The Flash Fast Enough recap S1, Ep. 23

After last week’s so good it could have been the season finale installment, ‘The Flash’ more than made good on its unique opportunity to neatly wrap up its spectacular first season with an epilogue episode that packed just as much emotional heft as last week’s epic superhero showdown. And if there were any doubts before, ‘The Flash’ made it clear that it’s now taken the lead as the best comic book based show on TV.

Tonight was all about Barry’s choice: go back in time and prevent Reverse Flash from killing his mother and living a normal life or retain status quo where he is The Flash and the only one who’s life is negatively impacted is his father, who would remain stuck in jail after being framed for killing Nora.

the-flash-fast-enough-Tom Cavanaugh as Harrison WellsWhile putting on a brave front for Barry, each of Team Flash knew there lives would likely be dramatically different if Barry made the deal with Reverse Flash (who wanted a ride home to the future for his assistance). The episode was a taxing one on the old Kleenex box as Barry sought guidance from his surrogate father Joe, his actual father Henry and Iris. Each of these moments were strong scenes paying off the season long investments in these various relationships.

With Wells/Eobard Thawne/Reverse Flash safely tucked away in a STAR Labs prison cell, Prof. Stein filled in as resident super genius. We haven’t had enough of Robbie Amell and Victor Garber this season and seeing how smoothly they were incorporated in the episode I kinda wish Firestorm would remain on ‘The Flash’ and not be featured in ‘DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.’ Caitlin and Ronnie have a quickie wedding that felt so rushed it seemed a given that one of them wasn’t going to survive the episode.

the-flash-fast-enough-Team FlashStein offers a pep talk to Eddie, who’s still smarting over Wells’ revelation that Eddie’s the nearly forgotten loser in the Thawne family tree, but Stein suggests it was no coincidence that Reverse Flash landed in the same time frame as his ancestor. Buoyed by the encouragement that his life isn’t predestined to be awful, Eddie reconnects with Iris. Candice Patton did an excellent job of portraying Iris’ inner conflict of feeling free to move forward with Barry after Eddie called off their relationship and now struggling to be excited about the prospect of a future with Eddie.

Stein provided the downside to Barry’s trip through time — he’d have to reach Mach 2 to travel through time and save his mother in less than two minutes otherwise a black hole would storm out of control and possibly create a global catastrophe. Every possible sign was making it clearer that Barry needed to abandon this plan as the risks were too great, but his quest to save his mother has been the dominant storyline all season and Barry had to at least put himself in position to save Nora — no matter the costs.

the-flash-fast-enough-wells-ciscoIt was nice that no one fully trusted Wells’ guidance at face value as the wounds from his betrayal are still far too fresh. Yet it made for a solid touch that Cisco was curious about how Wells did the costume ring trick. Tom Cavanagh had been killing it all year, but he’s been even more of a treat now that Wells can put his villainous nature on full display. In one of the best exchanges of the night, Cisco confronts him about killing him in an alternate timeline and Wells apologizes — not for killing Cisco as he’s sure he had a good reason — but that Cisco remembered. Wells theorizes that Cisco was affected by the particle explosion as well and has the gall to seek appreciation from Cisco for his gift.

Finally it was time for the moment of truth. Barry builds enough speed to create the wormhole and gets downstairs to see his future self battling Reverse Flash. Just as future Flash takes young Barry to safety, the cue present day Barry was awaiting to save Nora, future Flash spots his past self and gestures that he stand down and let Nora get killed.  Deep down it’s what Barry knew was the right decision all along and while his friends couldn’t make his decision for him, having his future self tell him to stay the course it was enough for Barry to make the painfully heroic sacrifice. But this trip to the past wasn’t a complete loss as Barry has an opportunity to say goodbye to Nora and tell her he’s alright.

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the-flash-fast-enough-grant gustin carlos valdes and robbie-amellBack in the present day future (it’s not nearly as confusing as it sounds) Wells boards the Time Sphere that Cisco created to aid his return to the future. In a fun tease, the helmet of the Jay Garrick version Flash comes through the wormhole and Wells wants no part of this possible encounter and prepares to go home just as Barry returns and smashes the Time Sphere.

