Last Tuesday, the hit The CW superhero show The Flash concluded its third season with a grand finale, featuring the titular character facing off against the antagonist, Savitar. Upon the conclusion of the episode, however, it appears that many fans of the show have taken to critiquing the season as a whole, calling it the weakest in the series’ run. While no one can argue against the heights set by the first season, this idea that the second season was ultimately better can be easily contested. Thus, we are going to take a look at three aspects of the past season that prove it was not only an adequate run, but a great one as well.
1. The Villain Actually Had A Solid Motivation
One thing that people praised about the first season of The Flash was its development of the main villain, Eobard Thawne, aka the Reverse-Flash. The mystery surrounding his character combined with the red herring of Harrison Wells made him a very compelling threat to the rookie superhero. However, his motivations were deliberately kept hidden until Season 2’s “The Reverse-Flash Returns,” wherein it was revealed that the writers had unfortunately stuck close to the comic book origin of Thawne being an insane Flash fanboy from the future.
Hunter Zolomon/Zoom was not much of an improvement. While having a tragic backstory involving a murderous father, the writers failed to develop his motivations further, and as a result, his goals ended up changing. Initially it was about stealing the Flash’s speed before changing to conquering Earth-2 before changing again to wanting to destroy the multiverse. It was a nonsensical attempt at keeping the plot interesting and only resulted in confusion.
Savitar, on the other hand, was the first time the antagonist was given a solid, consistent motive for their aggressive actions. While many fans sadly suffered from speedster fatigue, an examination of Savitar reveals that he was actually well-written. Disclosed to be a Barry Allen time remnant in “I Know Who You Are,” Savitar was isolated and mistreated in the near future by Team Flash due to his inauthentic nature. This is something that was completely understandable given the team’s lax response to a time remnant of Barry’s dying during the final fight with Zoom in “The Race of His Life.” To add salt to the wounds, Savitar ended up getting trapped by The Flash in a Speed Force nightmare that made him lose his mind multiple times before finally gaining control.
2. It Brought Back The Silver Age Goodness
One thing that was repeatedly used to distinguish The Flash from its originating show, Arrow, was its willingness to embrace the Silver Age aspects that defined its characters during the 1950s-60s. As such, several episodes involving various enemies from the Flash’s rogues gallery were professional, yet fun in their execution, including “Going Rogue” and “Tricksters.”
Season 2 lacked those kinds of episodes, maintaining a completely serious attitude the entire time. Even classic comic book villains like Turtle and King Shark were given dark backstories that robbed the characters of the fun factor they should have carried.
Season 3, on the other hand, brought back the Silver Age flair, bringing to the table such notable names as Mirror Master, Top, and Abra Kadabra; all people who committed dark acts, but still managed to do them with likability and charisma. This was not even taking into consideration more light-hearted episodes like “Dead or Alive,” “Cause and Effect,” and “Due,” which brings us to our next point.
3. The Crossovers were Awesome
The Arrowverse has always made it its goal to feature a crossover every season, whether it was The Flash and Green Arrow brawling in “Flash vs. Arrow,” the Legends meeting an older Oliver Queen in “Star City 2046,” or Barry accidentally traveling to Supergirl’s universe in “Worlds Finest.”
This time around, the crossover trend was taken to new heights with the sprawling “Invasion” storyline that spread across three-to-four episodes, depending on if you count the epilogue of Supergirl’s “Medusa.” Not only was this a VFX and writing feat, but it also showcased just how much the Arrowverse, as a whole, had expanded. Given that The Flash officially began this event, the characters were featured prominently.
Then, of course, there was the aforementioned “Duet” musical crossover with Supergirl. Initially met with anger from fans, the episode went on to receive critical acclaim from critics, with many praising the music numbers, cheerful atmosphere, and chemistry of the stars. This put it far above the clunky Legends of Tomorrow set up episodes from last season.
Let us know what you think of The Flash‘s third season; was it as bad as others say, or did it pull off some exciting things?
[Featured Image by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]