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TV Review: The Flash - Season 2 Finale "The Race of His Life"

05.25.2016
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EPISODE 23: "The Race of His Life"

SYNOPSIS: After Zoom reveals his true plan, Barry vows to do whatever it takes to stop him.

The Flash, TV Review, DC Comics, Superhero, Comic Book, Drama, Fantasy, Finale, Grant Gustin

REVIEW: The end of season one of The Flash brought the entire Reverse-Flash arc to a close while setting up the multiverse concept for season two. The bulk of this year has been focused on Zoom who, in many ways, was like Reverse-Flash 2.0: meaner, faster, and more vicious. By giving us the concept of the Multiverse, The Flash was able to stay incredibly fresh and deliver a season that was almost on par with last year despite a few narrative hiccups along the way. But, this closing episode of the season does manage to open up some pretty hefty questions for next year that leave the future of our hero in flux in the best way possible. But, before we dive into what comes next, we need to discuss the finale and how our main story was wrapped up.

Picking up with the death of Henry Allen, we finally learn what Zoom's master plan is: destroy every alternate Earth and leave our world under the control of the villainous madman. By using a device from Mercury Labs that can simulate a pulsar, Zoom needs Barry to race him. While a race certainly seems lame for such a momentous finale but the writers found a way to make the stakes significant. Zoom needs Barry's speed to charge the device. If Zoom wins the race, he destroys all alternate Earths. If Barry wins, Zoom will concede and walk away. If Barry quits, Zoom will kill Joe. With Barry enraged by the death of his father, Zoom proves our Flash doesn't have the guts to kill. Zoom kills his own time remnant to make his point. The rest of the team know Barry is not in his right mind and they lock him in STAR Labs and try to stop Zoom themselves.

The Flash, TV Review, DC Comics, Superhero, Comic Book, Drama, Fantasy, Finale, Grant Gustin

Zoom manages to escape to Earth-2 with Joe West which prompts Wally to release Barry from his cell. Barry tells his friends that he has to race Zoom as it is the only way to stop him once and for all. Barry is confident that he can finally stop his foe and they race. Barry's speed helps charge the pulsar, but he has a trick up his sleeve. Barry generates his own time remnant who counteracts the rotation of the pulsar and disintegrates. The original Barry then fights Zoom long enough for a pair of time wraiths to come through the Speed Force due to Barry's meddling with the timeline. But, with Zoom's offenses much more dour, the wraiths take him through the portal, killing him once and for all. Barry has finally been victorious against Zoom and the Multiverse is now safe.

Back at STAR Labs, the team frees Zoom's prisoner. When the iron mask falls, we get to meet the real Jay Garrick who is a doppelganger of Henry Allen. Overcome with emotion, Barry cannot face his father's double. We soon learn the real Jay Garrick is from Earth-3. It is cool to see John Wesley Shipp don the costume of The Flash once more even if it is brief. Harrison Wells and Jesse decide to return to Earth-2 and will in turn send Jay back to his world. Wells bids farewell to his friends and Jesse says goodbye to Wally before they head home. Something tells me this will not be the last we see of the characters, but the inclusion of Wally into the team adds some much needed blood to the squad. But, that may be short lived.

The Flash, TV Review, DC Comics, Superhero, Comic Book, Drama, Fantasy, Finale, Grant Gustin

In the final scenes of the episode, Barry and Iris talk about what comes next. Barry is not ready to be with Iris until he has dealt with the loss of his father. The anger and resentment in his heart makes Barry unable to be The Flash he needs to be. Iris is accepting of Barry needing to go on a journey to find himself. Alone, Barry apologizes for what comes next: heading back to the night of his mother's death, Barry kills Reverse-Flash and saves both of his parents. Barry then looks on at himself watching the events and sees himself disappear from the timeline. The episode ends with Barry consoling his now living mother. How this will affect the timeline and the events of season one and two remains to be seen, but the third season is going to start with a wholly different world for The Flash.

