This hasn’t been the smoothest season for The Flash. The long delayed Savitar reveal and overall darker tone was ruining some of the fun. But over the last month, the show regained its footing culminating in the aptly named Finish Line.
As some folks predicted, it was HR who took Savitar’s shiv and died. HR seemed the most likely candidate to sacrifice himself to protect Iris. The one sticking point was how HR swapped places without Savitar knowing. I was glad the armor shard came back into play. It seemed random to just have that in the STAR Labs trophy case and it leading HR to Savitar made sense.
I figured the show couldn’t kill Iris off, but this was the most satisfying way to handle this season long mission. What came next proved the episode’s best and most emotional surprise. Barry didn’t want to just resort to fighting Savitar and instead tried to appeal to the good Barry still left in him. What I liked most about this was it was the heroic play and hopeful optimism are common attributes for Barry in the comic.
Still, this was a risky play, but I loved how contrary it was to the typical season finale showdown. Barry knew Savitar was/would be his fault. He’d already experienced discarding time remnants in battling Zoom and Savitar was no different. The moment when Iris reached out to Savitar was really touching. For just a second it seemed like this could work out, but Savitar appeared unable to forgive himself. Ultimately, this was a Hail Mary redemption play from Team Flash and Barry wasn’t shocked when Savitar tried to blow them up.
Unlike Supergirl’s season finale, which felt like everything was thrown against the wall, this final battle worked even with the reinforcements. Gypsy and Jay Garrick have played pivotal roles throughout the season so it made sense for them to return.
I loved that Cisco didn’t do the usual hostage route and play fair, instead rejiggering the Speed Bazooka to free Jay Garrick. The chase scene with Jay, Wally and Barry pursuing Savitar was amazing.
Julian’s odd absence last week was explained as he was off finalizing a cure for Killer Frost. In the end, Cisco left it up to her if she would return to being Caitlin. Good thing she opted to remain Killer Frost in order to save Barry from a Savitar sneak attack. Barry having the upper hand while in Savitar’s armor was a nice twist. But my favorite was Iris actually having to save Barry. Not to pick on Supergirl, no exactly to pick on Supergirl, both Caitlin and Iris saved Barry. And neither needed to make a huge deal about it.
Caitlin isn’t going to stay Killer Frost, but she’s not returning to STAR Labs either. That’s a smart move and allows for a fresh Team Flash dynamic. Maybe Tracy sticks around and gradually falls for the returning Harry Wells? I’m glad he’s back as he’s my favorite of the three Wells.
Barry and Iris didn’t have to worry about table arrangements as the Speed Force came calling, looking for a Savitar stand-in. The Speed Force is a real jerk. Barry decides he’s going to stay there as penance for his screw ups. While it spoils the happy ending (for now), I liked this resolution. Barry really did screw things up with Flashpoint and it’s time he faced some consequences.
I know cliffhangers are the rage for these CW shows, but Finish Line might have benefited from a happy ending. It’s not like Barry is going to stay gone. The big Finish Line question is how will Barry get back? This season already started off with him out of action during Flashpoint so that’s not an option. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Like the finale or disappointed that Barry and Iris can’t have a happy ending?
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW