The Flash: The end of the Arrowverse
February 10, 2023 5:30 PM - Season 9 (Full Season) - Subscribe

Since 2012, we've gathered here at FanFare to hash out what's going on in the DC CW universe of superheroes. Now, that tradition is coming to an end. With the start of Season 9 of The Flash, the Arrowverse is wrapping up. It's time for one last run on the cosmic treadmill as we watch Barry, Iris, and the gang jog off into a futuristic sunset.

I'm posting this as an all season thread because:

a) I have no idea of anybody is anybody is watching anymore (I wouldn't be but it's the last season, and I've stuck with it this long, so I might as well see it through. I made the mistake last season of thinking that was supposed to be the final one, which is the only reason I slogged through that pile of dreck).

b) I know I won't be able to watch and post on the night the show airs, so I'm going to let whoever is left take the lead and comment in a more timely fashion.

c) the season might just be terrible enough that there is nothing to say.
posted by sardonyx (30 comments total)

In a season that is already too short to do what the production team wanted to do (and what should have been done), we start this final season with the biggest waste of time imaginable: a time-loop episode. That means we just keep seeing the same dead horse get beaten over and over again as Barry and Iris once again (and seriously how many times over the years have they had to do this?) learn that they work best together and that the future can't be/isn't written in stone. COME ON GUYS! We've been through this over and over and over again. It's as if the viewers have been caught in an inescapable time loop.

There was no life, no joy, no freshness, no energy, no evidence of anything that originally endeared viewers to this show and these characters. I was not expecting--but I was hoping--that the production team finally threw away the playbook they've been following for years and said to themselves "let's get back to the basics and go out on a high not." Nope. That didn't happen, so now we're going to have to wallow through so many slow, terrible, tedious episodes as this show crawls on its belly to its inevitable, inglorious finish.

We deserve better.
posted by sardonyx at 5:41 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]

I still have the last 9 episodes of season 8 sitting unwatched in my tivo. And now there are 10 episodes, and I don't think I have it in me to get caught up. Maybe I'll check in for the finale though.
posted by oh yeah! at 6:14 PM on February 10

Just skip whatever was left of season 8. It was terrible. It didn't make any sense. It was a waste of time.

I'd say you could start in with season 9, but this episode was another one that shouldn't have been produced, and it's best skipped. Maybe something will turn around starting with the next episode, although I'm not holding my breath.

Apparently, there are some big-name Arrowverse veterans scheduled to pop in. That might be nice to see (from a nostalgia perspective), if they give them proper send-offs, but I don't have much faith they'll accomplish that.

I do hope you come back for the finale. It's been a long road and it would be nice to say good-bye with what's left of the MeFites who watched along the way.
posted by sardonyx at 7:08 PM on February 10

I might watch the finale. I bailed pretty early on this show. I initially felt guilty, but they kept proving over and over that I made the right choice.

All these Arrowverse shows started really strong, but somewhere in each one the writers stopped expanding their imaginations and the shows just started retreading previous season arcs and became dour and un-fun. The imagination on display in the writers' room got embarrassingly small. Excepting Cat People of Yesteryear Legends of Tomorrow of course.

But I feel like I should watch the finale of this as an kind of funeral for the franchise.

Thanks for posting, sardonyx. You're a trooper.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 6:07 AM on February 11 [8 favorites]

Yeah, apart from Legends, I got off the Beeboverse train a while back. I hear good things about Superman & Lois and I keep meaning to catch up on Supergirl, but there's only so many hours in a day. It feels like at some point (again, apart from LoT) they stopped giving us moments like this, and I don't know why.
posted by MrBadExample at 8:09 AM on February 11 [3 favorites]

I've come this far. I'll watch the last ten. I'm the last in my family watching it. My wife and my mother both checked out a while ago.
posted by Servo5678 at 2:54 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]

And let me join under_petticoat_rule in thanking sardonyx for continuing to post these threads.
posted by MrBadExample at 11:02 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]

The best part of S09E01 was Joe telling Cecile that they should leave Central City. Yeah, Joe. I feel you.
posted by mikelieman at 4:25 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]

Well, I watched the premiere and my favorite bit was when Iris realized the were caught in a loop, her first question to Barry was if he broke the universe again. I love how these characters have learned when things get weird, their first impulse should be "Dammit Barry!" I also enjoyed how they took a day off to spend poolside. It's no hitting golf balls through the Stargate, but it's something.
posted by Servo5678 at 11:13 AM on February 14 [1 favorite]

Episode 2

Iris, last season (or maybe it was the season before that) you had such fabulous fashions. In this episode they did you wrong. There are good (or at least workable) cutouts and bad cutouts. You got all the bad ones this time around.

