Flash Review: “The Race of His Life”

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Jim’s Thoughts

Flash gave us an okay finale to a season that disappointed a little too often. There’s really no talking about it without giving spoilers, so I won’t really try to avoid them.

Zoom’s character really was gutted when he unmasked as Jay. The last bit of the season showed us he wasn’t really Jay, but that he stole the identity. That wasn’t so much of a surprise as you may recall the man in the iron mask spelling out Jay Garrick in code some episodes ago, so we already sort of knew that. The revelation that the real Jay Garrick is an Earth 3 doppelganger to Barry’s dad also lacked much of an impact because it feels like the show has dipped pretty far into that well. There was some payoff to it. Some of you may know the actor portraying Dr. Allen/Jay Garrick once portrayed The Flash in a previous TV series, there was some fan service to the twist. Take it for what it’s worth.

The final showdown with Zoom didn’t do much for me, either. Having everything settled by a race is pretty unsatisfying. Was it really about his ego? The need to power up his doomsday device would suggest no, but given the fact he could have charged it himself by doing more laps, the answer is kind of “yes.”

For anyone familiar with DC Comics lore, it looks like the end is setting up a Flashpoint story. Given that Harry and Jessie are back on Earth 2, it could make for an interesting story arc for Season 3. With that, I guess I’m at least optimistic that we could see Flash get back to what made the show good.

Kyle’s Take

Flashpoint is an iconic Flash story—actually, it’s a DC Comics Universe story—but in order to pull off Flashpoint, The Flash had to go back in time and save his mother. This negates several deaths, which is something we’ve dinged The Flash on several times in the past and here they go again, but the CW shows could use a reset button. Ever since the producers announced Supergirl would transition to the CW next season, I wondered if they’d pull the Flashpoint trigger and have that sync up the shows to some extent.

Jim and I were messaging as I clicked the button for “The Race of His Life” on Hulu. He said there was a huge, DC Universe altering moment at the end of the episode and I asked him if it was Flashpoint. He was worried he spoiled it for me, but John Wesley Shipp (Henry Allen and the 1990’s Flash) teased that Flashpoint would factor into The Flash’s second season somehow more than a year ago, and I included that in a Flash Secrets page for May 22, 2015 (here’s a link) back when I still did those—hopefully, I’ll start writing those again next season. So the ending wasn’t a surprise.

Everything leading up to the ending was hokey. Anything involving Zoom was painful. I challenge you to a race, Flash. Really? Isn’t that what Superman and Flash do every few decades or so? Just in case you’re wondering, Flash leads the series with a record of 3 wins, no loses, and 2 ties. Take that, Supes. And what was the big prize for Barry winning that race? We’re powering up my doomsday device. That’s a classic heads I win, tails you lose situation. The solution Barry used to solve that scenario was another something Jim and I have dinged Flash for in the past: time remnants.

I don’t have much else to say that’s positive, and I want to stay positive, so let’s look toward next season. Flashpoint shakes up the DC Universe to its core. This could be fun. I just hope The Flash stops with the incessant time warps and alternate Earths. It’s like a Monty Python sketch up in here. I’m not dead yet. I got better.

Thanks for reading.

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