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For this week’s episode, and season finale, of The Flash, “Finish Line” is quite the appropriate title. Not only are there so many meanings behind the phrase, but there are questions that it raises for next season and the future of the series. If you were lucky enough to catch it live, then you were a witness to one of the coolest scenes in super hero television in a some time. If you haven’t seen it yet, then you should probably go and do so before finishing this sentence. Warning: There will be a lot of spoilers ahead.

Things pick up right from last week’s episode ended. Iris had just been stabbed and Barry was left to hold the love of his life as she slowly passed away. But as many of you out there guessed it, Iris actually survived the incident. However, in her place was HR. Having felt so much guilt, he ventured out on his own to save Iris. He found her thanks to the help of a piece from Savitar’s suit. He set her free and used his device to change himself to look like Iris and for Iris to look like HR. Killer Frost would eventually catch up to them, but instead of recapturing Iris, she was taking HR and Iris was able to walk away looking like HR. When things finally catch up to the present, Iris reveals her true self to her father and HR reveals himself to Barry. Sadly, HR’s wound was fatal and he died on the footsteps where Iris was supposed to die.

Savitar creates a contingency plan to trick Barry and Iris intro trying to save him. Instead he uses the Philosopher’s stone to damage STAR Labs. Meanwhile, he’s had Cisco held hostage working on modulating the Speed Cannon so that Savitar can create versions of him that would exist in all instances of time. Allowing him to essentially become a god and create chaos among the world. Unknown to Savitar, though, Cisco rigged the cannon to actually set Jay Garrick free from the Speedforce. With him, Flash, Wally, Cisco, and Gypsy, the team engages Savitar and Killer Frost in a final battle. It end as Barry phases himself into Savitar’s suit of armor forcing his time remnant out. Barry spares his life and destroys the suit. As Barry walks towards the rest of the team, thinking that he’s won the day, Savitar begins to run towards him. A shot rings out as Iris shoot’s Savitar and he disappears as the time paradox eventually catches up to him.

After a funeral for HR, Barry and Iris return home to what they think is a happy ending. However, since the release of Jay Garrick and without Savitar, the Speedforce becomes unstable. It needs a prisoner, it needs a speedster, and Barry Allen understands this. He says his goodbyes and enters the Speedforce. All is quiet again in Central City, but Barry Allen and The Flash are no more.

What a great beginning and end to a solid season finale from The Flash. This episode had a wonderful balance of everything you need from a show like this. First of all, it resolved most, if not, all of the issues presented throughout the season – Iris lived, Savitar was defeated, HR found purpose among the group, there was closure to Caitlin’s story, and the future seemed to be back on track to whatever crisis The Flash is going to deal with in the future.

The death of HR

Immediately after the penultimate episode aired, many of you took to the internet to guess the outcome of the final scene. And to no one’s surprise most of the internet was correct. As for the reason why the internet was correct, the consensus wasn’t 100% but be happy that most of you got it right. There were definitely some interesting theories out there. One concluded that the Iris that died was a time remnant. But as you all saw, the correct answer was that HR had taken Iris’ place. Some had argued against the theory because promotional clips had shown HR on the rooftop after Iris had been stabbed. No one seemed to figure out that the switch had gone both ways.

It’s very sad to see this version of Harrison Wells die. He was definitely the most likable one and, thus, had to go. Hopefully there will be a new version of Wells to watch for next season. It’s become quite fun and a great gag to get a new Harrison Wells each season and then having to watch Cisco adjust. But if the season finale was any indication, it looks like Earth-2 Harrison Wells will be back. It makes sense considering Jesse and Wally are somewhat of an item and it means more time with another speedster. Whatever happens, we’ll miss you HR.

HR finds his purpose

While his death was very sad (see above), it also gave great meaning to his character. When it was revealed he was a fraud, it became a mission for HR to find some kind of purpose among the group. And while it’s terrible that he had to give his life for it, if he had died without finding his purpose, the Flash fandom would have erupted over the internet. This was something definitely pulled out of Joss Whedon’s book. A lovable character is made, you let your audience fully sympathize with said character, and in the final moments, rip that person away.

Closure for Caitlin Snow

It’s probably not hard to imagine that many fans wanted their original Caitlin Snow to come back. She was the perfect partner for Cisco. A key member of team Flash, it all changed when Barry created Flashpoint. Like it did in the comics, it had a huge impact on the show, and this was one of them. Sadly, fans may never get their Caitlin back, but the season finale showed fans of the show and comic will get the best of both worlds. A cure exists thanks to Julian, but would it have worked? Viewers may never know. For now, Killer Frost is here to stay, but Caitlin Snow will continue live on inside of her.

Savitar defeated and the return of Jay Garrick

Everyone knew it was going to happen. The only question was how. And, boy, the show did not disappoint. First, they release Jay Garrick from the Speedforce. How cool was that? Did it ever occur to you that Jay Garrick would be released by the end of the season? And in this fashion? Admit it, some of you out there forgot that Jay Garrick was even trapped in the Speedforce. Also, if you finished reading The Button arc over in DC’s comics, then this was an even more special moment. Second, that epic shot of our team of super heroes getting ready to take on the so-called god of speed and Killer Frost.

This was definitely one of the best displays of all of their powers. Then in that final moment, Barry phases himself into Savitar’s suit and forces his time remnant out. So how come he didn’t phase into his time remnant and end up killing him? It could be he forcibly phased him out of the suit. But that would take some great control. That’s something that Barry’s doesn’t seem to have at this point. Could he be more powerful than the show is letting on at this point? It’s possible. In the end, it was Iris who would end up saving Barry at the end of the fight. It was a little off-putting that she was completely un-phased that she had just killed someone. Did anyone else feel the same? Granted, he did just try to murder her earlier in the day. So she gets a pass this time.

That final scene…

What the Speedforce wants, the Speedforce gets. It had been mentioned before that the Speedforce always needs a Speedster. It’s why Savitar was inside, it’s why Wally became trapped, and it’s why Jay Garrick stayed behind. When the Speedforce came for Barry though, words were said that made the situation a lot more grim that it may have been. For instance, it said that Barry’s “race” was over. What did it mean by that? Obviously this can’t be the end for Barry. But like Iris said, the Speedforce was hell for Jay and Wally.

So now what? This question gets asked a lot. How will Barry come out of this? Will he even come out of it? Assuming he some how makes it out, Iris will probably be the one to pull him out again. At the very least, she should be the reason he finds a way out of the Speedforce. The show has stuck by it’s guns with the whole “Iris is Barry’s anchor” concept. So this seems like a promising idea. Another idea is that Barry will have fulfilled his time in the Speedforce. Is there even such a thing? Who even knows?

The list of ideas goes on, but one last thought before it’s time to leave. The thought that time will have passed while he’s been in the Speedforce. When Barry comes out of the Speedforce (and he will because there’s no way they’ll make people watch an entire season, or half a season, in the Speedforce), what time will it be? Remember, the Speedforce exists at all times. Barry could essentially spend a week inside, but come out 10 years after he went in. He could also spend 10 years inside, but come out seconds after going in. Meaning, while everything would be the same to viewers and team Flash, he’ll have a decade of experience under his belt (good or bad).

No matter what happens, this is as big as the end of season one when Barry raced up buildings and debris to close a giant wormhole. It may even be bigger than Flashpoint because there is no changing this timeline. He’ll have to live with whatever he sees when he comes out of the Speedforce. Chances are it won’t be gummy bears and gum drops.

The Flash will return to Tuesday nights this fall on The CW with season four.

Category: reviews, TV

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