Everyone’s running … Everyone’s running fast … Everyone’s running their heart out … to catch … a portal jumping thief, Peek-a-Boo.
This was one kick-ass opening sequence that had me believing, oh, for maybe just a second or three, that everyone was actually chasing Iris. And that the Gang were filling in for the Flash—who was trapped in the Speed Force at the end of season 2—and finally, we were going to see the rest of the Team spending an episode or two trying to bring Barry back.
Sadly, this was not to be. Even before the first advert break, everyone on Team Iris—because, let’s face it, without Barry there, Iris is the heart and soul of the group—were talking “Let’s save Barry!” And really, this had little to do with the contrived threat from what turns out to be a robotic Samurai … from the future?
I so wanted this first episode to be about those left behind, focusing in on their struggles, their grief and loss, especially Iris. Who does get her fair share of angst throughout the episode. But I felt it was a lost opportunity. Yes, Grant Gustin is the star of the show, but surly they could have managed with a few scenes of the Flash inside the Speed Force, battling his own demons, while the rest of the crew picked up the broken pieces.
Instead, Cisco is going behind Iris’s back and with his bright shiny (look, I just made this) portal gun, has everyone out on an abandoned runway to … shoot a blue flashy light at a red dodecahedron. Nothing happens!
And then, just like that, we have an insane, beard-sporting Barry scribbling gibberish all over the walls in a Beautiful Mind sequence that made very little sense. Just as abruptly, when the Flying Samurai kidnaps a volunteering Iris, the Flash is cured and back saving the day … and we’re back to playing it safe.
Even the scene of Killer Frost’s return in the bar was so predictable, as to be questionable. Why? Why now, why not wait? I guess if they couldn’t wait to get Barry back, the writers were not going to hang around waiting to bring back Caitlin either. Oh well.
And so, the team go back to playing second fiddle sans a few of last season’s characters, and Barry Allan and the Flash are miraculously, in 42 minutes or less, reborn.