Directors: Jesse Warn, Rob Hardy & others
Starring: Grant Gustin, Candic Patton & Danielle Panabaker
Synopsis: After being struck by lightning, Barry Allen wakes up from his coma to discover he’s been given the power of super speed, becoming the Flash, fighting crime in Central City.
Rating: 12 Duration: 936 minutes Release date: 4 September (UK)

Things have not been kind for The Flash, both the character or show. What started as a bright, fun adventure filled superhero TV show has slowly descended into something much darker and solemn. As each season has passed, Barry Allen’s actions have become more selfish as he risks the lives of everyone around him in order to establish the time line of his preference.

What started as a neat counter point to Arrow and its dark take on superheroes, has instead followed that shows path and allowed itself to slip after building some very solid foundations. The first season of The Flash was a legitimate breath of fresh air and provided one of the best hours of TV week to week, especially within the superhero genre. Seeing Barry Allen as the Flash felt like we were watching someone who enjoyed being a superhero even when things threatened to become sullen. Season two felt like much of the same, and even though the tide was turning, a fantastic cliffhanger meant there was much hope for our third year with Team Flash.

Unfortunately, the first few episodes brought about the Flashpoint storyline and even though the potential was huge, the show blew the idea and the change across the Arrowverse was minimal. Once the new time line was set, the show followed the template set by itself previously and soon came the shows’ villain – another evil speedster, inner turmoil for Barry & friends and sadly, Barry becoming more selfish in his choices. The show became a slog and the insistence on keeping the villains’ identity a secret became a detriment to the show.

Barry was not the only character to face upheaval here and several members would face larger arcs than in previous seasons. The events of Flashpoint battle Caitlin Snow’s alter ego – Killer Frost is now threatening to become very much part of her. This is more interesting than normal, as the always noble/boring (delete as applicable) Snow battles with Killer Frost’s darker urges and her struggle gives the show added depth. Likewise, Cisco must face an early conflict with Barry and then later with Caitlin. This dynamic threatens the very foundations of the Flash family bond that has so carefully been built since the very beginning of the show.

On the other hand, the West family have a difficult season. Iris yo-yo’s as the season progresses between being a strong leader of the group and the go to damsel in distress. The shame here is that Iris is a much better character than the show is allowing her to be, and hopefully season four will remedy this. Wally continues his sibling rivalry with Barry, and as Wally develops his new powers as Kid Flash he is given more responsibility, but gets little else in the way to define him as an indispensable member of the show. And as for Joe, well he does what he always does. Luckily the show has a secret weapon in Tom Cavanagh. His H.R. is his third time playing the same character, but Cavanagh has managed to bring something different each time. His joy and full on enthusiasm in the role is a saving grace for the show, and reminds us of how much fun this show can be.

Things aren’t all bad though. There are still stand-out episodes like Killer Frost, The Present, Attack on Gorilla City and Finish Line which show that The Flash still has legs and despite some fumbling around, the final few episodes not only make the season finally feel fulfilling, but they also promise a brighter, more vibrant season four. But, nothing across the Arrowverse can beat the sheer unbridled splendour of Duet. Here, the Music Meister jettisons the Flash and Supergirl into a world where literally everything is a musical. The episode reunites Glee alum Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin with Darren Criss’ Music Meister. Duet is a signature episode and the chemistry between Benoist and Gustin is undeniable. What’s also great is seeing the likes of Victor Garber, John Barrowman and Jesse L. Martin let their vocal chords loose.

A struggle at times, season three of The Flash meanders for too long and leaves its big reveal waiting for what seems an eternity. Yet, there are highlights and it’s hard to dislike the show and its characters too much. But, we can only hope that season four picks up where we’ve left off and The Flash returns to the heady days of its first season.

Special features:

  • Villain School
  • Allied: The Invasion Complex
  • Rise of Gorilla City
  • Hitting the Fast Note
  • I’m Your Super Friend
  • Synchronicity in a Flash
  • 2016 Comic-Con Panel
  • A Flash in Time
  • Deleted scenes and gag reel

Show: 3/5
Extras: 3/5

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