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THE FLASH Season 3 Finale Review

By on May 24, 2017

Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Candice Patton as Iris West -- Photo: Katie Yu /The CW

By Justin Carter

Finish Line

So, Iris West is dead! Only, it turns out that Savitar’s prophecy didn’t quite go as planned, as HR swapped places with Iris and took the blade to the chest instead. Some fans may have predicted this — I admittedly thought that as well, at least until a preview for the finale indicated otherwise — but it’s still an effective bait and switch regardless. Season one Wells aside, it’s been generally assumed that all iterations of Wells have relative Plot Immunity, so for HR to sacrifice himself was certainly surprising.

Having prevented Iris’ death, Savitar is supposed to be wiped out by the time paradox of nonexistence, but it’ll take a few hours for it to really set in effect. (Don’t ask, just roll with it.) Savitar’s stolen the Speed Force bazooka and Cisco, forcing him to work on it to turn the Speed God into an actual god and spread himself out throughout history and rule it all across different eras. Barry thinks that he can change Savitar now that Iris is saved, so he brings him back to STAR Labs in the hopes of finding a way to save him from his fate.

Now, this is where things get a little weird for me. I understand Barry’s logic — Savitar grew up without the love of his family, so giving him love should therefore set things straight — but it also doesn’t entirely hold ground here. Savitar isn’t someone like Captain Cold or Heatwave who have demonstrably positive qualities buried underneath snark and tendencies that are, at best, just really violent. The Speed God has done some pretty awful stuff over the past year, what with mind controlling Julian, everything with Caitlin, and the team is right to refuse to help Savitar. (At best, the one good thing that he did was give Wally his powers.) Tracy in particular is completely valid in refusing to help, though it does feel like the show has hyperaccelerated the romance with HR just to get to this point.

Thankfully, the show seems to realize that even redeeming its big bad for the season would be a weird note to end on, so it turns out that Savitar was playing them just so he could put the Philosopher’s Stone in STAR Labs and open a portal. That having been done, he uses the bazooka to try and spread himself across history, only Cisco retooled it to act as a gateway for Jay Garrick to return. Flash, Kid Flash, and Garrick chase Savitar while Cisco and Gypsy (hey, she’s back!) deal with Killer Frost, who’s already having doubts about sticking with the blue metal blur. In all honesty, the fight sequence in the park could really have been slimmed down a few characters, but all the same….it really does look cool. Seeing all three generations of Flash chase down an evil Flash is the stuff comic books are made of, and it leads to a cool visual of Savitar using his blades to cut down two trees in an effort to slow the Flashes down, with Kid Flash sliding in between the opening in slow motion.

Barry fortunately manages to get Savitar out of his armor and hijack it himself for a brief moment before vibrating it into pieces. Enraged, Savitar tries to finish the job himself…and ends up getting shot by Iris. Ouch. It’s nice that of all the characters, she was the one to deliver the killing blow, and it comes full circle to the prophecy that we saw way back when. With Caitlin in control of herself and choosing to leave Central City and HR laid to rest, it looks like everything has more or less wrapped for Team Flash. Except that since Jay’s gone from Speed Force prison, the speedster dimension is creating lightning storms all over the city. Seeing as how Jay and Wally obviously aren’t going back after spending one stint in there, Barry walks into the Speed Force as penance for everything he’s done over the course of the season.

As far as acknowledgments that all of this is Barry’s fault, it’s doubtful that there’ll ever be a more literal representation of that. He even basically says so to Iris during their teary goodbye, but it’s still nice to see the show just flat out admit that its titular character made a real boneheaded move that’s put everyone at risk. Does it make up for everything he’s pulled over the last 22 episodes? For some, yes, and for others, not by a long shot. But with Barry having to spend the next 4 1/2 months in Speedster Jail, this comes with the chance to hopefully retool him for season four.

And that’s the conclusion to another season of The Flash! Despite my criticisms, I think I’ve enjoyed this last season more so than the last one. It was nice to see some other heroes added into Team Flash, and the requisite crossover episode certainly didn’t hurt matters either. (Ditto the excellent musical episode.) If I had to place this in any particular order, it would stand in the middle. Sometimes, that’s the best you can hope for.

Additional Notes

  • Yeah, so, this DeVoe guy that’s been mentioned before is definitely the big bad for next season, right? In the comics, he’s called the Thinker, and apparently has powers that require shutting down his mind, if Savitar is to be believed.
  • Savitar threatening to pull a Reverse Flash on Cisco to get him to cooperate and Cisco’s indifference was genuinely funny, along with the digs at the speedster’s scarred face.
  • Oh hey, Black Flash is here–whoop, he just got shattered by Killer Frost.
  • Looks like Harry will be a permanent fixture to Team Flash now that HR’s gone. Here’s hoping that sticks around, if only because I don’t know what other variant on Wells they could throw into the mix at this point.
  • Savitar’s armor with red colors looks way more ominous than blue.

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