“The Race of His Life” – Flash Season 2 Finale Review
I confess I’m a late convert to the CW’s Flash television series. The DC television universe has proven to be a major disappointment for me in numerous ways. The original Flash series, on CBS in the early 90s, was a misguided attempt to mimic Tim Burton’s late 80’s Batman movie.
FOX’s Human Target was decent, but poorly received. The WB’s Birds of Prey was a complete best forgotten misfire. CW’s Smallville while extremely popular, was just so slow paced and predictable I still find it incredulous to believe the series lasted for over a decade. Arrow just never struck home (yes, the pun was intended).
While FOX’s Gotham also has its fans, much like Birds of Prey, Gotham is not the Batman Television series I want to see. NBC’s Constantine was very short lived and possibly suffered creatively without the rest of the Justice League Dark being included in the mix. I’m still reserving judgement on Legends of Tomorrow and I have been mildly entertained by CBS’s Supergirl.
But over the course of the year the chant around the office about the Flash series kept getting louder and louder. And while many people think of Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul, and the Walking Dead as water cooler series that steal hours of worker productivity with theorizing and postulating in the workplace. I couldn’t help but notice that Flash had captured the hearts of many of my colleagues.
So a few episodes into season two, I started tuning in, and I was quickly completely engrossed. Time travel, multiple earths, evil doppelgangers, beautiful women. To quote Billy Batson, “Holy Moly!”
At last super heroics done right!
The Flash season two finale entitled “The Race of His Life” brought to a close Barry’s season-long struggle with Earth-2’s Zoom. After the murder of his father at the hands of Zoom, Barry is consumed with revenge. Fearing Barry’s fall the dark side, Team Flash, takes it upon themselves to imprison Barry within the Pipeline, least his thirst for revenge play into Zoom’s plans to destroy the multiverse.
Team Flash goes out on a limb to defeat Zoom and almost succeed. However their plan goes awry at the last moment. In what should have been a moment of victory, Zoom as he is defeated, carries Joe captive back to Earth-2. Seeing that the team has failed miserably, Wally West takes it upon himself to free Barry so that he may rescue Joe and defeat Zoom once and for all.
Quick cut to the inevitable end, our heroes reign triumphant, and Zoom is carried off into the Speed Force by time wraiths seeking to set order to the Multiverse. If I had one disappointment about the finale, it was the predictable reveal of the man in the Iron Mask.
I had wondered all season whom Zoom’s masked prisoner would prove to be. However, with a basic knowledge of the DC Universe, and knowing that the real Jay Garrick is an older man, using the clues dropped over the course of the season it became apparent in the last few episodes that he would turn out to be Jay Garrick who also ended up being the doppelganger of Barry’s murdered father, Henry Allen.
My real surprise came at the very end of the episode when a despondent and angry Barry ran back in time to stop the Reverse Flash from killing his mother! Holy Flashpoint Paradox, Batman! In addition, did Barry murder the Reverse Flash? I wasn’t expecting this end.
For those of you familiar with the DC Flash comics, the flashpoint of Barry saving his mother created a new DC Universe. Wonder Woman and Aquaman were evil despots carrying on a long devastating war between the Amazons and Atlanteans. Thomas Wayne was the Batman and Martha Wayne was the Joker. Young Bruce Wayne was the victim in the alley. Lastly, Superman was a weak skinny lab test rat who was never let out into the sunlight to become the heroic Man of Steel.
Also if, Barry indeed murdered the Reverse Flash, this would also lead to early 80’s “Trial of the Flash,” where Barry Allen is charged with the murder of the Reverse Flash. What an incredible mash of groundbreaking storylines if it comes to pass!
Barry’s decision to break the laws of time will no doubt have major repercussions to the CW DC Universe. This rewriting of time will of course not only affect the Flash but the entire CW DC lineup and it would make Supergirl’s sudden appearance into the Flash/Arrowverse seem logical.
In my opinion The Flash series has continued to exceed, where Batman v Superman’s over serious melancholic tone fell flat, the Flash is hopeful and cheery. Sure the series overall can be a little corny, but the no matter the odds Flash and team are always having fun. There is a genuine love of adventure and each other.
The season finale rewarded loyal fans by wrapping up the yearlong storyline with a satisfying conclusion. It also left the show with an incredible status quo changing event. A few other shows could learn a thing or two about rewarding dedicated fans (yes, The Walking Dead, I am talking to you).
I’m stoked about Flash season three and the CW DC Universe as whole next season! I can’t wait to come into the office and see what the chatter is for the rest of the week!
What are your thoughts? What do you want from Flash season three? Will Barry pay for his actions in altering history? What will the CW Flashpoint Universe look like? Post your thoughts in the comments section below!