- Jeff Beck
The Flash: The Complete Eighth Season: A Fun and Exciting Penultimate Outing (Blu-ray)
If you've been watching "The Flash" since its inception, you've probably noticed that, by this point, the show has fallen into a somewhat predictable pattern where a big baddie (or baddies) will emerge for a season, and Team Flash will use all of their skills to bring them down. However, even with a pretty predictable pattern, the show has remained solidly entertaining as we watch our heroes outwit the villains time and time again, which brings us to the eighth season of this long-running superhero adventure. As we've had to ask in the past, will this latest outing continue the streak, or will it be the one to show that perhaps the show's gone beyond its prime?
Like the previous season, season eight is split into a few different stories, which include some interludes in between. It begins with an epic five-episode event known as "Armageddon," which has an alien known as Despero (Tony Curran) coming back in time to kill Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) because he believes him to be responsible for the end of the world in ten years. Obviously believing this to be false, Barry, Iris (Candice Patton), Caitlin/Frost (Danielle Panabaker), and the rest of Team Flash go about trying to prove his innocence, while having to deal with other metahuman attacks and a deeper mystery that begins to unravel. Later in the season, the team finds themselves up against an entity that incinerates people with a black flame, as well as an old adversary that isn't quite done tormenting our heroes.
As mentioned, this latest season continues the previous season's structure in which a few different stories are told, with interlude episodes linking them together. Doing it this way has its own pros and cons, just like trying to tell one story for an entire season or splitting it into two, but for the most part it has worked pretty well. It could have easily felt unfocused or a little too all over the place, but most of the stories are pretty strong, with "Armageddon" being a solid epic opening to the season.
Likewise, "Death Revisited" is a fascinating mystery that unfolds in a compelling manner, featuring some intriguing twists and turns along the way as Team Flash confronts a deadly, manipulative foe. Even the interlude episodes feature some captivating adventures, including an episode that has Barry and Iris' kids traveling back in time to 2013, and another that has Barry aging rapidly. The only main story arc that comes off as a little weak this season is the final set of four episodes ("It's All Negative"), which features a story that actually is a bit all over the place and a little too convoluted for its own good.
That being said, on the whole, it was another fine season of a show that has had remarkable longevity. However, even with that being the case, it is probably for the best that the show will be wrapping up next season. As was mentioned up top, its pattern is overly-familiar at this point, and while it's been a fun journey along the way, it's time to give the show the big, suitably-epic finale it deserves as perhaps the best superhero show on television. It's certainly going to be interesting to see how they attempt to top what's come before, but if past seasons are any indication, it's sure to be just as satisfying.
"The Flash: The Complete Eighth Season" comes to Blu-ray in a 16:9, 1080p High Definition transfer of excellent quality. As usual, the picture is flawless throughout, highlighting the show's extensive visual effects work. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is equally impressive, giving you all of the dialogue, score, and sound effects in outstanding quality. Overall, there isn't a complaint to be had in either area, with DC & Warner Bros. delivering another great experience for the fans.
The DC Heroes: Path to Glory (17 Minutes): A featurette that explores DC's superheroes, with a primary focus on Superman and The Flash.
The Flash: Standing the Test of Time (9 Minutes): An intriguing featurette that looks at the show's use of time travel.
Gag Reel (9 Minutes)
Deleted Scenes (Spread across all four discs)
"The Flash: The Complete Eighth Season" brings our heroes back for another exciting outing, featuring mostly exciting and compelling storylines that put them up against deadly villains new and old. The show's pattern may be overly-familiar at this point, but even in its eighth year, it still provides a solid amount of entertainment as it prepares to deliver what is sure to be an epic final season.
Available on Blu-ray starting tomorrow.
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