The Flash: Season 3 Episode 23 review – Finish Line
This review contains spoilers.
Unlike Supergirl, which finished on a qualitative high, The Flash‘s finale submitted us to one weak plot turn after another. First the writers revealed that Iris is alive and that HR was masquerading as her. Not only does HR running off to switch places with her bend believability, but it also reneges on the commendably bleak ending that we were granted last week.
Now, instead of the writers boldly daring to axe off Barry’s true love, we’re simply left with a cheap trick on the part of HR, who (admirably) gave his life in her place. In retrospect, this was guessable, since the masking device that can make you look like someone else was seen prior to this reveal. Nonetheless, it’s a flimsy switch to pull, especially given that killing Iris would have been much stronger.
Then Savitar seemed to give in all too easily, simply because Barry attempted an emotional connection with him. It seemed to good to be true and thankfully it was – with Savitar pulling a ruse on Team Flash – but for a moment (given the weak Iris twist) I thought they might genuinely be taking the “let’s be friends” route as the endgame solution, which would have been a horrible conclusion.
Ultimately, Savitar is killed by Iris (his fractured body then being swopped up in a moment of below-par CGI), which is a poetic solution that also could have easily been surmised. At one point in this episode Barry mentions how much Thawne and Zoom took from him. Hearing the names of those villains once more, it brought to mind how powerful and formidable they were and how rather Savitar pales in comparison.
Each season, the show has dropped in quality a small amount and each villain has got progressively less impressive. This trend doesn’t bode well for Season 4, the villain for which still remains a complete mystery at this point.
The closing moments did impress me a little. This was the speedforce wreaking havoc because it “needs a prisoner” and then Barry deciding to turn himself in to face his penance. It’s a nice way to pull the rug of happiness out from under Barry and Iris, just as they thought they might be OK.
I also think this would be an absolutely perfect opportunity to remove Grant Gustin from the show and to allow Wally West to assume the mantle as The Flash and as the lead protagonist for the show. It’s nothing against Gustin; I just think the show needs a truly fresh injection, to awaken it back to its former glory.
In the comics Wally assumed the mantle of The Flash, so it would make perfect sense here too, and you could easily bring Barry back in now and then for guest appearances. But I can’t see Berlanti and co wanting to ditch Gustin any time soon, as alluring as the switch up might sound.
This was mixed bag of a finale. I really didn’t like the Iris reveal and the kind Savitar fake-out, but I was quite fond of the speedforce ending, of HR’s admirable sacrifice, of Gypsy’s small return and of the fact that the writers opted for “something in the middle” for Caitlin rather than a complete return to her nice old self.
This will be my final review for The Flash. Not because the show no longer warrants reviews, but simply because I have other areas of focus that require my attention. Supergirl I will continue to cover upon its return (including all of the crossover episodes that feature her).
Image credits: The Flash