This week The Flash blew us away with another stellar Season Finale. How stellar? Well I’ll actually break the finale down piece by piece with the season in a upcoming article; but for now I wanted to focus on the most surprising part: That final twist!
Cisco reworking the Speed Force Bazooka to work as a Speed Force Lock Pick was a brilliant way to release Jay Garrick and have a 3 vs 1 Speedster showdown. Although as we learned at the end of the episode, without a prisoner in the Speed Force Prison, all that energy was leaking into Earth-1 and thus leaving Barry to sacrifice himself. Now I’m sure you’re wondering why Barry? Why couldn’t Wally or Jay return to the Speed Force and again take one for the team. Well, that’s precisely it!
When we first got introduced to the Speed Force prison in “Into The Speed Force”, there was one loud and clear message: Barry needs to stop having other people sacrifice themselves to correct his mistakes. At every turn, it seems like Barry’s choices cost someone else their happy ending.
In Season 1, he had to try to go back and save his mom. He ultimately decided against it, but it still put him in a losing battle against Reverse Flash. Thawne might have ultimately lost, but it wasn’t Barry who won. It was Eddie, who by killing himself erased Thawne from existence. And later in the transition from Season 1 to Season 2, we find more fallout from Barry’s mistake as the opening of a time portal followed by a massive time paradox caused a Singularity to form over Central City. And yet again, the day was saved but not by The Flash but rather by Firestorm. Martin Stein made it out of that explosion but Ronnie Raymond didn’t.
In Season 2, Zoom was trapped on Earth-2 but Barry wanted revenge. Everyone told him to leave it alone but he tried to lure Zoom into a trap on Earth-1 and failed. This led to Wally being kidnapped, Barry loosing his speed and ultimately the death of his father Henry. And later in the transition of Season 2 to Season 3, we find Barry changing history and causing Flashpoint. Because of this change Cisco loses his brother, Caitlin gains powers, the Diggle’s have a baby boy instead of a daughter and Savitar is ultimately created.
Barry’s motivation for each of his mistakes was completely understandable, but always a little selfish and resulted in someone else paying the price for him. That is why these final moments are so critical. This is Barry finally owning up to all his mistakes and rather than letting someone else pay the price – or acting like a God who is above it (ie: Savitar/ Future Flash) – Barry is fully ready to sacrifice his happiness for those around him. If this entire Spring season was about Barry trying to avoid his destiny, these final moments were about him accepting anything and everything coming to him. Though there is one key aspect everyone missed – or rather, a common series staple that was missing this time around.
“Run Flash, Run”
Since episode one, the phrase “Run Barry, Run” has been common place. From father figures to villains, everyone seems to use this line sooner or later. In fact, with three seasons of Speedster based enemies, we might as well make that response when someone asks “what is this show about?”. Though for the first time, Barry is actually being told to stop running. He’s reached the end of the line and instead of needing to be faster or get better, he’s being told that he’s enough. To semi paraphrase Star Wars, Barry was supposed to bring balance to the Speed Force, not leave it in ruin! And now after everything he and his Future Time Remnant have done to Time and the Speed Force, Barry is ready to restore that balance.
There is much more to discuss about this Season Finale, so please stay tuned for that in the coming days! But in short, this season finale of The Flash in many ways served as a series finale! It incorporated the greatest aspects of the series, brought them to their overdue conclusions and reminded us why we first fell in love with this series.
Joe primarily covers video games news (i.e.: Pokemon, Spyro & Destiny) as well as the occasional ‘Theory Thursday’ pieces. Before writing for FanFest, Joe was the Creator & Editor of TheInsightfulPanda.com. He is also an illustrator and is currently working on Season 3 of his not-for-profit, fan-art crossover series PokéRangers on Instagram.