On the whole, season two of The Flash represents one of those rare sophomore seasons that is as good as the first. While I found Zoom a bit derivative of Reverse-Flash, the multiple mysteries layered on this season and the brilliant handling of the Multiverse concept helped make this one of the most balanced years of any superhero show. Barry definitely grew as a character and the doppelganger concept allowed our cast to play with variations of themselves which worked well for Harrison Wells as well as Cisco and Caitlyn. There were a few too many Legends of Tomorrow-centric episodes in the first half of the season, but Zoom remained a truly evil opponent who lived up to what a comic book nemesis should be. I am a little concerned that everything we have been invested in was wiped out by Barry's final act in the finale, but I trust the showrunners have a juicy idea for how next year will play out.

EPISODE GRADE:

SEASON GRADE:

NEXT ON THE FLASH: Season 3 begins Fall 2016

Source: JoBlo.com

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8:30PM on 06/13/2016
Great episode, great season. Arrow needs to take a long hard look at what this show is doing if it wants to survive. Barry's time remnant death was definitely a nod to "Crisis On Infinite Earths", and I geeked out with the "Flashpoint" ending. Look forward to season 3, and how this will affect the rest of the CWDCTVU
Great episode, great season. Arrow needs to take a long hard look at what this show is doing if it wants to survive. Barry's time remnant death was definitely a nod to "Crisis On Infinite Earths", and I geeked out with the "Flashpoint" ending. Look forward to season 3, and how this will affect the rest of the CWDCTVU
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11:10AM on 05/25/2016
An exciting episode to end the season. I didn't think Season 2 would end like this. Now it just opens up to all kind of possibility. As for the man in the iron mask, now that's a surprise!
An exciting episode to end the season. I didn't think Season 2 would end like this. Now it just opens up to all kind of possibility. As for the man in the iron mask, now that's a surprise!
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9:08AM on 05/25/2016

I've got to disagree.....

In season 1 you had Barry travel back in time, then decide to do nothing. Then he came back, and immediately got his ass handed to him by Reverse-Flash. If Eddie hadn't killed himself, Barry would have been dead. This year we got Barry coming up with a clever plan to trick Zoom, then a (too short) outstanding fight where Barry used speed powers to beat a villain who we thought was physically superior the entire season. Then he didn't have to cross the line and kill him (or wimp out and let
In season 1 you had Barry travel back in time, then decide to do nothing. Then he came back, and immediately got his ass handed to him by Reverse-Flash. If Eddie hadn't killed himself, Barry would have been dead. This year we got Barry coming up with a clever plan to trick Zoom, then a (too short) outstanding fight where Barry used speed powers to beat a villain who we thought was physically superior the entire season. Then he didn't have to cross the line and kill him (or wimp out and let him live) because he used his considerable intellect to incite the time wraiths, who destroyed Zoom instead.

I thought it was a brilliant finale from end to end (easily a 9), and the tag was jaw dropping. Not only will this change everything for Barry and the show next season, it will most likely give all three other shows a chance to do something equally crazy. I think it's the perfect way to set up the 3rd season, since we've had back-to-back speed villain seasons.

Oh yeah, and I don't think he killed Thawne. He just punched him several times and knocked him out. Interestingly, that sets up two possible scenarios for the return of Cavanaugh. He could once again be Thawne (the time remnant version), there to mock and sabotage Barry or we could get the REAL Dr Wells who was saved by Barry taking out Thawne before he could kill him. That's probably the craziest part of this season. The best actor on the show, and he's played three different people (with vary different personalities) in two seasons. Can't wait to see what we get next Fall.
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8:04AM on 05/25/2016

WOO HOO

******SPOILERS******

As a kid the original Flash show was really the best live action superhero show ever. I mean Superboy had moments, Wonder Woman was cool (mostly for Carter who IS WW). Hulk was a bit slow etc. Flash was the best.
To have a new Flash show come back on tv and have Mark Hamill back as the Trickster and have Tina back as the same character and then to have Barrys dad be John Wesley Shipp and then not only make him his father, but make him the original Flash Jay Garrick!
I
******SPOILERS******

