The Flash Review: S1E23 – Fast Enough

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“May the Speed Force Be With You”

the-flash-s1e23-fast-enough-barry-joe2What a ride. What an incredible first season for The Flash. Yes, it is the best first season of a comic book show I’ve ever seen. No, that’s not a knock against any of the other shows I love. As I stated earlier in the season, The Flash is an A-List superhero. He’s one of the “magnificent seven”. To me after the big three (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman), Flash is the next biggest name on the Justice League (and you can make great arguments for moving him up the list). The Flash is the only DC comic I ever read growing up. I was a Marvel kid. But I loved reading The Flash. So no…The Flash having the best first season of any comic book show isn’t a slight to the other shows, its just proof that Barry Allen was treated with the reverence and respect the history of the character demands.  When you bring The Flash to live action his show should have the best writing, effects, acting and everything else because he’s The Flash.
The things that made this first season so well put together were on full display in this episode. Mainly the interactions between characters. Sure, the action draws us in and gets us hyped but the memorable interactions are the glue that really hold this show together. We got a ton of them in this episode:

  1. Eobard/Barry - First off, I love how they changed up the opening. Normally we get a happy montage of the Flash The-Flash-s1e23-Fast-Enough-Eobard-Barrybeing awesome as Barry happily goes into his “My name is Barry Allen…” monologue. This time we get a more somber Barry narrating as we get images of the suit, then everyone in STAR Labs as Barry makes his way to come face to face with the man who killed his mother. That right there set the tone for this first exchange between Barry and Eobard and the rest of the episode. “Why did you kill my mother?” “Because I hate you”. “…i know what Joe and Henry feel when they look on you with pride…with love”. It’s also fitting that in the first episode we got Barry running to reverse a tornado and the season ends with Barry essentially doing the same thing with a singularity. We also got Thawne/Wells saying the same line in both episodes: “Now run Barry run”  (Granted in this episode it he was talking to Barry about running to create the wormhole). It just really shows how this episode really brought us back to the beginning essentially.
  2. Professor Stein explaining the risk of a time paradox. This is the first time anyone has really talked about time travel on this show. When Eobard was pretending to be Wells, he always skirted around the issue. But Stein lays it all out and the consequences for doing so. He also pretty much establishes that what we’ve been watching this whole season was a parallel universe. Eobard Thawne went back in time and changed the past when he not only killed Barry’s mother but killed the original Dr. Wells. This leads to the realization by Cisco that if Barry goes back to save his mother then Barry might never meet any of them. He definitely doesn’t go to live with Joe. Which leads to some of the best black fatherhood moments of the season…
  3. the-flash-s1e23-fast-enough-barry-joeJoe & Barry - The entire season they’ve been establishing the bond and relationship between Joe and Barry. It’s not your typical adoptive parent/child relationship. Normally we see some kind of animosity between the two when this is shown in movies and TV shows. But not here. Barry considers Joe his father. It takes nothing away from Henry, but Barry really sees himself as having two fathers that he loves equally. He even says to Joe if he does this he will grow up without a father and Joe tells him, “You’ll have one, your real father”. He then tells Barry “you saved a lot of people’s lives this year. Its time to save yours.” What made this first fatherhood moment so good is when Barry and Joe talk again later on and Joe admits that he pushed for Barry to go back in time to save his mother because he knew how much it meant to Barry. Joe and Barry’s second talk was tough to watch because it was so good. Martin and Gustin acted their asses off in this scene and it really felt like these two thought they might never see each other again in this capacity.  It’s a brilliant scene that really drives home the tough decision Barry has to make: Lose one parent to save another.
  4. Joe & Henry - The thing about having two fathers is you can get double the fatherhood moments. Henry telling Barry there’s a “natural order to things” and that things happen for a reason. It was such an emotional moment.  He didn’t want his son to change from the man he’s become. In the end, Barry goes back in time really just to tell his mother that he’s okay (along with his father) and spend that final moment with her.
  5. Barry & Iris - I know people don’t like Iris on this show but I think there was a great moment between the two on the roof. Iris telling Barry for once to stop thinking about other people and do something for himself was yet another character giving Barry the encouragement he needed. Its a stark contrast from what we witnessed on Arrow this season with Oliver making decisions on his own that would have huge impacts on others and not consulting them. But here, Barry basically gets permission to make the selfish decision.
  6. Stein & Eddie - Professor Stein’s talk with Eddie obviously had bigger ramifications than we initially thought when they first talked. At first it seems pretty simple. Stein calling out Eddie for believing what Eobard told him. He tells Eddie that he should stop feeling sorry for himself and try to forge his own destiny. And for a while there it seems like he’s going to do that by still trying to be with Iris. Then the fight between Barry and Eobard happens and Eddie takes the route that none of us thought would happen. The entire season we’ve been looking at Eddie sideways and expecting him to turn bad. Thinking he had to be the reason for the feud. And you know what? Maybe in the other timelines Barry and Eddie never become friends and that’s how it plays out. But in this timeline, Eddie goes out a hero with one of the most selfless acts you could think of. As Stein tells him, “You are the only person in this whole story who gets to choose his own future”
  7. Cisco & Eobard - I love Cisco. “Something on your mind cisco” “No…yes…how did you fit your reverse flash suit into that ring…”  YES CISCO…ASK ABOUT THE RING.  Cisco can’t help himself. He has to know about these things. But the most interesting moment between Thawne and Cisco is when Eobard realizes that Cisco was changed by the particle accelerator as well. We jus got the origin of Vibe and we didn’t really see it coming. Eobard still got in some #ThawneBars “I’m sorry” “Yeah it suck” “No not for killing you I’m sure I had a good reason”. How cold is that? Then on top of that, Thawne tells Cisco that he should thank him for giving him that gift and that it was given out of “love”

