This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics
Each week Panelteers Chris and Ali sit down and chat about the CW’s newest superhero series, The Flash! The first season has passed by like a red streak. Let’s all meet at Jitters to work through our feelings about this finale. Cisco and Caitlin are going to bring the Barry-strength booze because we’re gonna need it. There will most definitely be spoilers and strong feels.
Chris: Thanks for joining us today. It’s gonna be a doozy.
Ali: I have a lot of feelings, Chris.
Chris: Me too, Ali. Me too.
Ali: I almost don’t even know where to start. So much is happening in this episode. And I know that’s how thing’ve gone all season with this show. But I’m still in awe of how much they can pack into 44 minutes each week.
Chris: I just got done excitedly explaining the finale to my fiance who was wondering why I was so jazzed by it. I just… kept talking. So much happened! Should we try and take it chronologically?
Ali: Episode chronologically? Or chronologically for Barry Allen’s life? It’s a time travel show! You have to be specific!!
Chris: I’m not even going to try to trace things from point A to point B because as our very own Paul Montgomery said earlier this week: It’s DC time travel. If it made sense, they’re not doing it right.
Ali: True facts! So the episode starts out with some classic supervillain monologuing. We get a huge info dump from Thawne-Wells about how he come to this time(line) and why he killed Barry’s mom. And as much as I could tell Tom Cavanaugh was loving being super evil, it was a really dry infodump.
Chris: I guess they just wanted to make sure you could keep up in case you missed the last 22 episodes? It was exhaustive.
Ali: I felt like I was reading an old Claremont X-Men comic! Luckily, things pick up pretty quickly after that and we dive in with Team Science plus Robbie and Dr. Stein!! YAY FIRESTORM!
Chris: FIRESTORM has been sadly absent from a lot of this season. He’s always been pretty fun when he’s showed up. More of him woulda been nice. It actually did feel like they were bringing together all of the threads we’ve been leaving all over this season.
Ali: There was definitely a LOT of threads brought together this episode. At one point I was worried they were tying everything up so neatly because it was going to get colossally blown up. And while they definitely blew shit up, we didn’t end up with a bizarro post-apocalyptic mess. Yet. Which brings us to the biscuits and gravy of the episode. Barry and his decision to travel back in time and save his mom. Because we needed a way heavy episode to balance out the light fun we’ve had all season, apparently.
Chris: We’ve been sort of dealing with it the whole season, but all the sudden it became the main crux of everything. And I’ve got some thoughts: I haven’t been quiet about my distaste for the “she needs to stay” dead thing that they pulled in the Flashpoint comics. That doesn’t mean I don’t think you can pull some drama out of all of this. They probably went about it in the best way possible, but I’ll get to that. Not to mention: Why was everyone so down to rewrite history and possibly destroy the entire planet just for 1 person’s life? I know they all love Barry, but priorities, people.
Ali: I LOVE that Cisco was like, “WHY?” He recognized all the danger a serious damage this could do not only to Barry, but the rest of the world. I was also a bit surprised that Barry’s dad was pushing for Barry to not go back. On the surface, Henry has the most to gain by Barry going back: he’d get his wife and entire life back. He should have every reason to want Barry to change the past, but he doesn’t. He love his son and the person his son has become.
Chris: There was a LOT of dad stuff in this finale and it all hit me like a ton of bricks. Whoof.
Ali: Speaking of dad stuff, I was really surprised Joe pushed so hard for Barry to go back. I know it was from a place of love and wanting to see Barry have a chance to grow up with a “normal family”. But he had to know it would erase their whole relationship. I think what I really loved the most about this episode was that it used the fantastical to get to the heart of a very human conflict: if I could change my life, would I? I’m almost surprised Cisco wasn’t cracking It’s a Wonderful Life references.
Chris: It also got to the heart of found family vs. biological family, which has kind of been a backseat theme of this whole show even if I just realized it while watching this episode. Team Science isn’t just a team. They’re some of the most important people in each other’s lives. It’s something a lot of shows strive for, but I really think The Flash pulled it off. These people are family.
Ali: It’s a really well constructed show.
Chris: Yeah. This really did do everything I look for in a finale. It didn’t just wrap up everything we’ve been working on. It played it from a new angle and made me really excited for the future. I wanted the next episode the second the credits hit.
Ali: Right?! And not just because of the mega-cliffhanger. I just needed more of this story and more of these characters I’ve grown to love over the past 22 episodes. Speaking of which, I’m not sure I’m ready to talk about Eddie. But we should talk about Eddie. *grabs box of tissues*
Chris: We had to get there eventually. In the last recap, I had said I really wanted Eddie to double down on being a great guy and kind of double swerve us on him becoming a villain. I guess I got what I wanted… Dang. Kind of wish I didn’t. This was rough. Victor Garber convincing him he mattered was a fantastic scene. Eddie’s talk with Iris was A+ stuff all around. And then that gunshot.
