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TV Review: The Flash - Season 1 Finale Episode 23 "Fast Enough"

05.20.2015

EPISODE 23: "Fast Enough"

SYNOPSIS: In the season finale, Barry comes face-to-face not only with his archnemesis Dr. Wells/Eobard Thawne, but also with the choice of going back in time to save his mother, or leaving the timeline as it is.

RECAP (Beware of spoilers!):

And with that, the powerhouse first season of THE FLASH, all 23 episodes of it, is over. HAS THERE EVER BEEN A BETTER EPISODE OF THIS SHOW/ANY SHOW?! I am so pumped that THE FLASH ended on such a high note, yet also sad that we have to wait so many months for a new episode. But let’s focus on the positives here, and with tonight’s amazing episode, positive words are all I have to say. Seriously, if I could give this episode a higher rating than 10/10, I would.   

Please don’t tell me I am the only one that was sobbing throughout a large portion of this finale. I don’t think I have been so emotional watching a TV show in a long time, if not ever. The writers and actors really, really outdid themselves. Thanks to the moving scenes between Barry and… everyone, and that incredible music score, I was a wreck by the time the credits rolled. Since we first met Barry, he has been singularly focused on righting the wrong of his mother's murder, which includes freeing his father from incarceration. So the emotional toll it took on him to decide whether or not to save his mom and change the timeline, or stay the course and accept the good life he currently has, was especially heart-wrenching.

Grant Gustin is the breakout star of this year’s television season. He was obviously born to play Barry Allen, and his performance in tonight’s episode was nothing short of extraordinary and much deserving of serious award attention. The rest of the cast was also incredible, with a couple of other highlights being Jesse L. Martin’s fatherly advice scenes and Rick Cosnett’s final “hero” speech. But this was definitely Gustin’s time to shine.

As many of us can agree - especially those of you that comment down below - THE FLASH has continuously proven to not only be the best comic-related show on TV, but one of the best action/dramas as well. The pitch-perfect, typically light-hearted tone, mixed with intense action scenes and top-notch CGI, all make for a winning formula. However, it’s the incredible heart displayed in each actor's performance that really gives the show its gusto. Thankfully, unlike cows, which will apparently be extinct by Eobard Thawne’s time, at least we have the consolation that more episodes are coming our way next season! But with such a gut-wrenching finale, and the promise of the Multiverse as an overarching theme of the episode, season two can’t come soon enough.

The last time we saw Barry, he was saving Team Arrow (sans Oliver) from their captivity in Nanda Parbat. But as tonight’s episode opens, Barry is having the Clarice/Hannibal Lecter moment with Dr. Wells (who we will now call Eobard Thawne) that we have all been waiting for. But as Barry is listening to Thawne’s grand plan, he is shocked to hear that his mother’s death had more to do with spite than anything else. 136 years in the future (in the year 2151), Eobard Thawne was born. And in the years following, he and older Barry were mortal enemies, with neither being strong enough to defeat the other. As Thawne describes it, “We’re enemies, rivals, reverses, opposites of one another.” So, when Thawne discovered Barry’s secret identity, which Team Flash finally started keeping close-hold, he decided to go back in time to kill him as a child. But when future Barry also showed up and saved his younger self from getting murdered, Thawne delivered the ultimate deathblow by killing his mother instead.

Thawne thought Nora Allen’s death would be traumatic enough to prevent young Barry from ever becoming The Flash. However, it also seems this affected Thawne’s ability to find his way home and harness the speed force, leaving him stuck in time. His only way back would be to make Barry into The Flash and train him to go as fast as possible to open the speed force once again. Which brings us to the present. Now that Barry is finally "fast enough", Thawne needs him to use his speed to collide with a hydrogen proton in the particle accelerator. This will create a wormhole, or portal, to an infinite number of realities/timelines that will allow Thawne to return home and Barry to travel back in time to save his mom and prevent his dad from going to prison.

But if it sounds too good to be true, usually it is, and thanks to input from Ronnie and especially Dr. Stein, Barry learns the time travel gift could have serious risks (aka the butterfly effect). If Barry travels back in time to save his mom, it will change everything in the current timeline, and they have no way of knowing whether it will be a good change or bad change. Nothing would be as it is today and Barry may not have ever met Cisco or Caitlin.

