Fall TV Preview
Arrow Season 5 Review

Reviews: The Flash, Arrow and Legends Return, Plus Supergirl's CW Arrival

The CW’s superhero slate hits the ground running on Tuesday, Oct. 4, when The Flash reveals its strange new world, followed by the returns of Arrow (on Wednesday), Supergirl (Monday, Oct. 10) and Legends of Tomorrow (Thursday, Oct. 13).

Since the comic books-based quartet — to a greater degree than ever (punctuated by the upcoming four-way crossover) — share a universe (if not an Earth), here’s a side-by-side(-by-side-by-side) review of their premieres, in the order they air.

Flash Season 3 Review

grade_A-THE FLASH | Not surprisingly, The CW’s super lineup puts its bets foot forward with The Flash‘s Season 3 premiere, which straight away explores the ramifications of Barry traveling back in time to stop Reverse-Flash from killing his mother. As Grant Gustin foretold, this is a curated spin on the famous Flashpoint storyline — meaning, Barry is not aghast to realize what he hath wrought, but rather is quite OK with it. As Barry gloats to Eobard Thawne (played with the right amount of comic book-style flourish by Matt Letscher), he now has it all, with his mom alive and Dad never imprisoned, while a new, don’t-call-me-Kid Flash bears the burden of keeping baddies at bay. There’s only the matter of Barry having never gotten close (let alone close) with Iris West, but that sets the stage for sparkling scenes (as well as surprises that delight), thanks to the chemistry between Gustin and Candice Patton.

Of course, all is not really right in Barry’s new world, he comes to discover, and that ignites the engine that drives the rest of the opener — and introduces us to the slightly (or majorly) altered incarnations of other familiar faces (Danielle Panabaker has never been more charming). As anticipated since Flashpoint was hinted at in the finale, The Flash‘s return is a tremendous amount of timeline-tweaking fun, though the premiere closes with a gut-punch of a twist.

Arrow Season 5 Reviewgrade_A-ARROW | Whereas The Flash is light on its feet, Arrow is back with — thankfully — what promises to be one of its more grounded, grittier seasons ever. There has been no convenient reuniting of the team during the off-season; rather, Diggle is back in soldier mode in Chechnya, while Thea is thrilled to have shed her bloodlust once and for all, now working as chief of staff to “Mayor Handsome” (as the papers dub him). Yes, Oliver misses the bull’s-eye as a politician, burning the candle at both ends as he is (and going solo on the nighttime streets at that). Running comms, Felicity is still is his ear (if nowhere close to his bed) and pushing for staff additions in the form of some independent vigilantes she has scouted.

Green Arrow would be wise to sign off on some new sidekicks and quick, seeing as the Quentin Lance-less SCPD has been overrun by dirty cops, while new menaces now loom in the form of gangster Tobias Church (played by The Walking Dead‘s Chad L. Coleman with a gravelly and intimidating Zoom-like voice) and an extremely dark archer.

Perhaps the best news is that the fifth and final round of flashbacks are, one could argue, as compelling as the current-day narrative, as Oliver locks horns with Anatoly Knyazev and the Russian Bratva, looking to make good on his promise to… hmm, I want to say “Taiana”? (You know, the girl from the island.) Stephen Amell spent much of the summer trumpeting a return to OMG stunt sequences and brutal brawling, and he would seem to be spot-on in that exciting assessment.

Will (and why would) Dig and Thea suit up again? How will any new recruits acclimate to Team Arrow? And are any of the season-opening wrinkles the result of The Flash‘s Flashpoint timeline tinkering? Leaving us with those questions and others, the Arrow premiere suggests a solid Season 5.

SEE PAGE 2 FOR SUPERGIRL AND LEGENDS REVIEWS

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65 Comments
  1. Joey Padron says:

    Excited to watch new seasons of all 4 DC shows. It’s gonna be great to have 4 DC shows every week this fall!

