The Flash: Finish Line
May 24, 2017 10:37 AM - Season 3, Episode 23 - Subscribe

With nothing left to lose, Barry takes on Savitar in an epic conclusion to season three.

HR sacrifices himself and with his dying breath puts responsibility on Cisco.
The Flash-den gets destroyed.
Jesus Barry goes to Heaven The Speed Force. Hopefully forever.
Barry defeats Savitar in a remarkably easy manner that he should have tried doing months ago.
Iris tries to kill Barry but shoots the wrong one, killing Savitar.
Caitlin finally realises she doesn't have to be a villain.
Cisco reverses the polarity.
posted by FallowKing (10 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I can't believe I totally called how HR would switch himself with Iris using the holographic disguise and take the stab for her, although I had the timing wrong.

Riddle me this though: At the end of season one, Eddie Thawne kills himself, erasing Eobard Thawne from existence in a matter of a minute or so. Here, Barry shatters the closed time loop keeping Savitar in existence, but he takes a few hours to be erased. Why does Savitar get extra time to cause trouble?
posted by Servo5678 at 10:49 AM on May 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


Barry defeats Savitar in a remarkably easy manner that he should have tried doing months ago.

That's my main takeaway from this episode too. Taken as a standalone story, this episode passes muster, albeit in a halfhearted sort of way. It's up there with how Barry usually wins: get his ass kicked until he remembers all he has to do to defeat anyone is run faster. He ran faster, now Savitar is defeated.

Taken in the context of the rest of the season, this emphasizes two things to me:

1) They really had nothin', here.

For three seasons, each Big Bad has left Team Flash alive purely to trick them into doing some technobabble nonsense that will give said Big Bad ultimate power. In S1, that worked pretty well: Tom Cavanaugh can sell just about anything, and Thawne was personally directing them. S1 constitutes an excellent story. In S2, Zoom joined Team Flash with a sob story, which was weaker but still remotely plausible. Now, all we had was 'well, Savitar remembers this working out, allowing him to make whatever nonsense moves he wants because it's all history to him.'

This was, like, a 3-part story at best with the amount of plot complexity they actually came up with. I really think the CW shows need to take a page from the MCU TV shows and start doing multiple arcs per season to avoid all this wheel-spinning. (SHIELD has really improved since only giving story arcs as many episodes as they actually need. Netflix's success has been a little more mixed, but at least it contains the damage: a bad arc typically only ruins half a season there.)

2) They shouldn't have set up Savitar as so unstoppable.

They had to forget like half his powers for the final fight. I mean, he's supposed to be so fast he basically teleports, and cannot even be seen by non-speedsters unless he wants to be. Now Caitlin's knocking him around, and Barry can phase through his armor? Nah. Can't have it both ways, show.

Jesus Barry goes to Heaven The Speed Force. Hopefully forever.

No kidding. I know they have to bring back Grant Gustin - whom I have nothing against - but I hope they leave the current Barry all Raptured and get a ringer in the exact same way they do when a version of Wells doesn't work out. (Next season, I want Cowboy Harrison Wells and Cowboy Barry Allen.)

Iris tries to kill Barry but shoots the wrong one, killing Savitar.

Ahahahaha! Okay, that's my new headcanon.

I can't believe I totally called how HR would switch himself with Iris using the holographic disguise and take the stab for her, although I had the timing wrong.

Good catch. I found that pretty jarring though - like, 'oh only HR got killed so let's accept Savitar and have giddy wedding plans.' Poor HR. At least Tracy was appropriately broken up about a man being murdered in front of them.

Why does Savitar get extra time to cause trouble?

The Arrowverse takes a page from Whose Line Is It Anyway? - everything's made up as they go, and the points don't matter.
posted by mordax at 12:26 PM on May 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


My wacky explanation of time travel paradoxes and existence in The Flash works like this: No matter how a paradox is created, time -- though a loop -- always flow one way, forward, in the perspective of itself, not of any specific person, so when they are in their lifetime doesn't matter. So when a being is killed/undone in their past, via their earlier selves or their ancestors, time tracks them down in a forward wipe from the beginning (of time), figuring out which is the one to erase that won't cause a paradox.

So Eobard Thawne was immediately erased (but it actually still took a minute or so) because his earliest self at that point in his life was only a couple of decades ago, when he went back in time to kill Barry's mom and impersonate Wells. When Eddie killed himself, at that moment time started finding traces of Eobard in history, but left him untouched when he killed Barry's mom and etc because those would create paradoxes, so Eobard's current self (when Eddie died) is the safe spot for time to remove him. His future self though, sensed this coming and started running away, thus giving us Legends of Tomorrow's Thawne along with the Black Flash that was hunting him down. Time itself couldn't erase him because he never stayed in one place long enough for the trace to find him. Like how you gotta hang up the phone in 50 seconds if you know they're tracing your call (go go TV logic!). Needless to say, the Speed Force serves as a protector of time itself, doing all this, and that only speedsters could survive and run.

