Skip to main content

The Flash Season One Finale Review (S1E23): 'Fast Enough'


The words 'heart' and 'chemistry' are sometimes used to describe a television show. It's rare but when a series clicks it can be an enormously satisfying experience. It can take a couple of seasons (if a network has any confidence at all) to build an audience and develop its characters. Rarer still is a show that develops an emotional center and chemistry in its first season. For the CW's Arrow spin-off, The Flash, it has become a comic book fan's dream in its reverence for the source material and its ambitious storytelling. The season one finale,'Fast Enough,' wore its heart on its sleeve leading to a world of possibilities for next season. The Flash has become that show that has hit all the right notes in its debut season making it the rookie of the year. 


The question that hangs over the episode is 'should Barry go back in time and save his mother?' Barry is conflicted because changing the past could alter his present life and possibly wipe out every relationship he has as he knows it. If his mom lives he'll never move in with Joe and Iris and never meet Cisco and Caitlin. He seeks advice from the father figures in his life. 

Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne, despite being a sociopath, has learned to have affection for the present Barry while harboring hatred for future Barry. He explains he has a chance to save his mom by using the particle accelerator to break the time-space barrier and open a wormhole that could help return Thawne to his time. It's a deal with the devil, but one that has Dr. Martin Stein's sees as scientifically feasible albeit dangerous. 

Joe encourages Barry to change the past but obviously feels torn about being erased as his foster father. This leads to another emotionally honest scene between the two. Joe, as played by Jesse L. Martin, has been for the majority of the season the voice of reason, the conscience and soul at the center of Barry's life. He's always been there to offer advice that Barry would take to heart but oftentimes ignore. The last episode, for example, 'Rogue Air,' he warned Barry about the risks enlisting Captain Cold to help transport the pipeline villains. Still, these heart-to-heart talks are nothing new to the show and that's why they resonate so much in the finale. This is the genuinely loving relationship that is expressed in this otherwise superhero action story. The Flash is not afraid to make their characters vulnerable at times to exhibit human emotions. It's quite a feat for any show, but it's especially remarkable for one based on a comic book. 

If your tear ducts couldn't take anymore, Barry also talks to his biological father, Henry, in prison. Again, Grant Gustin does some award-worthy work as a man conflicted who wants to do what he thinks is right, what he's been trying to do for most of his life, and that's to prove his father's innocence in the murder of his mother. Henry explains that he's proud of the man Barry has become and that his mother wouldn't want him to take such risks. Henry believes the events of the past shaped the person Barry is now.  John Wesley Shipp also shines, as he has all season, as the nurturing and loving father who's been wrongly incarcerated. It's another dimension added to the growth and maturation of Barry as he expresses his inner turmoil.

Ultimately, he decides to try and save his mom. An encouraging word from Iris settles him a bit before racing around the tunnels of STAR Labs on his way to that night years ago. He arrives in his old bedroom and as he attempts to intervene in the killing of his mother his future self waves him off. Barry has to painfully allow his mother's death to happen while only being a few feet away. He races to her side moments later and is able to tearfully tell her that he and his dad are well in the future. It's another heart-wrenching scene that works because this is where we've been led to all season. It's a sad but satisfying conclusion to this storyline.

Wells prepares to return to his time through the wormhole in a pod, "Rip Hunter would be proud of," when Barry bursts back to the present crashing into him. The pod rests in pieces and Wells is enraged. Wells eventually gets Barry by the throat promising to kill everyone he cares about after killing him. Suddenly, a shot rings out and it's Eddie, the ancestor to Eobard Thawne, who takes his own life to save everyone sending Wells into a painful death. Eddie became the hero he thought he never would be, the irrelevant pawn of fate as Wells had informed me. His future was in his own hands, the only one in this story as Dr. Stein had told him that could change his destiny. In the moment, he sacrificed himself to save others rewriting his legacy. 

Eddie's death opens up a bunch of questions like wouldn't it mean that Eobard was never born and was never able to kill Nora Allen or build the accelerator that would create so many meta-humans? Does this mean that DC's multiverse has arrived on television? Wells told Cisco he too was affected by the accelerator because he can recall what happened in the timeline where he died. Does this mean we'll see him as his comic book persona, The Vibe? In this timeline or another? It sure looked like Jay Garrick's helmet that popped out of the wormhole. 

