The Flash Season 2 was a mess. Tonight, The Flash finale airs, where Barry and Zoom finally have their long-anticipated battle, much like Eobard and Barry did. Almost exactly, actually.
Superhero shows like this should be reduced to 13 episodes, like Daredevil and Jessica Jones. It allows for more focus on the big bad and less filler episodes, plus character growth is very precisely pinpointed. Sure, it’s nice to be able to watch the Scarlet Speedster from October to May, but how long should a big bad story really be dragged on?
Since October, we’ve seen Barry try to take down Zoom, failing repeatedly. Whereas in Season 1, much of 1A was spent developing Barry as a hero before the Reverse Flash was really introduced.
This season just seemed to drag on. Having Barry’s fight against Zoom last for 22 episodes is just too much. The filler episodes are easily identified, like the episode where Barry lost his speed and had to work with Team Flash to take down a metahuman without their own.
I, like the rest of viewers, really enjoyed the Earth-2 stories and the introduced doppelgängers, but that could’ve happened in a shortened season, or could’ve been the focus for a few episodes.
Zoom was just too much like the Reverse Flash, they basically reused the same villain. They both want to be the “fastest man alive,” and take Barry’s speed and eventually ruin his life. How boring and disappointing.
Hopefully the introduction of Cisco’s powers and (hopefully!) Caitlin’s will lead to other villains in Season 3, and having a full 22 episode season is unavoidable, but the writers can avoid having one big bad.
For example, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is very good about splitting the season in half, as to not get too boring. They don’t stretch on a story. Their recent big bad, Hive, was introduced in the midseason finale and obliterated in the season finale, while Ward was the villain of the beginning of their season.
It allows the characters to grow, to win, to lose, to fail miserably, but to prevail more than once per season and allow that victory to influence their decisions going forward. Barry (and Oliver, for that matter) loses so much before he’s able to stop his villain, which is very frustrating to watch.
Seeing Barry get knocked down 22 times before he’s able to conquer his nemesis is disheartening. Especially when his Season 1 and Season 2 villains were so similar. The writers didn’t even try to separate them, at least that’s how it seems.
They each killed one of his parents which drives Barry to take them down. They each are speedsters that rival Barry’s speed. They each want him dead and to take his speed.
Maybe Season 3 will see a better villain story than The Flash Season 2 did, but the same problem remains: if you stretch out a villain for 23 episodes, how do you expect to see viewers stick around? If all that is happening to the characters they love is they’re getting knocked further and further down?