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

For three seasons now, The Flash has delighted fans of the CW and really taken the networks DCTV universe to new heights and popularity. I think the show has retroactively made people go back and catch up to Arrow as well as jumping right into Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl when they started. Barry Allen is a big deal through all the universes when he shows up. He’s also got an easily loveable team of charachters like Cisco, Catilin, Harrison Wells and Joe West. In this third season, the creators of the show picked up where we last left of and tackle the popular Flashpoint arc from the comic books. Warner Bros Home Entertainment will be releasing the full season, along with some bonus features, on Blu-ray come September 5, giving you ample time to refresh or catch up for the show’s fourth year.

Film 

Struck by the supercharged fallout of a particle accelerator explosion, forensic scientist Barry Allen becomes the fastest man alive:  The Flash!  With his newfound time-warping speed and help from the S.T.A.R. Labs team – Caitlin Snow, Cisco Ramon and Harrison Wells – and his adoptive family, Detective Joe West and Joe’s daughter Iris, the Scarlet Speedster runs circles around other metahumans set on wreaking havoc in Central City, while traveling between alternate universes and protecting our world from otherworldly threats.  Last season, new dangers arrived from a parallel earth known as Earth-2, under the direction of an evil speedster named Zoom.  In Season Three, Barry faces the unknown – as he irrevocably alters the timeline by saving his mother from the clutches of the Reverse-Flash.   The only question now is – as he wrestles with the consequences of his own Flashpoint Paradox, including the wrathful Speed God Savitar – will he be able to find a way out?

Flash’s third season brings back everything you’ve enjoyed the show, featuring a little bit more emphasis on the time traveling, and pretty much feels like its taking a victory lap. However, like I said, its brought back everything you liked, the problem is that its not really doing a whole lot new with the show. Its still running on all cylinders during this, its just so used to playing this game that it could sleepwalk through it. While I say this is the weakest season of the show thus far, I still enjoyed it and had my fun, but I’m not going to be blind to the obvious and not point out the issues with potential stale-ness that could lie ahead if they don’t change course.

With Barry Allen’s adventures, it hasn’t be completely apparent, but the third season has confirmed that the show has been running on a common blueprint to a T. Said blueprint was a precedent started in the show’s first and wildly successful season. They’ve just been cleverly trying to recreated now for the past two seasons. You can simply see this in the show’s villains. Each of them have been speedsters. All three have been a mystery through to the final couple episodes of the show. When their identity is revealed, it winds up being someone close to the group that they have just learned to put their trust in. And yes, I say even this season’s counts in that same fashion. There are many other details that repeat or play through, but this was the most obvious to introduce and point out.

One of the bigger issues with this season is its central love story of Barry and Iris. Grant Gustin has chemistry with virtually every single female cast member in the Arrow-verse (Seriously, he and Melissa Benoist’s is off the charts), but for some reason where it needs to count most, it isn’t there. Nothing against Candice Patton, who is a fine performer and incredibly gorgeous, but the show’s scripting did her much disservice leading up to this season with little “Iris is the worst” moments scattered throughout. A result is a bit of awkwardness and the two actors just don’t bounce off one another very well making this ONE TRUE LOVE type stuff feels very forced most of the time and hard to swallow. And to the show’s makers, it doesn’t HAVE to be. You can change things, you can carve your own path as you see it.

The Flashpoint stuff in the show also crafted a humorous “Damn it, Barry!” meme that floated around all season. Barry Allen’s selfishness or rash emotional decision at the end of last season and some peppered throughout here changed a lot of the dynamic and background on the show and the cool things is that the ripple was felt throughout the universe. For instance, John Diggle’s (From Arrow) life featured a change that was quite haunting. This was the cool aspect that kept things feeling a little more fresh than they were. We also were given further advancements in meta-human super heroes with Wally West, Cisco Ramon and Caitlin snow as Kid Flash, Vibe and Killer Frost.  Oh, and we get yet another terrific new multiverse other Earth rendition on Harrison Wells from Tom Cavanagh who really steps up his game in this season. And a new character from Harry Potter’s Tom Felton makes for a good addition, though it appears he will be short lived (Not returning for Season 4).

Crossovers are now a regular part of these shows and Flash is always the guy they want. Of course there is the Heroes VS Aliens crossover which I just found flipping awesome. The Flash and Cisco went and grabbed Supergirl and introduced her to the rest of the universe. However, Supergirl also returned for the Glee throwback musical episode of the show which was a total blast to watch. My only beef is that there was too much lull in between songs. Even with that, the throwback to prohibition area mob time, the songs with YES Victor Garber and Jesse L Martin  belting them out as well as the continued relationship between Barry Allen and Kara Danvers really makes this a jolt of fun that only these two shows could bring.