Snow (or whatever your name now is--even IMDB has you listed as "Snow ..."): When did you have time to go shopping? With whose money? Those weren't Caitlin's things and they weren't Frost's, so where did you find them?

Mark: Sorry dude, just accept that Barry is lying to you. You'll never be part of the team, not the way everybody else is. It's not you, it's them. Well, maybe it's partly you, but honestly, you're kind of the most interesting character on the screen these days, and that's saying something.

Jesse L. Martin: Good to see your back problems have improved enough to allow you bust a few moves on the dancefloor. (Or at least, I hope that's the situation and that you weren't forced out there in pain for "character" reasons.)

Okay some other thoughts that went through my head:

--This dance party was so sad in comparison to similar "characters lighten up and let loose" scenes in the past. I seem to recall there were some fun karaoke moments and dance breaks in past seasons.

--I just don't care about emotionally intelligent and granola-crunchy Mother Nature Snow. I don't care if she somehow evolves to incorporate aspects of both Caitlin and Frost. Yes, it's the last season and you needed to give Danielle Panabaker something to do. This wasn't it.

--We all felt it right? After the blurry villain said, "You have failed me." We all had the same next line going through our heads, right? ("You have failed this city.") Without getting all spoilery, there's been lots of online chat about how this show will honour the founding show and character of the Arrowverse, and I really think the writing team should have avoided using this kind of phrasing in this scene. It was the wrong call, and took the viewer out of the action and out of the story that was being told.

--Personally, I just couldn't work up any amount of care for any of the storylines happening in this episode. We haven't seen Hartley since season six (and I yes, I just looked that up--and noticed this is only the character's sixth appearance in this series) and that was so long ago that barely remember what he was up to then. Asking me to care about him or his partner now was asking too much, especially when confronted with another second-generation baddie with no backstory. I was bored. YAWN.

So far, there is no evidence this show is trying to go out on a high note.
posted by sardonyx at 9:02 PM on February 16

Episode 3

Mark. Chillblaine. Dude. Look, I'm so sorry and I hate being the one to have to tell you this, but whoever gave you the fashion advice to mix Logan's old yellow and blue uniform with Sabertooth's fur collar, man they were not your friend. Seriously, it's best that you consult a stylist, otherwise all the other baddies are just going to keep laughing at you and you don't want that kind of negative energy in your life.

Iris, I really don't know what to say. I know you're trying to buck your predestined fate and take control over your life, but they've been banging the Pulitzer drum over your head for ages now. Just chill out and know that you've got a career ahead of you, baby (or babies) or not.

Allegra. I don't know what your current issue is with romance (unless it's that "all my family is dead and all the people I love die" shtick you've been moaning about since you were introduced to Team Flash), but honestly, at this point, I just don't care. It's boring. You're boring. Chester is boring. Just go off and be boring together. Or apart. Whatever. Just please go away.

Khione/Snow/whatever your name is (I see it's finally listed on IMDB, unlike last week) I was going to question your gardening tip, but apparently you're right. You can grow daffodils from seeds. I just always assumed you needed bulbs. Okay, one reluctant point for you. That's the only point you're getting from me unless something really dramatic happens with your character development.

To stick with the formula, here are my random thoughts about this episode.

--I know this is supposed to be a throwback to the early days when the Rogues were interesting characters and we cared about them. A for effort, but in reality, this didn't quite hit the way you were hoping for. I can vaguely remember something about Jaco having a kid (unless I've mixed him up with another villainous father, and I think I may be doing just that), but I really don't remember anything about his bad-guy arc, so let's count him as a swing and a miss. Sure, he's a decent enough (for a Rogue) guy but that was some terrible flirting with the Fiddler--so bad, in fact, it wiped away any sympathy I had for you as a character. Goldface was fine. He's probably one of the better Rogues to be introduced over the past few seasons, but I'm still not feeling the love.

--One million dollars. Come on, is this an Austin Powers movie? If this Department of Defense engine is so vital and top secret and high tech, it's going to be worth WAY more than that. Repeatedly saying it's a million dollar item made it seem like a joke. Oh, and speaking of a million bucks, where is Hartley supposed to have a cool mill lying around to hand out to compensate this episode's baddies for their time? Isn't he just a night club owner these days? What crew does he need to protect?

--First the meta dampener was working, then it wasn't. Okay, but there was no real explanation for what actually happened, except that Barry suddenly needed his powers, so poof, it's offline again.