  2. ndixit says:

    Apart from Arrow, which I refuse to watch at this point, I am excited for everything else’s return. I was a little on and off with Supergirl last season. And having to share the timeslot with Gotham poses a problem for me because I find Gotham to be strangely addictive. The Flash is amongst my top 2 favorite shows right now. Problem is that my other top two fav is B99 which shares the same timeslot. LoT will battle Superstore for the final spot which it will probably win.

  3. Diana says:

    Good to hear there are great scenes for Barry and Iris in store for us :) Their chemistry is a real highlight for me. I hope we get to see Kid Flash a lot this season (but I suspect he won’t have powers (yet) when Barry undoes Flashpoint). A little nervous about that twist at the end. I’m actually looking forward to the new episodes of all four shows.

  4. JC1 says:

    Disappointed to hear that Legends is still struggling. :( It’s still my favorite of the four shows, although I’m well aware that it’s not, objectively, the “best”. I thought this year, having shed the dead weight of Vandal Savage and the Hawks, things would be better. I did have an uneasy feeling, however, reading some of the interviews with the writers, that they might have taken away the wrong thing from what didn’t work last season. I guess we’ll see how it goes.
    .
    Other than that, I think maybe I’m the most excited for Supergirl. I’m eager to see how Tyler Hoechlin fits in as Superman. Flash I’m curious about because of Flashpoint, but they had a serious sophomore slump last season, so I’m not as enthused as I might have been otherwise.

    And then there’s Arrow. Which I’m still watching despite my enthusiasm having been beat down rather badly by the last two seasons. I’m hoping this get-back-to-their roots push will bring back what I used to enjoy about the show, instead of the increasingly absurd plots and “twists” and contrivances. The flashbacks sound interesting – that will be a positive change at least.

  5. Butch says:

    Thank you for the reviews and all the promotion you are giving the DC shows. I thought Felicity makes an appearance on The Flash, perhaps it is not in the first episode. Looking forward to a good season of Arrow after last year’s disappointment. Hopefully it will resemble the first year as the flash backs lead to the pilot.

    • CK says:

      Felicity is in 3×02. It was announced at The Flash’s SDCC panel. They were very tight lipped about what she’s doing there, so I am intrigued.

  6. Jason says:

    what does “being made a whole cloth” mean as it relates to Kara on romantic front? I don’t understand what that phrase means

    • Cate says:

      I thought it was just me that didn’t get that! Hopefully it means they will ditch the Kara/ James romance as that just didn’t work for me at all. Mehcad Brooks is pretty but James was kind of dull as a character

      • Marie says:

        I’m also unfamiliar with that idiom. I had to do an internet search and found (according to the internet) that it is apparently an American idiom which means “to fabricate a story or a lie.” In other words, “if a story or excuse is made up out of whole cloth, it is not true.”
        I’m still unsure what that has to do with Kara’s romantic story line. My best guess is that the article author is alluding to something being said (or something happens) between Kara and James that is so far-fetched that it seems to be a lie and that neither party comes of looking well. *shrugs*
        If that is the case, I too hope this means that the show will be ditching the Kara/James romance because for me they had no chemistry and the writers’ attempts to force a romantic spark into existence between them was making their scenes annoying for me to watch. James is a really nice guy (and I actually liked him and Lucy as a couple), but sometimes two characters just don’t work romantically. And for me, Kara and James absolutely did not work.

        • Jc says:

          Ohhh yeah i agree 100%. I dont even know why the writers are still trying to put them together since most of the fans on facebook, twitter and almost all the sites that review supergirl dont like that pairing. Hopefully they break them up soon.

          • stacy030 says:

            I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate when should listen to all the fans. Hate it!!! It’s why these shows will never be great. They are all about fan-service and don’t actually care about making a good story. The fans aren’t writers. It’s why Arrow sucks now, because the fans liked Felcity so they made the show all about her and completely ignored all other characters.

