This second season of the hit CW series The Flash turned out to be pretty astounding overall, one with no shortage of memorable moments for fans of the Fastest Man Alive. The showrunners at times went for broke, diving deep into the Scarlet Speedster’s mythos when it came to time travel and parallel worlds. But perhaps more importantly, the show also took the time to develop its stellar cast of characters, giving them room to grow while the plot was busy taking on a life of its own.
The following are our personal favorite moments from the sophomore season of The Flash. Please be aware that this article does contain many major SPOILERS, so don’t say we didn’t warn you.
12. Introducing The Time Remnants
This concept introduced in the episode “The Reverse-Flash Returns” found a way to bring back Eobard Thawne, who was erased from existence at the end of the first season thanks to Eddie Thawne’s heroic sacrifice. This may have been a bit confusing for those who think too much about time travel mechanics, but basically, a Time Remnant is a leftover version of a person from an extinguished timeline.
The Time Remnants would appear throughout the second season as a way to create temporal doubles of both the Flash and his enemy — Zoom. While the villainous Zoom created Time Remnants and killed them off without a thought, Barry created one that would make the ultimate sacrifice in the season finale “The Race of His Life” to save the multiverse, something no one on Team Flash took lightly. Yes, it’s a somewhat convenient temporal deus ex machina, but it’s a fun one that reminds viewers not to take the whole time travel thing too seriously.
11. The Speed Force & The Time Wraiths
The second season of The Flash did the right thing by exploring the nature of the Speed Force, but it sure was a head wringer. Being extra-dimensional in nature, it’s the source of all super speedsters’ powers, and it protects them from the physics of traveling at super speed. The TV show went further than the comic books and established that the Speed Force is sentient, which was wonderfully demonstrated in the classic Kevin Smith-directed episode “The Runaway Dinosaur,” where Barry Allen interacted with the Speed Force itself to regain his powers.
The Time Wraiths can best be described as ghost-like enforcers of the Speed Force. The spectral beings first appeared in “Flash Back” — where they hunted the Flash when he time traveled to the past — and are known for going after those who abuse the Speed Force and time travel, like Zoom himself. Still, as cool and scary as they are, you have to wonder why they have not shown up in Legends of Tomorrow…yet.
10. More Goofy Villains
The Flash has a famous rogues gallery in the comic books, featuring outlandish villains with silly names like Captain Boomerang, the Weather Wizard and Pied Piper. The TV show introduced some of them when it first premiered and continued doing so into the second season, much to fans’ delight. For some villains, The Flash successfully altered their personas and backstories to make them less goofy, a commendable achievement, since it kept the show from veering too much into silliness. One of the best examples of this was Captain Cold, and much of that is due to Wentworth Miller’s snarky performance.
On the other hand, The Flash struck a near-perfect balance in showcasing grounded villains against some unmistakably goofy foes like King Shark, Gorilla Grodd, Atom Smasher, and Tar Pit. Nonsensical as they were, the villains were well conceived and, for the most part, effective foils for the Scarlet Speedster. This willingness to use these over-the-top foes in a balanced way should be emulated by other superhero TV shows.
9. The Return Of Harrison Wells
Dr. Harrison Wells Eobard Thawne was killed off in the first season of The Flash, it was somewhat of a surprise to see Dr. Wells turning up early in the second season. It was for the best of course, since Tom Cavanagh has done such a fantastic job in the role. The series played up the mystery quite well in regards to how could Wells be alive, and then, after revealing that this version was from Earth-2, chose kept viewers in the dark about his real motives.