--Ryan Wilder. I knew this was coming, as I saw something online (that I can't find now) about the current big bad. I skipped the last season of Batwoman, as I really had no interest in Ryan or what they were doing with her character (and how they were tying Alice to Ryan). I don't know that this is the right Arrowverse lead to bring back, as Ryan and Barry don't really have any deep ties. As for the Red Death character, that's outside of my comic reading experience. I skipped the whole DC Death Metal (or whatever it was called) crossover fiasco as it sounded like some stupid plot made up by pre-teen boys, not professional comic writers, but then again, what do I know? I'm just not interested in a dark, multiverse alternative version of Ryan. I'm also not sure this is the best send off for fans of her character.

Overall, I guess it was a slightly better episode, but it was still far away from actually being any good.
posted by sardonyx at 9:31 PM on February 22 [1 favorite]

This late into the series seems like it is absolutely not the time for new business, and yet we have Snow's new character to deal with and a bunch of Rogues that only make me realize this story should have been done years ago when some real Rogues like Captain Cold could've been on the team. I don't remember any of these people. Well, that's not true; I remember Goldface because even though his name is so stupid, his actor really sells the character and he's kinda grown on me. But still, these ten episodes should be all about tying up loose ends, not introducing new elements.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:17 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

Episode 4

Ooohhh, dramatic camera angles and shots open the show. Somebody is making sure their demo reel has all kinds of highlights for when their jobs are finally over on this show.

Bad cutouts are back on both Iris and Allegra.

"Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot" plus all of the other iconic Bat lines. but even so they just didn't have any punch or effect (at least for me they didn't).

Flying armour pieces à la Iron Man. Sure, I guess.

I'm glad Barry's assumption about Red Death being the avatar was wrong, because boy, I just could not follow that jump in logic at all.

Flashbacks to rogues past. Why? What good did that do the show or the story or the viewer? Absolutely none at all.

Again, maybe it's just me, but it's been a long series, and I just don't remember every rogue with complete clarity, including flashing-eye guy. I totally agree with Servo5678, this is not the time to start recalling everybody who ever guest-starred as a baddie.

Overdramatic a bit much with your monologuing and screaming Ryan? You really weren't selling the evil. It was more like delivering a load of ham in a bad theatre production.

That set-up where Flash was chained up just looked so cheap and sad and plasticky.

Did Barry call Khione Caitlin? Not that I can blame him, but even still, I'm surprised that made it through editing.

Barry your uplifting, turn-your-life-around speeches are are landing really flat. They're just not working any more. I have trouble with the idea that Mark bought what you were selling. It was really bad. You're just lucky he's in a bad, mixed-up place right now. And yes, I know it wasn't your fault, but once again Team Flash screwed him over. If he turned around and killed you all, I'd have to say you deserved it.

At least keeping villains in the pipeline came back to bite the team on the posterior. That's one throwback line I can absolutely appreciate.

I guess the episode was fine, but I'm still not feeling it at all.
posted by sardonyx at 3:12 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]

all of the other iconic Bat lines

All this did was remind me that we just lost Kevin Conroy, and much too soon. By the time we got to the full "I am vengeance" line, I was thinking "Those are his words, you can't just take them!"

Flashbacks to rogues past. Why?

I think we're supposed to say, "Oh yeah, that guy!" but these lesser Rogues barely qualify as Rogues. I only remember Roy Bivolo because he's named after the trick to remember the order of colors of the rainbow, ROYGBIV, and he's the Rainbow Raider. His shtick is projecting emotions into people with the glowing eye trick. What did he do the last time we saw him? I dunno.

Did Barry call Khione Caitlin?

I caught that too. He totally did. Just reminds me how much Khione shouldn't be here, especially now that Mark is dead and that piece of the story seems over. And her "we are all one with nature" thing falls so flat.

I suppose my biggest issue with this whole arc is that I bailed on Batwoman during season 1, so I don't know Ryan Wilder at all beyond knowing she took over for Kate Kane in season 2. If this Ryan is from another timeline, then where's the original? Is she going to show up later to help them fight the Red Death version?

I'm not hate-watching, really I'm not, because I still enjoy spending the hour with these people, but I hoped for so much more from the show that brought us such a fantastic seasons 1 and 2, but those were a long time ago. If this wasn't the final season and you told me it was renewed for another five years, I think I would bail on it now, but with the finish line in sight, I figure I've come this far, so I'm all-in for the rest.
posted by Servo5678 at 8:16 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]

Ah, but is Mark really dead? Somehow I suspect he's not and that he'll be back.

Your final paragraph sums up my feelings, too, Servo5678. It's more disappointed watching than hate watching. I really wanted to see at lease some glimmers of the this show's former glory, but sadly, those seem to be extinct and as dead as/deader than Mark.
posted by sardonyx at 8:28 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]

Episode 5

Cecile, oh, no girl. I'm guessing when you bought those tan pleather pants you weren't expecting to be wearing then hooked onto some cobbled-together science-experiment table, but now that you've done that, and we've seen how unflattering they are on you, just burn them.

