Spoilers will race you to the finish line.
The Flash wins it all in The Race of His Life. And by that, I have to say this show consistently maintains a level of quality without losing both its goofiness and its comic book background. There was so much awesome here. Yes, the beginning is dark – very dark. It almost seems we left that between the last episode and here. But rather that let the hate flow through our hero, the show – and the rest of Team Flash which now includes everyone – are trying to save Barry. He’s ready to give in to the Dark Side of the Speedforce, but his friends won’t let him. They know if they do, they’ll lose him forever. Yet it feels wrong to see Barry locked up by those he trusts.
It’s not a moral battle. Zoom wants this, he wants Barry too angry to realize what he’s up to. Too angry to come up with countermeasures. The Team really hits it very close to the mark. A jammed tranquilizer gun leaves Joe with no option but to tranq Zoom directly, getting in the path as Harrison’s blast knocks the supervillain into Cisco’s vibe-generated portal.
So it’s up to Wally to free Barry, but as the now accepted race duel takes place we’re given no indication of what Barry intends to do. That’s probably for the best, as I’m not sure how that time-cloning thing works. And of course, the identity of the Man in the Iron Mask has been evident since last week. Looking back I see how my initial prediction was more of a dream to save Arrow than a logical choice (I was hoping, but no longer expecting, for Oliver Queen 2). The identity had to finally explain Jay Garrick and the Earth-3 Flash.
Arrow splits hairs over Schism. I know some people swear by Neal McDonough as Damien Darhk. I’m not saying Neal is a bad actor. I’m saying Damien is a bad character. He’s sometimes played as psychotic, sometimes he’s charming, sometimes he’s a Bond villain and sometimes he’s the bad guy in a 1980’s children’s morning cartoon, baring his teeth and waving his fist in the air. The heroes’ journey has been all over the place this season, going from light to dark to pitch darn freaking soot. It’s been damn and damnation with most plot lines dominated by side characters, while the actual Green Arrow has been acting like a mellow version of the original Arrow.
I wish I could say the series pulled through in the end. But, I dread to make the comparison, it’s a Supergirl-like inspirational speech that pulls everyone together. The contradiction is that although Oliver lets Felicity know that Damien has become too strong for his pseudo-force like counter, suddenly it seems that Damien’s powers fails because of the number of people involved? In other words, we’re going with the usual “bring the people together”. Eventually Oliver just stabs him with an arrow. No, not a magical one.
Everyone decides to walk away because they need to think for a while and find themselves. Oliver becomes interim mayor because… He had won 48% of the vote according to polls and those are just as good as legal, right? Wow. Felicity sticks around. But whether this is a reconciliation or not, it’s not clear. Lair is destroyed. Nukes went poof. Yes, suddenly they’re somehow disabled thanks to blah. This didn’t feel like a rejected finale but more like a mismatched compilation of the entire season into one episode.
- That was a great finale for The Flash. The twist of Barry suddenly being thrown into a meta cell was very well done. It’s not just revenge being a bad thing that pushes the Team to restrain Barry, but the knowledge that if he doesn’t make cool headed decisions he won’t be able to counter Zoom’s plans. Anger leads to hate. Sorry to go all Yoda on y’all.
- Zoom’s dark-side lesson of “be willing to kill yourself” is actually translated by Barry into “be willing to sacrifice yourself”. No, I still don’t get how time-cloning is possible.
- The show subtly introduced the Time Wraiths to allow Barry a guilt-free way to dispose of Zoom.
- I know the show tried to introduce the Barry/Iris relationship but it still feels forced. The kiss was too soon and for the finale.
- It was just fair and I should’ve just accepted that John Wesley Shipp would end becoming Jay Garrick and the Flash with the Golden Age look and style. I concede defeat.
- That cliffhanger was just an over the top time-altering mess. What kind of Season 3 are we going to get? Barry being all happy with both his parents and no Flash? Wouldn’t that undo everything? Wouldn’t that cause the Time Wraiths to come after Barry?
- Arrow. You need better storylines. You need three-dimensional characters. You need supervillains that are actually interesting and have a plan. And you need to figure out where you want to go and make the journey interesting. Arrow has been renewed for a fifth season. Whether or not I’ll be reviewing it is still yet to be decided.
That will do for now.