The Flash Recap And Review – Season 1 Finale, Episode 23: Fast Enough


What a great run it’s been (pun fully intended) for the first season of The Flash. The producers and writers did an excellent job staying true to the spirit of the comics while creating something entirely new, and while it was incorporated into the Arrow-verse in fine fashion, the series managed to find a tone and voice all its own.

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It’s also hard to argue that there weren’t plenty of plot twists and surprises along the way. From the initial revelation that Barry Allen was present as an adult during the night of his mother’s murder to the many instances of misdirection during the mystery of the Reverse-Flash’s true identity, The Flash has been a true roller coaster ride.

And it’s not quite over yet. In tonight’s season finale, “Fast Enough,” Barry is going to have to decide if he’s able to go back and change time to prevent his mother’s death — and if he can, whether or not he should. Given that all of the preview clips and tidbits have focused on a choice our hero will have to make, it’s very likely we’ll have plenty to discuss over the summer. Enough chatter, though. Let’s ride the lightning one last time for the season!

Not-So-Fast Recap: The usual voice-over that starts every episode is in full effect, but Barry Allen is walking with a purpose toward the Pipeline while it’s going on. Harrison Wells, or rather Eobard Thawne, looks like he expected Barry, knowing there would be questions. Thawne answers all of them, explaining that in his future the two of them are rivals, with one never truly able to defeat the other. But he had the idea to wipe out Barry as a child, so he went back in time to do just that.

That plan backfired when future Barry followed him back and rescued his past self (note: this is the kind of thing that makes my head hurt when time travel is discussed). The only thing Thawne could think to do then was to make Barry suffer such a horrible tragedy that he’d never recover and become the Flash, which is why he stabbed his mom. Ironically, that left Thawne drained of his ability to harness the Speed Force and stranded him in the past, with no choice but to create the Flash. Training Barry in his powers would be the only way to create a wormhole back to his own time. An angry Barry says he’d like to kill Thawne now, and he just gets angrier when Eobard says he understands how Joe West and Henry Allen look at him with pride. In any case, he asks Barry if he doesn’t want to have a chance to undo all of the evil Thawne has done.

Discussing it with Professor Stein, Caitlin, Cisco, Joe and Ronnie, it becomes obvious that there’s no consensus on what Barry should do. Caitlin thinks the choice is pretty obvious, but both Stein and Cisco bring up how many things could be different from monkeying with so much history. Surprisingly, Joe is very adamant that he thinks Barry should do it, that this is the reason he became the Flash.

One man who doesn’t agree is Henry Allen, when Barry goes to visit him in prison. Barry’s dad thinks there is a natural order to things that shouldn’t be tampered with, and that his mom would say that if there’s a chance it would change the great man Barry has become, she’d say the same thing.

At S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin gives Ronnie a clean bill of health. He makes it clear that he’s done hiding and is back for good, suggesting that the two of them get married like they were going to before his accident.

Elsewhere, Barry is doing some thinking on a rooftop when Iris drops in on him. They laugh about the time when she was calling him “The Streak,” and Barry reveals that this is the toughest decision he’s ever had to make. He also levels with her that growing up with her made it difficult to come to terms with his real feelings, and once he figured them out, she had already fallen in love with Eddie. After a hug, Barry asks her opinion, and Iris says it’s time for him to do what’s in his own heart.

So, we see Barry return to Thawne’s cell to ask what the plan is. It’s actually pretty simple: they fire up the particle accelerator again, but instead of smashing two particles together, they launch one particle and Flash runs fast enough to smash into it and punch a hole through space-time. Oh, and if Barry doesn’t run fast enough, he’ll die.

Stein calculates that Barry would have to reach at least Mach 2 for this plan to work, which is faster than he’s ever run before. Even though Cisco isn’t thrilled about the whole thing, he’s game to try building the time machine that would allow Thawne to return to his own time, though he and Ronnie note that there’s probably not a material that can withstand the heat and forces necessary.

That means Cisco needs to talk to Thawne, who gives him the answer. While they talk, Cisco lets it slip that he can remember the alternate timeline where Thawne kills him, and the villain reveals that while he wasn’t sure, the particle accelerator mishap may have given Cisco some powers as well. Something to do with the vibrations on the universe … oh man, Vibe!

