Posted in Reviews, TV

The Flash S03 E23 – “Finish Line” Review

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Dammit Barry, what did you do?!

So it’s been a few weeks now since The Flash’s Season 3 finale aired and I’m still trying to process what happened in the episode. I think that the third season of The Flash has been solid, with the continuing theme of Flashpoint running throughout the course of the season. I do think that these last few episodes in particular have been strong leading up until the finale. It has done a solid job in Barry and Team Flash fighting back against the darkness in the conflict with Savitar, helping us to understand Barry’s new foe and why he is a very understandable and relatable character. “Finish Line” was the dramatic ending we needed for Season 3, which is going to be a massive game-changer leading into the next season of the show.

THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!! IF YOU’RE NOT UP TO DATE WITH THE FLASH THEN STOP READING NOW!!!!

In episode 22 we saw the dreaded moment we saw back in episode 9 which involved Savitar killing Iris and it looked like he succeeded, ensuring that he cemented his place in the future and would be born four years from now. I’m gonna be honest I was a little pissed as I sat there thinking are you freaking kidding me?! After everything Barry has endured this season and he didn’t even get a free pass on this one, shit dude that is pretty heavy! Anyway, we saw Barry holding Iris in his arms dead at the hands of Savitar and it seemed like game over. I liked how the episode panned to each of the characters seeing their reactions at what has just occurred, gonna be honest I nearly shed a man tear! We were all deceived though….the big reveal at the start of the episode showed us that H.R has in actual fact switched places with Iris and ended up sacrificing himself so that Iris could live to see another day. I thought this was a big step for H.R’s character and was a solid moment for him in the closing parts of the season. I’ve been reading that some fans were complaining that Iris wasn’t killed off for good. In my opinion, I think that Candice Patton is part of the backbone of The Flash and think that the show would not be the same without Iris. So I am glad that she will be in Season 4 as I think her character is important and vital to the show. I did feel for Tracey and H.R though as now they’ll never know what could’ve been, but I think it was a solid moment for H.R in The Flash’s battle against Savitar.

Going back to the point of Iris being killed off, I really think that the writers did a good thing here with not killing of another loved one for Barry. I mean think about it. In both Season 1 and 2, we have seen Barry lose both his parents and I think if Iris was killed off for good it would’ve repeated the formula so I was happy with the H.R sacrifice. I also didn’t want this to happen otherwise we would end up seeing the future versions of Team Flash coming into place that we saw in the Tom Cavanagh directed episode, which let’s be real wasn’t a pretty picture for our heroes. I think it was great to see Team Flash get a win in the sense of not losing Iris, giving them a sense of hope leading into Barry’s final showdown with Savitar. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m gutted that H.R had to go as really enjoyed how far his character has come over the season, but at the same time I’m really excited to have Earth 2 Harry back on the scene and hopefully see more of him in Season 4.

I really enjoyed the development of Savitar’s character in this episode, or should I say future Barry Allen. It really was a race against time for Savitar in the episode as he had X amount of time before he would disappear from existence, but that still gave him enough time to stir things up and create some chaos as a parting gift. I really thought the interesting part of the episode came when it focused more on the scarred, damaged and lonely character underneath the armour. I thought that Grant Gustin was just brilliant playing the two different versions of Barry, especially nailing future Barry reuniting with his former team mates. This took the idea of the season’s big bad further as the writers made him seem more than a villain, showing that he is someone who is conflicted with his actions and deep down still cares for his former friends. I mean I thought it was a brave move for Barry agreeing to help Savitar trying to rid him of the evil and darkness surrounding him, as let’s face it this was the guy who was hellbent on destroying all of their lives at one stage!

I mentioned in my previous reviews of Season 3 that Killer Frost was going to have an important part in this episode and I thought she had a solid week in the finale. The episode did really well in showing the confliction between the cold killer and her good repressed side buried deep down, where Caitlin Snow could be lying dormant. I really liked how we got to see moments of Caitlin trying to escape through Killer Frost as well, thought that was a really effective touch. I had a major fanboy moment when she decided to choose saving Cisco over helping Savitar, as I was like DAMN STRAIGHT SNOW! I thought it was an interesting move for her character to not take Julian’s cure as I think that’s going to be really cool to see what route her character will take moving forward into Season 4. It shows that she is unsure of who she is and somewhere between good and evil. I really look forward to seeing what the writers decide to do with her character next season.

I did think that the final showdown between Team Flash and Savitar did not disappoint in the slightest! I was freaking the hell out in this finale battle as we didn’t get one speedster fighting Savitar, but three! It was so epic seeing Barry, Wally and Jay racing off against Savitar, which for me, was one of the highlights in the episode as it was the coolest shit I’ve seen on a TV show. Not to forget that we also had Gypsy and Vibe taking on Killer Frost away from the battle of the speedsters, all kinds of shit was going down in this episode! It’s safe to say you really could feel the sheer scale of the battles unfolding in this finale.

I thought the the conclusion of the final battle was so worthwhile, especially the part where Barry had to confront his own inner darkness (literally) to take down his evil future self. It did prove the ongoing theme throughout the season that hope will always overcome hate and this was a highlight moment illustrating that fact. I liked the interesting twist in the final moments of this episode, concluding the Savitar battle finally. The whole season has been geared around Barry doing everything in his power to save Iris, but in the final moments it was Iris who emerged as the hero saving Barry from evil Barry! It was kind of ironic that she was the one to save The Flash and I thought it was a real testament to her character and was a big moment for her in this episode.

The only thing I wish there was more of in this episode was Wally, I feel like we needed to see more of him in the later part of this season. I know his character has changed since being freed from his Speed Force prison, but I think this will be gearing up to a bigger role for Kid Flash in Season 4. After the ending of the episode, it seems like Wally will have to step up big time with the absence of the Scarlet Speedster.

The cliffhanger at the end of this episode showed Barry leaving his friends behind and having to return to the Speed Force. To a lot of people this finale may seem a bit pointless or unjustified, but I think the writers are going to be referencing a lot to the comic books based on this ending. It wasn’t the happy ending that we had all hoped for Barry but I think him making the ultimate sacrifice to save his city and friends is a statement of his character after this third season.

To elaborate on my previous point about the ending of the episode, I think this was the moment in which the whole theme of Flashpoint came full circle this season. We knew that Barry’s actions in saving his mother would have recurring consequences during the season, so his actions in sacrificing himself served as a way of his punishment for meddling with time. The consequences of Flashpoint resulted in Caitlin becoming Killer Frost, Cisco’s brother dying and Wally gaining his Speed Force abilities as well as H.R still being alive; not to mention the months that Iris spent wondering whether she would survive the Savitar battle. So in a way Barry choosing to return to the Speed Force was his way of paying the ultimate price and saving the world. I think the final farewell scenes helped to round of the hell of a season Barry has been put through, which did give us some heart wrenching farewells between the characters.

The question we are all wondering after this episode is will we see Barry Allen again, or will Wally have to step up to being The Flash?

Overall, I thought that The Flash’s Season 3 finale did a brilliant job of concluding the Savitar arc. I think that the episode did a brilliant job of giving the season the strong finish it needed going into Season 4. It definitely showed Team Flash having a hard fought victory in defeating their toughest foe yet, bringing Barry’s Flashpoint journey to an emotional end. One thing is for certain, it is already putting foundations in place for Season 4. Will we see Barry Allen wearing The Flash costume next season? Or will it be Wally West stepping up as the Scarlet Speedster? One thing is for sure, there will be a very different dynamic on The Flash next season!

 

 

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