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Why Team Flash is the Glue Holding THE FLASH TV Series Together

Why Team Flash is the Glue Holding THE FLASH TV Series Together

One of the major consequences of The Flash’s Flashpoint storyline is that the S.T.A.R. Labs team has been fractured, and there may not be an easy way to repair it. Iris, Joe, and Wally West all have an important place on this series, but it was the original Team Flash: Barry Allen, Cisco Ramon, Caitlin Snow, and Harrison Wells, who were the heart and soul of this show. That dynamic survived the loss of the first Wells back in season 1. For season 3, the outcome is still up in the air.

When The Flash first premiered back in 2014, Team Flash seemed like it was taking a cue from Arrow’s cast of supporting characters. That’s probably true, but even the first Flash TV show from 1990 gave Barry Allen a partner at S.T.A.R. Labs named Tina McGee – a role that Amanda Pays has even reprised on the new series. But the reason that Team Flash worked so much better than its counterparts on Arrow or its predecessor series is that it was refreshingly angst-free and fun. There was no love triangle between Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco; they were just good friends who seemed to genuinely like their heroic calling.

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Of course, Harrison Wells was also an important part of that group; which made the revelation that he was the Reverse-Flash and his betrayal of their trust so impactful. The writers of this show clearly realize Tom Cavanagh’s worth, because they kept him on the series and they keep trying to find a way to fully reintegrate no less than two alternate Harrison Wells back into the group. While we’re happy to still have Cavanagh around, neither of his alternate personas have registered as strongly as the original model.

This brings us back to Cisco. One of the most surprising things about this week’s Invasion crossover was the way that Cisco’s anger and resentment for Barry made their scenes less enjoyable to watch. Within the story, Cisco has a very valid reason for feeling that way: Barry changed the timeline, and now Cisco’s brother is dead. The problem is that Carlos Valdes’ upbeat persona as Cisco was always one of the show’s highlights. So much so, that his version of Vibe is far more popular than his comic book counterpart. Without that touch of lightness, this show is getting a little too Arrow on us.

The Flash -- "Gorilla Warfare" -- Image FLA207B_0178b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon and Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

As for Caitlin, she was also screwed over by Barry’s Flashpoint changes. But she was always going to become Killer Frost on this show. That was clearly the plan from the beginning, when she and Cisco were chosen to be a part of Barry’s inner circle. And while we like the darker turn for Caitlin’s character, the show has hit upon a quandary. Caitlin could be turned into a tragic villain, but that would leave another void on the team that can’t be easily filled. But if the show doesn’t follow through on its promises, then Caitlin’s Killer Frost transformation may not live up to the hype. Ironically, this is happening right at the same time that DC Comics is giving Killer Frost a spot on the new Justice League team, which seems like a response to her popularity on the show.

The Flash -- "Killer Frost" -- Image FLA307a_0086b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

The changes to Cisco and Caitlin’s characters this season were obviously made to heighten the drama, and we understand that. Barry made a serious mistake and there should absolutely be consequences. However, the conflict between the remaining original members of Team Flash is also undermining some of the qualities that made the show so effective in the first place. They are the reason that we love this show, and we want to see the series recapture that magic. The final part of the Invasion crossover in Legends of Tomorrow offered some hope that we may be past angry and sad Cisco now that he’s got his own time travel screwup under his belt. Even if The Flash walks back that development next week, we are still eager to see where the writers take us in the second half of the season. This could still be a well-executed story that puts the characters through their paces before eventually getting them back on the same page. At least, that’s what we’re hoping for. We’re all about Team Flash, and they’re still the best part of this show.

How do you feel about The Flash season 3’s treatment of Team Flash? Let the lightning strike in the comment section below!

Images: The CW

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