What is up with every show this season having a finale that’s a mirror to the season? In this case, uneven and questionable but has its good moments.
I mean, I like the opening where Zoom is taken down by the team using a pretty competent plan (why they couldn’t use a similar plan when Zoom kidnapped Wally…) which I liked. However Joe ends up dragged into the breach (making it like “Jay Garrick” earlier in the season) when it seems far more in character for him (plus more tragic) for him to have tackled and pushed Zoom back to the other Earth. This could have been a parallel to the earlier season treatment of Gorilla Grodd, highlighting that if Barry had worked with the team instead of trying to be a loner he could have pushed Zoom in the manner he did for Grodd and saved his other father.
See… I know there are some comic fans that are “meh” about the cast but I think the ensemble is one of the Flash’s strengths as a TV show. However at the end what do we see but Flash racing Zoom getting help from himself while the rest of the cast looks on and… cheerleads? It gives off a vibe of “I don’t need you losers, you’re holding me back” which generally goes against the entire tone of the show. Heck wasn’t the premiere of this season supposed to be a lesson that Barry can’t go it alone? Yet here at the end they seem to confirm he’s better off doing so. Heck the episodes seems to condemn the team for having to restrain Barry even though he’s the one not working with the group (almost like we’ve gone from the complainer is always wrong to now he’s always right – I’m not fond of either style). The show seems kind of incapable of settling on what it wants to be the message.
The shout outs to the comics remain plentiful this episode. Barry running around a device that will destroy the multiverse until he disintegrates is exactly how he died in the previously mentioned crossover in comics. John Wesley Shipp, who was the first to play the Flash in a live action TV show being revealed as the real Jay Garrick (the name of the first Flash in comics) is a reference so meta I’m surprised the world didn’t end.
This was one of those episodes, seen in a vacuum, it wasn’t that bad, but as a part of the whole season I don’t think it earned what it wanted to accomplish. Like how did Zoom know about the device or figure out how to use it? If he had spent some time with kidnapped scientists, or perhaps if we saw him using Jessie Quick’s mind to rig the thing it would all make more sense. Though if the multiverse is infinite, it seems like even a magical science device would need infinite power to destroy it. (or did I mishear and we’re dealing with 52 universes?) And while I kind of get why Barry might not want to outright kill Zoom (even though at some points it would clearly be in self defense) why can’t he cripple him and then put on a power limiter? So many points through this episode (and the season as we’ll be discussing) don’t seem to arise organically from logical and consistent character actions but from the writers’ insistence that “we want this to happen.”
That’s why ultimately… I’ve giving the episode a final grade of A- as it didn’t quite live up to season 1’s finale.
Oh and for those curious. The end with Barry saving his mom is what starts the Flashpoint crossover in DC comics. This affected EVERYBODY so it will be interesting to see how season 3 plays out. If like the comics, it will cause Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow to be completely different shows until Flash straightens things out. Will they? Or will only Flash be different for a time and the other shows continue on their way? Should be interesting to see what happens.