When “The Flash” aired, we all wondered just how much the show was going to deep into the mythology of the comics. From time travel, to dimension travel, the various speedsters in his life, there was a lot that could happen. But would it? Well, now we have an indication of just how far the writers (and network) are willing to go. Because the Flashpoint Paradox is coming in Season 03.
But I am getting ahead of myself dear reader, for I would be remiss in not saying that, “The Race Of His Life” was exactly what I was hoping for on nearly every level. A great ending to save a hit-or-miss season.
So let’s start off with the confirmed bad. Henry Allen is dead. I still don’t like it, even with where it lead, I don’t like it. But hey, I can’t cry over him anymore cause I know it’ll do no good. What I do appreciate at least is that his death reverberated throughout the episode from start to finish, literally. And I’m glad that they not only put Barry through enormous pain, but that they showed it was affecting him enough that everyone had to do something about it.
Them locking up Barry in the cell was a nice reverse from the finale of season 01, where Reverse Flash was in the cell for most of the episode. Yes, you knew he was coming out, but the whole of Team Flash (Harry and Jesse included) doing that in order to save Barry from himself felt very real.
Now, the plan to stop Zoom was very brilliant, and it did work…but really? The gun jamming? Really? I know they needed a reason for Joe to get close, but man did that seem convenient. Like REALLY convenient. However, having Wally release Barry because of the plan going way south was very cool, and a nice way to circumvent their “plan”.
The idea of a “race” between Zoom and Flash was at very cheesy to me. But man did they sell it well. It really played into Zolomon’s ego, as well as his deserve to be the best speedster on all worlds. Beating Flash to make it happen was just the icing on the cake. Zoom is a lot like this season. Uneven, but when it works, it works.
In fact, the two battles between Zoom and Flash in this episode were amazing, and showed that speed is a beautiful thing to see when done right. The first fight was all personal, while round 2 was about saving everything…no matter the cost.
I did love that Barry created a Time Remnant of himself, and that Remnant killed himself to save the Multiverse. The reason that is significant is that’s very reminiscent of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Where he literally ran himself to “death” (it’s complicated) in order to stop the Anti-Monitor’s canon from destroying the Multiverse…sound familiar?
Now, all that being said…I do have an issue with how Zoom “died”. And yes, there is some question as to whether he died or not. While I appreciate the Time Wraiths coming back into play. It honestly doesn’t make sense that they showed up when Barry created a Time Remnant…and not when Zoom did it multiple times this season. Even Barry said he did it to lure them here. Which means they were on the lookout for breaks in the time barrier. Yet Zoom has done it at least twice. Including once in this episode…so whey didn’t they come after him then? Moreso, he said they’ve been after him for a while. As we saw in a previous episode, those thing don’t give up…so where were they? No, seriously, WHERE WERE THEY?!?!?!
Now, onto the fun stuff. As many have predicted (from the name drop a few episodes back) the Man In The Iron Mask was in fact the REAL Jay Garrick…who was the doppleganger of Henry Allen…from Earth-3…or close enough.
This is epic for numerous reasons. One, it totally saves their “Jay Garrick” storyline. Two, this one is much more in line with the aged Jay Garrick we know and love from the Justice Society of America…which got namedropped in Legends of Tomorrow. And three!…John Wesley Shipp got to be Flash again! And one that is truly all his own. It’s funny, when he was announced (John Wesley Shipp) to be coming on the show. MANY wanted him to be Jay Garrick. And now he is! Wish fulfillment!
Speaking of which. That ending. This is one of the few reasons I’m ok with Henry Allen’s death. Because, if he didn’t die. None of this would’ve been believable. Seeing Barry so “broken” as he put it really nailed the context of what he was about to do. He couldn’t take it anymore. The pain. The loss. The suffering. So he did the only thing he felt he could do. He ran. And ran. Until he did what he always dreamed of doing. He saved his mom…which we all know will destroy a lot of things…but hey, let him have his moment.
For those unaware. Flashpoint, or the Flashpoint Paradox in terms of the movie. Was an event that was caused by Barry saving his mother. It created a “Time Boom” which shifted the “natural” events of the world that would lead to the Justice League and beyond. Which included Barry not becoming the Flash. Naturally, he did reset the timeline. And no doubt it will here. I’m sure if it’ll have any ramifications like the movie or comic did. But I won’t deny, it’s going to be fun to watch…hopefully.
“The Race Of His Life” did what this season couldn’t. Deliver a near perfect run from start to finish. Season 02 didn’t match the greatness of Season 01…but I will say…it did end better than Season 01 did. And that’s not a bad thing to hang your cap on.