ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 5.23.17
Forget every single thing they established this season on The Flash. Because in one episode, ironically the season finale, they throw it all away.
Sad Beans for Barry Flash
The episode started out really heavy. It looked like maybe Iris really was gone. Joe even slumped on the roof and everything. But the clues to that not really being our Iris were there, as I mentioned last time. The main one being, in this version of events, Iris just calls Barry’s name before she dies. She does not say “I love you” like the first time Barry saw her get gutted like a salmon.
Now comes the point where you must rid yourself of any cognitive,
inductive, deductive, or reason based capabilities.
Because everything that happens afterward will destroy your brain cells
if you try and apply them.
Iris takes a breath and shows she isn’t quite dead yet. Because somehow getting stabbed through the sternum wouldn’t cause instant death. Savitar doesn’t hang around to be sure she’s dead. And then she starts talking, calling Barry “B.A.” So just as many of us on Twitter called it…that was not Iris that got impaled. It was HR using transmogrifier(I still crack up every time I type that) tech, cleverly disguising himself as Iris. He took her place out of the guilt of spilling the beans to Savitar as to where she was. The real Iris reveals herself to Joe on the roof. Ain’t Joe tired of crying? Tracy Brand is the one unfortunately who has to grieve the most now.
They show the switcheroo. HR uses Savitar’s armor piece to track him down to his evil villainous villainy evil with blizzard sprinkles blue glow tinted lair. Because that blade has been sitting there all this time and nobody else on #TeamFlash thought of that, even though Jesse Quick did it as well. Somehow neither Savitar nor Killer Frost hear them talking…then the armor piece conveniently flies back to its original place and the Evil Wonder Twins discover them. Somehow the blade didn’t run towards the SaviCrap armor until after HR used it to free Iris. HR makes the transmogrified image switch and Iris protests! That was key, because if she went along with it willingly, it would’ve destroyed her moral character. She gets knocked out, and HR as Iris convinces Frosty Freeze to leave Iris/HR be and take HR/Iris back.
So Tracy’s heartbroken over a man she’s known, what, three weeks now? And HR lives long enough after being super impaled to have a very wordy death scene. Also, did you notice that there was no blood on the ground underneath him? But at least HR proved he’s not a coward. He wishes his new lady love well and goes to that big Drum Corps in the Sky.
And then Iris reveals herself as alive and she and Barry hug. Out in the open in the park in full view of everyone and everything. Because apparently they figured Savitar wouldn’t be watching or coming back or anything like that there.
Do you feel the headache coming on yet?
Cisco the Handless
EeeeYUP so it looks like Caitlin is about to actually do something evil. She actually has a chance to take Vibe out. Up until this point she’s been trying to kill people, like Tracy, and just not succeeding. But this is her moment of truth. So guess what happens?
Cisco doesn’t lose his hands. But he also doesn’t remember that he can teleport anywhere he wants, even to another Earth. Get used to that kind of chicanery. Remember I told you, every single thing they established this season is thrown out. So Vibe just lays there, with a dumb look on his face, waiting for Caitlin to finally live up to her name and kill someone. Namely him. And Savitar…? Yeah he stops it. Even though just last week he’s the one who told Caitlin that “she knew what she had to do.” Meaning, prove that she was purged of any traces of Caitlin Snow by killing her best friend. Savitar seems to now need Cisco to build something for them. Sure he does. Was that always his plan?
Fight the Future
Barry and Iris go to the Thawne Room and see the 2024 byline change back to Iris West-Allen. (Notice all the cool superhero names mentioned in the article by the way. Among them are Green Arrow, Hawkgirl, and The Atom.) But know what that means this early in the episode? It means the tension is gone concerning Iris’ death. Remember now, that’s been the entire focus of the season, stopping Savitar from killing Iris. Now we know that she lives and becomes his wife. And that Barry still vanishes in the future, that doesn’t change either. That knowledge will negate any weight that comes from the ending of this episode. You’ll see what I mean later.