        • Jason says:

          Lucy and James had maybe 5 or 6 scenes all of them were arguing or just sitting there while he talked to kara. So to be honest the only way you could have seen “chemistry” was just that you didn’t want james with kara. I personally liked James and Kara together even if the above articles use of idioms is confusing

          • Marie says:

            My dislike of Kara/James can co-exist with a like for Lucy/James and one not have anything to do with the other. I could just as easily have liked both pairings and would’ve been content to live with the writers choice. That has happened for me before on other shows, but that simply has not been the case for me here on this show. You’re obviously not omniscient, and to arrogantly presume that my dislike of one couple is solely related to the dislike of another comes off as a self-entitled, dismissive, petty and snotty rejoinder of someone who can’t stand that other people have opinions that differ from their own. If you like Kara/James then good for you, but don’t presume to know what I think or why. It’s a big world and plenty of room for all opinions, whether you (or I) like those opinions or not.

    • Gospino says:

      Fabricated, a new creation, coming from out of nowhere, basically. In the context of this article, not a good thing. I’m thinking it means that the romance is not logical.

      • Jason says:

        I googled it too but that does not make sense given how the potential romance was treated seson one?? all that set up for nothing? I wish the article would have used better wording to tease it

        • Jc says:

          Yeah the wording doesnt make sense i think what i got was theyll start fighting or something and it might be the beggining of the end of their relationship?? And also most of the fans either didnt care about the relationship or hated them together so i dont think many fans will really care.

          • Jason says:

            Thats not really true, The karolsen fans I saw loved their potential and the people that disliked it were mostly shippers than wanted Kara with Cat(yeah it didnt make sense)

      • Trisha says:

        Based on another review I’ve read, my guess is that the two decide they need to go their separate ways, before they’ve even started the relationship. That doesn’t seem logical based on how the season ended. If so, I won’t be disappointed as the two had zero chemistry. But, I hope they don’t push her to Winn either. Frankly, I didn’t see anyone in season 1 that Kara had romantic chemistry with, except for her real life husband, which I don’t think is a direction that the producers will go.

        I understand why they would have more Cat on the episode as she is not going to appear a lot this season but, I’m really not looking forward to an episode full of her, or Superman either for that matter.

        • Jc says:

          Ohhh can you please tell me where you read that other clue where they might be going their seperate ways before the relationship even starts? Ive seen mehcad brooks hyping up their relationship on the show during the summer. If its true damn even the showrunners know that relationship has no buzz lol.

          • Jason says:

            you sound like a supercat fan..the entire show had issues its first season..its why its on the cw.

          • Jc says:

            This is a response to jason since i cant reply to you for some reason. Eww no im not a supercat shipper nor am i a kara and winn shipper. Both james and winn sucked as a lobe interest and winn became more interesting once they stopped trying to pair him up with kara while james only purpose was that of a love interest and that is why no one is really interested or like him much. And also ypu cant deny there is more negativity than positive buzz with the kara and james pairing.

        • “I didn’t see anyone in season 1 that Kara had romantic chemistry with, except for her real life husband”
          .
          Couldn’t agree more. Neither James nor Winn is working for me as a love interest but Kara’s chemistry with Adam was genuine and electric. I didn’t even know he was her husband until after the episodes aired! He should be her love interest. He’s the only one that works.

          • Jc says:

            Ohhh yeah i like winn but him and kara should just remain friends. And from almost all sources ive been reading on it looks like kara and james break up or something.

          • stacy030 says:

            Once Winn moved from his “in a nice guy, so you are obligated to date me” attitude, he became kind of ok but I still don’t really like him.

          • Yeah, Winn’s reaction was disappointing. James also annoyed me with his jealousy towards Barry like he had some claim to Kara. Entitled, the lot of them lol. Pick Adam, Kara. He’s cute, sweet, totally into you, and he will inherit Cat’s empire. It’s a no brainer hunny! ;D

    • Sue says:

      After Barry/Iris’ chemistry, Kara/James’ seems too forced as the chemistry is just not there. I’m glad it’s being ditched, but hope that doesn’t mean Supergirl is the one who is coming out this season.

  7. Diana R says:

    Flash, Supergirl and Legends are definitely must-watch tv!