Was he up to no good like season 1 doppleganger? He certainly had his own agenda that sometimes clashed with the main characters, making Wells more of an anti-hero this time around. Even though Barry Allen and the others at S.T.A.R. Labs were distrustful of him, eventually they learned about his dilemma with Zoom and came to treat him as an ally. Later on, Wells softened a bit and in turn helped Team Flash defeat Zoom, redeeming himself in the process. On the whole, it was a nice arc for Mr. Cavanaugh, who’s been afforded the rare opportunity of being able to play multiple characters with drastically different personas in his time on the superhero series. We can’t wait to see more of him in year 3, no matter who he’s playing)
8. Zoom’s Identity Revealed
When Zoom first appeared early in the second season, he was a frightening monster to behold. More devilish than human with his deep, gravelly voice (performed by Tony Todd) and a demonic mask, Zoom quickly established himself on the show as a force to be reckoned with. He was vicious, sociopathic and seemingly unbeatable. It was hard to believe that Zoom was still a man under that dark costume.
What was even harder to comprehend was his actual identity when it was revealed in the final seconds of the episode “King Shark.” It turned out that Zoom looked exactly like Jay Garrick (played by Teddy Sears), a depowered and stranded Earth-2 Flash who was supposedly helping Barry get faster. His reveal was yet another in a long line of twists for the series — it turned out that Zoom, actually Hunter Zolomon, was masquerading as Garrick right before the eyes of Barry and the team at S.T.A.R. Labs while secretly committing heinous acts as Zoom.
7. Double, Double
With the introduction of Earth-2, it was only natural that counterparts of the show’s numerous characters would appear. It was fun to see the variant versions of well established characters come back to life, like Harrison Wells, Ronnie Raymond and Laurel Lance. In Laurel’s case, now being the evil Black Siren, she was actually an even better character than her Earth-1 version featured in Arrow.
The use of the doppelgangers allowed the show to explore new avenues with established characters. For instance, Cisco got to expand the range of his superpowers after seeing his evil counterpart Reverb in action. Meanwhile, The Flash examined the effects having an evil version of yourself can have on a person, as shown with Caitlin, who was disturbed by her evil Earth-2 counterpart, Killer Frost. Overall, it was a fun concept that should definitely be revisited in future episodes.
6. The Death Of Henry Allen
After regaining his speed powers late in the season, Barry was a bit over-confident, as seen in the penultimate episode “Invincible.” It didn’t matter that Zoom brought over an army of metahumans from Earth-2 to create havoc in Central City; Barry was hyper optimistic that all would turn out fine in the end. By the episode’s end, that cheerful outlook seemed to have merit, because the Flash and his allies saved the day. But (as they so often seem to do), they were caught counting unhatched chickens, and Zoom showed up and killed Barry’s father, Henry, in front of his eyes.
What a gut punch that was! Needless to say, this event wiped out Barry’s inflated, sunny optimism and provided a brilliant catalyst for Barry’s rage heading into the season finale. It was a disheartening blow to fans as well, as it’s always a treat to see John Wesley Shipp (who portrayed the Flash in his own live-action series in the ’90s) appear on this show. Doubling down on this heartbreak was that moments before his death, Henry had met what could’ve been a potential love interest, Tina McGee. Fans of the original TV show were thrilled that Shipp was reunited with Amanda Pays, who played McGee on both shows. But that joy soon turned to horror when Zoom showed up and stole away Barry’s last surviving biological parent.
5. Zoom Easily Defeated The Flash
In the episode “Enter Zoom,” the Flash has his first confrontation with Zoom and is badly beaten by him. This was particularly jarring because the event felt like it was part of a mid-season finale, but this occurred at the end of a typical episode. Usually, the Flash and his friends come up with a way to defeat the enemy of the week in the last segment, then the final minutes of the episode serve to either set up future events, peal back the curtain to astonishing reveals, or just allow Barry and others to take a breather.
That simply wasn’t to be in “Enter Zoom,” when out of nowhere Zoom arrived and soundly defeated his Speed Force-sharing rival in front of everyone in Central City as he announced his arrival. it was a humiliating defeat for the Flash. The only thing that would’ve topped that thumping was if Zoom ripped off Barry’s mask and revealed his identity to the world. Thankfully that didn’t happen, but the Flash was left physically and emotionally crippled. He eventually recovered of course, but Zoom had left his mark, cementing himself as the new big bad in town.