the-flash-s1e23-fast-enough-barry-momI’d say the first half (maybe more) of this episode is full of these character interactions and Barry trying to decide what his decision will be. We see how this decision is weighing on him. As an outsider looking in, the decision seemed pretty selfish. Barry was risking the world to save his mother but the writing(and acting) on this show did a great job of showing that Barry was really conflicted on the decision.  Also, in an added twist, Barry ends up not saving his mom. It looks like future Barry tells him no. Or maybe Barry made the decision on his own. He does get to talk to his mom before she dies and tell her that him and Henry are ok before she dies. It’s a heartbreaking moment. I think Thawne knew that Barry saving his mother would be his way of “killing Barry.” I think Thawne realized that the death of his mother was a motivating factor for Barry and maybe in his mind he thinks without that, Barry never becomes the Flash. Other thoughts that hit me this episode:

  1. Eddie killing himself might have the same effect as Barry saving his mother. Without Eddie, Eobard Thawne doesn’t kill Barry’s mother and this “alternate timeline” we’ve been watching all season technically doesn’t happen. This is going to be something interesting to watch going forward.
  2. I’m wondering if something happened to Ronnie when he got hit. Again, things don’t happen on this show without a reason.

the-flash-hawkgirlThis episode does a great job of setting up not only season 2 but also the Legends of Tomorrow spin off. Eobard drops Rip Hunter’s name (“Interesting man”) and we also get Jay Garrick’s (Golden Age Flash) helmet flying through the wormhole (with Eobard saying “That’s my cue to leave” suggesting as always that he knows more than he’s telling people). While Barry is running through time we get glimpses of several things. We see Caitlin as Killer Frost. There’s also Barry himself in jail as well as The Flash Museum. There’s also glimpse of a scene we saw in the Legends of Tomorrow trailer. The great thing about setting up these alternate universes and time travel is that there’s a lot they can do with it. One of the first things that came to mind for me wasn’t even about The Flash but something from Arrow that’s been set up since season two: Connor Queen. Remember in season 2 we get mention of an old girlfriend of Oliver’s who got pregnant and his mother paid her off. We then met that woman again this season on The Flash and she talks on the phone to Connor. Nothing happens on The Flash or Arrow without a reason and this confirmation of time travel as well as a multiverse opens up a lot of possibilities.

I could write more on my thoughts on this episode (and season) as well as my theories for the future of this show (and Arrow) but that would be a lot of reading. Instead, check out the audio review I did with Dpalm and listen to us talk about the not only this episode but the overall importance of The Flash (particularly Barry Allen) to the DC Universe. It explains why this show had to be this good and we go into a bigger discussion on what we saw. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next season. Oh and last thing: The end scene with Barry running up the building and into the singularity with the final shot being that shot of him running like you would see drawn on the cover of a comic book is the perfect shot to end and sum up this season. Just amazing.

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Charles (Kriss)

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    Oliver 25 May, 2015 at 20:44 Reply

    It’s been great to watch Season 1 of this awesome TV show while reading your amazing takes on the episodes. Great way to know more about the DC World and enlighten my weeks ! Your writing is fascinating, your sense of analysis is deep and your vivid emotions can be felt through your poignant words. These postings have enticed me to know more about this special Flash character. They have also turned me into a fan of your projects in general. Please continue your great work and good luck !

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