So, I’ve noticed a fair few of these lists going around, and I figured I’d join in, for a bit of fun. I really enjoyed the last series of The Flash, but that’s not to say I don’t have a few things in mind that could be nice additions…
5). New heroes and villains
One of the really nice things about The Flash was the incremental build up of more heroes and villains – Wentworth Miller was a particular highlight, I’ve got to say, as was Andy Mientus as Pied Piper. (Fun fact: At one stage, he was considered for the role of Barry Allen).
Anyway, it’d be great to see a few more characters from the comics turning up, both to expand the Rogues gallery (one great thing about the Rogues is that they provide a group of villains for Barry to face all at once; it goes some way towards explaining why super speed isn’t quite enough to solve every problem), as well as to see more heroes.
This one, actually, it looks like I might get – if you’ve been following the casting announcements, you can see we’ve got Hawkman, Wally West, Jay Garrick, Atom Smasher, Lewis Snart, and so on and so forth. Shaping up to be a pretty great series!
4). A musical episode
I know, I know, it’s a little cliche. But hear me out: the Buffy musical episode worked really, really well.
That’s actually the extent of the argument, I suppose, but it’s also worth noting that quite a few of the cast have done stints on Broadway, and Grant Gustin was on Glee, so quite a few of them do have the skill to sing…
Besides, in a series of 24 episodes, it’s more or less inevitable that some of them would end up being filler, freak-of-the-week episodes. Why not use one of those episodes for something a little more memorable? (With Neil Patrick Harris as the Music Meister, no less…)
3). The return of Eobard Thawne
I wrote a little bit about this a while ago, actually. Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells, Eobard Thawne, and the Reverse Flash was, consistently, one of the highlights of each episode. He’s an excellent actor, and I’m really looking forward to seeing him return – hopefully not just as Harrison Wells, or an alternate universe version of any of his previous roles.
The relationship between Barry and Wells has really provided the backbone of the show thus far, and I think there’s still a huge amount left to be explored, as I described in the above link.
(In fact, I will admit I’m a little worried about Zoom, who appears to be the main villain for this series. Whilst his identity seems obvious from the outset, I do worry he might end up being too similar to the Reverse Flash, and lead to the whole thing feeling a tad repetitive. But, then again, I can already think of a couple of ways in which they’d make it distinct, so maybe that’s a non issue)
2). Increased interaction between Joe and Iris
Barry and Joe’s relationship was one that was particularly well fleshed out throughout the series; the pair of them had a huge number of scenes together, and you got to see their relationship in a number of different lights. You’ve got them joking around together, giving each other advice, supporting each other, and, indeed, demonstrating their bond with each other.
It’s a bit of a shame, then, that this wasn’t so much the case with Joe and Iris, particular when Iris’ character wasn’t always best served by the narrative. Understandably (if not correctly) Iris shared far more scenes with Barry and Eddie, so as to develop the love triangle aspect – it would have been nice, however, if her own relationship with Joe had been developed alongside and contrasted with that of Joe and Barry. Especially after a season in which much of her role was defined by what she didn’t know, and by the other characters lying to her, it’d be great to see the ramifications of this explored in a little more detail, and seeing Iris with more independence.
I’d like to see more of Iris in general, actually, acting on her own, with the S.T.A.R Labs crew, and with her own supporting cast (Linda Park, Kyle Rayner, and Wally West) based at the Central City Gazette. Iris should be written, essentially, as the sort of character who could carry her own show; if it wasn’t for Barry Allen, we’d be seeing a show about Iris West, journalist extraordinaire, finding her feet in an entirely changed world. An Iris-centric episode or two wouldn’t go amiss either – you could do Turn Left, Blink, or even Love & Monsters style episodes with relative ease.
1). A distinct journey
I actually had this down as “the same sense of fun”, at first, but then I realised we were almost guaranteed to have that, so I decided to go for something a little bit different – which, admittedly, we did still get in season one.
Now, the structure of most American television – 20+ episodes per season – means that you often end up with filler episodes, or freak-of-the-week plots. Done-in-one runarounds where everything is solved by the end of the episode, and nothing has really changed for the characters by the roll of the credits. I don’t think this format should be eschewed completely, because there is actually something quite satisfying about seeing a full story each week, and because freak-of-the-week stories can be used to provide some useful character development by seeing reactions to different stimuli (I always thought House did this well, showing the team’s different reactions to the patients and their personal lives), but…
Something I liked about season one of The Flash is that it can be broken down, more or less, into phases. You’ve got Barry finding out about his powers, then finding out about the Reverse Flash, looking for the Reverse Flash, dealing with Firestorm, discovering the identity of the Reverse Flash, and eventually fighting against him.
Each “bloc” or “phase” changes the situation for the characters, and forces them to do things in a new way – like, for example, when they can no longer rely on S.T.A.R labs, because they know Doctor Wells can’t be trusted. That was an aspect I felt worked quite well.
Essentially, I want an arc across the season, keeping things fresh, and never quite letting anything be settled for too long; it can really help to push the characters in new directions, and make sure the show is in a properly different place by the end of the season.
So! What do you think?