The Flash had a delayed return following Crisis, but the extra few weeks was worth it as Marathon proved a fitting Crisis epilogue as we usher in a new era of the FlashVerse (?). We’re still work shopping a new name for the former Arrowverse.
We start off with a new opening sequence, which just felt like a nice touch that helps it stand out from the typical Arrowverse opening.
Oliver Queen’s last will and testament
Diggle comes to town with something for Barry from Oliver’s will. One aspect of the Arrowverse I can’t praise enough is how the writers fully committed to the notion that Barry and Oliver were the founding fathers and were extremely close as a result.
The gift is the first mask Oliver wore as Arrow, which Barry gave him. Diggle is confused since Oliver isn’t exactly the sentimental type. Barry analyzes the mask and finds some traces of Mirakuru. Maybe Oliver was worried a new stash of it was in Lian Yu and he needed Barry to take care of a final case for him? Thankfully, they ditched the running gag of Diggle vomiting every time he was zoomed around by Barry. Turns out it was a false alarm and just residue from Oliver’s last fight with Slade Wilson.
Diggle reaches into the Joe West book of motivation and tells Barry maybe Oliver was trying to tell Barry to find a balance between being a hero and living his life. Joe would be proud, Digg. Now hurry up and get situated in Metropolis so you can hang out with Superman and Lois!
I loved that Iris couldn’t help Barry and Diggle with the mask as she had her own issue to work out. It’s been very frustrating watching the lackluster handling of Iris since Season 2. As a reporter, she should help drive storylines instead of being relegated as the leader of Team Flash. That was never a good fit, not because she wasn’t qualified to tell Barry to run fast, but because she didn’t need to put her life on hold to commit 100% of her time to Barry’s interest.
Iris has a source that might have some intel on a group stealing tech and killing any potential leaks named Black Hole. Their assassin, the new Dr. Light, has a funky 80s vibe complete with shiny jacket that conjurers the hero’s old school costume and synth score. Iris isn’t able to keep her source alive, but after a pep talk from the master — Jesse L. Williams would make a killing on the motivational speaker circuit — she is able to take out Black Hole’s ringleader Joseph Carver (Eric Nenninger). And she did it without having to use the In Case of Emergency call Flash button.
So Long Ramon
Cisco is excited about Superman, Supergirl and Black Lightning, but he’s baffled why he doesn’t remember them always being part of Earth-Prime. To help make sense of this new world order, he’s made up a book of Who’s Who with trading cards of the various updated villains. That’s a nice touch to the DC encyclopedia that helped make sense of the post-Crisis world. Breaking that book down would be a fun bonus on the season Blu-Ray.
It’s not all fun and games though as Cisco is rightfully still mad at Nash for his role in Crisis. Easily one of the biggest failings of the crossover was not making it clear what exactly Nash did and his role as Pariah. In the comics, the character is forced to watch billions of Earths die. We never really got that from Nash Pariah and he doesn’t seem especially changed from his experience.
Later on, Caitlin catches him watching a relatively recent message from Harry on Earth-2. He was getting his memory back when the anti-matter wave wiped him out along with Jesse and the various Council of Wells. That was becoming a go-to crutch that stopped being funny two seasons ago so this was a smart way to end that gimmick. Of the various Wells, Nash is probably the most interesting of them though it seemed odd the gang didn’t mention Sherloque among the dead.
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Cisco questions if he’d kept his powers would he have been able to detect the anti-matter wave and save Harry? That’s an incredibly fair question. The writing team really made Cisco look selfish there as his powers weren’t some major threat to anyone and he had full control when he used them so it wasn’t this heavy burden.
Caitlin suggests he take a break and keep working on cataloguing the new metas running around. Looks like the rumors of Carlos Valdes taking some time away from the show were accurate although this is a lame way to write him out especially for the resident tech genius. And what about his relationship with Kamilla? Are they going to try the long distance thing? It seemed odd not to address that at all. Nash will run STAR Labs in his absence, which could be interesting even if we won’t have anyone around to name the villains anymore. And did anyone mention where Ralph was this episode?
Iris recalls her final conversation with her source who mentioned a mirror. Carver was the head of McCollough Tech and it sure seems like we’re building to Mirror Master again. Iris returns to McCoullough Tech and uses a key card to go a special office. It seemed a little suspect that Iris could get into the office after hours even with a key card. She looks around before uncovering a giant mirror and as she turns her back, two hands pull her into it. Intriguing.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Marathon got Flash’s 2020 adventures off to a good start with a final reflection (pun not intended) on Crisis as the team begins bracing for the season’s second half threat.
Photo Credit: The CW