This time travel business isn’t going to be an easy decision for Barry, especially since both of his father figures have differing views on the subject. Joe says Barry should change the past to save his family. After all, that is why he became The Flash in the first place. He has done so much for others over the past year, now it’s time to do something for himself. However, when Barry goes to talk to his dad, Henry Allen tells him not to do it. Everything happens for a reason, he says, and he doesn’t want to know what the costs will be for changing Nora's fate. What if that huge change in Barry’s life changes him as a person? Henry is so proud of the man Barry has grown to be, and he knows Nora wouldn’t want to be saved if it meant Barry losing what makes him special.

Not only that, but Barry has to think of the price his decision will have on the rest of the people in his life, including Iris. Meeting on their favorite rooftop, Iris and Barry discuss the serious decision Barry is faced with, joke about “the streak”, and talk about their future nuptials. Barry reveals how much he loved growing up with her, but also admits that their closeness was a reason that he didn’t tell her he loved her sooner. Perhaps changing the timeline, including them not living under the same roof, would bring them together faster? But since Barry knows they will marry in the future, being together sooner shouldn’t really factor into his time travel decision, right? Iris reinforces her father’s message to Barry and tells him to think about himself, not others, and do what is right for him.

Meanwhile, Cisco has been tasked with developing a spaceship/time machine for Thawne since he doesn’t have the ability to use the speed force any more. When he has questions regarding what nonflammable material to use on the ship, Cisco has to ask Thawne for advice, and it is in that conversation that it’s confirmed Cisco has superpowers of his own. As we have seen, Cisco is able to see vibrations through the universe (or visions of what happened in alternate timelines), meaning the accelerator must have also affected him. Since Thawne knows the future, he tells Cisco he has a “great and honorable” destiny awaiting him and pretty much confirms he is Vibe!!! Of course, the self-important Thawne has to make everything about him and asks that Cisco always remember he was given that gift, with love, from Thawne himself. :gag:

As the episode progresses, Thawne divulges two other downsides to Barry opening up the time travel wormhole: 1) Barry could die like a bug on a windshield if he doesn’t reach the right velocity (Mach 2) and 2) a black hole could develop from the unstable wormhole, which would basically devour Central City and create a global catastrophe. Are you sure you still want to do this, Barry? Thawne assures the team that as long as Barry is back from saving his mom within 1 minute and 52 seconds of leaving, and they close the wormhole, nothing bad will happen. RED FLAG, TEAM FLASH! With this new information, Joe isn’t as gung ho about the plan, but he still wants Barry to do what is best for himself. In another telling heart-to-heart with his surrogate father, Barry lets Joe know that although he lost a lot the night his mom died, he gained a lot too, in the form of the West family. And that’s the final push Barry needs to say his goodbyes to the team and jump in the accelerator… after attending Caitlin and Ronnie’s shotgun wedding of course. Hey now, hey now, who gets married on the lawn outside of S.T.A.R. Labs?!

Once he’s underway in the accelerator, Barry quickly tops out at Mach 2 and the speed force materializes before him, showing him images of his past, present, and future. Using Thawne’s voice as guidance, he starts to picture the night his mother was murdered and when he finally collides with the hydrogen proton, a wormhole is created, transporting Barry to that time period. With three versions of himself in play, the plan was for “our” Barry to save his mother after the older Barry saves his younger self. But when he makes his way downstairs, older Barry sees him and motions for him to do nothing. In that moment, or perhaps he made the decision in his earlier conversation with Joe, “our” Barry decides not to save his mother and instead gets closure in comforting her as she dies. He lets her know that he and Henry are okay and that he loves her.

Back in the accelerator, Thawne is preparing the time machine to head back home through the speed force wormhole. But just as he is lifting off, Barry comes barreling through the portal and delivers a super punch to Thawne and his time machine. A surprised Thawne tells Barry he can have everything he ever wanted if he saves his mom, but Barry says he already has everything he ever wanted. The two battle it out, and for some reason, although Thawne isn’t strong enough to go through the speed force, he can still put up a fight against Barry. Thawne has Barry on the ropes and is about to kill him until Eddie makes the ultimate sacrifice.

