Unlike some other shows that started off strong in their freshman season (i.e. Gotham), The Flash was one of those shows that only got better in storytelling, effects and relationships as the season went on. After 23 episodes of their first season, the series managed to make this my number one show to watch and not fall off with shows like Gotham. After the build up from the premiere episode, we managed to find out who Dr. Harrison Wells is (or will be) and the great mystery was why he helped create his arch-nemesis.
The finale was not short on storytelling and exposition, primarily the cold opening of the episode. The first real face-off between Barry and Wells. That scene would encapsulate the entire episode with Wells knowing that he has Barry where he wants. All Barry would have to do is break the time barrier, which would allow Wells to return to the future and Barry can save his mother from being murdered.
Instead of recapping the episodes, which you could see on other sites, I want to review the episode and mostly the season as a whole. You can tell that the series has been leading to this. It did not seem slapped together, as we have seen in other series that do not know how to end their shows for the summer, because we even see come character’s story arcs coming to a complete end.
The emotionality of the episode was very much grounding the series and provides some real reflection even though the series was light and fun for many of the episodes. Nevertheless, you really got the sense that this might actually happen. The emotional arcs of all the characters that have a deep relation to Barry really got to play out well. The build up to Barry’s final decision was there but it played second tier compared to the emotional story of Barry and his loved ones.
Some of the greatest scenes between Barry and his family came from Lou, Wells and his father. The strong performance by all the major players in those scenes were quick to make you feel Barry’s struggle. Knowing what Barry’s loss means to him, from losing a parent myself, you can understand the desire to keep her alive but at the same time (the older version) knows that many things have impacted his life to make him the man he is now.
Of course, the most poignant scene came when Barry finally spoke to his mother. The action of the episode and the climactic battle that we all thought was coming was not the star of the episode and that was perfect. Showing his dying mother what her death would lead her son to was probably the best way to say goodbye to her. Giving his character a sense of strength and allowing him to follow his own destiny for the second season.
The final sacrifice of Eddie made incredible sense for the character’s arc and made you look back in the past episodes and things start to come together. With that change to the major narrative, what has become of the real Harrison Wells? Are we about to see Jay Garrick in season two? The finale seemed like the best payoff to a very strong freshman season. Now, to wait for those long agonizing months until season two begins.