Not Your Typical Woman: ‘Flash’ gives the cold shoulder to Dr. Snow

Will Hyde

“The Flash” excited audiences all over with its debut, late last year. Despite mass success and general approval, “The Flash” is several steps behind other DC TV shows of 2015. 

The writers of “The Flash” have regurgitated the same shallow, feel-good comic adaptation that got the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man franchise in trouble. It lacks any sense of genuine character development or authentic emotions, even in the face of death and heartbreak.

What’s worse, despite existing in a fictional realm full of irrational events, “The Flash” manages to make less sense as each episode airs. “The Flash” robs villains of their actual origin stories, in direct contrast to Gotham’s singular backstory done in style and composure. 

“The Flash” slaps viewers with lazily united backgrounds, as all super powered characters stem from the same nearly impossible event. It is not limited to just the Flash — somehow dozens of mentally unstable criminals are afforded the same impossibility. 

As for the women in “The Flash”, viewers are left confused. Dr. Caitlin Snow, arguably the main female character, played by Danielle Panabaker, only speaks up to mention her latehusband or to express her concern for Barry Allen (Flash). “The Flash” stays in most viewers’ comfort zone, only allowing women to serve limited and helpless roles. 

Viewers are asked to invest in a TV show that includes shockingly few women. Central City, in contrast to Arrow’s Starling City, is a ‘50s-esque, light-hearted metropolis stricken with petty criminals and vapid females who are saved by well-to-do white heroes. 

“Flash” not only fails to employ female characters evenly, they forgo reasonable depictions of the only two lead women they bother including at all. Iris (Flash’s love interest and now, oddly, his adopted sister) and Dr. Snow (co-scientist at STAR labs) rarely receive any amount of prolonged or meaningful screen time. When they are briefly in a scene, they are often defined or accompanied by their love interest or the Flash himself. 

Dr. Snow’s storyline, widely interpreted as the origins of ice-villain Killer Frost, offers little significance at this point. As creators have decidedly chosen, Dr. Snow receives virtually no screen time to develop either her current bio-engineer persona or her more exciting Killer Frost incarnation.

The lack of women in “The Flash” is not just bizarre—it appears downright purposeful. 

“The Flash” airs every Tuesday on CW at 7 p.m. C.T.