A few episodes back, I wondered why no one on Team Flash thought about killing Eddie in order to get rid of his evil ancestor. But, as it turns out someone was thinking about that, and that person was Eddie himself. Yes, the foreshadowing in tonight’s episode showed Eddie’s demise was imminent. The biggest clue was the Chinese takeout scene, where he confessed his love for Iris and said the fateful words, “Screw the future.” However, that didn’t take away from his character having one of the most heroic moments of the season. Eddie took an earlier, empowering conversation with Dr. Stein to heart (literally) and killed himself so that Eobard Thawne would never live. He not only saved Barry, he saved the entire timeline and made Eobard disappear in front of their eyes. Well, that is until the unstable wormhole opens again, and starts sucking everything into it. The singularity won’t stop even after Earth is gone, so although it is a lot more powerful than anything Barry has faced before, he has to try to stop it. Using his speed, Barry races into the maelstrom, and travels in a counter direction as fast as possible. And that’s where the episode, and this phenomenal season, ends.

 

STINGER: No stinger tonight.

DC UNIVERSE EASTER EGGS:

  • I know this is a DC show, but can we just acknowledge how cool it was that they gave a hat tip to Stan Lee?! Excelsior!!!
  • Our first look at Killer Frost!
  • The helmet that shot out of the wormhole was that of Jay Garrick, the first Flash! His appearance in The Flash #123, in a team-up with Barry Allen, represented the beginning of DC's multiverse.
  • Thawne gave a shoutout to Rip Hunter, an inventor/time traveler who will also be a character on the CW’s new show LEGENDS OF TOMORROW.
  • Cisco says, “So long and thanks for all the fish”, which is the name of the fourth book in the time-travel series “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy”, as well as a great science-fictiony way to say goodbye.  

COOL ALTERNATE USE OF "THE FLASH" POWERS: Barry used his super speed to create a wormhole and access the speed force. As visions of moments in his life (past, present and future) passed around him, he was able to go back to the exact moment of his mother’s death. Although he chose not to save her, this power is going to have a significant impact on the rest of the season (and on the entire DC television universe).

FAVORITE QUOTE: Cisco says, "Ronnie, I love you but this is a time machine, not a book case from Ikea.”

 

FINAL VERDICT:

Source: JoBlo.com

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12:27PM on 05/20/2015

Best first season of a comic book show EVER?

I certainly think so. Not a bad episode out of the entire 23. This show is simply amazing and gets the Flash so right, it's almost scary.
I certainly think so. Not a bad episode out of the entire 23. This show is simply amazing and gets the Flash so right, it's almost scary.
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12:06PM on 05/20/2015
10 Mighty Flash signs from me as well. It's surprisingly very emotional finale and a very strong finale as well. I think the last few seconds of the show I just screamed Run Barry Run!! And I was so psyched to see the helmet of the first Flash! Man, I just can't wait for season 2 to arrive.
10 Mighty Flash signs from me as well. It's surprisingly very emotional finale and a very strong finale as well. I think the last few seconds of the show I just screamed Run Barry Run!! And I was so psyched to see the helmet of the first Flash! Man, I just can't wait for season 2 to arrive.
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11:47AM on 05/20/2015

10/10

Jay Garrick's helmet, Killer Frost, Vibe, the Flash museum!!!! So many geekgasms last night!!!! I absolutely loved it!!!! Sucks having to wait so long for the next episode.
Jay Garrick's helmet, Killer Frost, Vibe, the Flash museum!!!! So many geekgasms last night!!!! I absolutely loved it!!!! Sucks having to wait so long for the next episode.
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+0
11:38AM on 05/20/2015
Awesome episode! The one thing I wanted to add was that the black hole (or singularity) that opened up after Eddie killed himself, was this particular parallel universe collapsing in on itself because the Reverse Flash was never born, so he couldn't kill Barry's mother, or Dr. Wells, therefore creating a paradox (something the movie Looper could have learned from).

