So… that happened.
The Flash‘s premiere season crashed to a close in a finale filled with sadness, surprises and – of course – super speeding. But before we get to that, let’s go back to the beginning…
Harrison Wells (a.k.a. Eobard Thawne) explains his overall plan to Barry: he came back to erase The Flash from his time by killing him as a boy but was thwarted by adult Barry, then he lost his super speed. Now, his plan is to use the particle accelerator to effect time travel, allowing Barry to go back and save his mom and to send Thawne back to the future. The big question becomes… will Barry do it?
After a lot of soul-searching, Barry and Company decide to perform the time travel even though it will change all their futures. In the meantime, Stein convinces Eddie to go after Iris despite Thawne’s future predictions. And Ronnie and Catlyn get married.
Even though they realize that they could create an Earth-eating singularity if the their timing is wrong, Team Flash sends Barry back in time. But he decides not to save his mom, saying goodbye to her instead. Then he returns to thwart Thawne’s return to the future. Thawne fights back and – to save Barry and everyone – Eddie mortally shoots himself… thus preventing Thawne from ever being born.
Just as Eddie sacrifices himself for his friends, Team Flash discovers that they have indeed accidentally created a singularity which now threatens the planet. Barry decides to try to destroy it by running in reverse of the accretion disc to disrupt it.
And… fade to black.
What Hit the Target
Eddie, no! Poor Eddie is a character who started out a little boring but grew on me quite a lot over the course of the year. His self-inflicted death was shocking and brilliant. I really hope this isn’t the last we see of him.
After so much hand-wringing about saving his mother and resetting time to ‘the way it was supposed to be’, it was fantastic to see Barry make the decision to leave things as they were. It feels like Barry may have made that decision at the scene of the wedding, realizing in that moment that his family was those who had shared this particular journey with him. That was a great resolution to the season-long arc about Nora’s death.
Ooh, teasers! Jay Garrick’s helmet. Rip Hunter (soon to be on the spinoff show, Legends of Tomorrow). Cisco’s powers. Killer Frost. Hawkgirl. So many good things to come!
What Missed the Mark
It’s unclear at what point Barry decided to not save his mother. I’m hoping it was done on the spur of the moment once he had arrived back in time (perhaps this alluded to by the silent exchange with the other Flash), because if it wasn’t, it was an incredibly irresponsible and downright wrong thing to do given that he changed nothing and still knew he was putting in danger all of human existence in the process.
The huge, hovering singularity seems a bit too much. The rest of the episode felt very real and a natural build-up, but the singularity just seemed to come out of left-field story-wise. And how could Barry – even as superpowered as he is – defeat a black hole? It’s the only part of the episode that didn’t ring true.
Hopefully, the paradox created by Eddie’s death will be addressed when we return in Season 2. If Thawne had indeed been erased from existence, everything should have changed at that moment, since he would never have affected anything or anyone at all.
The Final Score
The finale is an appropriate mix of drama, decision-making and action. The first half is a little light on action, but everyone gets a nice moment to shine. What Barry finally decides to do – or not do – with his own timeline is perfect for the character. Eddie’s shocking death and the (supposed) loss of Thawne were something you couldn’t see coming. Add in the easter eggs and potential shake-ups to Team Flash, and the season goes out on a solid footing. Hopefully, the new season hurries up!
And the Quote of the Week is really two excellent Cisco quotes because I couldn’t decide:
“So long and thanks for all the fish.”
“May the speed force be with you.”