It also means, as we soon discover, that though they sold us on the idea that Iris’ death was the pivotal event that sets the horrific future in motion…now it’s not. ? That future’s been averted so we’re shifting focus to something else now.
Like Snart said…Throw Away the Plan
22 LONG EPISODES of “WE HAVE TO SAVE IRIS” being shoved in our faces like SEVENTEEN YEAR OLD HOSTESS TWINKIES. 22 LONG EPISODES OF WATCHING BARRY’S MORAL CHARACTER DEVOLVE. 22 EPISODES OF WATCHING THAT FUTURE DEATH SCENE OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN….and literally six minutes into the finale it’s about something else. I can’t with this show.
The West-Allen Allen-West Burger-Meister Meister-Burgers group hug and all is Westy and well for the future. Then and only then(because before it’s been INSTANTANEOUS REMEMBER) does Savitar now get the knowledge that Iris is in fact, not dead. So then the thing to do would be to find her(because BARRY SAID HE COULD FIND HER ANYWHERE ON EARTH LAST EPISODE REMEMBER) and make sure she’s dead, right? Because that was one of the two things Savitar needed ALL SEASON LONG to ensure his ascension into godhood right? But now the future’s changing and he just grabs Vibe(who still doesn’t remember he could just, I dunno, pop over to Supergirl’s Earth and have a musical) and leaves.
Julian returns, gets brought up to speed, and Barry says “right now we need to figure out our next move.” Which IF HE HAS KNOWLEDGE OF, SAVITAR WILL KNOW TOO, RIGHT? WHY IS HE THERE IN THE PLANNING SESSION OF THIS NEW FUTURE?
Barry then says, in answering Joe’s question for exposition, that now he’ll never go down the dark path. Since Iris didn’t die, Barry reasons, he’ll never go dark enough to create Time Remnants to fight Savitar. So one of those time remnants can now never become Savitar.
Just stop and think a minute.
Why couldn’t Barry have decided that as soon as 2024 Barry told him what happened? Why didn’t Barry just come back to 2017 and say, “No matter what happens…from this point on, I will never create another time remnant.” Doesn’t that have the same effect? If not then, then why, once Savitar revealed himself(which was still the stupidest thing he could’ve ever possibly done if he was trying to ensure his own creation) didn’t Barry say it then? Barry said clearly that “I know what you are.” So he figured out that SaviSkittles was one of the future time remnants he creates. So couldn’t Barry Allen right then and there, on that lonely road, settle in his own mind to never create another time remnant? Wouldn’t that decision alone start the paradox effect and wipe Savitar out? But this is Team Flash. They always skip over the easy in lieu of the difficult by hitting themselves over the head with Klingon stupid sticks.
Then they reason that since Barry has determined that he doesn’t create the time remnants, the paradox of Savitar’s existence will catch up with him. Excuse me. When Eddie Thawne killed himself Reverse Flash derezzed almost instantly. Why is this going to take longer? “A few hours?” Reverse Flash was from way further into the future than Goth Barry is. Oh well, I feel that migraine going up to Mach One Exponential Stupid now.
The Bazooka and Caitlin
Julian then produces a vial of experimental gene therapy juice. He says that he figured out that formula with the help of Caitlin’s mother. Now hold on again. Why didn’t Julian do that before now? Also, can’t they see that we as the audience need to see those scenes? What in the WORLD did Julian say to Caitlin’s mom to convince her to help THAT CAITLIN HERSELF DIDN’T SAY? It couldn’t have been her death, because she died and came back as Killer Frost several episodes ago. So why the change of heart by Dr. Tanhauser? A much needed scene for us as the audience but alas, no explanation of the things we really wanted to know.