Mark is back. And so is our favourite gorilla, not that his presence helped the show. Remember when we were all so excited to see Grodd? This time it just felt like ticking a box: bring back fan-favourite character from the show's glory days. Check. It's not even a surprise that he and his tribe got screwed over by Barry. That's what Barry does. He talks a big game and doesn't follow through, just working on the assumption that everything will be hunky dory and that good things will all come through in the end. And they never do.

Speaking of talks a big game, I guess this episode was the big father-son speechifying wrap-up for Joe. I guess it's good that he gets his own send-off, but it feels weird to boot him out now. Also I really don't see how Joe thinks his plan will work. I mean I'm sure Team Flash has worked plenty of weekends, and it's not as if bad guys will be consulting with Cecile's schedule to see if she's in town or out in the country. Joe knows what it's like to not be there when Wally was growing up. That's what's going to happen with Cecile (even if not to the exact same extent). It's a bad call, IMHO.

Again, this show seems to have it wrong. Rather than introducing good Ryan to Team Flash for the first time, they should be bringing back characters that already have a relationship with the team. Kara and Cisco should be top of that list. I mean maybe they just want to go out saying Barry and friends met all of the Arrowverse heroes, but again that's just another box ticked.

If Iris is pregnant early, what does that mean for Nora and Bart? Does this reset the reality to comics reality with Dawn and Don?

Overall, it was another clunker of an episode. Sadly, I suspect the show will just keep chugging along this way until it finally runs out of steam and episodes.
posted by sardonyx at 9:29 PM on March 9

Remember when we were all so excited to see Grodd? This time it just felt like ticking a box: bring back fan-favourite character from the show's glory days. Check.

The show would have been better off wrapping up after Season 6's resolution of the Grodd arc. It's been downhill from there.
posted by mikelieman at 4:54 AM on March 10 [2 favorites]

Episode 6

Colour me impressed. I'm honestly dumbfounded about how each episode manages to get worse and worse and worse. It's some kind of talent or magic that allows the production team to miraculously find ever yet unexplored levels of terrible.

The best hope I had for this season was that we'd get mediocre and serviceable by the number stories--episodes cranked out to deal with loose ends. We're not even getting that. We're getting pure unadulterated dreck.

Right from the before-the-credit opener this episode didn't just signal it was going to be bad, it set off every alarm possible that it was going to be awful and make zero sense. I mean who buys a wedding gown like that from a bridal shop with no protective covering? Come on guys, give us a fraction of an ounce of credit that yes, we have brains and yes, we know how the real world actually works. And then it was just downhill from there. That whole bit with the engagement ring didn't really make sense. Cecile's whole predicament about feeling like she's a bad mom abandoning her daughter--I mean who could have predicted that? Oh wait, that's exactly what I said in my post about the last episode. Ugh.

I had a tiny glimmer of interest when I thought that Frost's powers had been grafted onto Mark or that a dormant Frost stuck in Khione would could revived through physical contact with Mark--either of those would have been an interesting twist (at least about as interesting as this show could get)--but sadly that's not the case. It doesn't matter if Khione is the avatar of nature or the current embodiment of the Green. Unless she turns out to be Tefé Holland and the show suddenly introduces Swampy and the last few episodes take a sudden left turn into deep, dark horror, I just don't care.

Seriously, this is the season that should be tugging on viewers' heartstrings, reminding us how much we used to love the show, playing on our fondness of the characters, and making us sad that our time in this universe is coming to a close. Instead it is insulting our intelligence, boring us, annoying us and making us wish that the end were coming sooner than it is, just so we can be done with this sad excuse for a TV show.
posted by sardonyx at 7:58 PM on March 18

Episode 7
This episode paired up Supergirl's Nia (Dreamer) Nal with Iris. Nia is still trying to figure out her powers (which has been a common theme with her from the start). Iris is still fretting over her supposedly already-written destiny--an issue I was hoping we were finished with by now, but no such luck.

Overall, this was a fine, by-the-numbers episode. While it's nice to see somebody from National City, I would have much preferred Kara over Nia, but I guess we're not getting that, and that we should be happy for any Arrowverse content.