Also, the best line of the episode (again from Cisco) was, "May the Speed Force be with you." That's just begging to have a
Awesome episode! The one thing I wanted to add was that the black hole (or singularity) that opened up after Eddie killed himself, was this particular parallel universe collapsing in on itself because the Reverse Flash was never born, so he couldn't kill Barry's mother, or Dr. Wells, therefore creating a paradox (something the movie Looper could have learned from).

Also, the best line of the episode (again from Cisco) was, "May the Speed Force be with you." That's just begging to have a shirt made of it.
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+1
10:28AM on 05/20/2015

C'mon Eddie.....

Wouldn't it have been far smarter to visit the snip-snip doctor before they even started the mission? Imagine the expression on Wells/Thawne's face.....

Absolutely perfect episode. Gustin just killed it with his conflicted emotions, then the scene with his mom. Absolutely heartbreaking. It makes me wish he could have seen what would have happened so he knew he did the right thing. Everyone was great, but I'd single out the actor playing Joe West, who has been spectacular all season. He
Wouldn't it have been far smarter to visit the snip-snip doctor before they even started the mission? Imagine the expression on Wells/Thawne's face.....

Absolutely perfect episode. Gustin just killed it with his conflicted emotions, then the scene with his mom. Absolutely heartbreaking. It makes me wish he could have seen what would have happened so he knew he did the right thing. Everyone was great, but I'd single out the actor playing Joe West, who has been spectacular all season. He nailed how torn a father would be over his adopted son having the chance to fulfill his greatest wish, but coming at the cost of all your happy memories.

Also kudos to Cavanaugh, who has been brilliant all season. He played Thawne perfectly as a man fully convinced he's doing the right thing, no matter how sociopathic. He always felt justified and if I had one complaint it would be that they never addressed what happened between them. The motivation was fairly stupid in the comics, but I got the impression that Flash did something that altered Thawne's future, causing him heartache which he never got over. But it was easily the best developed villain I've ever seen on TV. You actually could empathize with the guy despite his evil actions. I've always liked Tom as an actor, but I have a whole new respect for him, and am looking forward to seeing him return to the show as the actual Wells next season.

And thank you for the reviews. They are always thoughtful and fun!

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8:33AM on 05/20/2015

Blown away.

That was so goddamn good.Found it hard to stay in my seat,just amazing.
That was so goddamn good.Found it hard to stay in my seat,just amazing.
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7:39AM on 05/20/2015
I about lost it when the Garrick/Flash helmet came thru the wormhole.
I about lost it when the Garrick/Flash helmet came thru the wormhole.
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4:31AM on 05/20/2015

Holy Fuckballs!!! BTW Lauren, for this the dial goes to 11.

Sitting here with chills. Really I am both for what I witnessed and what is to possibly come. What more can really be said about this show. When its worst episodes were better than any other superhero show saved maybe Daredevil, I think they were onto something. You know after the finale of AOS being so stellar, I wondered if The Flash could top it. I think I'm safely going to say it did. Not that the marvel offering wasn't great because it was, but for what they did in the Flash, its just not
Sitting here with chills. Really I am both for what I witnessed and what is to possibly come. What more can really be said about this show. When its worst episodes were better than any other superhero show saved maybe Daredevil, I think they were onto something. You know after the finale of AOS being so stellar, I wondered if The Flash could top it. I think I'm safely going to say it did. Not that the marvel offering wasn't great because it was, but for what they did in the Flash, its just not something you'll ever see on tv. Yeah this was that good. The final 10 minutes or so, yeah literally chills. And seriously how ambitious was this storyline for a debut season one of a show? Can you imagine them pitching this to the network. Can you imagine the average suit in the room trying to grasp the entirety of it, especially since the creators probably didn't have every detail fully fleshed out yet. Man what balls Berlanti and crew had to take this on. There has been talks of Green Lantern coming to either this or Arrow, all I can say is bring it on.

The funny thing for me is I remember when I heard this show was coming on. I never watched Arrow because I hated the character in the comics. So when I heard this spun off from that, I was like ehhhh. I knew it was a CW show and I heard they put in the overly sappy shit in Arrow that mimicked every other show on that network. Man I sit here now wanting to beat the shit out of my past self for ever hesitating on pulling the trigger for this show. Funny how timely it is saying that given the material.


