TV Check-In: The Flash, Revenge and TVD

by Matthew Thompson

I was hoping to do a series of posts covering the end of various network shows that wrapped up this month, but I just haven’t had the time. So I decided to just pick out some shows whose endings this season felt noteworthy for one reason or another. These contain spoilers for the shows, so make sure you are caught up before reading any of them.

The Flash

The Flash Finale

I didn’t expect to enjoy The Flash as much as I do. I still don’t like it nearly as much as its most ardent supporters, but I can see why for the right audience it is such a hit. I think the parts I really loved were the central time travel conceit and the great villains. I love a good time travel tale no matter how often they seem to fall apart. It is fun to turn the consequences involved over in your head and The Flash delivers plenty of crazy time bending antics to think on. As for villains, Captain Cold and The Reverse-Flash are really only rivaled by Deathstroke as far as Arrow-verse characters go. They also had some fun one-off baddies too.

The finale felt like a suitably crazy ending for the over the top insanity that had been building up over the course of the season. I didn’t care for the cliffhanger. I thought too many people were okay with Barry going back to change history, but the end result was good: his future self waving him off, his exit punch into the time machine, Eddie taking his own life to stop the Reverse-Flash. And I dug all the teases like Barry seeing a vision of Kaitlin as Killer Frost and the hints of Cisco’s future.

I don’t think The Flash is top-tier television, but it was a lot of fun and I can see why my comic book reading friends are so into it. I’m excited to see where they go with it next season.

Revenge

EMILY VANCAMP, NICK WECHSLER

When Revenge debuted it was the surprise of my television year. Its freshman season still stands as one of my faves from a primetime soap. The show has been up and down ever since and that was no exception in what would be its final season. Yet I felt as Season 4 wound down, it began to head in the right direction. Weeks before it was announced that the show would be ending this year, you could already tell it was moving towards the finish line. This gave it some much-needed momentum as it came down the home stretch.

Still the finale felt a bit overstuffed, like it had a little too much plot to run through to tie everything up. Despite the mad rush to squeeze everything in at the end, I think they did right by the characters. I’ve always rooted for Emily to end up with Jack. That was always the light at the end of the tunnel, my hope for her happy ending after her quest for revenge had ended. We get that here and the new puppy was a nice touch. Ems leaves her best friend Nolan a gift too, giving him a purpose now that their mission together is over and it feels wholly appropriate. The way things ended for Victoria and David worked for me as well.

And of course it wouldn’t be a Revenge finale without some batshit crazy stuff happening. The reveal of Victoria’s ridiculous plan (though I never believed she died in that house explosion), the prison break and final gun standoff as well as the teased heart swap all certainly qualify. It was still really messy this season, but I came away pretty happy with how they brought Revenge to a close.

The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries Finale

Knowing Nina Dobrev was leaving the show at the end of the season, it was hard to not try to figure out exactly how they’d write her out in the weeks leading up to the finale. The show teased a number of ways it could be done, but I can’t say I would have ever guessed the Sleeping Beauty-esque solution they came up with. It seems like an obvious setup to bring Elena back in the series finale, so she and Damon can have a happy ending. I’m still not sure how I feel about it to be honest, but clever twists have always been part of the appeal of this series and they certainly surprised me with this one.

While Elena has had her ups and downs as a character, I’ve always respected the job Nina did as an actress on the show. The doppelgänger angle gave her the opportunity to play multiple roles over the years which along with centerpiece Elena included some interesting characters in flashbacks throughout history and of course Katherine, my favorite character on the show and an integral part of the series’ glory days in and around Season 2.

The show itself has been in a rut for a couple of seasons now. While Nina’s exit could perhaps make things worse, I’m hoping it, along with the flashforward that capped the season finale, might be the shakeup the series needs. I mean this as no dig against Nina, but both brothers have always been more fun when they weren’t with Elena so that could be a plus for next season. And there are some pieces in place from this past year carrying over (Mama Salvatore and her Heretics, the newfound friendship between Damon and Bonnie) that I really liked so I’m hoping they can pay dividends in Season 7. If not at least I have The Originals which was a blast this past season. If you haven’t been keeping up with that and are craving something more at the level of TVD’s earlier seasons, it is definitely worth a look.

