Since debuting in 2014, The Flash has established itself as the jewel in The CW’s crop of superhero shows. With a lighter tone than parent show Arrow and more consistent than DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash struck a chord with audiences and pulled in strong ratings for the network. After a near flawless first two seasons, The Flash hit quite a bit of turbulence during season 3 disappointing fans and hurting the show’s once invincible ratings.
Arriving on Blu-ray and DVD this week, The Flash: The Complete Third Season pits Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) against yet another speedster, something that made fans and critics groan before the show even started. At the end of the show’s second season Barry travelled back in time to save his mother and at the start of season 3 he’s living in Flashpoint, oblivious to the trouble his antics have caused. I hoped that Flashpoint would be given time to breathe but the focus this season is more on its repercussions meaning that the initial storyline is resolved frustratingly quickly.
Once back with Team Flash, Barry starts to see the effects that messing with time have had, some of which cause issues for other shows in the DC universe. No sooner is Barry back, he has to contend with the mysterious Doctor Alchemy and speedster Savitar. Initially the storyline is engaging but is soon becomes a case of ‘haven’t we been here before?’ leading up to the reveal of who Savitar really is. That’s when the season really falls apart and I admit that I may have uttered ‘jumped the shark’ at the underwhelming reveal. Add to that the under-use of both Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Iris (Candice Patton) and it’s hard to feel the same enthusiasm for the show that I have during the first two seasons.
While Barry and his storyline weigh the season down, there is some fun to be had. Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) gets fleshed out more as he is gifted speed by Alchemy and begins his transformation into Kid Flash. Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) gets to explore her Killer Frost side with a storyline that actually did throw up some surprises and proved to be one of the season’s most engaging. Another plus was the addition of Julian Albert (Tom Felton) to the show as a colleague of Barry’s who isn’t a big fan of Mr. Allen.
In the midst of a messy season there’s a musical crossover with Supergirl, which is fun if not a bit random and pointless, and of course there is the four-way crossover, which is one of the highlights of the season.
Special features on the DVD release are plentiful giving fans plenty of reason to pick up a copy, even if like me they were underwhelmed with the season. There are 10 all-new featurettes exploring everything from the show’s villains to the musical crossover episode, a selection of deleted scenes, a gag reel and a conversation with show creative Andrew Kreisberg and Kevin Smith.
The Flash: The Complete Third Season definitely hits a creative rut and it’s a real shame. What was once a fun and lighter show, has been turned into a bit of a downer and Barry’s character veers all too close to unlikeable for the majority of the season. From the information that’s coming out about season 4, it appears the showrunners are attempting to right the wrongs of season 3 but if they don’t pull something pretty spectacular out of the bag than The Flash’s ratings are going to continue to worsen.
Cast: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Carlos Valdes, Tom Cavanagh, Tom Felton, Danielle Panabaker, Keiynan Lonsdale, Jesse L. Martin Certificate: 12 Duration: 936 mins Released By: Warner Bros Release Date: 4th September 2017