TV Review: The Flash: ‘Armageddon, Part 1’

The tradition continues as the Sentries team up to cover the seventh annual CW/Arrowverse crossover event. This season the five-part “Armageddon” airs only on The Flash.

Gordon S. Miller:

In the prologue, viewers see Central City 2031 in disarray. Apparently an Armageddon will take place, but with the show’s limited budget, it’s just 10 people running around an alley, but it’s supposed to indicate the Flash is in the process of destroying the planet. In the back half of the episode, Despero (Tony Curran), an alien from the future, comes to kill the Flash and avert the Earth’s destruction. However, if he can time travel why not stop the Flash rather than kill him? Barry tells Despero to scan his mind in order to see who he is, but shouldn’t that be obvious for one endowed with mental powers? So the set up is Barry and the gang have seven days to prove that he won’t become the monster of the future or even reveal a trace of a darker nature (which seems ridiculous as all humans have them). Failure will lead to Despero ending Barry’s existence.

Ray Palmer/the Atom (Brandon Routh) comes to stay during a tech conference and helps Barry fight Despero. However, with the character not currently on another show, and being the only other hero to appear, the episode is really just a team-up for these brave and bold heroes.

Also in this episode, Iris’s blog is now a major media website, and she promotes Allegra to Editor-in-Chief. Allegra isn’t sure she’s ready and the writing staff agrees with her.

I’m am curious how the story and crossovers will play out, but after feeling indifferent towards the last couple seasons, the CW could pull the show at any point and I’d be fine. There’s a chance I might just drift away on my own this season.

Shawn Bourdo:

  • What if a crossover isn’t a crossover?  The Flash returns for Season Eight during what has traditionally been the “crossover season” for the Arrowverse shows.  There hasn’t been a true crossover event since “Crisis on Infinite Earths” in 2019.  This “Armageddon” crossover is going to guest star some of the Arrowverse characters but it will all take place on The Flash.  So it’s technically a series of guest stars.
  • The Flash once averaged 3-4 million viewers per episode in early seasons.  After taking ten months off during the start of the Pandemic, the show returned in May 2021 for an 18-episode season that had a couple strong stories including “The God Complex”.  The viewership is coming in at roughly 750,000 for the 2021 episodes.  I’m worried that there’s no momentum to head into this episode.  It’s not drawing viewers from other CW Arrowverse shows because Arrow, Black Lightning, and Supergirl are over.  
  • The Atom returns to the Arrowverse.  His departure from Legends was so long ago in terms of their stories that he’s a bit of a forgotten character.  We’re reminded that he has an ease with delivering ironic lines that the other characters can’t pull off.  Barry and Iris are great in the emotional scenes together but the don’t play humor well (see every Jitters scene ever)
  • Despero shows up and says that the Flash is going to destroy the world.  That is it.  That’s the reason for the whole first part of the five-part story.  To say that it feels like a padded stretch doesn’t even cover it.  Despero doesn’t feel like a villain that can hold together a five-part story either.  Maybe I’m missing something that will be revealed in next week’s episode.
  • The rest of the episode tries to establish Iris as a rising media mogul.  With the departure of Supergirl, I was hoping that we could retire all the media covering superheroes and corruption tropes.  If it’s a way to present the comic relief we used to get in the lab, I’m not buying the cast of writers we met here either.  

To Be Continued . . . 

What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments.

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