THE FLASH Review: “Finish Line”

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When you mess with the Speed Force, the Speed Force comes to collect. This whole season of THE FLASH was to show Barry (Grant Gustin) just how much his actions have consequences. With Flashpoint being the main point of contention all season, in that it created so many problems for everyone this season, the time came for the team to suffer just a little bit more. And suffer they did, as we lost some beloved characters that make me question how the team can function with core characters missing. It’s a bittersweet finale with some twists that, if you think too hard about them, fall apart. So just enjoy the melancholy ride.

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I can’t believe the show killed H.R. Wells (Tom Cavanagh). The heart of the team finally proved his worth as the biggest hero of all when he used the transmogrifier to take Iris’ (Candice Patton) place in a rescue attempt to save her. This sends Tracy Brand (Anne Dudek) reeling. With Savitar taking the Speed Force bazooka, he realizes what has happened as it’s only a matter of time before the now changed future catches up with him. Remember, he only exists ‘cause he’s a time remnant of a future Barry. The time paradox will catch up and erase him from existence.

Unfortunately, Savitar will not go quietly into that good night. He stops Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) from killing Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and has him re-calibrate the Speed Force bazooka to fragment him across every time period possible. Cisco must do it or else he kills Killer Frost. But Cisco being Cisco has a few tricks up his sleeve. Meanwhile, Barry successfully appeals to Savitar’s humanity as he is Barry after all.  Bringing him back to STAR Labs was Barry’s last chance to do it his way, as what makes Barry a hero is his heart. Needing scientists as Tracy is shaken up, they recruit Harry Wells from Earth-2 to not only console Tracy, but help the team itself. As Harry does that, Iris appeals to Savitar’s humanity as well. Well, this was all part of his plan to use the Philosopher’s Stone to blow up STAR Labs.

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With their base of operations destroyed, everyone prepares for the final showdown. Gypsy (Jessica Camacho) rescues Cisco from Savitar, leaving Savitar to scramble to follow through with his plan. Killer Frost takes out Black Flash before he can get to Savitar, and it’s just like we all thought; Cisco rigged the Speed Force bazooka to free Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp). With now three speedsters in pursuit against him (Barry, Wally and Jay), Savitar loses them and tries to kill Cisco until Killer Frost saves him. Killer Frost has regained her humanity after being presented a cure Julian (Tom Felton) and Caitlin’s mother made together.

Barry is provided enough strength to phase Savitar out his suit of armor and take control of it. After being goaded by Savitar into killing him, as no matter what he wins, Barry destroys the armor and decides to let the paradox catch up to him. With Savitar seemingly knocked unconscious, he regains his wits to try to kill Barry from behind. Iris however shoots Savitar dead in the back just as the paradox erases him from history. In a role reversal, Iris saves Barry from Savitar’s wrath as all season it was the opposite. At H.R.’s funeral, Killer Frost appears and tells Barry, Cisco and Julian that she will not be taking the cure. In fact, she is going to figure out who she is as she’s not Killer Frost or Caitlin Snow. She bids the three farewell and hands Julian the cure back. With Barry and Iris sending out invitations, the Speed Force is unstable without a speedster prisoner, so Barry bids the team (a very long) goodbye and walks off into the Speed Force as punishment for creating Flashpoint. 

I’m really confused as to how the writers plan to bring Barry back next season. I’m also confused on how Tom Cavanagh will be back next season as Harry has to be on Earth-2. How messed up was it that the Speed Force took the form of Barry’s mother to help him in his decision to sacrifice himself? This episode had a lot of ground to cover and it did it well. I’m glad the explanation that was given for Julian’s absence was that he was working on a cure, something his future version couldn’t even create. What’s more is, Julian created it with Caitlin’s mom who we saw this season is not close to Caitlin.

As I’ve stated earlier, if you try to think about the paradox, it makes the episode messy. As soon as it was revealed it was H.R., Savitar should have saw this coming. It’s crazy how The Flash‘s science is messy, but that’s what happens when you deal with science on your show. This season had some upw and downs with more highs than lows. Last season was subpar and they’ve bounced back with a much stronger third season. While not everything may have landed and yes, there were a lot of frustrating moments, this season managed to introduce new characters seamlessly and make them just as beloved as our veteran characters. So as always, I’m excited to see where we go from here with a non-speedster villain for next season.

Will Barry free himself from the Speed Force? Will the Speed Force let Barry go? Can the team find another Wells? Will Jesse come back to Earth-1 now that Jay is back? Stay tuned true believers! And make sure you see Wonder Woman while you wait for season four of The Flash. Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot knocked it out of the park!

TB-TV-Grade-A-

Season 3, Episode 23 (S03E23)
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8PM on The CW

Read all of our reviews of The Flash here. 
Read our reviews of more of your favorite shows here.


A lifelong film enthusiast since he can remember, Brandon is an indie filmmaker/screenwriter and freelance critic who resides in Trenton, NJ. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter to talk movies, shows, and music (especially hip-hop).
Follow Brandon on Twitter: @bwood0824
Keep up with all of Brandon’s reviews here.

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