REVIEW: The Flash: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray
When The Flash arrived on the CW, it was pitched as the anti-Arrow, a feel-good series about the joy of being a superhero. After all, the title character (Grant Gustin) was wearing a crimson and yellow suit; hard to be moody in that.
As with all CW superhero series, it was quickly over-populated with too many powered supporting players, frequently taking the focus off the hero. It also grew too reliant on speedsters, the Speed Force, and time travel, so a sameness was infused throughout each successive season. There was every reason to believe this was to be the final season, so it was plotted as such. They could have done better. Much better.
With The Flash: The Complete Eighth Season now on Blu-ray from Warner Home Entertainment, we see how weary the producers and writers had become, seeking to find ways to pump new life into the show. We began with the five-part “Armageddon” crossover event that aired separate from the remainder of the season, featuring a boring Despero (Tony Curran), who wasn’t a conqueror as a misguided figure trying to preserve one timeline. Yawn. At least we were minded that the Scarlet Speedster operated in a world with other heroes as it guest-starred, among others, the Atom (Brandon Routh), Black Lightning (Cress Williams), Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh), Ryan Choi (Osric Chau), Mia Queen (Katherine McNamara), and Batwoman (Javicia Leslie).
The rest of the season juggled multiple storylines, mostly involving or dealing with the repercussions of Iris (Candice Patton) suffering from time sickness. We also get the introduction of Tinya Wazzo (Mika Abdalla); in the comics, she’s the 30th Century legionnaire known as Phantom Girl. With so many threads, quite a bit of time was with Iris and Sue Dearbon (Natalie Dreyfuss) chasing Tinya while the rest of Team Flash dealt with other silliness, including yet another speedster Fast Track (Kausar Mohammed).
The most interesting developments were non-super as Allegra (Kayla Compton) grew into her role of a journalist, and Caitlin Snow (Danielle Pennebaker) coped with the loss of her alter ego, Frost. And these were downplayed in favor of familiar storylines. With a ninth and final season in the offing, one can hope for a more satisfying resolution for the characters.
All 20 episodes are presented with a strong 1080p transfer in 1.78:1. For such a colorful series, it requires a good scan and here we have it, along with a solid DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track, capturing every sound effect and music cue.
The discs are packed with a handful of Special Features, notably 22 minutes of deleted scenes, some of which focused on character bits and are missed. There is also The DC Heroes – Path To Glory (17:00), focusing on the larger DCEU; The Flash – Standing the Test of Time (9:00), looking at its overuse of time travel; and the ever-popular Gag Reel (10:00).