The Flash ended its second season with Episode 23, “The Race of His Life,” and in typical comic book adaptation fashion, the end did not come quietly. In fact, it threw us for a spinning loop that’s sure to keep us in agony all summer!
Things picked up just where they left off– Barry watching Zoom kill his father, Henry Allen.
Just as Zoom intends, the murder awakens a hate and rage inside Barry, one that makes him want to kill Zoom and lets him think of little else. In fact, he almost does kill Zoom before he discovers that the Zoom he caught is a time revenant. Zoom tells him of his illustrious history of time revenant creation and how he’s narrowly avoided the Speedforce’s time wraiths, then he runs off. Barry feels no relief.
After all, Barry has just accepted the death of his mother and regained hope via his interactions with the Speedforce, only to have his father ripped away.
Villainous as he is, Zoom kindly waits until after the funeral to tell Barry what to REALLY wants from him: Mercury Labs accidentally created a magnetar, which is essentially its own Star Killer base and can destroy the many Earths of the multiverse at Zoom’s will. But Zoom needs Barry’s speed as well as his own to power it up.
He challenges Barry to “race” him around the magnetar. If Zoom wins, the magentar will destroy the multiverse, leaving to one Earth for him to rule over. For Barry to win, he’ll have to not only outrun Zoom but defeat him outright. If he doesn’t race, Zoom will continue to pick off his family and friends one by one.
Barry vows to race and win, but the STAR Labs team has other plans. They involve a tranq gun and a metahuman-proof cell.
Barry’s friends and family have all agreed that he cannot race Zoom. They’re locking him up for his own good because they don’t think he can win the race while so distracted by his emotions.
Instead, they make a plan to take down Zoom themselves. After scouting his location, Caitlin finds Zoom and begs him for forgiveness, admitting that she’s found the darkness inside herself. Good thing it’s a ruse and this Caitlin is a hologram, because Zoom isn’t so forgiving and moves to kill her!
That’s when the blaster shots and tranquilizers start raining down. Then Cisco opens a breech into Earth-2 to banish Zoom. Joe needs one more crucial tranq shot when his gun jams, so he meets Zoom face to face to deliver the final blow.
Unfortunately, as Zoom falls back through the breech, he takes Joe with him.
When Wally hears the news, he releases Barry. And Barry isn’t going to stand for it. With the help of a vibe from Cisco, he tells Zoom that he’ll race him for the promise of Joe’s safe return.
And then, the gang is all there, waiting for a new beginning… or the end.
So the “race” begins.
Zoom seems to be pulling ahead and bringing on the destruction of the multiverse, but then Barry takes a page out of Zoom’s book.
While the real Barry continues to race Zoom, Barry’s time revenant creates his own pulse around the magnetar’s power source and counteracts Zoom’s efforts.
The time revenant saves the multiverse, but he destroys himself in the process.
Finally, Barry has the upper hand as he and Zoom battle it out in high speed. Then, Barry’s Hail Mary pulls through: Time wraiths break through the Speedforce. They were called there by Barry creating a time revenant, but they’re more concerned with destroying Zoom, who constantly went against the rules of the Speedforce.
And Zoom’s takedown at the hands of the time wraiths is REALLY IMPORTANT. Why, you ask?
THAT IS BLACK FLASH— the Grim Reaper of Speedsters. He could be a key part of future seasons!
Though they’re battered and bruised, the team is safe from Zoom. Still, Barry is unsatisfied.
Things only get worse when the group saves The Man In The Iron Mask and unmasks him, revealing the true Jay Garrick, The Flash of Earth-3… and Henry Allen’s doppelgänger.
Jay Garrick goes back to Earth-3 via a trip to Earth-2 with Harry and Jesse in tow. We KNOW the closed breeches between Earths can’t last, because Harry and Jesse need to come back. They’re a wonderful part of the cast and we’re still hoping for that Wally/Jesse speedster romance.
At least Cisco promises to vibe on to Earth-2 and knock things over in Harry’s office. We’ll miss that bromance, otherwise.
Barry is parentless and heartbroken, but he’s still got the love of a very special woman: Iris West. The two even kiss, and this one is not a time-lapse or Earth-2 based!
Buuuuuut Barry Allen has no common sense. He can’t be satisfied. And so he does something incredibly stupid: He gets his mother back.
By going back in time, stopping Reverse Flash, and changing his entire history from that point on.
The incident was a huge part of the reason why Barry got his powers in the first place, so he’s jeopardized everything he knows and loves about the life he currently leads.
This opens up next season for the Flashpoint Paradox– though a heavily edited version with a different line-up of heroes involved, but it also destroys a lot of relationships and story lines we love on the show. Can this be fixed?!
We won’t know for several agonizing months! We’ll all just have to wonder and suffer until then.
What did you think of the big finale episode?