  8. Micaela says:

    Since I only watch the flash I can only comment on how excited I am for its return and everything you’ve teased has given me even more reason to be excited I’ve heard a lot about the twist at the end and I’m so nervous and excited to find out what it is. Big Yay for Barry and Iris…finally. Hope we get to finally see a healthy romantic relationship with them looks like they flash is going to exceed my expectations way more than they did in the first half of season 2 (which I like to pretend never happened). Thanks for always pulling through with the Iris and Barry and Iris scoop as always

  9. Maggie says:

    Westallen is boring I just want to know what happened to team flash. I need my Carlos and Danielle fix

  10. Bella says:

    Thanks for the initial reviews! Looking forward to The Flash, of course, and I’m really glad that Westallen is pivotal in Flashpoint.

  11. myrcellasear says:

    My body is (not) ready for Flash, because Westallen is going to end me.

  12. Simone says:

    Looking forward to the premier of my shows (flash ,Super girl,legends) Arrow is dead to me the day they killed laurel… Miss my Cisco dearly.. My Barry and Iris , love them.. Catlin ,Joe even Harry… As you can tell the flash is my favorite

  13. Phun says:

    Really excited when DCTV starts back up on THE CW next week. Especially looking forward to seeing how the change in networks has affected Supergirl. I just hope to see more of Cat Grant than just 2 episodes.

  14. ndixit says:

    I will admit I am worried about the gut wrenching twist at the end of the ep in The Flash premiere. The Flash has been good at not killing off main characters outside of Eddie. I would love to keep it that way but if there’s anything Arrow has shown me, it is that this set of execs love to kill characters in all sorts of ways.

  15. Bill says:

    Looking forward to (in order) Flash, SuperGirl then Arrow and then way last is Legends. Season one of Legends got real slow and boring at times. At least they dumped the terrible HawkGirl and HawkMan pairing

  16. Butch says:

    No speculation about the gut punch ending on The Flash? They have said Joe is going to be in a bad place because of something to do with Iris . Could it have something to do with that? Or, could the man Barry thinks is his Dad actually be Jay Garrett from Earth 3 and his real father died in the new time line? Pretty far fetched.

  17. Alexis says:

    Thank you for the review. I can’t wait for the flash. I’m excited for Iris and all her storylines, Joe, Wally, as well as westallen.

  18. Kelly Green says:

    I hope James Olsen’s character gets more development in the new season of Supergirl. In season 1 he was just Kara’s love interest but I would had liked more scenes of his friendship with Winn and Cat Grant. I get some people don’t like him but I feel it didn’t help that most of his scenes was him being jealous over Kara, thinking of Kara, etc. I’m also really happy that they casted a black actor for the role. I’ll be disappointed if they don’t show Clark Kent’s friendship with James in S2.

  19. QueenB says:

    The Flash didn’t suffer a sophomore slump it was well received by critics and fans and didn’t lose viewers. However, I’m hoping the writers reuse the friend is actually a foe reveal that they’ve done the past two seasons. At this point these people shouldn’t trust anyone.

    • QueenB says:

      Don’t reuse

    • Robert Dassler says:

      For me The Flash Season 2 is to The Flash Season 1 what Ghostbusters II is to the original Ghostbusters. A lame retread/rehash of the same ideas but nowhere as interesting the second time around. Plus, they took 23 episodes to tell a story that could’ve been told in 12. A poor show all round.

  20. Fan says:

    Can’t wait for the Flash, I haven’t watched Arrow since mid season 2 and I will never again it’s absolutely terrible. I could take or leave LOT and I might check out Supergirl particularly with Superman appearing.

  21. Abbie says:

    Looking forward to the flash the most

  22. Lex says:

    I’ll only watch Legends of Tomorrow if they keep the top notch job of keeping the voices of the production crew in the actual tv episodes.

  23. Mark says:

    I enjoy all these shows, so I’m looking forward to their premier. But I’m groaning at trying to fit them into my schedule, especially Arrow on Wednesday where I already have Survivor and I’ve picked up Lethal Weapon and Designated Survivor.