As a kid the original Flash show was really the best live action superhero show ever. I mean Superboy had moments, Wonder Woman was cool (mostly for Carter who IS WW). Hulk was a bit slow etc. Flash was the best.
To have a new Flash show come back on tv and have Mark Hamill back as the Trickster and have Tina back as the same character and then to have Barrys dad be John Wesley Shipp and then not only make him his father, but make him the original Flash Jay Garrick!
I mean this seems impossible to me.
This is the best superhero show period (it was a toss up between this and Daredevil, but i have to give it to Flash)
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4:37AM on 05/25/2016
So next season is this flashpoint-i hear people talking about? This is how they bring Supergirl into the Arrow/Flash/LOT universe?
I liked but didnt love the finale.Zooms defeat was weak but he`ll be back.
So next season is this flashpoint-i hear people talking about? This is how they bring Supergirl into the Arrow/Flash/LOT universe?
I liked but didnt love the finale.Zooms defeat was weak but he`ll be back.
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3:16AM on 05/25/2016
Damn if that wasn't an impressive finale, to an impressive season. This season wasn't quite as good as the first, but I blame that mostly on the 4-5 episodes they had to sacrifice to lame LOT setup episodes. Flash Season 2 delivered a villain similar to season 1, but WAY more terrifying then reverse Flash was. They did a good job of keeping people guessing who Zoom was for quite awhile, and an even better job keeping the secret of the man in the mask. I give this show incredible credit. Two
Damn if that wasn't an impressive finale, to an impressive season. This season wasn't quite as good as the first, but I blame that mostly on the 4-5 episodes they had to sacrifice to lame LOT setup episodes. Flash Season 2 delivered a villain similar to season 1, but WAY more terrifying then reverse Flash was. They did a good job of keeping people guessing who Zoom was for quite awhile, and an even better job keeping the secret of the man in the mask. I give this show incredible credit. Two seasons now they have been inventive, and what I love most, they do actually incorporate some real world fringe scientific theories into the stories. Sure they have their fair share of completely made up crazy shit, but there is so much "cool" science in this show. Which if you knew the Flash comics 40-50 years ago, they actually had the last 2 pages dedicated to going over science lessons for the readers.

So gotta give it up for Teddy Sears. I'm almost upset he's gone. But then again with all the layers of time travel and multiple worlds, is anyone ever really gone? He might even return as the Black Flash, the speedforce's representation of death. When the time wraiths were tearing him apart and killing him, his look mirror Black Flash exactly. One of the many nods to comic lovers in this.

How awesome was it for Jay Garrick to be Henry. How awesome was it that Shipp, who was the original Flash on TV, is now Jay Garrick the true original Flash. He might be Earth 3, but people have stipulated that is where Supergirl is. Imagine him showing up there, or imagine future multiple world crossovers where Jay and Barry do fight side by side for real this time. Man so many smiles thinking of the scenarios.

And finally the ending. I'm going to preface this with ****SPOILERS****. Him jumping back to save his mom might seeem really cool. But remember he warned himself not to do it. Well folks we're going to get the real Flashpoint Paradox in season 3 from the looks of it. And shit is about to get REAL fucked up. It was incredibly dark, like Snyder DCCU dark, if they give us a true Flashpoint Paradox. Now they don't have access to all the characters so it would have to be modified. NBut everything you knew about the DC TV world, is gonna be turned upside down. Good guys will be bad, bad guys good. People that were alive will be dead. The world will be a hellhole torn apart, literally, by war. Continents are blown apart by nuclear war and worse. Flash has no powers, in fact no one has ever heard of him. Him saving his mothers destroys the world literally. Though if they do this, we might actually get Batman on the CW, because its not actually batman/Bruce wayne. And that character is integral to the story and Flash.

I gotta say I'm real curious how far they are going to go with this. Will it be a full season? Will it reset previous seasons? Will they use this as a way to kill the TV Barry Allen to make way for the movie Barry Allen while letting Wally West take over the TV Flash mantle. So many possibilities. Thats what good finales of good TV shows do. Last year did that. This yeah did exactly that as well.
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8:07AM on 05/25/2016
when JWS said Garrick was his mothers maiden name, i thought, wouldnt it be amazing if he was in the mask and he was jay garrick. making the original tv flash the original comics flash.
and then it happend.
HOLY FUCK!
this show rocks.
when JWS said Garrick was his mothers maiden name, i thought, wouldnt it be amazing if he was in the mask and he was jay garrick. making the original tv flash the original comics flash.
and then it happend.
HOLY FUCK!
this show rocks.
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