Even lesser Flash is still greatly entertaining for me as I love his world, characters, mythology and villains. But, this season served as a good heads up going forward. They are going to need to make some changes and shake things up, as the formula for the show is growing a bit predictable and tired. Its not going to be able to continue to be as terrific from here on out if they settle on it. This was a good last run with that iteration of the show, a trilogy capper of sorts. Here’s hoping we see the beginning of a new one with the show’s fourth season when it premieres on the CW this fall.

Episodes

Flashpoint

Paradox

Magenta

The New Rogues

Monster

Shade

Killer Frost

Invasion!

The Present

Borrowing Problems From the Future

Dead or Alive

Untouchable

Attack on Gorilla City

Attack on Central City

The Wrath of Savitar

Into the Speed Force

Duet

Abra Kadabra

The Once and Future Flash

I Know Who You Are

Cause and Effect

Infantino Street

Finish Line

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail:  The Flash’s third 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, Spanish (Castillian) 2.0 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 2.0 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish (Castillian), Spanish (Latino), Dutch, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

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 Third Season is a 4-Blu-ray Disc set and comes with an UltraViolet digital copy of the episodes and an insert booklet.

Disc 1

Villain School: The Flash Rogues (HD, 7:42) – This goes over the Flash’s bad guys and how they feel they have to up the ante every season with one that’s more “scary”. It mainly focuses on the ones in Season 3.

Deleted Scenes

  • The New Rogues (HD, 1:13)

Disc 2

Allied: The Invasion Complex (The Flash) (HD, 9:49) – Like the previous Arrow-verse releases, this one covers the Flash-centric side of the 4-night crossover event.

Deleted Scenes 

  • Invasion! (HD, :54)
  • The Present (HD, :32)
  • Borrowing Problems From The Future (HD, 1:15)

Disc 3

Rise of Gorilla City (HD, 9:08) – A behind the scenes focus on the character of Grodd and the Gorilla City 2-Part event.

The Flash: Hitting The Fast Note (HD, 4:08) – A little look back, making of/behind-the-scenes for the musical crossover. It also covers how much of a reunion this was for a lot of cast and all their backgrounds in theater and singing. They also highlight on the show’s composer for it as well and also reveals some of the bigger names that contributed songs to it.

The Flash: I’m Your Super Friend (HD, 2:43) – A music video (scene from the show with clips of the orchestra recording) for the most notable tune from the musical episode.

Harmony In A Flash (HD, 15:34) – A bigger, more flushed out version of the behind the scenes/making of.  Has a lot of the same interviews, soundbites and such.

Synchronicity In A Flash (HD, 20:59) – A full on focus of the show’s composer, the sound stage, and making the score for the show (Yes, the musical is the prime focus). There’s also a touch on the singing and dancing for the musical as well.

Deleted Scenes

  • The Wrath of Savitar (HD, 1:31)
  • Duet (HD, 2:40)

Disc 4

The Flash: 2016 Comic-Con Panel (HD, 29:50) – As is tradition, here is the full length San Diego Comic-Con panel that preceeded the third season.

A Flash In Time: Time Travel In The Flash Universe (HD, 21:47) – A really well put together featurette on the time travel in the show, coming from a history of time and space and travel. It includes Phil Cousineau, author of “The Heroes Journey” leading the way

A Conversation With Andrew Kreisberg and Kevin Smith (HD, 3:55) – This is the same interview that was included on the second season Supergirl Blu-ray, he talks about the first episode he did on Flash and the Killer Frost episode for Season 3 and making a bigger effects driven episode. Its an audio only interview that has an accompanying sizzle reel of clips from the shows. He goes over how the shows compliment each other and are very similar.

Gag Reel (HD, 4:04) 

Deleted Scenes 

  • I Know Who You Are (HD, 1:35) 
  • Finish Line (HD, 2:46)

Summary 

The Flash’s third season couldn’t keep up the pace with the previous two, but I was still plenty entertained and it remains one of my absolute favorite shows currently on TV. This Blu-ray continues to fall into form with great picture and audio quality just like all the other CW shows. They seem to have bumped up their extras game with all the shows from the past year which is a plus. Once again, its pretty much in line with what you have already and these are overall very nice sets and collector’s items for DC and comic superhero TV fans.

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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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