Ok so I am not going to overanalyze things like I did with previous episodes and like I do with AOS. But I do have a couple of things to ask and *SPOILERS BELOW*:


-So Barry went back in time to save his mom and his future self told him not to, so he didn't. But given the actions of Eddie killing himself to erase Eobard, did he even have to save his mom? Since Eobard never existed with Eddie killing himself, wouldn't also mean he never existed to go back in time and kill Barry's mom? Wouldn't that also mean that Barry's dad never went to jail? However with all of Team Flash working on what was going on right then and there, despite the fact that Barry would exist in this corrected timeline with his parents, would it be possible that all of Team Flash has the memories from the Barry's mom died timeline while existing in this corrected one where she still lives? So in other words all of Team Flash knows everything that has gone on in the Barry's mom is dead timeline, while at the same time existing in this new one where she's alive. Is that why his future self that saves his little kid self told him not to do it, because he knew that Eddie kills himself and because of that he and Team Flash can remember everything?

-Also since Eobard never existed, would Harrison Wells still be alive? And how cool will it be if he is and assumes the same role to Barry sans the homicidal narcissistic killer personality lol.

-Cisco is Vibe in the comics. In the comics in addition to being vibration based powered similar to Skye in AOS, Vibe had the power to sense time-space distortions. Given that he can see different timelines he's been into with his dreams already, I wonder if going forward he would actually be able to see different futures, maybe predict what possible outcomes can happen by different actions. Given his mechanical engineering skill, do you wonder if he helps Barry build Gideon? You know the robotic AI that can show the future based on what happens in the present?

-And one pet peeve about this...since Eobard never existed wouldn't the particle accelerator never have been built? Eobard disappeared relatively instantly, why didn't the particle accelerator. Harrison wells does build it, but not for another 15 (or was it 25) years correct? Unless that plays into my theory that anything happening around the incident of the wormhole remains as a remanent of the timeline shift.

-This is to add to my previous pet peeve. Maybe Eddie wasn't a hero in doing what he did. Maybe the blackhole/wormhole that was created after Eobard dissolves was the timeline correcting itself by destroying this timeline that never happened since Eobard didn't exist. And if thats the case, then Eddie created the world destroying blackhole/wormhole.

-Another thing, they made it a point to show Eddie's body getting sucked in the wormhole/paradox or whatever I'm calling it in this bubble point. I wonder if he'll eventually be revived in a future season because of him getting pulled into the timewarp. I think I've successfully called the blackhole 4 different things in this paragraph.


All I can say is I can't wait to watch all of this again. I have the entire series still on my DVR (I know you're jealous lol) and the Blu Ray preordered on Amazon already heh. But seriously enough praise cannot be levied on this entire series. After watching the premier seasons of AOS and Gotham my expectations were not strong for this. Thankfully DCTV, more importantly the creators of Arrow, did it right from the first scene to the last this season. This and Daredevil bring superhero TV to our small screens, with quality and production values better than most movies. In my opinion DCCU needs to make Berlanti/Kreiesberg the Kevin Feige of the DCCU. In other words turn the entire DCCU over to these guys and let them make the movies and tv in their vision. Given the success of Arrow and The Flash it would certainly be better than the Snyder in charge of it thats for sure.



*Edited* yeah so I guess I had to analyze a little more than I thought lol.
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6:03AM on 05/20/2015
When dealing with time you have to accept that sometimes effect can happen before cause. It's the whole timey whimey thing (doctor who reference).

Just seeing jay's helmet was enough for me to give this a perfect score. Actually the entire series has been great. This and daredevil are the best comic book shows.
When dealing with time you have to accept that sometimes effect can happen before cause. It's the whole timey whimey thing (doctor who reference).