Ali: Chris, I screamed when it happened. Not just yelled. Screamed. I really thought my neighbor was gonna check on me. I’ve been saying from very early on that I love what a good and noble guy Eddie is. How in love with Iris he is, how much he wants to protect Central City, what good partner he is to Joe. My heart may belong to Cisco, but I am very firmly Team Eddie. I’m going to backtrack a bit with Eddie because I want to talk about his conversation with Dr. Stein about the number Thawne-Wells did on him. We’ve got an Eddie who’s had a bit of time to calm down and process what happened to him the last couple episodes. And I like that Eddie could get the perspective from someone who is, to him, a complete outsider how special and important Eddie is. I think he needed it and I’m glad he got that talk. And I’m really, really glad he that scene with Iris. They gave Eddie good closure BEFORE HE SHOOTS HIMSELF TO PREVENT THE REVERSE FLASH FROM BEING BORN WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
Chris: It’s so much to deal with. I’d normally say it was rushed, but having it all happen so fast made the payoff that much more intense. I can’t wait to see the fallout of all of this next season. It’s got to be a driving force or else why are we even doing this?
Ali: I think it will be. Eddie was really entrenched in everyone’s lives. He’s Iris’ nearly fiance, Joe’s partner, and when you get down to it Barry’s friend. I think everyone it going to feel this.
Chris: We’ve got to talk about the Cisco/Wells-Thawne scene. We already touched on how there was a lot of dad stuff. This was the inverse of all of that. Thawne apologizing to Cisco, then saying it wasn’t because he killed him, but because Cisco could remember it was one of the most vicious things he’s done. Which is saying something. WHAT A DICK.
Ali: I wanted to Cisco a hug. He really needed a hug. Because while Thawne-Wells straight up murdered Cisco, he treated him like a son. And before the murdery thing, you could tell that Cisco saw Wells as more than a mentor. So there’s this awful amount of betrayal Cisco is dealing with. And Thawne-Wells is just enjoying twisting the knife. But. BUT. We learn that Cisco can tap into certain VIBRATIONS most likely as a result of the particle accelerator explosion. Vibe, Chris! I think we’re getting Vibe next season! Do you think Cisco will give himself the name? I think he will.
Chris: I’m actually hoping someone else gives him the name. It only seems fitting. I want him to spend a few episodes coming up with really dumb names for him that just don’t work. He keeps changing them but can’t find one he likes. Then, out of nowhere, someone will call him Vibe and he’ll be head over heels for it.
Ali: I’ll take it! Chris, we haven’t even talked about what happens when Barry does go back yet. Or the singularity threatening to swallow the world. OR THE WORMHOLE MONTAGE!
Chris: Oh, the Barry Allen, This is Your Life montage? FLASH MUSEUM, ALI. FLASH MUSEUM. KILLER FROST. Stuff from that Legends show also…
Ali: JAY’S FUCKING HELMET. I was gonna save that for the Lightening Round BUT I CAN’T EVEN CONTAIN MYSELF!!
Chris: Ali, I gasped. Like, loud enough that it scared my dog. Why would a hat do that to me? How?
Ali: I punching and jumping on my couch when it happened. I think Thawne’s “That’s my cue to leave” also made that moment perfect. There are more Flashes, Chris. And the Reverse Flash is frightening of them.
Chris: AS HE SHOULD BE. One last thing before the lightning round – They did the Superman Birthright ending with Barry’s mom and it makes me so mad because that is the SADDEST ending and it broke me. Those jerks! He just wanted her to know he was okay!!!
Ali: I was for sure crying. I’d say I cried all the tears but I did that for Eddie. Anyway! It was heartbreaking scene and Grant Gustin did SO well with it. While I am very much NOT of fan of moms being fridged, I was really glad Barry got this moment of closer. I kind of wanted to punch future-Barry for preventing current-Barry from saving his mom. But I guess, at the end, Barry needs to be the Barry of his timeline. OH!! And did you notice Barry’s mom said, “You look just like my father,” before realizing it’s Barry?!
Chris: Yup! I’m not even sure I can keep talking about all of this. Last Lightning Round of the season?
Ali: “May the Speed Force be with you” and “So long and thanks for all the fish”. Cisco’s references were making me very happy this episode.
Chris: I love that we have 100 percent confirmation that the Speed Force is a thing in this show. I’m so excited about that going forward. It means they can pretty much do anything they want with Barry’s powers and they have a perfect cop out explanation for every dumb speed trick they want to pull. As part of my lightning round I want to give a shout out to Victor Garber for being one of those actors who can make mountains of sci-fi nonsense sound like it makes perfect sense. Dude has his PhD in exposition.
Ali: I think my favorite line from him was when they were talking about sending Barry back in time and he goes, “It is at that time I plan on shouting Eureka! or possibly Excelsior! I am uncommitted.” I just love how, even when he’s really excited about something cool, he’s really level headed. But speaking of machines, how excited was Cisco to build a TIME MACHINE! One that would impress Rip Hunter!!
Chris: I loved that he was super against this entire plan and then of course you give the guy a chance to build a time machine and he’s gonna do it! Still kinda wish Rip Hunter had showed up at the end just all “WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE DOING? WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA?”
Ali: And Cisco would be like, “Not me, dude.” And then they would become time-traveling science bros.
Chris: Anything before we sign off until next fall? Any specific thing you’re excited about next season?
Ali: Oh man. I didn’t realize it until after the episode was over, but we got a glimpse of Hawkgirl. HAWK. GIRL. She was in the crowds on the street like Cold was. I AM VERY EXCITED ABOUT HAWKGIRL. Oh! And Caitlin and Robbie getting married was the most adorable.
Thanks to everyone for running alongside us this season. It’s been a blast. Your feedback has been invaluable and we’ve always looked forward to it. Thank you for spreading these recaps and enjoying this goofy, wonderful show with us. We’ll see you all on the other side of the singularity next season. Until then, may the Speed Force Be With You.
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