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The Flash: A New World, Part 4: Finale

“Any last words?”

In the beginning, there was Barry Allen. A young man on a quest to explain the impossible in the hope of exonerating his father of his mother’s murder. Now he is a superhero, respected leader, and soon-to-be-father. The end of a series should be a commentary on our protagonist’s journey. Yet this was less about what’s changed than how it remained the same.

Tying up all the loose ends on a show that spanned nine seasons is a herculean task. Mere mortals can be forgiven when they fall short. Regrettably, both the episode and the season were a disappointment. Not because it was a terrible, but because it failed to live up to its potential.

Bringing Eddie back as the final Big Bad was an inspired decision. As I said last week, he has the best argument for being Barry’s nemesis. Having all the other evil speedsters join him was par for the finale course. While the intra-villain bickering led to the episode’s most entertaining scene, it was a distraction from the impact Eddie’s corruption arc might have had.

Likewise, in the effort to make the episode feel epic, their inclusion diminishes their usefulness as a threat and undercuts Barry’s position as the most powerful superhero in Central City. His team handily defeated villains that took Barry whole seasons to defeat. Granted, Barry’s call to “execute Delta Maneuver” implies he had a contingency plan for facing off against multiple speedsters. A plan that proved successful, even if a tad coincidental.

Hunter has always been the Velocity 9 junkie Eobard described. So, it made sense for Khione to face off against the one speedster whose ability was unnatural. Unfortunately, it made Mark and the CCPD superfluous. Leaving me with the suspicion that they were there just to give the actors something to do.

And given Godspeed’s conflicted conscience, Virtue was a suitable adversary. However, instead of using her empathic abilities to help him heal, she simply knocked him out. That her abilities seemed to level up exponentially, I’ll chalk up to her ride-along with her future self. Learning by osmosis is a thing, right?

Savitar has one go-to move. So Nora’s ability to phase was a perfect response. Apparently Savitar was not as bright, or at least not as fast... thinking. And it’s worth noting everyone just whistled past the part where Nora killed a version of her own father.

Eobard’s was the showdown that made the least sense. I can fanwave that he thought he’d find Barry at S.T.A.R. Labs and decided to while away the time by offing Chester. Especially since it allowed Allegra to face off against a Nash look-alike, which I guess made its own kind of logic.

This was my problem with so much of the season. Decisions seemed to be made based on the cool factor or to write themselves out of the proverbial corner rather than in the furtherance of an impactful story. Bringing back Tom Cavanagh was a no brainer but they sacrificed Eobard’s series-long position as Barry’s nemesis in favor of the initial gut-punch of Eddie’s resurrection. They introduce Khione without mourning Caitlin, because they know they’ll make it right in the end. Let’s highlight characters from other parts of the Arrowverse instead of telling the story of what makes Barry Allen the hero he’s come to be.

Then there’s the pesky little problem of no stakes. We’re repeatedly told that everyone’s existence is threatened, but it never feels like an All Hands on Deck moment. This is only partially due to how easily the Legion of Zoom was defeated.

I’m sure Chester’s “death” was supposed up the ante even as it tugged on our heartstrings. But it was immediately undercut by Khione’s pronouncement that “No one dies tonight.” In the real world, that might be taken as wishful thinking. In the land of superheroes, it’s gospel, just as Barry’s comment about Eddie making the right choice in the previous episode telegraphed this week’s resolution. While the former seemed a deliberate choice, this felt like sloppy storytelling. Especially when it could so easily be resolved by moving Khione’s declaration till after Chester’s recovery.

That the conflict was about saving Eddie instead of defeating wasn’t unexpected. And Khione’s idea that Barry had to find a way to coexist with the Negative Speed Force instead of maintaining the balance through a constant cycle of violence and death was an interesting turn of events. However, the implication that if left to his own devices, Eddie would destroy himself did nothing to raise the tension. Neither does the argument that this was part of the Negative Speed Force’s plan to grow unchecked, since Barry, and by extension the Speed Force, was still among the living while Eddie was busy self-destructing.