Elsewhere, two characters you wouldn’t expect to have a deep talk converse, as Stein tells Eddie Thawne that he’s the most interesting character in this whole story, because it’s unlikely that Reverse-Flash planned on ending up in the same town as his great-great-great-grandfather. Scoffing at Eddie’s assertion that he doesn’t matter, Stein tells him that he might be the only person who can choose his own destiny. Let’s hear it for the power of coincidence, I guess.

Alas, there’s another risk in the time travel plan. Stein has figured out that opening the wormhole could also result in a singularity, otherwise known as a black hole. When someone asks if it could destroy Central City, it’s clear they aren’t thinking big enough. It could cause a global catastrophe. Oh, is that all?

Undeterred, Thawne says the plan will work. Barry will have 1:52 to change the past and return before the singularity gets to be an issue. That won’t be enough time to return and stop Thawne from going home, but everything is a choice, as the villain points out. He also says he believes Barry can do it, and wonders if everyone else does too.

Joe and Barry have one final talk, where Barry says he doesn’t want to regain one dad and lose another. Some tears are shed, and Joe assures Barry he’ll always be there.

Eddie decides to visit Iris at the newspaper, telling a story about coincidence; namely, the one that led to them meeting each other. Saying screw the future, Eddie says he has a destiny too, and it’s with Iris.

Didn’t know this episode was going to have a wedding? Neither did I, but it looks like Stein is going to preside over the marriage of Ronnie and Caitlin. Cisco has the rings, “Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House is playing (Google it, youngsters) and the star-crossed couple is official, I guess.

Now it’s time for Barry’s big run. After he suits up, he gets some advice from Cisco and says his goodbyes to Joe and Iris, nodding to Eddie as well. And … we’re off! The Flash easily achieves the speed he needs, though he starts getting glimpses of his past, present and (possible?) future as he runs. Thawne says that’s the Speed Force, and that he needs to focus on the night of his mom’s death. It works, as the wormhole forms, and Stein says they need to start the clock.

The Flash sees his future self motion for him to wait in the next room until he can get his past self clear (headaches … returning …). But when the moment comes, Barry agonizes before closing the door and waiting until the attack on his mom is over. Once Reverse-Flash leaves, Barry goes in to comfort his mom, unmasking and telling Nora that both he and Henry turn out alright. It’s a truly emotional and unexpected moment.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Thawne admires the time machine Cisco has built and says Rip Hunter would be proud. A helmet like the one Jay Garrick wears in the comics comes flying out of the wormhole, and while Cisco and Joe are confused, Eobard says that’s his cue to leave. He fires up the time machine, but Barry returns and blows it up. Enraged, Reverse-Flash says that Barry blew the chance to have everything he ever wanted, though the hero says he’s already got it. A speedster fight commences.

Ronnie and Caitlin race to kill the power to the particle accelerator before the singularity forms, and they barely succeed — though Ronnie is caught in an explosion in the process. Meanwhile, Reverse-Flash has the upper hand in the battle, but just as it looks like he’s going to finish off the Flash, Eddie appears and shoots himself in the heart. As Thawne’s ancestor, that creates a time paradox, and Eobard reverts to his natural appearance while he starts fading from existence. With his last words, he asks Flash how they’ll be able to carry on without him after depending on him for so long.

Iris rushes in and sees Eddie near death. She’s horrified, of course, but Eddie says that he gets to die the hero in her eyes, which is all she ever wanted to be. That scene is cut short as the wormhole unexpectedly reopens, swallowing Eddie’s body and the remnants of the time machine.

Everyone rushes outside to see an even bigger wormhole open over Central City and beginning to swallow everything. Among the other people we see looking up in the sky are Captain Cold and Hawkgirl. Stein notes that it has rotational energy that will ensure it just keeps feeding, but Barry thinks that it’s just the same as a tornado, only bigger and upside-down. Even though Stein says it’s impossible, Barry says that he has to try, and the final scene shows him zipping up the side of a building, dodging debris and beginning to run around the singularity before appearing that he might head right into it.

Hey, that’s a real, honest to goodness cliffhanger!

Favorite Moment: Good Cisco moments in this one, particularly hints that he’s already Vibe and him telling Thawne never to come back. Yet as a fan old enough to have read the adventures of the Earth-Two heroes in All-Star Squadron as a kid, my favorite part was absolutely Jay Garrick’s helmet coming out of the wormhole. Can we please see him in Season 2?

Final Thought: That sure didn’t disappoint. Action, emotions, several plot twists … not sure what else anyone could have wanted. It’s going to be a long wait until Season 2 begins, but something tells me it will be worth it.

Next: Previously, on The Flash: Rogue Air recap and review

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