The Flash Season Finale

‘The Flash’ Season 1 Finale Review

If there’s anything Barry Allen has learned in the first season of CW’s The Flash, it’s that time travel is a tricky business and is best left unexplored.

The season finale had Barry go back in time to the night of his mother’s murder, concluded the epic Reverse-Flash story arc and ended on a major cliffhanger. All in all, it was a befitting way to cap off the show’s first run and get viewers excited about season two.

After a string of action packed episodes involving psychic gorillas, superhero team-ups and a riddler like villain played by Mark Hamill, this episode started off a little slower, zeroing in on a particularly difficult choice Barry has to make.

“Fast Enough” opened with Harrison Wells, who’s actually Eobard Thawne, spelling out his plan to Barry after being defeated and captured in last week’s episode. We learn that his reason for killing Barry’s mother was because he and Barry are sworn enemies in the future and he wanted to prevent him from ever becoming The Flash. Yet upon being unable to return to his own time, he had to make sure Barry did indeed receive powers and then use him so he could return to the future. Hence his creating the particle accelerator.

Thawne then offered Barry the choice to use the particle accelerator to save his mother while he would return to his own time. From there, the first half of the episode centered around Barry wrestling with this decision and consulting his team members about it. While people like Iris and Joe encouraged him to take the chance and save his mother, his own father advised against it, saying that everything happens for a reason.

And while the whole internal struggle element of “should I do it/should I not” did get a little dry and repetitive, the episode’s climax made it worthwhile. After deciding to take the risk and race through the speed force to go back to this fateful night, Barry went back on his decision as soon as he arrived, unwilling to change everything good that ended up happening in his life.

Nevertheless, though he did not change his mother’s fate, Barry did get to say his goodbyes to her in a pretty heartfelt scene, which was made all the better by Grant Gustin’s stellar performance.

The last five or so minutes of the episode are when things really soared. Just as Thawne prepared to return to his own time, The Flash then leapt through the particle accelerator. This of course led to their final showdown, which ended with a really clever twist on the part of the show’s writers.

As Reverse-Flash was about to put down his opponent and the wormhole created by the fractured space-time continuum quickly resurfaced, Eddie sacrificed himself in order to erase Eobard Thawne’s existence, being his ancestor. It was a moment of real triumph and redemption for the character as he died in Iris’ arms, telling her that all he ever wanted was to be her hero.

Yet even after Thawne faded into oblivion, Barry was still left with a wormhole towering over Central City and about to create a global catastrophe. It seems though we’ll have to wait until next season to see how this chapter concludes, as the finale ended with our hero running around the wormhole to try and counteract it.

Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and the entire cast and crew have delivered one heck of a freshman season with this series. What’s great about The Flash is that it revels in its sheer comic book propelled ridiculousness, offering viewers exciting and fantastical adventures on a weekly basis. Unlike its sister show Arrow, The Flash is less interested in trying to ground its characters in a world reminiscent of the real one and instead just wants to have fun. And what a fun time this season was.

“Fast Enough” wasn’t perfect, and as mentioned did dwell a bit too much on Barry’s existential crisis; but overall it brought closure to a storyline which has been developing all season long and offered us a taste of what’s to come in the fall.

If nothing else, we’re sure to get even more outstanding special effects in season two. The wormhole scene at the end of the episode was so good it made me wonder how they do stuff like this on a TV budget. If anyone writes a book about the making of the series, you can bet I’ll be one of the first to buy it.

In addition to the wormhole predicament, Eddie dying and Caitlin finally marrying Ronnie, fans got a nice Easter egg during a scene between Cisco and Thawne (or Wells). As Cisco revealed that Reverse-Flash killed him in an alternate dimension, Thawne told Cisco that his ability to retain this memory means that the particle accelerator affected him. In the comics, Cisco becomes the superhero Vibe, who has sonic vibration abilities and has most recently appeared in Geoff Johns’ New 52 Justice League of America run. This scene all but confirms that Cisco will eventually take on this alter ego in the show somewhere down the line.

This episode also had a lot to do with fatherhood, as Barry sought advice from both his biological father and from Joe, whom he referred to as Dad. It’s an interesting dynamic here as Barry’s father is both an honorable man and his hero, but Joe is the one who raised him. I like how the series has built on its family themes all throughout the season.

And while it kind of stinks that Reverse-Flash is gone, given that he’s such a great villain and Tom Cavanagh is a phenomenal actor, I’m interested in seeing what new foes Barry will face next season. There’s also the fact that comic book characters rarely stay dead so we may see Thawne again. One thing’s for sure: Gorilla Grodd better come back.
 
 
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