As for Eddie’s redemption arc, he may have reasons for hating Barry but it was self preservation that led him to become the avatar. How could the Negative Speed Force be evil when it brought him back from the dead? And why come back if not to have a second chance at happiness? All valid reasons, but not the makings of a supervillain. Thus, Barry’s argument and Eddie’s eventual acquiescence felt unearned.

This was partly due to the speed at which the conflict was resolved. I both loved and hated this decision. On the one hand, it made everything feel rushed. And I never felt like Team Flash was in any serious danger for all the reasons mentioned above. On the other, it gave us time to spend a little more time with characters we love as the final story points were resolved.

Nora was born with Barry at Iris’ side. Joe FINALLY proposed to Cecile. Timeless Wells returned to help Khione ascend to her new role as the protector of the natural order, leaving behind a mellowed out Caitlin in her wake. And we got to see Jay Garrick, Singh, and Kramer one last time.

Plus, Chester is now a Consciousness-Honed Universally Neutralized Kerr anomaly. And no, it’s not a real thing, though I think it’s supposed to be based on the theory of Kerr Black Holes. That said, it finally gives Chester his comic book name: Chunk.

I would have preferred a finale that was a better reflection of the nine year journey Barry has been on. One that spoke to the relationships he’s built and how he has grown in his personal life and as a hero. However, it’s fitting to end The Flash on a message of hope. Barry may be the fastest man alive, but his ability to hope despite the setbacks and heartaches was always his superpower.

3 out of 5 Temporal Distortions

Parting Thoughts:

Any other sci-fi buffs out there deeply disturbed by Nora holding herself?

And Joe sang one last time.

And The Runaway Dinosaur. That one got me in the feels...

It should come as no surprise that the three people (Avery Ho, Max Mercury, and Jess Chambers) Barry’s lightning chose would all go on to be speedsters, the ladies even using the name The Flash. Although, it might have been nice of him to give them a heads up or something.

Except for Eobard, the membership of the Legion of Doom is different, but the theory was the same. All of Flash’s enemies gathered from throughout the timeline to destroy him.

For Chester’s final call out we have Dwayne McDuffie, a writer who wrote for DC, Marvel, and Acme comics and across multiple mediums including comics, TV, and video games. Now you know.

It was great to see Jay Garrick, Wells, and Joe but it meant that the absences were more noticeable. Particularly, Cisco.


Hunter: “You’ve got a few screws loose. I like that.”
August: “You won’t when I’m plucking those baby blues out of your corpse.”

Hunter: “You’re mocking me?”
Eobard: “Now you’re catching on.”
Eobard: “Boys, meet Eddie Thawne, the dumbest branch on my family tree.”

Eddie: “It’s not personal. I just want my life back.”

Nora: “When Grammy Cecile calls from 25 years in the past, you answer.”

Cecile: “Are you afraid you can’t beat me, or that every time you kill you lose another piece of your soul.”

Allegra: “Chuck, you came back to me.”
Chuck: “Always.”
Mark: “I think maybe saving the universe is a lot more important than just one guy.”

Khione: “Then you need to believe in the impossible. Because it’s the only way to create a better world.”

Barry: “You’ve become the person you died trying to stop.”

Eddie: “Tell Iris, I’m happy for her.”

Chester: “Are you saying that I have black hole powers?”

Wells: “It’s not the time travel that matters. What matters is carrying a piece of the ones you love wherever... whenever you go.”

Barry: “Even for us, this is trippy.”

Joe: “This has been a hell of a week.”

Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, the supernatural, and anything with a cape.


  1. Shari, congratulations on finishing yet another season -- the last -- of The Flash. I am so sorry that it was disappointing; thank you for sticking with it. I really wish that the powers that be would realize when it was the right time to end a show.

  2. i really didnt like the finale because the villains got body checked in 1 minute!


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