The Flash S3E23, Review – Finish Line

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This is it! The end is here! Months of time travel have lead up to this last moment. Iris is gone, and Barry will throw himself into the dark cavern of his depression and ensure Savitar’s future.

Except, in a hail mary attempt to save the day, H.R. pulls through to make sure that does not happen. Motivated by a lifetime of guilt, H.R. manages to switch places with Iris and is killed in her place. Not only did he manage to free Iris of Savitar’s imprisonment, but he also switched faces with her and took her place on stage in time to death. It’s heartbreaking, knowing all he has done for the team, especially now that he found his place. H.R. managed to accomplish something that not even Savitar managed: change the future.

The subsequent chain of events leads us to a whole new untouched possibility. It quickly hits Savitar that the future has been changed and the reality that he’ll soon disappear is not lost on him. He has a plan of his own– by forcing Cisco to modify the Speedforce Bazooka, he’ll have the perfect tool to turn him into a true god. Once modified, he can use it to his advantage by splicing himself to exist in all dimensions at once and avoid the time paradox.

Barry, rejuvenated by having Iris in his future, is confident he can talk to Savitar and work things out. It’s a laughable idea, but I appreciate the writers keeping Barry’s pacifist characteristics when faced with life or death situations. This idea amuses no one on team Flash; Cisco is currently missing and Caitlin has been led astray by Savitar. But Barry is confident it’ll work.

No one is surprised when it doesn’t work. Instead, Savitar takes advantage of their kindness, and nearly blows everyone up along with Star Labs. With two speedsters, Wally and Barry manage to get everyone out in time and is left to come up with another idea to stop Savitar. It’s clear he has something up his sleeve to make sure he remains permanent.

Savitar’s brilliant idea to continue to exist despite the time paradox does not come without its drawbacks. With Killer Frost’s help to freeze the Speedforce ghosts, he’s nearly successful. Only nearly, as team Flash managed to get their act together at the last minute and take Savitar out.  Cisco wasn’t going to lay down at Savitar’s feet and do exactly what he was asked; he is smart enough to develop the bazooka into a skeleton key.

Jay Garrick, freed from the Speedforce prison, assists Barry and Wally with the takedown. It’s not quite the exciting final battle I was expecting, but team ups are always enjoyable.There was no eye-catching one on one fight between Barry and Savitar. Barry may land one satisfying punch, but it’s Iris who ends up shooting Savitar from behind to put an end to this madness. Finally.

Lesson learned; letting anyone but Barry lead the team may be the way to go for any future super villain takeovers.

With Savitar gone, the team can finally rest. No one has emerged without facing some loss. Tracy had found her worth with H.R., and promptly lost it. Julian found comfort with Caitlin, enough that he was not a walled off jerk in the end, and lost her as well. Caitlin faces a unique future, as her killer alter ego isn’t quite in control anymore. Even when offered an absolute cure from Julian, she denies it as she realized it’s time to find her balance with her metahuman powers.

Briefly, we’re lead to believe Iris and Barry are set to have their happy ending. That is until a seemingly powerful earthquake hits Central City. The Speedforce is the cause– letting Jay Garrick out of prison has thrown their balance out of whack. There must always be someone imprisoned, and it’s now Barry’s turn.  

There is a tearful goodbye from the team as he walks off to his fate. Flashpoint was created by him, and it’s time for Barry to face the music for his transgressions.

The ending feels flat, unsatisfying, and doesn’t leave me with the imploring need to see what will happen next season. I wanted more from everyone, particularly since Wally and Cisco are on the cusp of discovering their powers and it was hardly examined. That being said, the last few episodes have been some of the more exciting ones we’ve gotten this season and kept me engaged till the end.

There is no doubt Barry will return for next season; I only hope he’ll lay off the time traveling this time.

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