  24. 134sc says:

    I am very happy to see that ARROW has been getting positive reviews. When the show is at the top of its game it is by far my favorite. Admittedly, it hasnt been at that quality since season 2. Heres hoping it can get somewhere close in season 5.

  25. Looking forward to The Flash. It’s my second favorite CW show and everything I’ve heard about the premiere so far sounds wonderful. Can’t wait to see Barry with his mom and dad, billionaire Cisco, Harry Wells, and I’m sure those “sparkling” Westallen scenes will be an absolute delight.
    .
    I’m so-so on Supergirl and definitely not please with their choice in Superman but I will tune in for Cat Grant and Hank Henshaw. I also want to see if this Lena Luthor bears any resemblance to the incomparable Tess Mercer.

  26. Woo says:

    I am willing to give a supergirl a second chance however I just hope they don’t compare her with superman, superman is an icon Character although I understand it’s her show they shouldn’t deconstruct superman to make supergirl good.

  27. Dave says:

    I am quite excited to see the new seasons of Arrow, Flash, Legends and Supergirl and can’t wait to see how the 4 way crossover works.

  28. pem says:

    Definitely looking forward to the return of Arrow. My favorite!

  29. woo says:

    I admit I laughed at your comment since that’s not I meant, they made superman below supergirl in season one, anyone familiar with superman and supergirl know they are equal.

  30. Robert Dassler says:

    I take it that in the new timeline Barry is no longer a meta-human since The Reverse Flash won’t get the chance to kill Dr Wells, steal his identity and jump-start his work on the Particle Accelerator thereby causing Barry to get his powers sooner than he would’ve done.

  31. sexygod says:

    ok..all shows were great ad cant wait for d new seasons but Arrow season 4 was little bit off didnt enjoy em..maybe because Felicy was talked about more dan d rest, i think her part is annoying and de make her kinda d lead role instead of oliver and his sidekick…she so annoying..CW u guys betta work on dat cos i might just tune away wen i see her on screen…for d rest, am dying of anxiety here..Start the show already….!!!…alhaji smooki

  32. BeckyBoo says:

    Legends is hilariously bad, just a terrible show all round in my view. I don’t watch Supergirl and Barry is the most disgustingly self-centred, selfish ‘superhero’ I’ve ever seen. Suffice to say, I’m only looking forward to Arrow – although, in the same season they’re touting as ‘back to basics’ with ‘gritty realism’, they’ve now announced its 100th episode will be about aliens. It beggars belief. These shows have a lot to deliver on this season.

    • AMB says:

      They also have 12,000 newbie vigilantes, one of whom, hold onto your hat for this piece of idiocy, WEARS MAGIC RAGS.

      Magic. Rags.

      “Back to basics.” Yeah, okay.

  33. AMB says:

    Legends is just a deeply stupid show.

  34. Brigid says:

    Looking forward to The Flash the most, Supergirl, LOT and hoping Arrow stops being a ridiculous soap opera and get back to Season 1 goodness. Killing off Moira and Laurel and leaving Malcolm alive has truly hurt this show. Writers, please for the love of GOD, stop writing for the fangirls and write your story. Nothing worse than changing your plans because the few vocal want something one way, because those of us who watch and aren’t Tweeting want to watch your creation. Let them write their own shows! Thank you!!

  35. Cherry Watson says:

    Thank you for the wonderful reviews of all four shows. Arrow and The Flash are my favorite, however I love all four of them. Unfortunately to my disappointment I just found out as a Dish Network customer we no longer get the CW channel. “I AM DEVASTATED.” If anyone out there has Dish and lives in WV please complain to them. I already called and relayed my disappointment. Thanks everyone!!!!

    • Rex the Wonder Dog says:

      Time to switch to DierctTV, or cable. I’m assuming you are in a deep fringe area and can’t use a rooftop antenna or rabbit ears to just watch it directly from a local broadcasting station.

  36. Azrael says:

    I agree with Maggie. The whole West Allen romance seems forced and boring. The Flash was a lot better and more fun when we got to see Barry Allen and Caitlin Snow interact more.