That’s all for now. I might be back with some more of these if I get the chance. Thanks for reading!

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8 comments on “TV Check-In: The Flash, Revenge and TVD

  1. After TVD’s mid-season break last year, I fell behind on new episodes and didn’t catch up. Too bad to hear that Nina is leaving the show although I hear some fans are more interested in the Salvatore Brothers lol.

  2. I think I like the Flash so much because it skirts that line between camp and cool (I live there) And I like his friends and family. The same with Arrow. I think the friends and family really make both of those shows. They each are hit or miss as far as villains go but that’s true about any comic book title.

    I didn’t even know Revenge was ending and I was fooled. I thought Victoria really did blow herself up. Especially when all the evidence was pointing to Emily. So I was kind of disappointed when she came back. I did notice that the writer (I don’t know names) who was blowing his nose with the handkerchief, never touched anything in the car. That’s when I knew something was up. I even liked Courtney Love as the assassin.

    I watched the first two episodes of The Vampire Diaries when it first came on and then stopped. Not because I didn’t like it. At the time I think I thought there were too many vampire shows. (or I was too faithful to True Blood). I may binge watch it if I run out of stuff to watch. (I have a back log)

    • I feel that because of its lighter tone, The Flash skirts that line you mentioned a little better. Sometimes Arrow feels like it wants to be more serious and it clashes with the campiness. Still I enjoy both. I think Season 2 of Arrow is my favorite part of either of these shows, but I feel The Flash was much better than Arrow this past season.

      I had some friends telling me Victoria was really dead. And watching the scene itself, it sure felt like it so I can’t blame them or you for thinking so. But I just never bought in. I must say Courtney Love as an assassin is exactly the kind of crazy shit I liked seeing in Revenge. It should be super dumb, but it somehow works on Revenge.

      I’m not sure TVD is worth the time or not. It really finds itself by the end of the first season and Season 2 and 3 are great. Since then it has been kind of blah. I suppose if the backlog runs dry though it might be worth a look.

  3. “my comic book reading friends”
    Pretty sure you were thinking of me while typing that. I do love The Flash though. It’s everything I love about Silver Age comics, though done a little smarter than most. When you can make a time travel plot that overly complex work, I’m happy. And I’m not sure if you got the callout, but that helmet coming out of the wormhole had me cheering. I’m still thinking of all the possibilities they can go with from there.

    Glad Revenge ended well for you. Saw you haven’t been crazy with it lately, but hoped it wouldn’t be a disaster for the finale.

    • Haha. You were definitely one of the people I was referring to. I I got the basic gist of what the helmet was, but I go on this one forum and people usually explain the kind of stuff that goes over my head in these shows. It was definitely pretty cool.

      And yeah I’m certainly glad Revenge didn’t go full HIMYM on me. You never want that.

  4. Really enjoy The Flash. I’ve never read the comic book so having no background may be to my advantage. Given Barry’s only power is that he can run fast, this show is surprisingly good. I attribute that to the guy who plays Barry and the guys who play his father/surrogate father. I also love Cisco – a bit of comic relief but by no means a secondary character.
    As for Vampire Diaries – why I still watch the show is beyond me. I was happy Elena was going away but then they came up with that incredibly weak idea of having het be in a sleep state until Bonnie dies, ugh. Such a sappy, grade school girl idea. Hope Elena’s departure is a catalyst to make the show good again but I have my doubts. Agree about The Originals – It’s better than Vamp Diaries in its heyday!

    • Sorry I missed this comment. After watching TVD for this long, I imagine I will keep on going until the end. I have a hard time quitting on shows when I have put so much time into them. I really loved it in Season 2 and 3 though. After thinking on it some more, I have to agree that writing out Elena this way was pretty lame. It feels like a copout. I kind of hated Damon and Elena together. Not because I preferred her with Stefan, more so because the show just seemed to go down in quality after they got together. So I really don’t care if they ever end up together which seems like half the reason they did this and so they can get her back for the series finale. Feels rather contrived honestly. Oh well. At least we have The Originals!

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