The CW’s Arrowverse is always expanding. Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow each occupy a different corner of DC’s TV universe. The Flash was created after the success of the first season of Arrow. Grant Gustin stars as Barry Allen, a forensic scientist who was struck by lightning and fused with dark matter, making him the meta-human speedster known as the Flash. While balancing his job as a CSI, he has a crusade to take down the man who murdered his mother. There are many reasons to love any of the Arrowverse shows, but here’s why The Flash is the best.
Unlike its companion shows, The Flash doesn’t force the relationships with its protagonists. On Arrow, there was a big focus on Oliver’s relationship with Felicity Smoak at the beginning of the third season. This progressed to the fourth season to the point where Oliver’s plot to take down Damien Darhk took a backseat. This would make sense if Arrow was a different show and not an action-focused comic adaption. While comic adaptions often take their own direction, Arrow has become a soap opera that uses the names of comic characters.
In the first season of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Leonard Snart‘s relationship with Sara Lance felt too forced. It felt like they threw it in to please fans before “killing” Snart off in the penultimate episode of the first season. Ray Palmer and Kendra Saunders’ relationship is another that feels like writers were forcing a relationship. It wasn’t long after Carter’s death, and Kendra moved on rather quickly. The brief love triangle between Jefferson and Ray was rather that seemed unnecessary.
Throughout The Flash’s current run, Barry Allen has great chemistry with Iris. It doesn’t feel forced like the other Arrowverse shows. Everything feels natural when they’re on screen together, and not just because they are together in the canon. They also didn’t have Iris move on from Eddie‘s death quickly, but instead, it took a full season. The writers have had fun teasing other love interests with Barry too, such as with Linda and Caitlin. These weren’t meant to be serious — Barry’s relationship with Linda was brief and his moments with Caitlin (one of them was actually Hannibal Bates disguised as Barry) were meant to be just fun. Either way, Grant Gustin is a great actor, so he has a natural chemistry with any actress and love interest.
What more is there to say? Tom Cavanagh is arguably the greatest actor on any Arrowverse show. Cavanagh first appeared as Eobard Thawne masquerading as Harrison Wells. He quickly made a great impression and delivered a stellar performance throughout, especially when Eobard revealed himself to Cisco. Despite his villainous actions, Cavanagh’s performance made a good portion of the audience sympathize with Eobard.
After Eobard was seemingly erased from existence, the writers made sure we didn’t see the last of Cavanagh by introducing Earth-2 Harrison Wells. Cavanagh once again proved why he’s the greatest actor on an Arrowverse show by portraying a caring father who would go to extreme measures to protect his daughter. While Earth-2 Wells initially appeared to be an antagonist, he returned to Earth-2 a better man thanks to Barry and Team Flash.
The Flash has its share of flashbacks, but only a small handful and only when it’s necessary for the story. On Arrow, there are flashbacks every season that coincidentally ties in with the current season’s plot — how convenient. While it was nice at first, it’s too on the nose having something haunt Oliver Queen five years later every year. We don’t get a season-long flashback story of Barry’s childhood that ties into the current season; we get brief stories of his childhood that relate to something specific in a particular episode.
The Flash is a show with lighter tones. Arrow chose the gritty Batman-esque path that sometimes gets a bit too dark. While The Flash dips into the darker side from time to time, the show is known for its more fun and upbeat moments. Central City is the fun city after all. Legends of Tomorrow may not be as dark as Arrow and has its share of fun, but The Flash has the perfect balance for a live-action comic adaption.
Introducing the Multiverse
The Flash introduced the concept of the multiverse. With the multiverse in play, writers have more freedom around what they can do with characters. That means that favorites who are dead on Earth-1 could make an appearance as doppelgangers in Earth-2. The best part of that is the fun they could have; like making Earth-2 Deadshot have the worst aim ever.
With any action, there are ramifications. Many TV shows, including the Arrowverse shows, often downplay the ramifications of actions and events. Characters quickly forget about major, world-changing events, acting as though these things never even happened. On The Flash, however, Barry often faces the positive and negative ramifications caused by time travel. The show deals with the ramifications well, such as in “Flashpoint“, where Wally is fatally wounded and unable to recover quickly. This leads to him facing his past and allowing Eobard to murder his mother. His initial actions lead to greater ramifications when the timeline is still harmed, even though his mother is killed. Despite his mistakes, Barry once again tries to fix the timeline but not before Jay Garrick stops him. This teaches Barry that no matter how much you try to fix a timeline, it’ll remain broken.
On the other hand, on Arrow, Felicity redirects a nuke and inadvertently kills tens of thousands of innocent people. The remainder of the fourth season hardly picks up on her regrets. Team Arrow now has a casualty of Havenrock, but her guilt should never have left the first place.
Disagree? Here’s why the other Arrowverse shows are better.