Without the aid of Arrow and Firestorm, Barry is still not the equal to Reverse Flash, who pummels him and prepares for the killing blow when a shot rings through the chamber. But it’s not Eobard Thawne who takes the bullet, but Eddie Thawne, who kills himself to prevent Eobard from tormenting Iris and his friends. Jesse L. Martin and Patton were tremendous in their reactions. With Eddie dead, Eobard fades from existence, but not before his real face is revealed allowing Barry and Cisco to see the true identity of their tormentor.

Team Flash can’t grieve Eddie’s death for long as the worm hole has spiraled out of control and is now tearing up Central City — we get a few reaction shots from established characters like Henry, Capt. Singh, Captain Cold and Kendra Saunders aka Hawkgirl (Ciara Renee) — before Barry speeds off into the wormhole wrapping up season 1 with a major cliffhanger.

the-flash-fast-enough-Barry, Iris, Eddie and JoeI didn’t quite see the need for another episode after last week’s thrilling outing, but this was a necessary conclusion for several subplots as well as tease some very intriguing possibilities for Season 2. No sense in the show teasing Jay Garrick without delivering, right? On the comic book show front no offering was as consistently enjoyable as ‘The Flash,’ which proved being a hero can be fun while occasionally exploring more serious themes.

There were doubts if a show working with a CW budget could handle the demands of a character like the Flash, but each week those concerns subsided a little more with every outstanding effort to the point where anything is possible on this series and the wait for Season 2 is going to feel so incredibly slow.

  • keith

    Everyone shined tonight. people mentioned it about eddied jokingly, but who knew the show had the guts to pull the trigger….. (ha) I have to give the eddie character props for not being a mopey emo super villain in waiting and chose to say again, gee my crazed grandson just locked me up, if he didnt kill barry mom then my life would be okay, and i wont get the girl because again my crazed grandson will vibrate karate chop her in the chest if beats barry, who by the way was getting the living ish kicked out him. He need to work on his fight skills lol. The screen time for everyone was touching and I for one appreciate them not pulling smallville boredom on us. It is nice to see the right hero and one in general not be a dour downer ALL SEASON long. I swear that must of been a early 00’s thing. So glad the writers caught that. Also redeming the joe and iris characters to show them as humans who can forgive and still love each other as parents. Also got to give Shipp a round of applause. I was thinking the same thing ( and those who watch the flashpoint paradox) Know you there are a natural order of things. Cant bring those back from the dead. Death will find a way. He should know that from Final destination lol. Still with the time ex machina card that can be whipped out to bring back wells, The show like arrow will be completey unhinged now. They both had mommy/family issues that have been maybe resolved and now they have to focus on being the hero all the way. It took arrow just a bit longer than he should, and well it cost him his mom in front of his face.

    All in all you are right they could have been lazy and ended the season with wells getting put in the slammer, but to give a true ending of a season is just great. So here is a thought for a post for you. I will kick it off. SUPER HERO TV SHOW RANKINGS 2015: Lets go!

    1 flash- just kept getting better and didnt fall into the old tired traps. small misses used all its budget to great effect

    Shield-reluctant 2nd, Still ties into so much. Winter Soldier ( and internet gripping from folks) correct this becoming dud to a good placeholder on tv. Still too silly/goofy at times. Need to define itself quickly. Dont need to tie into every avengers movie if a cop out tie in or write it smoother. Highs the season opener against Absorping man, the final reveal to finally move the damn skye character along!!! Great depth into the may character, bobbi kicks arse like female shield women. hunter like him funny and fits the action role. Good job making ward just an unlikeable douche. Only way he can add to the story and wrapping up his still somewhat vague backstory(too much was made of it to me)
    Hyde!!!!! (bring him back). downside. still skye and friends, Fitz didnt get them lips lol, vague villiians( agent 33 anyone?) Yet with inhumans, a crazy azz cast of Cap 3. um.. skye is the limit? (ugh at myself)