So many questions to answer next season. The real emergency and cliffhanger that sets everything up was the singularity that opened up wider and wider swallowing up everything in sight and where Barry was last seen trying to close it. 

The Flash was able to do what many shows have a hard time doing. It kept the spirit, wonder and fun from its source material while developing its characters and maintaining an emotional center. It was also the best comic book show of the year. It wasn't perfect but it wasn't afraid to be ambitious in its storytelling like including other heroes and villains. The season finale rewarded fans with a great spectacle at the end but built it on the sentiments for its characters by actors that gave it their all. Season 2 should be more of a good thing. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

REVIEW: 'Slots' #1 by Dan Panosian

Created, written, and drawn by Dan Panosian, 'Slots' #1 is his baby and he has a story to tell at his own damn pace. This beautifully illustrated story is centered squarely on former boxer Stanley Dance and his attempt to find redemption despite being someone without many redeeming qualities.


SLOTS #1 
Writer: Dan Panosian Artist: Dan Panosian Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: October 4, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
'Slots' is more of a character study than a rip-roaring crime caper but Panosian's protagonist is a charming cad, full of confidence, capable of swindling you out of a restaurant bill with a devilish grin on his face. He's headed back to Vegas to fulfill a favor he owes. He returns to his old haunts where everyone knows him and knows he must be playing some kind of angle. 'Slots' succeeds because Stanley is so magnetic even when he's a jerk he's interesting. So following him around town meeting up with old friends is…

REVIEW: 'Cyber Force' #2 by Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill, and Atilio Rojo

As Carin becomes accustomed to her new abilities, Stryker is determined to keep her out of the line of fire. He knows these "gifts" come at a price. Meanwhile, The Accuser recruits a dangerous ally.


CYBER FORCE #2  
Writer: Matt Hawkins, Bryan Hill Artist: Atilio Rojo Letterer: Troy Peteri Edited by Elena Salcedo Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: April 25, 2018 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill set the foundation in issue one with the explosive and destructive arrival of The Accuser. In her wake was the shattered body of Stryker, who along with his paraplegic daughter, get an extraordinary chance to become not only whole again but enhanced. Carin has taken to her powerful working legs with enthusiasm and joy. Stryker not so much because he knows they're being used by C.O.I.It's an uneasy arrangement but origin stories are rarely simple and carefree. Whether one's powers are considered a gift or a curse, there is a price to pay i…

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

PREVIEW: 'Turok Vol. 1: Blood Hunt' TP by Chuck Wendig and Álvaro Sarraseca

The fascist Saurian soldiers of the Varanid Empire-part dinosaur, part man, all bad news-have seized control of the Lost Valley, and only the mysterious man known as Turok is willing to stand against them! But the all-new Turok only cares about one thing: he’s on a quest to track down a missing girl - and she might hold clues as to how the Lost Valley has changed so much!


Now Turok must infiltrate a prison camp run by the Varanid Empire in order to get more information about her whereabouts -- and beware, any Varanid soldier who gets in his way - because there’s a reason they call him the Dinosaur Hunter!
Turok Vol. 1: Blood Hunt TP

writer: Chuck Wendig

artist | cover: Álvaro Sarraseca

FC  |  140 pages  |  $19.99  |   Teen+

COLLECTS ISSUES 1-5 PLUS BONUS MATERIAL

In Stores 05/16/2018














REVIEW: 'Death or Glory' #1 by Rick Remender and Bengal

With a title like 'Death or Glory' and a writer like Rick Remender you know you're in for a raucous good time. Add the gorgeous art of Bengal and you have a new title that combines the best the medium has to offer in one kick-ass action comic.


DEATH OR GLORY #1 
Writer: Rick Remender Artist: Bengal Letterer: Wooton Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: May 2, 2018 Cover Price: $4.99
Score: ★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)

Here's the lowdown: Glory Owen's father figure is ailing, dying of liver cancer, living off the grid and being in debt makes health care nearly impossible. Glory is desperate but motivated to get that money by any means necessary for a life-saving surgery. All it's going to take is some risky heists from some very dangerous and shady characters including Glory's ex-husband. 
Sometimes, comic book writers remind me of movie directors in their approach to storytelling. In Rick Remender, I see a little of Tony Scott (Top Gun, True Romance, Man on Fire) in his …