In any other season, this would have been a decent episode and a nice nod to the fact that these shows share a common universe and these people are all allies and colleagues who can (and should) rely on each other. In this final season, it feels like too little, too late.
posted by sardonyx at 9:21 PM on March 31

Episode 8
At this point I don't even know why they're bothering. Once again, we've got a pointless stuck-in-time/space episode that doesn't advance the plot or develop the main characters. What makes it worse is that the situation is supposed to be bringing historical anomalies into STAR Labs, causing the characters to get zapped into "historical" costumes, which, fine, whatever, but Barry ends up in a pseudo ST:TNG outfit (Picard jacket) and Iris is in some kind of terrible cosplay/golden-age-of-Hollywood vision of a Medieval gown (which truly isn't) with jewellery that in no way matches and instead has some kind of golden-age-of-Hollywood African (at my best guess) vibe. It's all a complete mess.

And the biggest joke of all? STAR Labs passed its (municipal) government-mandated inspection. That's right. A nuclear facility has to get the city inspectors to sign off on safety.

Since this is the last season, this should have been a real inspection, shuttering the facility--which has never been properly repaired since the particle accelerator accident--and thereby starting its transformation into the Flash Museum. That action would also force member of Team Flash to start preparing for their new futures.
posted by sardonyx at 7:57 PM on April 16

Episode 9
I started groaning when the premise of this episode was revealed. It's Barry's birthday (fine). The gang is throwing him a surprise party (fine again). It's a repeat of his 30th birthday (huh?) because after a fight with some villain (the details are hazy in my memory) his cells rejuvenated and biologically he's now younger than he was and he's 30 again (no, not fine, not fine at all). As I've been complaining about all season, this is some kind of reversion to the past for an absolutely pointless reason when the show should be going forward, setting the characters up for the post-show future and wrapping up loose threads. It shouldn't be wasting its time navel-gazing and brooding about past mistakes and character development points that have already been resolved.

In addition to the Flash regulars, the partygoers also include John Diggle and Wallace West. It's good to see both of them, although, I'm especially happy for Digg's appearance, as he has been part of the Arrowverse since day one. Of course, a rogue crashes the party. This time it's Ramsey (Bloodwork) Rosso, who hasn't been seen since season six. He turns all the non-speedsters except Chester (and Kione, who is out buying a cake) into mind-controlled zombies. Eventually, he takes control of Wally by forcing him to relive old memories and insecurities of not being wanted by Joe, and uses Wally to kill Barry.

Dead Barry finds himself on Lian Yu with Oliver Queen. Oliver confirms that yup, Barry's dead. They chat about the multiverse, which Oliver restored (and numbered, as he's got plenty of time on his hands). Barry asks Oliver to send him back to the land of the living, Oliver says he can't do that as Barry doesn't really want to go. Barry admits to feeling guilty that he's still alive when so many other people are dead. Barry eventually feels better about himself--he even tells Oliver he's ready to run--so Oliver can send him back. Barry's surprised when Oliver shows up as well. Apparently Oliver can intervene when the multiverse is threatened but his powers are weakened by Ramses' efforts to use Wally to access the multiverse. Ramses wants to turn everybody in all of creation into zombies. Eventually Barry breaks Wally free, Kione frees Digg, and Wally, Digg, Oliver and Barry defeat Ramses for the final time. Then, everybody goes back to the party where Digg and Oliver have a chance to talk and say good-bye. The afterparty involves Barry and Oliver sitting at a bar, sharing a beer.

Okay enough plot summary.

It was really nice seeing Digg again. During the first party, Digg attempted to have a nice exchange with Barry, which Barry torpedoed. The scene was was prime Digg--the level-headed confidant and self-made hero trying to talk another Arrowverse hero out of a funk. Points for that exchange.

During the scene between Oliver and Barry on Lian-Yu, there was something really off. I remember really knocking Steven Amell's acting during the early season of Arrow, but by the end he had improved dramatically. Watching this Spectre version of Oliver, it almost felt like he had forgotten everything he had learned over the years. He was awkward and stiff. I'm thinking that Amell was just trying to present himself differently than he did when he was simply Green Arrow and give Spectre Oliver a more dignified, stately presence. It didn't quite work. The performance wasn't helped by his voice sounding entirely different than it had before Amell retired his hood and bow. I don't know if was some kind of audio effect or something Amell achieved naturally, but it was almost like watching something where the original actor's voice had been overdubbed by a completely different actor. Again, I guess this was done to make him more of a Spectre.

Green Arrow's fight choreography with Ramses' zombified minions was flashy and not something typically done in The Flash, but the editing was a bit overdone with too sharp cuts and the booming zombie sound effects were horribly distracting. I have no idea if Amell did the choreography or if it was handled by a fight double, but there were a lot of camera angles from behind and the hood was so far over Oliver's head that you could never see his face. It would have been nice to get some really clear shots of Amell as Oliver in action. Oliver got to whip out his catchphrase for the last time. (I was kind of surprised. I was expecting a modification to "you have failed this multiverse," but nope, they went with the classic "city.")

