The Flash: “Finish Line” Review

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By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

Like a typical finale, The Flash finished its season with an episode that closed the thread on the season’s Big Bad and opened the door for next season’s initial conflict.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Many predicted that Iris wouldn’t die and there would be some type of trick pulled on both Savitar and the audience. The writers did exactly that. Even though it was a cheap trick, it’s hard to get mad because it was one that was fully expected. It would have been much more unexpected if The Flash actually killed off Iris. This could have given the series a soft reboot, or it could have continued the series’ decline into ever darkening territory. Either way, it would have been a bolder storytelling choice.

The series did kill off a character, but it wasn’t Iris. Ultimately, Hipster Harry was Savitar’s victim. The death scene was quite campy. It had an interesting juxtaposition of relief that it wasn’t Iris who died but sorrow that it was Hipster Harry that paid the price. His comic relief will be missed but the character had run its course.

He has been a part of the team since the beginning of the season, but the person who felt his death the most was a character whom we only met a few episodes ago. The fact that few people on Team Flash were affected by the loss of the writer makes his death somewhat empty, especially knowing that Earth-2 Harry, the superior doppelganger, is just a call away. Harry’s presence in the last half of the episode, and his final words to Barry, suggest the scientist will return to Team Flash next season. It’s time to stick to the Wells we know and stop bringing on different multi-verse variations.

What surprised me the most was how self-aware the show became in its final hour of the season. All of a sudden the writers realized that our protagonist was constantly wallowing in anger and revenge. This self-awareness is very frustrating. Sadly, the writers are capable of staying away from this type of storytelling, but they actively chose it.

In the previous episode, Snart mentioned this darkness to Barry and as a result, he did something very different than what is typical for a season finale. Instead of having one huge brawl – that eventually came later – Barry tried to save the villain. I appreciate that the series tried something different when it came time to conquer the Big Bad.

If I didn’t know any better, I would have thought “Finish Line” was the series finale of the show. I’ve never contemplated how I want the series to end, however, I feel like the final act in “Finish Line” would’ve been an excellent ending. Barry deserves to be locked in the Speed Force. He’s messed with the timeline so much that this is his ultimate penance.

But, since it’s not the series finale, it looks like Clifford DeVoe, aka The Thinker, might be next season’s Big Bad. Much like Arrow dropped hints about Damien Darhk during their third season, The Flash has dropped hints about DeVoe. He’s not a speedster, so hopefully The Flash can get out of its creative funk.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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