Wednesday, February 08, 2023

The Flash (CW) Season 9 Premiere: Wednesday Ever After

As a society, we are more diligent about vetting prospective Jeopardy hosts and superhero actors than presidential candidates. Maybe if the media that has spent so much time digging into Jeopardy’s Mike Richards and Ezra Miller had devoted a little more attention to Biden’s Afghanistan plans (or lack thereof), we could have avoided a humiliating debacle. So, what if the next movie Flash will be played by a weirdo with legal problems? Still, moralizing fans have a point: there already is a perfectly competent TV Flash. Season Nine might be the end of the line for his series, but the season premiere happens to stand alone relatively sturdily. It is time to do the time loop again in “Wednesday Ever After,” which premieres tonight on the CW.

Evidently, The Flash and his wife, Iris West-Allen, survived a lot of crazy time-related chaos in the previous season, so they have just finished a week of recuperation. Of course, the series’ new super-villain, Captain Boomerang, choses this inopportune time to strike. However, his nuclear shenanigans inadvertently trap The Flash and West-Allen together in a time loop.

There have already been a whole heck of a lot of time loops in film and television, including recently the “Leap, Die, Repeat” episode of
Quantum Leap. However, “Wednesday” still manages to come up with some fresh wrinkles. In fact, it rather effectively uses the loop to contrast the married couple’s very different approaches to the future. Allen has meticulously assembled all his notes from the future into a blueprint for their lives together, whereas West-Allen steadfastly insists on the right to make her own choices—sort of the super-heroic time-travelling version of the free will versus predestination debate.

Of course, there is a lot of stuff be much more meaningful for viewers who have been with
The Flash since the pilot, but it is pretty easy to figure out how each character relates to the speedy hero and how much they know about him from the context of the episode. Naturally, another major new super-villain is teased at the end and plenty of continuing subplots remain unresolved, but that reflects the nature of the comic books the show is based on. There is always the next issue and the next episode.

Grant Gustin and Candice Patton show some nice chemistry together as the Allen/West-Allens, especially in the way they come to grips with the time loop. Obviously, they have a good handle on these characters by now. This might be the easiest episode of the new season to view on its own, ironically because it is constructed around a repeating time loop. Recommended for fans of DC, and in this case, the
Groundhog Day subgenre, “Wednesday Ever After,” The Flash season premiere airs tonight (2/8) on the CW.