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There are major spoilers for the episode and general season. Duh.

Wow. There honestly can’t be enough good things to say about this finale, and it’s been across the board that fans and critics agree that this was a phenomenal ending. Outside of a few hiccups, The Flash had a very strong first season. Arrow was the same way, and I think it’s a credit to the creative minds behind both shows that the quality is consistent across the board. I’ve been hard on Arrow this season, but it’s because I know they’re capable of better. The Flash was arguably dealing with more difficult hurdles. It involves metahumans, time travel, and a villain turn that while somewhat expected, was still well executed. Next season will probably have a great deal more time travel, so here’s hoping that they manage to keep it coherent and well thought out. I have to give credit to the show: it takes guts to end it on a cliffhanger this big, and with all of the audience seriously uncertain what’s coming ahead. Plus it had several emotional scenes that had superb acting and really resonated deeply with the audience. Now all we have to do is make it until next season. Previously on The Flash, Barry found out that his mentor Harrison Wells was really Eobard Thawne, a time traveler who murdered his mother. Eobard was finally captured by at the end of the last episode. Ronnie and Dr. Stein became linked to the point where they both are the superhero Firestorm. Cisco remembered the timeline when Eobard murdered him. Eddie and Iris broke up because he couldn’t handle Eobard taunting him about her future marriage to Barry.

There are so many things I don’t know where to start. Okay, Eobard is in captivity, and he flat out refuses to tell Barry what his future self did that caused his hate. I love that. It’s a mystery for the audience, and it’s an extra stab to Barry, who has suffered for no reason he can see. Eobard killed his mother hoping that it would cause Barry not to be the Flash, but then he needed him to be the Flash so he could steal his speed and go back home. Which is why he makes a deal: he’ll help Barry go back to the past and save his mother if he helps him use a wormhole to go home. This episode is mostly about Barry talking to his friends and family and deciding if it’s worth it to make a deal with the devil, and to put the timeline at risk. I do appreciate the show mentioned that it is mostly a selfish decision, and that it’s okay. He’s not doing this to save anyone outside of his mother, it’s very personal. After seeing him be selfless all season, this is something he needs to do for himself, because he’s a person, not just an icon. I was iffy on whether it was okay for him to do this, since he knows it could alter everyone’s lives, but in the end it ended up working. I’ll get to why in a minute. Joe and most of the others tell Barry to do it, while his father says very firmly that he shouldn’t. His father is more focused on how it would change who Barry has become and also it’s too big a risk for the timeline. Interesting! I really do like his father a lot. And I appreciate how much he likes and respects Joe, and that Barry has a beautiful relationship with them both.

The Flash -- "Fast Enough" -- Image FLA123A_0004b -- Pictured (L-R): Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

As Barry’s figuring out his decision, a few other things happen. Caitlin and Ronnie decide to get married right then and there and not to wait. I don’t think he’s staying on the show, but I’m glad they got this all the same. After a conversation with Dr. Stein where he points out that Eddie is a coincidence, a wild card, he decides not to give up on Iris and they get back together. It was at this point I was absolutely certain of what would happen with Eddie. I already theorized that the past few episodes, but this made it clear where they were headed. The group does figure out that the wormhole could end up really harming the city if Barry isn’t careful; this is a moment I’m like “I really don’t feel like it’s worth it, sorry.” But you had to give into it in order to go along with the story. Cisco and Eobard talks, and Eobard realizes that Cisco is a metahuman. He can remember the other timeline because of it. YES. Finally answers on why that happened, and leading to Cisco probably becoming Vibe. The way it was presented here is that Cisco can sense when there are timeline discrepancies. This will be very important going forward since they are going to be doing alternate timelines, so he’ll be able to help sort that out.  I did say weeks ago that if it turned out to be a plot point that Cisco could remember, I would apologize for harping on it, so I apologize. It was a major plot point!

With all that out of the way, Barry finally decides to go back in time. He only has a short window in which to go before the experience actually blows back and destroys the city. Seriously this is starting to feel like a bad idea, or a very reckless one. But he goes back and he’s about to save his mother when future Barry, the one who saved his child self so Eobard’s plan wouldn’t work, tells him not to. It’s very interesting to see that moment. He just shakes his head, so it brings up questions, like how did he know Barry was there? How did he know that it would end up in a worse place? I’m guessing we’re going to find out. The darkest timeline, aka Flashpoint, is probably what it will be. We saw a sneak peak of that when Barry was running and he saw the Flash Museum and also Caitlin was Killer Frost. In the comics, Caitlin is actually a villain with ice powers. So this just means it’ll open up possibilities for them to have the main characters have AU versions of themselves on the show. That will be fun! Crushed, Barry does get to say goodbye to his dying mother and get closure that way. He does get back in time to stop Eobard from safely flying off to the future, and they have a brutal fight. When it looks like Eobard’s about to kill him and destroy all of them, Eddie shoots himself in the chest. If he dies now, Eobard will never exist at all, so he disappears. I do appreciate that Eobard/Harrison Wells asks Barry what he’s going to do without him, having relied on him all this time. I’ve been asking myself the same question! He will be a missed presence for sure. So Eobard’s taken care of, but now the wormhole gets out of control and starts destroying the city. Barry has to try and run into it and close the portal, and that’s where the season ends. On one hell of a cliffhanger!

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There are so many things to appreciate in this episode. First off, the acting was fantastic. There were some genuinely emotional moments in this that made me tear up. I do love that until the last, Eobard has this strange love/hate relationship with all of them. I’ve said since he was first revealed as a bad guy that I wanted to believe he cared, and he did, even he thinks he cares for them. Loves them. In his own sociopathic way. Joe and Barry’s relationship is beautiful as always, and his sweet scene with Iris also seemed to ground him. I like when Barry thinks about whether he’s willing to sacrifice his life with Joe and Iris and all his friends to save his mother. Who would he be without them? The show isn’t afraid to go there when questioning his actions and motivations and the serious ramifications of making different decisions. High five. Confirmation that Cisco is a metahuman is great, especially if he can see different timelines and they’re about to get very AU on the show. I suspect the show will be dealing a lot more with time travel and possibly that the wormhole brings in other versions of themselves. Or sends them out? My question is how Barry Allen is still alive in over a century to upset Eobard in the first place. HMMMMM. Also if Eobard was destroyed, does that mean the particle accelerator never went off and the Flash would not have existed? He did say that Harrison Wells was the original person who created the particle accelerator but years in the future, and Eobard simply activated it earlier. So is that timeline going to be the correct one? My head already hurts and I love it.

I believe that Tom Cavanagh will be back next season, but as Eobard or the real Harrison Wells, who knows. It was tragic to see Eddie/Rick go; I haven’t heard if he will be back. It should be said that in this universe he could easily come back though. No one stays dead forever. Except Tommy Merlyn. 😦 A hilarious easter egg was when Jay Garrick’s helmet came through, and Eobard went “well that’s my cue to go.” Jay Garrick is the first Flash from the 1940s. This could be a nod and a wink to us, but it’s most likely something that could pay off later on in the show. There are multiple Flashes and multiple people who are a part of the Speed Force in one way or another. This is only the beginning. The future looks very bright for fans of The Flash right now. It had an extremely successful first season and they left us wanting more. It’s likely that when it comes back it’ll be setting up for Legends of Tomorrow, and I believe that show is going to be dealing more directly with varying time discrepancies. It’s why time traveler Rip Hunter puts together his time, likely to fix whatever was fractured here. DC TV is hitting it out of the park. The hard part is waiting until the fall!

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