I’m glad Wally healed, at least we know his super metabolism actually does work. So we see that SaviPizzaFace actually does have a Plan B. He needs Cisco to create an inter-dimensional quantum splicer to help him exist in every moment of time. Now hold on again. If that was his plan, he did not actually need to kill Iris. Unless you factor in the threat of Iris’ death being the catalyst for them finding Tracy Brand earlier. But that is not how it unfolded the first time remember? Tracy didn’t perfect the technology until 2021. Savitar blocked the technology this time, even though he was defeated by it the first time. So it gets a little confusing as to the actual sequence of events, and what his actual goals are. Iris needs to be dead for Barry to go dark. And to seek out Tracy Brand. But Iris is now not dead…but the other part of his plan is still intact. So when did he cook up this Plan B? Because he successfully killed Iris the first time through. More quantum headaches.
So basically Savitar let Team Flash live to get to this point he says. He just needed Tracy Brand to create her Bazooka Joe gun earlier. Still confusing because past actions have to happen to create him in the first place. Those past actions have changed. Anyway, he threatens to phase-heart Cisco…and then says no, he’ll kill Caitlin instead. He also now knows that Julian has the cure for Caitlin’s frost-a-personality. Wait a minute AGAIN. Wouldn’t Cisco know that was crap? Savitar has to have Caitlin there for more reasons than to just be a threat point to get Cisco to work. Also, Cisco himself said he didn’t build that gun, and he didn’t. But somehow he has enough know how to make an even more sophisticated weapon out of it? Good thing Caitlin was out of earshot for that whole thing. Okay. My frontal lobes can’t take this.
Guess what happens next? Barry calls Savitar to a dark meeting place lairy type lair meeting garage placey place. And they talk. Because that’s what we wanted to see in a season finale. Lots and lots of talking. And they never explain why Barry can’t stop Savitar right then and there. It’s never clear if Savitar is faster than Barry because of his armor, or…what? They never explain how Savitar got faster than Barry, nor how he built that armor, nor everything that it can do. If Pizza Hut Barry is just a time remnant outside of the armor, why doesn’t Barry just kill him? Oh that’s right because we have to have the “I’m still in there” moment. With the ice cream and french fries with gravy in Masonville. *sigh*
After an entire season of them building us up to being completely terrified that Savitar would get to Iris, what does Barry do next?
HE TAKES SAVITAR TO S.T.A.R. LABS WHERE IRIS IS.
What would Barry have done if Evil Snickers Barry had decided to kill Iris then and there? What if all of this emo repentance on Savitar’s part was just an act? What would Barry have done? Savitar is also right in pointing out that there is no life for him even if he does live. Which begs a question I already raised…why hasn’t Barry dealt with these existential issues before now? You mean to tell me that Barry never considered the possibility that one of his time remnants would live? If your temporal duplicates don’t die as they are supposed to, what do you do with them? Do you see how this whole Savitar mess could’ve been completely avoided if Barry only had one brain cell in his head? Savitar should have, had he been written in character, thrown his head back and laughed. And then killed all of Team Flash on the spot. What would Barry have done then? Also, that course of action would pretty much guarantee that Barry goes dark. How could he not, if every single person he cares about is slaughtered right in front of him? Wasn’t that the plan with Iris anyway? But after ALL THAT BUILDUP, the show now wants us to believe that Iris’ death doesn’t really matter in the larger scheme of SaviBuster’s plan.
Can you see how that’s the most ridiculous thing they could’ve done?
They also now make Iris unafraid of Savitar. She walks up to him(amidst Wally rightly protesting), strokes his face, and promises to be there for him. Then Julian does something right and goes ballistic that Savitar is even there in the first place. In terms of being there for SaviBarry tho, how exactly would Iris make that happen? Savitar says that she will marry the real Barry, which is true, so where does that leave him with her? I can’t believe Savitar got that close to Iris and did nothing. But again, she has magic girlfriend powers. Savitar also talks about a cerebral inhibitor against a future foe. Hmmm…
This decision once again solidifies Barry as an ignorant, non-thinking, selfish idiot. Why? For exposing his entire team to the very danger they’ve been running from all year long. And also, they clearly had no plan if Savitar sincerely wanted to not be evil. Also, if this is all it took to change Savitar’s mind, why didn’t Barry do this as soon as he knew who and what Savitar was?
