The Flash (2014): The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Review: At Its Core, The Series Is a Family Drama

Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer.

Like the Flash, I have the ability to go back in time, so let me do so and grab my description of the TV series’ premise from my review of the series’ first season: “The Flash presents the adventures of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), an assistant forensic scientist for the Central City Police Department, where his adoptive father, Detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), works. Joe met a young Barry years ago the night an inexplicable electrical storm of some sort took place within his home, which left his mother dead and his father (John Wesley Shipp, who played Barry Allen/The Flash in the 1990 series) jailed for the crime. A freak accident with a particle accelerator at Dr. Harrison Wells’ (Tom Cavanagh) S.T.A.R. Labs not only gave Barry his superspeed and the abilities that come with it, such as quick healing, but it affected a number of others in the city, referred to as ‘metahumans.’ The Flash has to deal with those who use their powers for evil.”

Season Two opens six months after the events of the Season One finale where Barry Allen/The Flash and his team defeated the Reverse Flash and closed a singularity that appeared above the city. The singularity opened up a connection between parallel worlds, and through this connection comes Jay Garrick (Teddy Spears), the Flash of Earth-2 who has recently lost his powers. He warns them about Zoom, yet another speedster and the main villain of the season, whose goal is essentially the same as Reverse Flash’s was last season, which is a tad disappointing to see the writers repeat themselves so soon.

But they certainly deliver the comic-book fun. Character dopplegangers appear throughout the season, most notably during the two-part trip to Earth-2 where Barry-2 lives a life Barry-1 has dreamed about. There’s another crossover story with Arrow that served as a backdoor pilot for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. It was all right, but wasn’t compelling enough for me to start that series (which General Jabbo reviewed). Fans of the series should enjoy the return of villains Captain Cold, Gorilla Grodd, and actor Mark Hamill reprising a character from the 1990 series. Fans should also be excited by the arrival of Season Three on October 4 after seeing Barry make a decision of such magnitude it will alter all that’s transpired that past two season. Unfortunately, the crossover episode with Supergirl isn’t included.

Although it is a superhero show on its surface, at its heart The Flash is a family drama populated with characters that change and grow like real people, brought to life by its talented cast. Barry gets a love interest in Officer Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten) and has to manage keeping his identity a secret from her. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) learns of his son Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale), who was born after Joe’s wife left him. Harrison Wells of Earth-2 joins the Earth-1 team after his daughter Jesse has been kidnapped by Zoom, allowing Tom Cavanagh to return to the series. Cisco’s (Carlos Valdes) powers continue to evolve. Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) develops a relationship with Jay and a speed serum.

The four Blu-ray discs come with a 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC encoded transfer at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Colors come through in vibrant hues, and blacks are inky. The fine texture detail is apparent in the clothing and sets. The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and has a very good dynamic range. Dialogue is clear. Surrounds are active, but not overly immersive. Bass delivers a solid bottom end in support of the action.

There are nearly four hours of Special Features, available in HD, for fans to dig through that explore creating the series. On Disc 1, Barry and Iris: New Beginnings! (8 min); The Flash: Visual Effects: Follow the Flash in 360 (2 min); Whose Helmet Was That? (4 min); Rogues Gallery: One Cold Father. The Lewis Snart Story (4 min); Heart and Heat: The Story of Firestorm (5 min); The Flash: Visual Effects – Earth-2 (3 min); Cutting Teeth: The Flash vs. King Shark (5 min); The Power of Dr. Light (6 min); Into the Breach: Designing Earth-2 (5 min); and Gag Reel (12 min).

On Disc 2, Behind the Story: The Chemistry of Emily and Grant Screen Test (7 min); Grodd Lives! (7 min); Star Crossed Hawks (11 min); The Hunt for Vandal Savage (11 min); The Flash: Visual Effects – A Closer Look (3 min), and Christmas in a Flash (5 min). On Disc 3, 2015 PaleyFest (30 min); The Flash: 2015 Comic-Con Panel (15 min); The Flash: Visual Effects – Sticky Situations (2 min); and The Flash: Visual Effects – Superheroes and Villains (3 min). On Disc 4, The Many Faces of Zoom (6 min); Chasing Flash: The Journey of Kevin Smith (52 min); and The Flash: Visual Effects – Everything Falls Apart (HD, 3 min).

The Flash is an entertaining show that stands out among the glut of superhero programs, and this season expands on the accomplishments of the first. The Blu-ray delivers a very good high-def presentation and a slew of extras for those who enjoy learning what goes behind the scenes.

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Gordon S. Miller

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site.

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