    3Arrow- too mopey this season, felt he died/whined way too much, was batman 3 lite. Oliie still a douche to his friends, roy just felt in the way this season for way too much. Upside laurel is finally worth a damn after being a crying drunk. Her pops always bring it, shines attention having a drinking problem. Shows another side of a man with an axe to grind.. I see it tieing with shield once they get a little more on the hero side with flash and drop the dark stuff. Its time to maybe drop or end the island flashbacks halfway season 3. The mopey stuff this season, makes me not want to go through it if not done with some punch. Hong kong turned out better in the end. Yet i feel i wish hong kong was a season than flashbacks. Oh well.

    4 Gotham good points. looks well shot, have a budget, who doesnt like ryan atwood and donal logue, a cool version of alfred. started out with a cool cat girl/soon to be woman scene. I thought fish was hot at times, cant lie lol. Downside, punk azz cops are either cowards are downright evil, logic, BARB!!!!!!!! yet i like that they use rusty type writers and cell phones. I dont mind the gruesomeness, but felt like a horror show to much. Maybe need to be downed to 14 stronger episodes. 22 of this is hard if they be fakeouts and stupidity.

    The real winner is Daredevil- but its netflix and marvel set that up as a fourth to a long movie to me. Hells kitchen universe felt bigger, realer, and more important than when shield makes mistakes. Flash had to win with a less budget but Daredevil washed the stink off from that FOX movie.

    it really is a good time to be a geek/comic lover bro. Thank you for your hardwork on recaps. I dont know if it brings you more money as i hope it do, but you put the work. You go up hard agains the big boys like EW who i love as well but you make it great for us everyman. applause!!!!

  • Thanks man. I appreciate you reading and commenting on all of them. Definitely makes it all worthwhile hearing back from y’all and hearing your thoughts and what you all get from the episodes.

    Always cool reading the different perspectives!

    I’d put DD on even footing if it did 23 episodes as the format with no commercial breaks and 10 less episodes makes it a different animal than the network shows that have more restrictions.

    I was surprised Arrow ranked below Shield for you. For its faults, I still found this season to be more enjoyable than Shield, which was too erratic this year after a fantastic start with the new recruits and the remnants of Hydra still on the loose.

  • keith

    I would have to watch season 3 of them both again to rank it. Shield ending was more enjoyable. Where i felt like the last 7 episodes was felecity yelling/crying about ollie and some junk and he doing his best angry bruce wayne. I want a break from that bit and im glad to hear its going to be lighter. yet im happy they took a worthless character like his sister let her grow and be something. Strangely i find her hot/annoying yet funny. I give credit for that. I may just be blinded with Marvel juice. I been drinking since i was a kid. They more so tied. However I believe in the idea of shield more than what has happen. other points. glad raina gone. that kind of cleans up that season one crap. two still dont get why trip had to die???? freaking useless. I mean if a bro had to die it should been mac but hey he made it.. for now.

  • keith

    and the trip was one of the few males on the show that can actually fight lol

  • I may have been salty about Trip dying. Definitely felt like Shield stepped up the last 3-4 episodes, but they were really up and down to me.

  • Yep, just him, Coulson and Ward-ish.

  • Joey Henderson

    The Flash season finale was AMAZING. It was intense, emotional, and it left me wanting more.
    The Flash>Daredevil>Arrow

  • 🙂
    What was your favorite part?
    Did you watch Shield, Gotham and Agent Carter too?

  • Joey Henderson

    I tried getting into Gotham and Shield, but those shows definitely have a lot of flaws. Agent Carter is good, but I think Daredevil is obviously the best Marvel TV series. Also, my favorite part would probably when Barry talks to his mom before she dies, it made choke up a little and I almost teared up.

  • They’re definitely on the weaker end of the comic TV spectrum in my book too.
    I really liked that scene. My favorite was probably Barry talking with Henry. Very well done and shot.

  • keith

    Yeah the talk with Henry inspired me as a Dad. Like damn, thats how you deliver.

  • It was major. I enjoyed all of the interactions with Barry and both his father and father figure.