Tracy has an attitude, and it’s the first honest reaction we’ve seen. But Iris calls in Harry and she listens to him. I also have a feeling that next year? Those two are gonna fall in love. Harry needs someone to obsess over besides Jesse anyway.
Surprise! It was a ruse….or was it? Anyway Savitar creates a temporal explosion and destroys S.T.A.R. Labs in the process. Was he trying to kill them or just wreck the premises?
Vibey Frosting n’ Cake n’ Such
Cisco and Killer Caitlin have the most interesting conversation all episode long. So of course it’s the shortest one as well. Cisco is trying to snap her out of her allegiance to Savitar. I thought it was really going somewhere. Know why? Because we still don’t get Caitlin’s motives. It’s clear that Caitlin’s still in there, but why was she willing to kill Cisco before? Why does she keep flip flopping? Why does she believe that Savitar will not betray her? I told you before, the obvious reason is that she loves Dark Barry. And also, they did go on a crime spree the first time around. This confuses the issue more which I’ll address later.
Caitlin is again about to kill Cisco and Gypsy vibes him out. Cisco was just standing there, not teleporting himself. Again. So this also proves that Caitlin crossed all the way over to the dark side. “I’ll take my chances” were her exact words. So that should mean she’s a villain now right? She threw the ice bolts right at her friend’s chest. She believed that siding with Savitar was the way to go in spite of Cisco’s warnings. So….she’s Darth Caitlin all the way now, right?
Yeah no. More on that later.
Throwdown at the Showdown
The Dastardly Duo arrive in the park where Savitar is supposed to become a god. What does Caitlin want? Does she want to become a god too? This episode is nothing but confusion. Even tho he threatened to kill her if Cisco didn’t cooperate, which again, should’ve been an instant CrapAlert to Cisco, we finally see what Savitar wanted with Caitlin all this time.
1) Savitar wanted Caitlin to dispose of Black Flash. Which she does so easily it’s embarrassing. Savitar knew that the SpeedForce didn’t like it when speedsters mess with time(REALLY SO WHERE HAS BLACK FLASH BEEN WITH BARRY’S TRIPS ALL SEASON LONG). They normally send Time Wraiths tho. This time they sent Black Flash, aka Caitlin’s old lover Hunter Zolomon. And Black Flash is almost on top of Savitar, and Caitlin freezes him and kills him instantly. This is another character that we as the audience have been built up to fear. He was frightening in the SpeedForce against Barry. He actually kills Thawne on Legends. And Caitlin dispatches him like he was nothing. In less than 20 seconds. “See ya later, Hunter.” Remember….all the buildup gone just like that.
2) Caitlin has to shoot SaviBuckles with the quantum time splicer oatmeal raisin cannon. And she does. And guess what happens? At first he does multiply into every moment in time(which might be how they bring him back if they ever do), but then….the plan goes awry.
Jay Garrick comes speeding out! (Which they totally spoiled because they listed they incredible John Wesley Shipp in the opening credits.) Cisco shows up and says that he switched the polarity on the Bubble Yum bazooka and thus Savitar’s ascension to godhood is thwarted. Just like that, like throwing out your old ear buds or something. And it’s Team Flash(Flash, Kid Flash, Jay Garrick, Vibe, and Gypsy) against Savitar and Killer Frost. In the last fifteen minutes, but okay. Savitar leads them on a high speed chase and it’s CGI fun. We still don’t know how fast Savitar is compared to the three of them, but at least Savitar does some cool Spider-Man type stuff as he’s trying to escape. Still don’t get why he didn’t just go back and kill Iris.
