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The Flash: The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray Review)

While Arrow will always be the first and flagship show of (Even deemed) “The Arrow-verse”, The Flash has been the mainstay powerhouse for the CW network pretty much its entire lifetime. Five seasons and still going strong, with Barry Allen and company the most popular show not just of the DC TV superheroes but of the whole network at large. The Fifth season continued exploring and trying to find ways to tell stories where the main villain wasn’t just some other speedster. The season will be available on Blu-ray in time for those who missed it to catch up for the sixth season which should be another doozy, being a part of the upcoming Infinite Crisis crossover which is  going to be HUUUUUUGE. You can pre-order now to have it upon arrival August 27th.

Season 

Shortly after defeating The Thinker, Barry Allen/The Flash and his wife, Iris, were stunned by the arrival of their already grown, speedster daughter from the future, Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy). However, acclimating to their lives as parents won’t be the only challenge they face, as Season Five pits Team Flash against Central City’s latest scourge – the DC Super-Villain Cicada (Chris Klein).

In the Fifth season of the scarlet speedster, we get to focus on Barry Allen’s future and the unavoidable disappearance we’d been teased on the past four years with the addition of his daughter Nora. We also are given an adversary that isn’t a speedster again, and in the form of Chris Klein’s Cicada. Both additions to the show are a little hit or miss. Klein’s villain is wonderfully written and approached but his performance is Chris Klein trying far too hard and coming off as a bit much. Its fine for the most part but chuckle-worthy frequently. Nora is a bit of the opposite as Jessica Parker Kennedy is a fine performer, but the writing fails in a bit of a Scrappy Doo style trappings. But it all works out in the end, don’t worry.

The rest of Team Flash each has a pretty solid personal journey/arc of their own in the season, which actually is probably the most enjoyable aspect of it. As Caitlin Snow deals with the discovery of her father being alive, Cisco contemplates whether his meta powers are worth it anymore and Ralph Dibney continues to seek his place in the team but also question his detective profession. We also are given a brand new Wells to entertain us through, in addition to an older villain getting to take part once again. While I can argue business as usual isn’t heavy hitting, The Flash’s business as usual is still pretty damn good and engaging.

The Flash continued to provide consistency with their solid programming in the fifth iteration, though hopefully it can return to delivering some bigger punches again in the future. Still, this season was able to overcome some weaker performances and continues to have one of the better team dynamics of the entire CW superhero lineup (Second only to Legends of Tomorrow). Nonetheless, the show continues to be a charmer and is one that is well rounded, providing something for everyone.

Episodes

1.   Nora
2.   Blocked
3.   The Death of Vibe
4.   News Flash
5.   All Doll’d Up
6.   The Icicle Cometh
7.   O Come, All Ye Thankful
8.   What’s Past Is Prologue
9.   Elseworlds: Hour One
10. Elseworlds: Hour Two
11. Elseworlds: Hour Three
12. The Flash & The Furious
13. Seeing Red
14. Memorabilia
15. Goldfaced
16. Cause and XS
17. King Shark VS Gorilla Grodd
18. Failure Is an Orphan
19. Time Bomb
20. Godspeed
21. Snow Pack
22. Gone Rogue
23. The Girl with the Red Lightning
24. Legacy

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: The Flash’s fifth season continues to feature a top of the line picture, complete with being sharp and plenty detailed.  The texture of all the power suits and villain attire are visible by every little stitch almost.  It looks great.  Also impressive, is that the effects hold up and look every good considering the jump from HD television broadcast to Blu-ray.

Depth:  Movements appear as a cross between natural and cinematic.  No blur, unless you count the quickness of the Flash.  A lot of the slowed down action/speed sequences look very 3D as there is good spacing and looseness between characters, objects, effects and environments

Black Levels: Blacks are inky and good.  They help with furthering the definition of characters, objects and environments.  No detail that wasn’t intended to be was hidden and there was no crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are bold, and a bit more vivid and poppy at times compared to the Arrow series and more on par with Legends than it would be Supergirl.  Reds look very nice in this transfer, as well as yellows.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones primarily take on a natural look.  Some episodes can vary on that (some dark alleyways take yellow tinge), but for the most part that’s what we have.  Facial detail is very high, making clear well rounded visions of cuts, scrapes, freckles, dimples, make-up pores and stubble.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: The Flash is an action oriented show, and as such, this 5.1 mix knows how to perfectly present it.  The speed scenes, car crashes and explosions all burst into your room with a crisp clarity and well rounded sense of uncompressed fun. Its very similar and formulaic to the previous season and the other DC shows.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Engine hums, Flash’s bursting speed, guns, big ice blasters and action crashes get a nice thump from your sub woofer in a very good presentation.

Surround Sound Presentation: The front three channels gloriously present the action and onscreen movements back and forth with great accuracy.  Rear speakers tend be used for ambiance, but don’t count them out to surprise you during some action sequences and environments that are a bit more lively.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is crisp, clear and at the ideal placement in terms of volume.

Extras 

The Flash: The Complete Fifth Season is a 4-Disc set that comes with an episode guide insert sheet and a digital copy of every episode.

Disc 1

Deleted Scenes (HD, 9:42)

The Evolution of Killer Frost (HD, 11:31) – Danielle Panabaker, along with the show’s producers go over the character’s evolution, alterations from the comics and where they wanted to direct her and explore the character in Season 5.

Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panels San Diego 2018 (HD, 1:00:59) – Featuring footage of all DC TV super hero show panels (Likely the best moments) that are intro’d by some autograph session footage and some back stage interviews. I assume this exact feature will be on every show’s 2018-19 season set.

Disc 2

Deleted Scenes (HD, 3:22) 

Inside the Crossover: Elseworlds (HD, 45:01) – This set up like a talkshow, features a roundtable of the all DC TV shows’ creators discussion the big crossover event. It also features some interviews and thoughts from a few comic creators and writers (If you’ve seen DCAU Blu-ray special features, you’ll recognize many familiar faces). I imagine that this feature will be replicated on the Supergirl and Flash season sets that will be releasing soon after this Arrow set.

Disc 3

Deleted Scenes (HD, 11:07) 

Villains: Modes of Persuasion (HD, 38:05) – A rather terrific mini documentary on the history and psychology of the legendary and rich history of DC villains. Showrunners (Like David Goyer), producers, writers and more chime in to discuss the man across all DC shows (Not just CW ones, Gotham, Krypton and animated shows get their due as well). This, too, will be on the other sets as well.

Disc 4

Deleted Scenes (HD, 8:25)

Gag Reel (HD, 8:00)

Summary 

Another season, another solid entry for The Flash. Still a terrific program, I’m wondering how long a “business as usual” approach is going to last for the show. Its never hit the depths of Arrow’s middle seasons or the first dreadful season of Legends of Tomorrow, but it feels it wouldn’t hurt to edge out and take some chances again. This Blu-ray set comes with your typical great presentation for the show and features extras that repeat from other releases while having its own sole featurette to separate it from the pack. Another solid entry to your CW DC show collection on Blu-ray.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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