‘The Flash’ (Season 3): The Fastest Jerk Alive

Barry and Iris - The Flash

What has happened to The Flash this season? Savitar and Alchemy have been serviceable enough villains, but in a truly bizarre twist, the biggest bad guy on the show is arguably the Scarlet Speedster himself. To put it bluntly – well, more than the title of this article already has – Barry Allen has been an insufferable jerk this year, repeatedly finding his way back up onto his high horse after numerous big falls.

If you followed my reviews of the first half of the season, then this opinion probably doesn’t come as a surprise. Not only did Barry cause all of his current problems by enacting Flashpoint at the end of the second season, but his continued insistence to keep secrets and lie to his friends made him pretty unlikable early on. However, the royal dragging he received during the “Invasion!” crossover at least suggested that he’d finally paid enough for his mistakes and was on the path to being our happy-go-lucky hero again.

Since then, however, despite a few brief glimmers, we’ve only gotten more of Barry acting like an absolute tool. Jay Garrick may have talked him out of travelling through time anymore, but his desire to save Iris from a dark future has more or less replaced Flashpoint as his main source of angst. This has led to eve more lying to the team, short-tempered outbursts, and chastising others for the exact sort of crap Barry pulls all the time. Put bluntly, the Flash has become a hard hero to root for.

Normally, this would be where I’d make a note about my hope for things to get better, but honestly, I’m not sure anything short of the clean slate of a new season is going to help course correct. Fundamentally, everything still goes back to Barry’s Flashpoint screw-up, and despite how many times we’ve seen him learn to deal with that guilt, it’s not long before something Savitar does has him moping again.

Does that mean the rest of the season is a bust? Well, it certainly doesn’t help that the show’s better Flash, Wally, is currently trapped in the Speed Force, or that the next episode looks like a lot of Barry reflecting on his mistakes. However, as the show heads into the final stretch, maybe the team can finally come together as friends again, leave the angst behind, and take on the Big Bad in a thrilling third act run. If nothing else, I still hold the slightest hope that Barry can return to the happy-go-lucky speedster we all fell in love with back in the first season.

It might be unlikely, but if Arrow can deliver a confident, put-together Oliver Queen, then anything is possible in the Arrowverse. Plus, there’s still that musical crossover to look forward to!

  • Data1001

    Yeah, Barry is not only much more of a jerk than he should be, he keeps screwing up and not learning from his mistakes. The whole “smart people doing really stupid things” is also a problem on Berlanti’s sister show, Legends — and basically, I think it all boils down to lazy writing. Just because the writers can’t figure out a more clever way to make some major plot point happen, they take the easy way out and end up throwing away major character traits in the process.