Moment of Truth
With Gypsy’s help, Cisco beats Caitlin in like 60 seconds. I kid you not. Caitlin has been deep trouble against all of Team Flash ever since she went Frosty and she’s knocked down by Gypsy in a snap. Unbelievable. So Cisco has a chance to kill her…and Caitlin encourages him to do it. This is the clue we get that Caitlin somehow wants him to go bad like her, maybe? The problem here is that if Caitlin legitimately has Dissociative Identity Disorder, they need to say it outright. We still have no idea what Caitlin wants. Did she want to live her life with Savitar? And go on that crime spree that she bragged about in 2024? Did she desire godhood as well, or just to be with Evil Barry? She tried to kill both Tracy and Cisco more than once. Her telling Cisco to “go bad” with a wicked smile meant that she was enjoying being the bad girl and wanted to drag Cisco down too. They should’ve made more of an effort to make it clear exactly what Caitlin was struggling with.
Cisco surprises her and throws the unfrosty vial at her. Savitar comes back and is about to kill Cisco for betraying him and guess what happens? That’s right, Caitlin zaps Savitar. WHAT? That makes no sense. She didn’t take the vial to become Caitlin again…but she had a change of heart. Why? Because Cisco spared her? Cisco spared her every time they fought. Why did she change back now? If Gypsy hadn’t vibed Cisco outta SaviBritches’ lair earlier, Cisco would be dead right now. By Caitlin’s hand. Did she suddenly feel remorse for that? Ugh I’m tired again.
Barry charges at Savitar(where are Wally and Jay?) and Savitar arm checks him to the ground like he was nothing. Without even moving. Then Savitar, feeling his time running out, threatens to go kill the Wests. Even though he had them at his mercy earlier. Okay then. And you know what happens next? Barry actually phases Two-Face Barry out of his Savitar armor.
Now hold on just a speedforce minute.
If Barry could’ve done that all along, why is he just doing it now? The armor then becomes super red…is that because our Barry is in it? Because remember, when SaviBarry is not in his armor, his lighting is yellow, just like our Barry. His lightning is only blue when in the suit. So what’s with the color change? Lord have mercy this episode. They never explain exactly how Savitar’s armor works and they really should’ve. I mean really. So Barry starts to preach and is about to kill unarmored SaviBundles. Goth Barry says that either way he lives, because if Barry kills him, he becomes him. Really funny how back on that dirt road Barry was about to kill him and that wasn’t the case. Barry’s soul was never in the balance if he killed Savitar, why now? This makes no sense. What are the moral stakes here? Barry then phase destroys his armor. Um. If he could’ve done that all along, why is he just now doing it? Um squared. So Barry overcomes his darker self and his demons, both physically and metaphorically and walks away. Savitar gets up and is about to attack from the back and guess who kills him? Iris West-Allen, that’s who. Shoots him dead. A speedster that they’ve been helpless against all year long. The god of speed. Okay. “I saved you,” Iris comments. Sure you did. So SaviBarry derezzes and it’s over. Just like that.
Remember….everything that’s been established is thrown out. Also, the time travel rules aren’t clear. So let me state unequivocally:
1) If Savitar CEASES to exist, everything he did stays.
2) If Savitar NEVER existed, nothing he did happened and MEMORIES WOULD ALTER.
It Ain’t Over
HR’s funeral happens next and it’s really sad. Much more so than I expected. But at least he died a hero and not a coward. Barry tells Cisco that HR got his strength from him. It was intense.