In part two of the party, however, Amell seemed to loosen up and Oliver felt more like Oliver. The exchange between Oliver and John was much needed and much appreciated. It also addressed one of the threads that has been left hanging. John won't be a Lantern. Despite the revised personal history (giving John the Stewart surname) and all of the talk about a GL Corps TV show (which I have no idea if it's still happening), Oliver told John he made the right decision rejecting the green, glowing box. Apparently, it was sent to tempt John, and by not falling into temptation, John made the right choice--a choice that means he gets to live out his life with his family. I guess that means that whatever mystery illness was causing Digg to wander through the Arrowverse looking for a cure has been resolved. That issue wasn't addressed at all, but it's fine. John and Oliver got to have a farewell moment, which the characters deserved.

During their final drink at the bar, Barry said the Oliver made him a better hero. Oliver said knowing Barry made him a better man. (Aww, how sweet!) Still doubting himself, Barry asked Oliver if he was accomplishing enough with his time and powers. Oliver told him he inspired hope. (Awwww!). There's an exchange about paying the tab (Barry expects Oliver to pay as he's a billionaire. Oliver says he's got no money as he couldn't take it with him) and then Oliver poofs out of this realm of existence. This final exchange also felt pretty true to the relationship the characters had over the course of the years.

All in, the episode ended up being pretty satisfying. We needed to see these guest starring characters again (including Wally, who got to connect with Iris after the party). Offering them an opportunity to show their appreciation for each other and say good-bye gave the viewers that same opportunity, and again, it's something we're owed after so many years. This should have been the standard for this season, not all of the other crappy retreaded ground that has been tromped all over in earlier episodes.

Maybe, just maybe, if they can keep this up, the show will stick the landing. I'm not holding my breath for that to happen but a possibility is better than nothing.
posted by sardonyx at 8:35 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]

Episode 10

Opening shot: Close-up on obviously artificial roses. Why? Are they supposed to be real roses? Why artificial ones? (Even if you want artificial ones—and not stand-ins for real ones—make sure they’re good quality ones without frayed threads hanging from raw edges.) Why blue? Is the colour supposed to be symbolic of something? Why this close-up at all? Let me guess, this is another demo-reel episode where the director shows off all of their storytelling skills (see, I can create a mood from zooming around still-life shots.)

Nice to see Rick Cosnett again. Now, this is exactly the kind of actor who should be making a return appearance during the final season—one that has an important history with the show.
Title sequence: A New World. Well, that’s very Dr. Who or Quantum Leap (or some other sci-fi show I can’t quite recall at the moment, but I know it’s reminiscent of something else). It all seems a bit overly dramatic, but it’s the final season. I can live with it.

Ugh. My poor eyes. That’s not Rainbow Brite, Allegra. That’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, on acid. And gee, it’s as ratty and frayed looking as the roses (note the cuffs and collar). Seriously, who is going to fight crime wearing that? Chuck, you’re no Cisco. Give up costume design and superhero alter-ego creation. You’re bad at it.

Joe, I was not expecting to see you again after your big send off. Cecile, I’ll give you props for commitment to your fashion aesthetic. (P)Leather pants for an at-home breakfast—that’s a lot, but it’s definitely you.

Again with the plants (at least some of which I suspect are plastic). Okay, rolling fog under the door is new, Khione. And yes, I’m still dying to know how you got an apartment and how you’re supporting yourself since you’re only a few months old and likely don’t have any legal, official documentation as to your identity. Wait, why are we watching you write in your diary? Is this another demo-reel attempt? (Look, I can do soft, character pieces, like for sentimental women’s movies). And when did you get involved with Argus? Couldn’t Digg have mentioned that last episode? Or couldn’t we have at least seen you and Digg huddled in a corner at the party having a serious discussion?

I don’t know how the Pulitzer committee sends out its nomination notifications, but somehow I doubt it’s like that. Usually (in my experience) the subject line would read something like “the 2023 [prize name] nominations are out” and then you’d have to click on the link to read the full nomination list on the website.

Gambi Cleaners. I guess this is the only nod we’re going to get to Black Lightning.

“I call everybody captain.” Barry, you’re an idiot. You know it’s 20 years in the past. You should have been prepared to bump into people with their more junior titles. And you know running away from Joe will just make him even more suspicious than he already was, and a suspicious Joe is going to start digging and potentially doing something to muck up the timeline.

Now you’re calling Prof. Stein? Maybe running (you can still do that) to his lab and talking to him in person should have been your first plan. I’m sure there are ways you could have convinced him of your situation without compromising the timeline.

