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SEASON FINALE REVIEW: The Flash 1×23 “Fast Enough”

So I literally just spent a good ten to fifteen minutes trying figure out how to open this thing up and you know what, my jaw is still on the floor. “Fast Enough” proved to be a worthy capper to a season full of excellent moments The Flash managed to save some of its best emotional material for last. Not only did we manage some great character development and exciting buildup for everything that is possibly coming, but we just created more time travel conundrums that Doctor Who can shake a stick at. Everything has been leading to this moment to the point, to the moment when Barry and Eobard are finally face to face and giving our hero a choice, albeit one that Eobard had significant control over but a choice nonetheless. Despite all of the time travel and super powers, everything happens for a reason and everyone of the characters has a choice to make and that is what makes it all so enjoyable.

First thing is first, how amazing were Tom Cavanaugh and Grant Gustin tonight as Eobard and Barry? I mean god damn I knew Cavanaugh had chops throughout the entire season, but he absolutely killed it tonight on all levels as Eobard. Whether it be explaining his hatred for Barry and why he killed Nora, to explaining his love and admiration for the entire Star Labs team, the the pure rage of losing his way home. Each scene involving Cavanaugh was just another treat as the emotional range and playfulness of his character has easily made him one, if not the best villain I have seen on television. The opening scene though stands out the most to show just how great a character Eobard is as you can see that he has nothing but respect for our Barry, but he so desperately wants to get home that he is forced to rely on the one concept he truly hates. Even then he is forced to confront the fact that despite how smart he is Eobard desperately needed the help of Star Labs to accomplish his goal.

Similarly you have Grant Gustin who basically did his own version of a farewell tour, as if Barry was indeed successful he would manage to erase himself from the timeline. I especially enjoyed the scenes between Iris and Barry as well as Barry and his father. We have constantly seen or been lauded to the idea of Barry’s awkward relationship with Iris, but that was the most natural we have seen them be together. You could see Barry’s conflicted nature as he truly wanted to save his mother but at the same time he did not want to lose the life he has had up to this point. More than anything it was about these people who Barry has sacrificed so much for giving him the go ahead to be selfish for once in his life. That is what made John Wesley Shipp’s scene so excellent because against everything that was going on and all the people telling him yes, Barry’s own father recognized the repercussions of Barry attempting to save his mother.

All of this leads up to Barry taking the plunge and traveling back to the night his mother dies. There is loads of great set up that happens as Barry taps into his past, present, and future within the speed force, but this is more about what happens once Barry gets to the past. As it turns out, at least in this world, our Barry has always been there just inches away from saving his mother only to have Future Barry wave him off. Most likely for a very good reason of this change could possibly ruin the entire future, but it was still heartbreaking to see our Barry resign himself to that sacrifice even with the fact that he was able to get closure by showing his mother the type of man he would become.

This all led to those big final moments as Barry prevented Thawne from returning to the past and thus set up Eddie’s noble sacrifice. Was it overkill for Eddie to kill himself rather than sterilize himself, sure, but for once in Eddie’s life it was his choice to make. Not Barry, not Joe, and no way in hell was Eobard going to stop Eddie from being what he has always wanted to be, a hero to his friends and loved ones. Everyone just managed to nail their material this week and it was super exciting to see all of this play out in as we built towards that final shot.

So here we are Barry selflessly attempting to save the world from a black hole and running headfirst into danger, because that is what The Flash does, even when he is told to stop he just keeps helping.

An amazing episode and an amazing end to the season.

Final Grade A

Final Season Grade A-

+Everyone on the cast nailed all their scenes

+Strong setup for season two

+Gustin and Cavanaugh’s outstanding performances

+Barry making the sacrifice

+Strong cliffhanger

Extra Thoughts

+During Barry’s speed force visions we see the Flash Museum, Barry in prison, and Caitlin as Killer Frost. If all three of those manage to happen before the end of the series I will be stoked.

+Speaking of super identities apparently Cisco is becoming a metahuman and that is why he could see the visions of the past. Oh and Carlos Valdes absolutely nailed that scene with Thawne to perfection. I love that dude more and more.

+That’s Jay Garrick’s F’ing helmet!!!!!! Bring on Earth Two and hopefully Earth Three.

+Lines of the night go to Cisco for “So long and thanks for the fish”, “May the speed force be with you”, and Dr. Stein’s “Let’s not argue on our wedding day” and “I’m just going to skip the hebrew.” I forgot how funny Stein is as a character.

+My only question is if Eobard no longer exists how did Barry get his powers and doesn’t that mean Well’s was never murdered?

+Also Eddie’s body is lost in the wormhole. Totally going to say he will come back one day as Reverse-Flash.

About the author

Scott Swartz