Originally Aired 5/19/15
Season 1 Episode 23
It feels like 23 episodes of the Flash have truly sped by, it seems only like yesterday that Autumn had fallen upon us and DC fan boys and fan-girls everywhere all had the same question. Could Grant Gustin do for the Flash what Stephen Amell did for the Green Arrow character? In other words, make the character relevant in ways other than a t-shirt logo. After the season one finale of CW’s the Flash not only is it safe to say the character is relevant in mainstream pop culture, but that as a whole the Flash season one may be the most powerful superhero storytelling arc since Christopher Nolan’s: Batman Trilogy. Week in and week out, Barry Allen reminded us of what truly being a hero is, and that sometimes lifting up the others around you is just as important as how many buildings you smash the villain through.
“Fast Enough” was the perfect microcosm of what sets this version of the Flash apart in the golden age of superhero film and television. That being, a true character driven narrative, in other words what Barry Allen does day in and day out is just as important as what he does in the famous scarlet outfit. On the heels of last week’s epic showdown with the Reverse Flash, our main story like it should be is a Barry Allen one. Should Barry trust Eobard Thawne and travel back to the night his mother was killed to save her at the cost of risking everything he and the one’s he love have in the present? After emotional interactions with Joe, Iris, and the S.T.A.R Lab’s team it appears the decision is clear, for once in his life Barry Allen has to care for himself. What follows is an emotional journey through the speed force that lands Barry back at that infamous moment, and in typical Barry Allen fashion he cannot jeopardize the fortunes of those in the present making the decision to not save his mom, but rather return to the present to stop the Reverse Flash from traveling back to the future through a black hole Barry’s actions caused. The collision course between Barry and Thawne is finally met in fight that made up for what in lacked in thrills with an emotional punch in the gut, that I can’t even spoil here.
The fallout, however, is that the particle accelerator has provided earth with a singularity, probably better described as a black hole. In one final blaze of glory Barry Allen without much hesitation puts himself at the core of the black-hole going beyond mach 2 in order to stop it, and we fade to black. The final two decisions here by our titular hero first to not grant himself the future he deserves, and secondly to thrust himself in the middle of infinite time and space to save his world are the exclamation point on what the Barry Allen version of the Flash truly is. Just as he was in Crisis on Infinite Earth’s all those years ago, Barry Allen is truly selfless. While you can make that argument about so many heroes throughout comics, it is the fact that it isn’t that the Flash is selfless, it’s that Barry Allen is.
The fact that the Flash show runners on a weekly basis have been able to capture the heart and magic that helped Barry Allen jump start the Silver Age so many years ago is simply remarkable. While this generation is spoiled by grandiose superhero storytelling both on the screen and page, there is just something a bit different here. It is one thing for a television show or film to be able to capture a character’s mannerisms and wit to a tee, however what the Flash show runners and Grant Gustin have done is so much more, which is giving mainstream audiences to peak into the purest heart and soul in all of comics lore.