And then…they spy Caitlin over by a tree. The Three Stoogeidiots go over there to talk to her. And guess what happens? They give the most interesting character to come out of this season a five minute sendoff. I couldn’t believe it. I was literally stunned while watching this scene. Caitlin is back in control, but she’s not the old Caitlin. She still has the blonde hair, but not the blue lips. She didn’t take the vial, but we don’t fully know why. She’s chosen to keep her powers, but now she’s a hybrid. And with no explanation as to why she made that choice, she just says that she has to figure out who she is now. But rejecting that vial made it crystal clear that she didn’t want to be Caitlin any more. Why? She rejects Julian’s “love” (which I cheered at that one) but says she has to go off on her own to self-discover. I couldn’t believe it. She’s still a criminal, still wanted by the police, but now she’s out there on her own. And Barry and Cisco just let her go. They just let her walk away. Again, I was stunned. After all they’ve been through together, after the countless times she’s saved all of them, and after her clear love of some form of Barry…she just walks off. If she still has her powers, and we’re assuming she does, she’s going to need them if the police ever catch her. What will she do then? Turn herself in, or kill to stay free? Caitlin’s always needed Barry to keep her in check, she said so herself. What’s she going to do now? Watching Caitlin leave Team Flash hurt me more than HR’s funeral. I kid you not. That was just not the right way to finish her arc in the slightest. And I’ve been trying not to say it, but this episode has forced me to: they missed the biggest opportunity in the season in not exploring the unmistakable love that Caitlin clearly has for Barry, whether he’s Flash light or Savitar dark. The end.
Still Ain’t Over because Penance
Back at Allen-West West-Allen loftapalooza, all’s well that ends well. Barry superspeeds the invitations out. And then he asks her if she’s ready to be Iris West-Allen. She responds by saying, “I’ve always been Iris West-Allen. I’ve always been yours.”
Anyway Iris is going to get her thoroughly fought for happy ending. Except not. Of course there’s another earth shaking singularity. And this time, it’s an angry empty Speed Force. Barry and Jay give each other knowing looks at what’s happening. The Speed Force prison needs a prisoner. Which makes no sense. If Savitar’s gone, so is the need for that prison. But anyway. Barry all of a sudden knows what he must do. Sacrifice himself to the Speed Force to appease it, lest Central City or the whole ugly planet gets destroyed. That makes no sense either. So yet another long and tearful goodbye, as Momma Allen shows up. Barry says that this is penance for all the wrong he’s done all year long. For creating Flashpoint in the first place. That sounds kind of morally right, even though it’s sad to see him go. ALSO JOE CALLS HIM HIS SON AGAIN. Iris is balling her eyes out. Understandably so, they can’t catch their breath long enough to get married. But this is starting to reek of Clark and Lana. “Destined” to be together and yet just cannot get together. I’m kind of CW’d out on that score. Barry’s Speed Force mother says he’s not going to Hell tho. But he has reached his finish line. Really? We’re supposed to believe that his career as the Flash is over already? When just last week we thought Iris was pregnant with the Tornado Twins? Isn’t everybody tired of crying? But they all do(except Harry and Julian) as Barry walks into the Speed Force sunset with his mommy. To pay his dues, but not.
Come on people.
You can’t have a show entitled The Flash without the Flash. No matter how much they’ve tried to sell us Wally. Barry will be back first episode next season. And, it might be just me, but Barry accepted that “fate” far too quickly and far too easily. It’s like he has regressed in his thinking. He doesn’t think, he just reacts. Ugh.
I don’t know what else to say. None of the questions we wanted answered got answered.
- When did Savitar make his armor? How? What’s it made of? How does it work?
- How and when did Savitar get faster than Barry? Was it V9? Just the armor?
- How did SaviBarry get his scars?
- What’s really wrong with Caitlin? What will she do now?
- Why did they get rid of the most interesting character in Killer Frost?
- Is Barry going to fix Flashpoint ever again?
- Was all of this Savitar’s plan all along?
- Where was Jesse Quick in all of this?
- What will Tracy do? Will she stay with Team Flash?
- What state is the timeline in? Which future is now unfolding?
So I’m kind of reeling at the way everything got turned inside out in this ep. And I had no sense of emotional satisfaction through closure. I just have more questions that are making me tired of caring. Characters were flip flopping their motivations like fish choking on air in a steamboat.
We’ll discuss this finale on Twitter next week. Click on the hashtag #FlashChat and join the conversation next Tuesday, May 30, at 1 PM CST. Maybe I’ll be less speechless then.