Because Savitar inserted himself as far back as centuries ago, time took a little longer to find which instance of Savitar to erase. There's some justification to be made here as to why a Black Flash was also sent out by the Speed Force to capture Savitar. Perhaps it knows he's a speedster who needed to be held in place long enough for time to catch up. I'm not trying to think too hard about that (I'm already expending more thoughts on this than I wanted to). In any case, that's why Savitar had as much time as he did.

I'm also posing that Savitar wasn't at full power during that fight because the Speed Force portal drained power from the suit when the reversed-polarity bazooka was fired at him.

Anyone know where I can apply to be a CW writer?
posted by numaner at 12:39 PM on May 24, 2017 [9 favorites]


Numaner, that's good stuff. I'm pretty sure you've just proven that you're overqualified to be a CW writer.

Anyways...yeah. I hope next season's better.

(Next season, I want Cowboy Harrison Wells and Cowboy Barry Allen.)

Now I do too!
posted by mstokes650 at 2:00 PM on May 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


(Next season, I want Cowboy Harrison Wells and Cowboy Barry Allen.)

Flashback Mountain
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 3:37 PM on May 24, 2017 [10 favorites]


They had to forget like half his powers for the final fight. I mean, he's supposed to be so fast he basically teleports, and cannot even be seen by non-speedsters unless he wants to be. Now Caitlin's knocking him around, and Barry can phase through his armor? Nah. Can't have it both ways, show.

Savitar could only do those things before he escaped the Speed Force. Once he was out, his powers were downgraded, but it was a net gain for him because he was free.

His future self though, sensed this coming and started running away, thus giving us Legends of Tomorrow's Thawne along with the Black Flash that was hunting him down.

I was with you up until here. Thawne said on Legends that the reason he's still around despite being erased is that Flash pulled him from the timeline through Flashpoint, bringing him back into the current reality and present. He doesn't belong there (is a paradox) which is why Black Flash was hunting him. So, really, that whole mess was Barry's fault too.

I know I correct people often around here on story points, but I only do that because you all help me understand these stories better and, when I see the opportunity, I like to return the favor. Discussing these shows with you all is part of the fun of watching them and I'm thankful we're all here to do that.

Flash lost a showrunner for next season (one of the co-creators is out). We should totally apply to be CW writers together. We'll be running that place inside of a year!
posted by Servo5678 at 3:49 PM on May 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


Favouties for everybody! It's my way of saying thanks for being along for the ride this season. It made taking in the nonsense so much easier knowing that I had you guys to vent to when it all got too much.

This episode was such a letdown. I don't know what I was expecting, given the mess we've been presented with in Season Three, but apparently I was hoping for something better to finish it off, even if I wasn't aware that I held those kinds of naïve feelings.

I know I shouldn't attempt to apply logic when discussing this show, but here's my final head-scratcher for the season: would a fatal blow struck to a 5'4" tall woman be an equally fatal blow to a 6' tall man? (And yes, sadly, I checked IMDB for Tom and Candice's heights, just to make sure there was enough of a difference that it might matter.) Okay, maybe the blade was big/wide enough that it ruined enough anatomy no matter where it entered the body, but even though I can give the writers that, the height discrepancy still crossed my mind when I was watching. I guess since everything has turned to such nonsense, that there is just no credibility for anything that happens anymore. Apparently the Flash has "the boy who cried wolf" syndrome.

On the plus side, Jay Garrick is back, so I guess that's one positive takeaway.

Anyway, fingers crossed they're able to turn the ship around for Season Four. I keep reading that it's not supposed to be an speedster as the big bad, so maybe there's a tiny, slim chance it won't be a completely terrible season.

Looking forward to chatting with everybody again in the fall (or winter or whenever it returns).
posted by sardonyx at 9:12 PM on May 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


So that's why H.R. was eyeing the Savitar spike last episode. Good call all on the Disguiser factor.

They should alter the opening next season to be Kid Flash centric, with him narrating, running though the city, etc. Then it starts off eight months later, everyone is done mourning, there is a nice portrait of Barry in the repaired lab and everyone has mostly moved on. No new speedsters for at least two seasons. Rotate stories between Wally, Jesse and Jay.

When Barry and Iris are on the couch and he asks if she is going to be ok [with shooting Barritar], I would have liked for her to respond along the lines of "I guess I will eventually be ok with you not punching him again so he would stay down for seven more seconds or not at least keeping an eye on him until he vanished".

Total classic Doctor Who callout: "Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!" (going back to 1972)
posted by mikepop at 10:41 AM on May 25, 2017 [4 favorites]


I was with you up until here. Thawne said on Legends that the reason he's still around despite being erased is that Flash pulled him from the timeline through Flashpoint, bringing him back into the current reality and present.

aaaaaahh thanks for reminding me! I forgot about that tidbit. But it still made sense, then, since Black Flash was only hunting down "aberrations" that shouldn't be existing, including a displaced Thawne and Savitar who's a Barry remnant.
posted by numaner at 12:51 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]


Hm, except for the ending I actually kind of liked this because it wasn't going places I expected it to go.
But seriously, stop buzzkilling on this show. Feh on that. Feh on stupid speedforce and "Flashpoint," I'm tired of hearing about it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:04 PM on June 2, 2017


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