This week on TV… The Flash and Arrow wrapped up their second and fourth respective seasons. Barry Allen had a final showdown with Zoom after the loss of his father, and Oliver Queen once more used the power of hope (and Felicity’s hacking skills) to stop Damien Darhk from destroying the world. Both were powerful finales, but The Flash threw us a final twist, while the world Arrow almost felt at peace. My full recaps and thoughts on each finale are below!
The Flash 2×23, “The Race of His Life”
The finale picked up at the exact moment last week’s episode ended: with Zoom killing Barry’s father right in front of him. If Barry’s problem last week was that he felt too optimistic, this week was the opposite – all he wanted was revenge. Zoom challenges Barry to a race, and the team locks Barry up in a containment cell because his grief is preventing him from thinking clearly, and they think he would lose the race if he was that distracted. When the team tries to take down Zoom on their own, however, Joe gets pulled to Earth-2 by Zoom. Wally releases Barry so that he can rescue Joe, and Barry agrees to rescue Zoom in exchange for Joe’s safe return.
The problem is that the race is not just a race – with the magnatar stolen from Mercury Labs, Zoom is planning to use the energy generated by their race to destroy all of the other worlds in the multiverse, leaving only Earth-1. During the race, Barry creates a time remnant of himself who stops the magnatar (and sacrifices himself to do so, thus preventing the problem of having two Barrys). Barry catches Zoom, and hands him off to the Time Wraiths that were drawn there by him creating a time remnant.
The man in the iron mask that Zoom had been holding captive is revealed to be the real Jay Garrick – and Barry’s father’s doppelganger from Earth-3. Harrison Wells and his daughter Jesse return to Earth-2 with Jay, promising to help him return to Earth-3 from there. Barry is still distraught from the loss of his father, and shares a touching moment with Iris before traveling back in time to stop the Reverse-Flash from killing his mother, presumably leaving us with a giant timeline reset next season.
I was pretty happy with most of the episode, because I felt like the team standing up to Barry and saying “you’re not in a place to do this” was a powerful moment. I think this episode did a really great job of showing the way Barry was deeply affected by his father’s sudden death at Zoom’s hands. BUT – all that said, I am not happy with the ending. I think the occasional use of time travel in this show has been good, but doing a major timeline reset like this should, in my opinion, be reserved for later seasons, when writers are feeling like they’re running low on ideas and need something to reset the show’s energy (Syfy’s Eureka, for example). While I can see the motivation for Barry doing it…I’m not happy about it. Hopefully by the show’s return in the fall I will be feeling more generous, but for now it’s left a bad taste in my mouth after an otherwise stellar sophomore season.
Arrow 4×23, “Schism”
Darhk is prevent from doing any lasting damage to Felicity, her mother, and Curtis by Oliver and company’s timely arrival. Thea also has Darhk’s daughter in tow and threatens her life if Darhk tries anything. He takes his daughter and flees – but not before nabbing the laptop with the Rubicon lock-out program to take with him. Darhk launches over 15,000 missiles, leaving the world with two hours before it ends. Oliver goes out into the streets (as himself, the former billionaire playboy turned mayoral candidate) and tries to bring some hope back to the people panicking and rioting. Curtis and Felicity are able to stop the missile aimed for Star City, and everyone cheers.
While Oliver goes after Darhk by himself, the rest of the team tracks down Cooper, so that Felicity and Curtis can stop the missiles. Because of the hope he inspired across the city, Oliver is able to resist Darhk’s powers, fight him, and kill him. In the aftermath of saving the world, Thea, Diggle, and Lance all announce that they need a break to really process everything that has happened in their lives. Oliver is appointed interim mayor, and he and Felicity are left to clean up the Arrow Cave alone.
In the flashbacks we see Oliver and Taiana defeat Reiter, and Taiana asks Oliver to kill her because of how the idol’s power is affecting her. I’m still not sure why these flashbacks were necessary this season. This whole season of Arrow felt very hit-or-miss for me, but this finale was really good. The team took down Damien Darhk, saved the world, and then was left reeling from what this season’s events did to them. It wasn’t necessarily an uplifting ending, with the Arrow Cave in shambles, and most of the team scattering, but it left me hopeful for next season. It seems like Oliver is in a better place now with both his public and superhero personas, and I like the delicate balance of friendship he has with Felicity right now. This was a strong ending to a so-so season, and I can say without hesitation that I am looking forward to Arrow’s return in the fall.
How about you, Geekettes? What did you think of these finales? What other shows had finales this week and gave you a lot of feelings (or maybe none at all)? Tell us in the comments below!