Just seeing jay's helmet was enough for me to give this a perfect score. Actually the entire series has been great. This and daredevil are the best comic book shows.
6:32AM on 05/20/2015
Good thinking - which is a bit of pad on my own shoulder cause I just worte a pretty similar train of thoughts on another forum ;)
But I am glad to see other people asking all those questions and NOT jump to fast conclusions where they are just dismissing the writers as stupid and calling everything that is not yet to be understood a mistake.
There are definately some elements they will pick up beginning of next season to tie up things:
- the reason behind Future Flash's "stay out of it"
Good thinking - which is a bit of pad on my own shoulder cause I just worte a pretty similar train of thoughts on another forum ;)
But I am glad to see other people asking all those questions and NOT jump to fast conclusions where they are just dismissing the writers as stupid and calling everything that is not yet to be understood a mistake.
There are definately some elements they will pick up beginning of next season to tie up things:
- the reason behind Future Flash's "stay out of it" gesture
- what happened between his mum's death and his return to the present. There could have been a Flash-to-Falsh talk where Barry got good reasons to return and break the time machine and their deal. For all we know they could have even travelled to another time. With a much more advanced time traveller by his side there is no saying that Barry could only stay for 2 minutes. He just had to arrive back within two minutes of his departure. How many minutes or days he spends in another time might not even matter then. So there is a possibly big, big blank to fill in a lot of plot detail and motivation for the character.

That was the only thing I wanted to add to your great post.

Oh and since you only mentioned Daredevil and Flash as the best superhero shows out there right now: give "Powers" a shot! The budget is visibly low but the ambition of the story - amazing. After what you wrote up there I am pretty confident it is something you would really enjoy.
6:19PM on 05/20/2015
I'm gonna try powers also.

Watch or read flashpoint paradox. You'll see why Barry has to let his mom die.
I'm gonna try powers also.

Watch or read flashpoint paradox. You'll see why Barry has to let his mom die.
1:40AM on 05/20/2015
Seriously this show has made my Tuesday nights - I'm a week behind in the UK but damn this show is awesome. Hats off to you folks in the US of A for making such a stellar show. I couldn't agree more with the comments from the writer re Gustin and the shows writing - it has been spot on and the visual effects for a show have been fantastic even last night watching episode 22 and how well they portray the fire of firestorm is just brilliant. I hope we haven't seen the last of Wells as I thought
Seriously this show has made my Tuesday nights - I'm a week behind in the UK but damn this show is awesome. Hats off to you folks in the US of A for making such a stellar show. I couldn't agree more with the comments from the writer re Gustin and the shows writing - it has been spot on and the visual effects for a show have been fantastic even last night watching episode 22 and how well they portray the fire of firestorm is just brilliant. I hope we haven't seen the last of Wells as I thought he was brilliant throughout and the reveal was well handled, I loved the way it came mid series but then built up to this point. This in my opinion has been a way better standard than AOS and Gotham and unfortunately coming from the UK we don't have anything like this - we'd have something like Yorkshire Pudding Man set in the Yorkshire Dales fighting evil which doesn't really have the same appeal
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4:40AM on 05/20/2015
Yorkshire Pudding Man lol haha. Hey I'm an American but I lived in the UK on and off for 4 years, I love Yorkshire Pudding lol. But hey DC already has their Yorkshire Pudding Man...Clayface lol. Yeah what floored me the most, aside from the ambitious story they crafted for the first season, was the level of special effects. This show literally has better effects than most movies. I can't believe how great they were. They weren't quite ILM perfect, but for a TV show with a TV budget the fact
Yorkshire Pudding Man lol haha. Hey I'm an American but I lived in the UK on and off for 4 years, I love Yorkshire Pudding lol. But hey DC already has their Yorkshire Pudding Man...Clayface lol. Yeah what floored me the most, aside from the ambitious story they crafted for the first season, was the level of special effects. This show literally has better effects than most movies. I can't believe how great they were. They weren't quite ILM perfect, but for a TV show with a TV budget the fact that we're saying they are great is no small feet. Not just great for TV but great period.
12:08PM on 05/20/2015
Oh yeah, The Flash is definitely better than Agents of SHIELD and Gotham, of which I stopped watching these 2 shows. If possible, Optimus Prime, you should check out the new Daredevil series. It's THAT Good!
Oh yeah, The Flash is definitely better than Agents of SHIELD and Gotham, of which I stopped watching these 2 shows. If possible, Optimus Prime, you should check out the new Daredevil series. It's THAT Good!
4:32AM on 05/21/2015
Thanks for the heads up Net Force I may have to take you up on that offer
Thanks for the heads up Net Force I may have to take you up on that offer
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