The Flash “The Man Who Saved Central City” Review (Season 2 Episode 1)

The Flash has finally returned from its summer hiatus, and even the citizens of Central City are cheering the return of the Scarlet Speedster. “The Man Who Saved Central City” caught us up with Team Flash six months after the singularity that closed out season one, and the show kept its streak of strong episodes alive despite a few hitches in the road.

In a lot of ways, Barry was getting his Arrow on in this episode, with his dogged insistence on fighting crime on his own feeling like a classic Oliver Queen move. To a degree, it was an understandable reaction given the number of deaths that occurred on the day of the singularity, but the strength of The Flash is its ensemble, and it was a bummer to see them all at odds. Fortunately, his self-imposed exile was a short-lived one, as the team reunited to take on the threat of Atom Smasher.

Though not explicitly stated as a threat from another reality, it quickly became clear that the size-changing villain was displaced from his own universe, and he was desperate to do whatever it took to get home. The show’s always been quick to get into the weirder side of its narrative, and it was great to see the show hitting up the multiverse right away this season. Less successful was just how goofy Atom Smasher looked when he bulked up, the CGI not working as well as it has on the show in the past.

More successful was the scenes set during the singularity, which made a great backdrop for Ronnie’s heroic sacrifice. Given all of the news about Legends of Tomorrow, it wasn’t entirely surprising to see Ronnie go – he’s been absent from the trailers despite Firestorm’s presence – but it was still a blow to lose him so soon. Of course, with the multiverse doors open, there’s no telling if or when we might see some form of Ronnie again, but still.

For all the loss and struggle, this episode did give us one major win for Barry, with Harrison’s recorded confession finally exonerating his old man. After a season of seeing him behind bars, it was great to see Henry Allen a free man. Less great, though, was Henry’s decision to leave Central City for… some vaguely defined reason? He said it was to let Barry keep growing into the man he’s destined to become, but that felt like a really thin reason to abandon a son you’ve barely seen in 14 years. Hopefully, given the knowing look Henry shared with Joe, there’s a bigger plot at play here.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!