4. The Mysterious Man In The Iron Mask
One of the best mysteries introduced into The Flash concerned the identity of the Man in the Iron Mask. Introduced in “Escape From Earth-2,” the Man in the Iron Mask was a prisoner in Zoom’s lair on, you guessed it, Earth-2. Fans everywhere were tantalized over who this person was, and out-there fan theories soon flooded the web.
In the season finale, the masked man was freed by Team Flash. After his mask was removed, his identity was finally revealed as being the real Jay Garrick, aka the Flash from Earth-3. What was even more shocking was that he was Henry Allen’s doppleganger. It was a bittersweet moment for Barry, who got to see his father alive again — kind of. For fans, it was a sensible and heartfelt way of getting John Wesley Shipp into a Flash suit again. It was actually incredibly fitting that he is now playing the Golden Age Flash, as his casting in this series was an inspired tribute to both the original TV version of The Flash and the Golden Age hero to begin with.
3. Barry Allen’s Quest To Regain His Powers
To save the life of Wally West, Barry Allen allowed Zoom to siphon away his speed powers in the “Versus Zoom” episode. A couple of episodes later, Barry tried to recreate the accident that gave him his powers and disappeared in the episode “The Runaway Dinosaur.” While it appeared that he’d been vaporized in the explosion, it turned out that he’d merely entered the Speed Force dimension.
For most of the episode, Barry encountered important figures from his life, including his dead mother, who were all actually manifestations of the Speed Force. The episode was well directed by Kevin Smith, and is already noted for being one of the most thought-provoking and emotional episodes in the series’ short run. The highlight was of course his tear-inducing reunion with his mother, as he realized that he had to move on from her death. Of course, that was thrown out the window in the season finale, but Barry’s journey to regain his powers was an emotional highlight that examined his core nature.
2. The Flash Travels To Earth-2
The episodes “Welcome to Earth-2” and “Escape from Earth-2” comprised a two-part story arc, and the standout episodes really got fans buzzing. The Flash, Cisco Ramon and Dr. Wells journeyed to the parallel Earth to rescue Wells’ daughter, encountering a ton of fun little moments along the way. The number of easter eggs alone induced several geek out moments.
The actual inter-dimensional journey teased us with images of Supergirl, the Legion of Superheroes and the original Flash from the 1990s TV show. On Earth-2, we marveled at a different world filled with doppelgangers who led different lives, including a Peter Parker/Clark Kent hybrid take on Barry and evil, super-powered versions of Cisco and Caitlin Snow. The show revealed more about Zoom and how he’d terrorized his world while introducing his mysterious prisoner, the Man in the Iron Mask. Overall, the two-parter was a ton of fun to watch, as Barry and Cisco became our surrogates and joined in the merriment, taking selfies and enjoying the wonders of Earth-2.
1. The Flashpoint Paradox Begins
Taking inspiration from the famous Flashpoint comic book miniseries, the last minutes of the finale “The Race of His Life” upended the entire timeline of not just The Flash but the entire Arrowverse itself. In the second season finale, Barry is grief stricken over the death of his father. Putting a stop to the plans of his father’s killer, Zoom, wasn’t enough, nor was the discovery that the Jay Garrick from Earth-3 was a doppelganger of his late father. Based on a sudden whim, Barry abruptly time traveled and prevented the Reverse-Flash from killing his mother when he was a boy, and in so doing, changed his timeline.
The question remains as to how significantly the timeline’s been changed. The ripple effect from Barry’s actions will likely be enormous, and we expect to see a radically different version of The Flash when it returns for its third season. What will this mean for the other shows in the Arrowverse? Will this be the way Supergirl is integrated into the Arrowverse? Will these changes carry over into Arrow and give that show a much-needed reboot? No matter what, the Time Wraiths will not be pleased.
These are just some of the many memorable moments in the epic second season of The Flash. Thanks to its imaginative scripts, the show avoided the sophomore slump and is on the verge of running wild with the new storyline set up for the third season.
What do you think of our collection? Do you have your own opinions about these or other noteworthy moments? Leave your thoughts in the comments!
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