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Season 8 Cold Hard Flash Facts

The Flash

To understand what I am about to tell you, you need to do something first. You need to believe in my love of the Flash. I have been a die-hard Flash fan since I was eight years old. I have religiously read the comics and watched the cartoons and live-action TV shows. Over the years it has been frustrating to witness a string of misrepresentations of the character in animated series and other WB projects. While I am a fan of the Arrowverse and The Flash Series, it has seen some less-than-par seasons. With all that being said, season eight of The Flash is shaping up to be one of the best Arrowverse seasons yet. 

The season opened up with a Despero story arc. First off, it is great to see Barry facing off against a classic Justice League villain. In the comics, Despero has taken on the whole league and got the best of them. He’s “Leveled up” and we’ll get to that later. Second is that this show, like many Arrowverse shows, has found a system of storytelling that works great for superheroes. It’s not the single-season story arc that we saw in earlier seasons. Nor is it an episodic style of storytelling like the original Flash series in the ’90s with John Wesley Shipp ( now, Jay Garrick). The 3-5 episode story arcs allow the show to mimic the comic in a way. We get an introduction to the villain, then the meat of the story with some devastation, and some dire circumstances. some interesting plot twists follow, and finally a big showdown and story conclusion. It’s fun and it works.

However, In addition to several weak seasons even season eight features some pretty weak writing. Fore example “Leveling up”.  To use the phrase once in a show that has traditionally used pop culture references is fine. However, at this point, they’re using that phrase almost as much as the Smurfs use the word “Smurf”. Every victory, every power, every heroic moment is now being labeled “leveling up” and it’s just lazy writing. 

Additionally, the stories have become a bit convoluted. Staying on top of everything going on in a single season of The Flash is a daunting task. With a never-ending revolving door of supporting characters, two actors playing Eobard Thawne from different timelines yet still in the present, and constant time-traveling villains and heroes, it’s a bit much for even the most die-hard Flash fans.

Despite some convoluted writing, the fact is the acting on this show is phenomenal. Grant Gustin has come such a long way since his first appearance as Barry Allen in season 2 episode 8 of Arrow. He has become, in my opinion, The Live-Action Barry Allen. Having supporting actors like Jesse L Martin and Tom Cavanagh will always make a series better, those two can do no wrong in my mind and Cavanagh plays about half a dozen characters throughout the series, simply brilliant. Candace Patton (Iris West-Allen) and Danielle Panabaker (Caitlin “Frost” Snow) both continue to deliver stellar performances as well despite the obvious desire to move on to newer projects.

Unfortunately, after the departure of Carlos Valdes’ Cisco Ramon, the show lost part of its natural witticism. It has never been the same despite the best efforts made by Brandon McKnight’s Chester P Runk. Runk is a classic yet somewhat obscure Flash character; McKnight has done a brilliant job bringing a character from comics to live-action that had to undergo great physical change. However, there’s just no replacing Valdes who’s sarcastic humor and championship T-shirt collection has left Team Flash with an unfillable void. 

The Flash is poised to be the longest running Arrowverse show as it nears the end of its eighth season. The show has already been renewed for a 13 episode ninth season which will surpass Arrow’s eight season run. There are already rumors of a tenth season as well. While I personally will never tire of superhero television, I’m not sure a tenth season is necessary. 

With the season 8 finale having aired in November 2022, it’s hard to imagine the season nine villain will be anyone other than the Reverse Flash. I have a feeling he will be played simultaneously by both Cavanagh and Matt Letscher who have been swapping the role throughout the entire series, depending on what timeline the character has just arrived from. 

It would be nice to give Barry and Iris a peaceful ending and let any of the many other speedsters introduced in the series pick up the mantle of The Flash. Only time will tell if the folks at The CW (excellent station name by the way) agree with me or not. In the meantime, if you haven’t caught up with season eight of The Flash, zoom on over to the couch and run along with the fastest man alive.

What were your thoughts on season 8? Or predictions for season 9? Until next time true believers, I’m Craig “Wex” Wexler tuning out. Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter!

About the author

Craig Wexler