Everything was ok, until the Scarlet Speedster got emotional.
This week saw the finale of The Flash season 3 in a perfectly-balanced episode that successfully tied together all of the CW’s loose ends.
After last week’s emotional denouement, Barry is challenged by Zoom to a race. Zoom assures it is to fuel his own ego, but the invitation proves weightier when his plans to use their combined speed to fuel a machine that will destroy the Multiverse are discovered.
The team and Barry are in conflict, a rarity on the show, and Team Flash drugs their namesake, locking him up in the pipeline to prevent his rash decisions. This proved a difficult scene to watch; the team’s approach is usually focused towards grounding Barry, but his father’s murder has left him devastated beyond their help.
Ultimately, of course, the Speedsters wind up racing. Just when the Magnatar is about to release its Multiverse-ending beam into the Time Vortex, Barry conjures up a Time Remnant. The Time Remnant saves Joe, taken hostage by Zoom, and Barry is attacked by Zoom for “stealing his trick”; leaving the Magnatar empty. This scene, while displaying a mastery of special effects, is a little hard to follow. I had to rewatch it a few times to keep track of which Barry was doing what. The following heroic act performed by Barry’s Remnant doesn’t make a ton of sense, either. The Remnant powers the Magnatar up by himself, creating an opposing pulse which somehow cancels out the energy generated by Zoom and Barry. For a finale, more thought could have been put into the explanation of this, it’s as if the writers were stuck for a conclusion.
In a reveal that nobody saw coming, the Man In The Iron Mask was revealed to be Jay Garrick, the original speedster (name stolen by Zoom upon his capture) from Earth-3 who happens to share a face with Henry Allen.
I’ve mentioned before that the show is its strongest when reminding viewers that heros have a human side, and I stand behind it. Barry’s breakdown when he sees his father’s face again is the turning point of the episode, it’s heartbreak from here on out.
At Jessie’s request, she, Harry and Jay return to E-2. Just when I was beginning to like Jessie, I’m reminded that she’s still a whiny teenager with skewed priorities; why would she bring that up in a time of crisis? Anyways, they return, leaving the team upset and Barry in an understandable state of serious distress.
Iris and Barry have a long talk about their potential romance, with Barry telling her that he first needs to find peace with his parents’ deaths before he can commit to a relationship. Because Barry Allen is an authentic character with good intentions. Iris assures him that she will wait, and that he needs to do whatever necessary to come to terms with his life: That’s probably what makes him go back in time to save his mother.
Obviously, by doing this, he resets the universe for season 3, and probably does some permanent damage to the timelines. The cliffhanger, however hard for the fans to deal with, is a fantastic way to end the second season.