Today I decided to write a piece about The Flash Tv show. I´m a huge fan and I´m gonna try to cover these three points in the most “optimistic, but realistic” way:
- The (in)consistency of speedsters power
- (Non)Speedster big bads
- Future of the show, my wishes and ideas
Lets get into it, shall we?
The Flash (or any other speedster) is incredibly OP (over-powered) and so when you want to create drama, conflict, or problem of any kind, you have to make him less powerful. It works in the comics (in general) and lot of times it works on the show as well, but there are times, when “dumbing” Barry down and throwing way too much logic out of the window is very noticable.
The best way to mask it is with spectacle (cool looking action, that makes you not noticing the laps in logic too much), that will distract you from the potential flaws, or mask it with humor, or a clever explanation of why or how it is the way it is. These are the things that help you not notice the lapses and flaws, as you are enjoying the show way too much to think about those things.
But still, sometimes it can be annoying, especially if there´s too many lapses in logic and consistency, that you just have to notice it. It´s impressive how smart and clever Barry can be at times (most recently vibrating the train, or phasing Kadabra out of the ship) and how dumb and not competent he can be when the writers don´t know how to prolong the conflict naturally. I still enjoy and dare to say love the show, but that doesnt mean I´m blind. It´s just that I understand a bit how difficult it sometimes is to write a non-speedster villain as a threat for the Flash.
The solution could be making smart choices for villains and picking those, who can be a threat to The Flash more, so that they can show more of his powers, strength, smarts etc. Also, they could have the team doing other things as well, so that they wouldn´t be able to aid Barry at all times and therefore he would have to figure stuff out alone. He is a scientist basically, so he should be smart enough to manage even without the team. Not that I want the team gone, I just want Barry to act more independently more often.
Other thing could be having more villains (Rogues team-ups) at once, but I´ll get to that in a second.
I think they should try to make Barry´s power more consistent by having him work alone at times, choosing villains, that are a more of a threat to him and by making villains work together. It´s not easy, but if they tried, it can be done and the show would improve as well. They wouldn´t have to dumb Barry down that much for the non-speedster villains and they could do more of their interesting and exciting stories as well.
“Another speedster big bad?!” That was the reaction of everyone when we saw The Rival and Savitar for the first time. And it´s understandable.
But the speedster big bads are the one thing, that keeps the conflict real. As seen in the section above, it is hard to make Barry fight a non-speedster villains, because sometimes you have to depower him, or dumb him down. That is because speedsters are so OP, that any non-speedster villain doesn´t really have a chance. They can make it work for an episode, or two (in Grodd´s case), but not for the whole season. Reasons are in the section above. Basically, they would have to depower and dumb Barry down, so that he wouldn´t be able to defeat the villain the whole season. And we don´t want that.
The only thing I can see as a possibility for a non-speedster big bads is if they (finally?) did Rogues as a team. Which is not at all a bad thing, quite the oposite (or reverse?). Rogues as a team are adversaries of the Flash in the comics and they are as big of a deal as Reverse Flash (more or less) and therefore it would be great for the show to use them as, lets say, season 4 big bads. More on that later.
We´re not gonna get rid of speedster villains, because it is a speedster show, but the Big Bads don´t have to be speedsters all the time. Rogues would be great and challenging to Barry and the team, making everyone useful (not that they aren´t) and still providing enough threat for the conflict to be real.
There are also other options, for instance, if we want to get crazy, we can have a magical/mysthical villain (like Abra Kadabra) who would be able to manipulate the fabric of reality in some way and maybe even disrupt the time flow – speed is based on how far you get in what time (very easily put) and so without proper time flow, even the Flash would get slower. But not just slowing Barry down, but with the immense power they could have (Kadabra is pretty powerful, just check the Titans Rebirth arc with him and what he did to Wally) a villain or villains like that would be a sufficient Big Bad. I vote for Kadabra in the future.
But again, the Rogues are a sure hit, as fans love and want to see them together. Plus there are more Rogues stories that they could go for. Lets get into it.
I mentioned Rogues as the season 4 Big Bads and I sand by that choice. The producers already said that they won´t be doing a speedster big bad next year and so I thik it´s time for Rogues to finally assemble.
The core team would consist of five Rogues: Captain Cold (somehow he gets back), Heat Wave (the same), Mirror Master, Weather Wizard and Trickster (the younger one, so that he can be there more often – Mark Hamill is still doing only an episode per season). These five would find their way to work together during the first half of the season, with them teaming up in a challenging mid-season finale.
