The Flash: The Complete Third Season
Review by KC Carlson
The third season of The Flash has some great moments, to be sure: “Duet” (the musical episode), “Invasion!” (the Flash’s chapter in a four-way crossover of DC TV shows with Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl), and the SFX tour de force starring Grodd that was “Attack on Gorilla City”, to name just a few.
(The studio, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, provided me with a free review copy of this DVD set. My opinions below are mine.)
But those would have to wait. The season started out being set in an alternate “Flashpoint” universe, where everyone is seemingly happy, especially Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Iris West (Candice Patton). Fortunately for us (but not Barry and Iris), the Flash realizes that things are seriously mucked up, and he has to fix things. He does, but only after does he realize there’s a much greater evil from a new co-worker at the Central City P.D. — Julian Albert (Tom Felton). Felton would turn out to be a great antagonist for the show, especially in the first half of the season.
From here, things just get dizzying with new situations for all the characters. Of course, there’s a new (alternate) Harrison Wells (still played by Tom Cavanagh), a weird dude who insists on being called H.W. He shows up with Jesse Quick (Violet Beane), who has secretly been rescuing people on H.W.’s Earth. Eventually, Wally West (Kelynan Lonsdale) starts dreaming about being Kid Flash, and despite Barry’s misgivings, he and Jesse adventure together. Meanwhile, Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) is having weird things happen to her, which will play out over the entire season. When she starts going off the rails, her friend and lab partner Cisco (Carlos Valdes) comes to her aid as Vibe. (Does everybody on this show secretly have super-powers?)
The Flash’s regular Rogues aren’t exactly taking it easy. A new Mirror Master (Grey Daniels), aided by the Top (Ashley Rickards), attempts to take on Captain Cold (aka Leonard Snart, played by the amazing Wentworth Miller). Later in the season, there are bunch of (admittedly confusing, at least to me) episodes dealing with a story-arcing supervillain called Savitar (who is actually an alternate universe Barry Allen). Although one of those episodes at least brings back actor John Wesley Shipp to the show, this time playing Earth-Two’s Jay Garrick Flash. (Shipp was previously Barry’s dad in earlier seasons; he also played the Flash himself in the 1990 Flash TV show! So that was fun!) Savitar is this season’s “big bad” (thanks, Buffy!), so he makes multiple returns throughout the season, including all of the last six episodes!
Other new Flash-foes appearing this season include Plunder, Gypsy, Clive Yorkin, and Abra Kadabra. Which leads me to the first of the Special Features:
“Villain School: The Flash Rogues” (7:42) highlights the Flash’s newest Rogues for season three: Mirror Master, Dr. Alchemy, and Rival (technically Kid Flash’s foe). It’s mentioned that the Flash has the “biggest” villains and that the Rogues “have a code” of behavior towards the Flash. Golden Glider (Captain Cold’s sister), Heat Wave, and Reverse Flash also are discussed.
“Allied: The Invasion Complex (The Flash)” (9:48) is one of three documentaries about the Invasion crossover (the other two are on the corresponding Legends and Arrow season sets). This crossover is largely based on the same-named crossover that happened in the comic books in 1988. The TV version also involves time travel and alternate earths and prominently features the alien race of Dominators. The producers mention the crossovers were difficult to do because scheduling of the main characters/actors was extremely tight.
“Rise of Gorilla City” (9:08) features the introduction of Gorilla leader Solovar (a new “build” according to the CGI folks) to Gorilla City TV history. The footage from this episode is simply amazing, because all of the gorilla stuff is CGI, and some shots have thousands of gorillas in them! And not only do we get Solovar vs. Flash, we also get Grodd vs. Solovar! Holy bananas!
“The Flash: Hitting the Fast Note” (4:08) is he first of almost an hour of documentaries about the special musical episode (and Supergirl crossover) featuring those “hyper-talented kids” (as dub dby Jesse L. Martin, who plays Detective Joe West and who also turns in a great song and dance with DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’s Victor Garber (who plays half of Firestorm). What’s Garber doing there? It’s probably better not to ask… The crossover is also a mini-Glee reunion with Grant Gustin (The Flash), Melissa Benoist (Supergirl), and Darren Criss (who plays the Music Meister). Actress Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) wrote the song “I’m Your Super Friend” for the show, which also subtly included snippets of the theme music for the Flash and Supergirl.
“The Flash: I’m Your Super-Friend” (2:43) spotlights that a key song from the episode, featuring both Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist.
“Harmony in a Flash” (15:34) is an in-depth look at composer Blake Neely arranging and designing the score for the episode. Victor Garber pops up again here, as does John Barrowman (as Malcolm Merlyn). The bulk of this feature is about how the score comes together featuring a “cast of thousands”.
“Synchronicity in a Flash” (20:59) is Part two of the preceding special feature, concentrating on getting the score recorded (aka “finding the right sound”). Again, Blake Neely is in charge and conducting the orchestra of 50 players. (For a BIG sound!) There is some duplication of explanations between the two special features, indicating that they may be best watched slightly independent of each other.
“The Flash: 2016 Comic-Con Panel” (29:50) Yak, Yak, Yak… Actually, this is a lot better than some of the other Comic-Con panels on other DC TV show sets this season. Why? Pretty sure it’s because this Flash panel is smaller than some of the others (yet everybody who is important is there), and the participants seem more on the ball and prepared — as well as humorously and genuinely entertaining. Even the fan questions (and costumes) were genuinely awesome — as well as relatively short.
“A Flash in Time: Time Travel in the Flash Universe” (21:47) is for all the science geeks who like to argue/discuss all this stuff. Not me, though. I’m a bigger fan of make-believe time travel than trying to quantum-fy the real (?) thing. I did like the opening explanation about how we time travel every night if we dream. Then they lost me, but Johanna will love this one (and hopefully explain it to me later). Features Phil Cousineau (The Hero’s Journey) and Geoff Johns (responsible for much of the DCU) discussing Einstein’s theories, cosmic treadmills, grandfather paradox, and butterfly effects. I did enjoy the “shout-out” to the “Flash Facts” features in DC comics (from a long, long time ago) that explained science to me when I was a lad.
“A Conversation With Andrew Kreisberg and Kevin Smith” (3:55) is about Smith directing the Killer Frost episode and having a swell (and productive) time. Barry’s trapped in the Speed Force, so it’s not a typical episode. Smith explains that he got his “feet wet” on his first episode (last season) but got “real dirty” on this one (which featured lots of SFX and a “level of imagination”).
The gag reel (4:04) has silly dancing, swearing (bleeped), drooling, giddiness, eye rolling, and other goofiness. These people obviously enjoy working with each other. That’s why these things are such fun.
There are also ten short deleted scenes from 8 of the 23 episodes. Most of these scenes are a minute or less, and mostly seem inconsequential.
We got behind on the show itself halfway through the season, so although some of the extras aren’t quite my taste, I’m looking forward to being able to binge conveniently to get ready for the upcoming season 4. I’m excited to hear that they’re promising more “fun and light and brightness”, because that’s how I like my superheroes.