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SEASON FINALE REVIEW: The Flash 3×23 “Finish Line”

Written by Scott Swartz

Ok, wasn’t expecting that to happen. I mean if we all had to place bets on how season three would end this was not what I thought would happen. So, “Finish Line” is definitely the most straight froward of The Flash season finales as we are presented with a problem, Barry and the team solve said problem, and then we get a cliff hanger. It was kind of a boom, boom, boom finale without all of the glitz and glamour that we have come to expect from our season finales. It just doesn’t feel right, like even the season wanted to be done with itself rather than try to explain why Savitar was so important and what was supposed to matter about him. This isn’t how a season should end, it was just lacking so much energy and drive towards the next season and the cliffhanger just doesn’t fell all that important in the grand scheme of the show.

So let’s start from the end as it just became super confusing as to how everything is going to play out moving forward in light of how things ended. I mean Barry is now trapped in the speed force prison which will be unstable when he decides to exit at the beginning of next season. I mean there were clearly better possible cliffhangers they could have gone with: the speed force needing another Black Flash, Bart showing up and messing with the team, older Barry showing up and showing the potential of what The Flash can be. By trapping Barry in a seemingly unescapable prison the writers are really cornered and anything that happens will somehow seem like complete lunacy. It also makes me question what the purpose of the speed force actually is which may be one of the stupidest things I have ever written. Is it supposed to be a prison or the way in which speedsters get their powers. Far be it for me to say the speed force actually needs to make sense, but there are limits to how much lunacy we can put up with.

Then we have the twist everyone saw coming HR taking Iris’ place and being killed by Savitar. It was a nice way to end this iteration of Wells but it was just so predictable for their to be a fake out. I am not going to take anything away from HR as he managed to have a great arc this season and finally became the hero we all knew he could be, but at the same time it just all felt so planned. Like now looking back at the entire season there was no way Iris was ever actually going to be in any actual sort of danger. Having HR make the heroic sacrifice also helped to seal the way in which Cisco has grown over the years. Cisco has managed to grow successfully from fun comic relief to the actual heart and soul of Team Flash, so having him be the driving force between HR’s change was a really solid way to propel the character moving forward. It was also bizarre how quickly everyone got over the death of HR. I mean the team goes through a Wells a year but they could have at least shown a little more emotion for their fallen teammate.

For the most disappointing turn around of the episode we unfortunately have Savitar who for some inexplicable reason is able to sympathize with Barry about all of their shared memories. Would have been a great plot point a few episodes ago but this is the finale and that shit can’t fly. We knew Savitar was evil and his plan to splinter himself across time thus preventing a paradox is a fun idea, and the race between him and all of the speedsters of Team Flash was pretty cool to watch, but there is just so much sad sack emotional bullshit I can take. I mean when Savitar was just Crazy Barry everything was cool. When he became emotionally damaged Barry it just drained all sense of purpose from his body. We already have one sad sack Barry and he is our main character, we really did not need for our villain to be completely dragged down by the weight of his past.

With the rest of the episode it was kind of just left out there in terms of what it means for the future of the team. Caitlin is neither Killer Frost or Caitlin so she is going on a vision quest, Wally is going to try to live up to HR’s expectations of him, Iris is going to be the journalist we know she should be. These are all very cut and dry plot points our team needs to figure out in order to progress in the post Barry world. I am just really hoping for some added depth to the entire affair next season.

Overall the ending could have been a bit stronger, but I am cautiously optimistic season four will live up to all our expectations.

Final Grade B-

+Savitar vs the Speedsters

+Caitlin gaining control

+HR’s arc and heroic sacrifice

-Barry entering the speed force with seemingly no way out

-Savitar never really given all that much character development

-Felt very by the numbers for a season finale

Extra Thoughts

-So, Caitlin seemingly kills Black Flash simply by freezing him. That seems way easier than expected, he can’t actually be dead.

-If we are setting up the Rebirth storyline of the comics I am guessing Kara will be the stand in for Clark in the famous “those were for charity” scene. Still pumped for it either way.

-We got our second name drop of DeVoe tonight, smart money on The Thinker being our big bad next season. Should be a good change of pace from a speedster and possibly lead to a Rogues team up.

-I also vote for the crossover next season to be Crime Society. I also request Snart be back as possibly a meta or just alive.

About the author

Scott Swartz

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