Barry looks like his maternal grandfather. How sweet! But without proper ID and insurance, who is going to pay Barry’s/Bart’s hospital bill?

Zatara’s? No gniog si kceh eht tahw? Why keep using that name? Why keep emphasizing it? Are they trying to imply everything has a magical explanation (when we all know it’s a speedster-based one). Zatanna and Giovanni "John" Zatara were never restauranteurs. They were stage (and real) magicians. Is this episode suddenly going to attempt to stuff in as many irrelevant DC Easter eggs as possible? We’re way past the point where the Arrowverse should be bothering with those kinds of teases. It’s time to wrap things up, not make nods to an unfulfilled future.

Another familiar face appears: Matt Letscher’s Eobard Thawne. Okay, I thought we had finished with this character last season, but I guess I can tolerate him being used in the final season. (Actually, I liked the way he was treated on Legends, but I guess it’s easy to ignore that show now it’s off the air.)

Why are Henry and Nora sitting around a hospital room? Shouldn’t they be at home, looking after little Barry? Also, doesn’t the placement of plants in the hospital hallway seem strange, especially the one next to an IV pole?

Ah, Barry is cut off from the Speed Force. I didn’t get that implication. I thought there was just some kind of barrier preventing time travel.

Thawne died? What are you talking about Negative Speed Force Joe? We just saw him two scenes ago sitting at a table in a bar looking pretty healthy.

Barry thanks Thawne for giving him closure and peace and explains he’s happy he got to see his parents again. I’m a bit confused. I thought Barry had already dealt with the issues surrounding his mother’s death, and had taken opportunities to connect with both Nora and Henry and hash out this part of his history. But I guess this just fits in the retreading-old-ground theme of the season. But why is he thanking Thawne? Thawne didn’t bring him to this timeline. The blue crystal Negative Speed Force did.

Red skies and lightning. That’s never a good mix in the DC universe. Rick Cosnett is back on the screen again. At this point, we know the security guard called him doctor. It looks like his ID badge has the name “Gilmore” on it (although we didn’t get a clear shot of it and I could be mistaken). The classic Flash origin scenario occurs—lighting plus chemicals—and now we’ve got a new speedster. Or maybe an old speedster. Or possibly an existing speedster with a new face. Who knows, with the way speedsters adopt new visages?

This episode has left me a little lost regarding the-Barry-going-back-in time-shenanigans (I feel like we’re short a Flash. Shouldn’t there be three Flashes there after so many visits to the past?), but at least it feels like the show is trying to go somewhere. Yes, it’s doing so by stomping all over well travelled roads but at least there’s a sense of energy or drive or purpose. So that’s two decent episodes in a row, which is more than we’ve had so far this season. Maybe the show will find a way to go out on a high note.
posted by sardonyx at 7:30 PM on May 4

I would like to thank you, sardonyx, for putting this up. At this point, I'm pretty much watching for completeness, but I'm still happy to see the reviews.

For me, The Flash could have ended back in season 6, right when they wrapped up Grodd's story and I would have been happy.
posted by mikelieman at 3:48 AM on May 5 [2 favorites]

I'm in exactly the same boat, mikelieman. I've been watching the show this long, so I might as well see it through it its end. I should have given up years ago when its downhill slide was evident, and I likely would have done so, if it were a standalone series, but the interconnected nature of the Arrowverse made it easy to keep on watching. Plus, there was always that faint hope that the production team would be able to recapture that lightning in a bottle and return to making some fun, good quality shows. I can't say I'll be sad to see this end, but I do hope that after it's all over we'll be able to feel that the whole Arrowverse experiment was wrapped up in a suitable and satisfying way.
posted by sardonyx at 7:09 AM on May 5 [1 favorite]

As for my posts, I'm just happy that somebody is reading them. They're not really reviews. They're just an outlet for me to express my frustrations with everything that annoys be about the show these days. I know they're a mixed bag with fashion commentary and nods to comic-book canon and my own personal opinions, but nobody in my real life circle watches this, so this is my way of griping about stuff. Really. I mean that opening shot of those raggedy flowers had me itching for a pair of scissors. It just all seemed so lazy and careless. I can't imagine any professional production company could get away with something like that.
posted by sardonyx at 7:59 AM on May 5

Episode 11

And those ratty artificial roses are back. I feel as if I don't need to make any more comments about this episode based on the use of those props alone.

But I guess, since I'm already here...

I have no idea where this is going, what's really happening or why, and I don't really care.

I suspect this is probably the least amount of screen time Barry has received in the entire run of the show--and if it's not, it's got to be in the top two or three "missing Barry" episodes. I think this was a mistake. The show is wrapping up, the focus should be on Barry and Iris completing their arc, not all of the rest of the stuff we're getting.

