’s wheels. I hope that the promise of the big reveal at the end continues the improvement.