The chllenge would be fighting five (or more, as they could recruit other smaller villains that we either get to know in the season, or just pick someone we already know) Rogues at the same time and it could work – Cold and Heat Wave would be “the shooters”, Mirror Master would be setting traps for them and move between the mirrors, Weather Wizard could create a storm, that focuses on Barry and Wally, while Trickster can have planted bombs (motion sensitive for the fun of it) all around the place. That sounds pretty challenging for me. It could work.
Then in the second half of the season, they could recruit even more Rogues, but they could also work more independently – just small team ups, like 2-3 Rogues doing something together. And as the season would progress we would get more of their actions as well as the spark for the future conflict – Mirror Master still doesn´t like Cold, so they work together because they must; also, Mirror Master, Weather Wizard and Trickster (from the core team) want to destroy the Flash, while Cold and Heat Wave want to rob, steal, have fun, feel the thrill, but they don´t want to destroy Barry. They just want him out of their way.
This would create an inner conflict, that they would have to put behind them in order to succeed in whatever their goal is (maybe stealing some incredible tech or something of immense value?). But they would fail and so they would want to have a revenge on the Flash
In the finale they would go to separate places, for instance – Cold, Heat Wave and Trickster in one place, Trickster´s bombs on the other and Weather Wizard would be at third place. Mirror Master would be going through mirrors to comunicate with both sides. Also, some other Rogues could join them. This would be a greater challenge and a proper finale – Barry can´t be at three places at once. Him and Wally would have to find a way to stop them, without giving the Trickster a chance to trigger the bombs. Getting help from other speedsters, or using speed mirages/time remnants would somehow not work for them – the other speedsters are busy with their problems and villains and time remnants or other speedforce tricks are way too dangerous for them to use.
Apart from Rogues and smaller villains, we would have Reverse Flash show up (somehow) a few times (ideally for 3-4 episodes across the season, every season) so that we wouldn´t have to miss speedster bad guys (ha-ha) and so that he and Barry could (finally) have the battles Eobard was talking about. The ones where they haven´t been able to defeat one another, the ones where they fight like equals.
And that´s basically it for season 4, Rogues the main big bads, every team Flash member having their own arc and helpting Barry when he needs it, Wally having his own villains + working with Barry and I could die from happiness.
Season 5, very quickly. Combination of two: Rogue War and a speedster. It could be Godspeed or some other guy, maybe Johny Quick from other Earth, or anyone, even Reverse Flash would work.
The speedster would be a catylyst for the first half of the season, maybe being defeated in mid-season finale and the Rogues would split after that.
“The speedster hurt Flash badly, he´s not able to stop us all now!” says one of the trio (Weather Wizard, Trickster, Mirror Master). This would be the start of the conflict between Captain Cold and his Rogues (lets says up to 5-6 villains) and the other team led by the trio (them + some others) with Heat Wave not knowing where to join at first.
These two fractions would go so bad with each other, that they would start sabotaging the other group´s plans and actions, creating chaos in the city. Then maybe the trio´s group would eventually release the speedster to help them with both the Flash and Captain Cold´s Rogues.
This events would lead up to the finale, where the all out Rogue War would happen- two fraction, each of 6-7 people, fighting in Central City. Plus the speedster and so Barry, Wally and the team would have a lot of work to do in order to stop this mess.
Now, if the speedster is Reverse Flash, they could make him find out Flash´s identity in the Rogue War and then deciding to go back in time to kill him, leading up to the events of season 1 and finishing Thawne´s circle. Kind of like Arrow finishes flashbacks and “one circle” in its season 5.
Season 6, 7 and more (?).
A) Thawne was the speedster in season 5 – now we can have either another speedsters, new Rogues, mixed with the olde ones that know now, that they have tto work together to achieve their goals. Plus, the version of Thawne that looked like Harrison Wells could somehow return, maybe as the final villain of the series.
B) If Thawne wasn´t the speedster in season 5 (preferably) – this way, they could do the whole “Thawne find out Flash´s identity and to goes back in time to kill him, leading up to the events of season 1” thing later, maybe in the final season, with all of the stuff with Rogues in “A” still happening and Wells/Eobard still returning, but only as a guest villain, for an episode or two.
Now this was long, but I wanted to do it for a long time now. So, here it is and let me know what do you think, what would you like etc.
If you´re interested, here is my Inertia TV show idea, that features Wally as Flash, Eobard as an evil mentor and of course Thaddeus Thawne II, aka Inertia, trying to find his place in the world.