Khione is Mother Nature or Gaia or something. That's fine, even if now isn't the time to be introducing new goddesses or forces or whatever. At least she's making plans for her future beyond Central City. I guess it's good that at least one member of Team Flash is doing that.

Doctor-not-Detective-Eddie-Thawne-Malcolm-Gilmore is going to end up sacrificing himself again by the end for the show just to reset the timeline (or something), isn't he? I swear, every time I see the actor in this show, the thought that I had way back in season one comes back (minus the typo): I like Grant Gustin, but physically, Rick Cosnett matches the image I have of Barry in my head.

This really felt like a table-setting, "going through the motions" episode that didn't really accomplish anything. I'm not sure the show has enough time left to waste so much of it this way.
posted by sardonyx at 7:58 PM on May 11

I fell off this season hard during the Red Death two-parter. I’ll wrap it up when it hits Netflix.
posted by Servo5678 at 10:18 PM on May 12

I don't blame you. That was a painfully bad two-parter. Sadly, I'm masochistic enough and completist enough that I'm here until the end.
posted by sardonyx at 9:14 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]

Episode 12

The Eddie Thawne emotional roller coaster kicked into overdrive and it was all a little much. I think this would have been a much stronger narrative arc if Eddie's journey had more time and more room to breathe. It also might have been a tiny bit easier on the act. Cosnett was forced to show every emotion under the sun, pretty much all at once, and I think it was just a bit too much for him. The performance was a bit hammy. (Mind you, this is the Flash, so it's not like ham is a brand new element to the show.)

I suspect history is going to have to repeat itself when it comes to Eddie's fate. He's essentially a good guy, and it doesn't make any sense to change that so close to the end of the show.
posted by sardonyx at 3:16 PM on May 18

Episode 13

It's the end of the line. The last episode of the Flash and the official end to the Arrowverse, so I'll go easy (despite wanting to take some shots at Eddie's costume which looked like somebody tried to mash up Dick Grayson's Discowing suit and Starfox's uniform).

On the plus side, we got to see the return of Tom Cavanagh (as both a Wells and a Thawne) and Teddy Sears as Zoom. We also got to see John Wesley Shipp back in the boots for the last time, which was nice. His series didn't really get a fair run when it first aired, and one of the good things about this show was that it acknowledged its predecessor.

Also in the plus column was that they found a way to keep Eddie from sacrificing himself again. (Although I don't know how making three new speedsters will allow the balance of the negative and positive speed forces to remain.)

The writers and production team tried to capture the positive, optimistic tone of the show's first season. I don't know that it felt as organic as it used to be, but I guess you have to give everybody an A for effort.

Weird things worth mentioning: Flashing the Ferris Air sign was a bit off-putting. They teased Green Lantern so hard throughout the run of the Arrowverse and then when it looked like we might be getting close (John Diggle acknowledging the Stewart part of his name and getting a glowing green box) they pulled the rug out from under the viewers and that story line.

Out of all of the comic creators they could have name dropped on the last episode of the show, I don't really know why they picked Dwayne McDuffie. I could be very, very wrong about this, but as far as I know, he wasn't ever really associated with the Flash (at least outside of the animated Justice League and Justice League Unlimited shows where Wally's Flash was a team member). I don't know the Milestone universe at all, so I can't say if Chester is supposed to be a Milestone character or stand-in. McDuffie was an advocate for Black characters and creators, so I can see how that ties in with this show, but it still really stood out as something that took me out of the show and made me stop and think about what reference I had missed. I also paused on the "thank you" credit screen to see which comic creators were listed, but that's pretty standard behaviour for me with these kinds of shows.

I won't put too many marks in the negative column, but I do want to list a couple. The big speedster legion vs. Team Flash fight wasn't much to write home about. The exponential power increase displayed by Team Flash made some of the most dangerous villains of the series fold like wet tissue, so it was almost pointless to bring back so many rogues--at least for story reasons. We all know the reason most of them were back was to give fans one last look at some favourite big bads.

While we got Caitlin back, after Khione ascended, we didn't get the return of the third original member of Team Flash, Cisco. That's a bit of a shame. It would have been nice to have the entire gang back together one last time.

And speaking of one last time getting the gang back together, I just wanted to say that I've enjoyed our Arrowverse discussions and that I appreciate having a place to share my thoughts about the shows--whether they were making me laugh, frustrating me with their ridiculousness or making me recall nearly forgotten comics lore.
posted by sardonyx at 9:19 PM on May 25 [4 favorites]

« Older Lorena: Lorena (2019)...   |  The Interest of Love: The Inte... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments