The CW/DC Universe finales keep coming with stories that touch on the future and present both. Flash is very concerned with “Legacy,” which would have worked for the title of Arrow as well, but they used it in season five. There were a lot of surprises in this one, and a few twists I didn’t see coming at all, one of which I really didn’t like. It was an interesting end to the season and, like Arrow, hinted at the upcoming Crisis that will change a lot of the Arrow-verse. This is a season finale, so there will be spoilers.
The show starts with a voiceover from Nora, which made me realize most of the shows have ditched their introductory talking at this point. This is Nora talking about being a hero and meeting her family being all she wanted to do. That fades into the battle last episode ended with, and Ralph suddenly surprising everyone by blocking Flash’s shot at the dagger with the mirror gun. Ralph is the only one who figured out what is going on, and he didn’t have time to share. This doesn’t go well for Ralph, and they go back to STAR to come up with a new plan and try and treat the deformed detective. There’s time for Caitlin to give Cisco a talk about needing to tell Kamilla the truth about his life as Vibe. Remind me how your lovelife is going, Caitlin? Maybe you’re not the best one to be giving out this advice right now?
The endangered metahumans have been cured or evacuated (which should cut down on the possible future villains a lot) and Singh is impressed by their work. Barry and Nora work the scene of the battle as CSI techs, and find a clue. She-Cada babbles to her imaginary friend and comes up with a nasty new plan that could be really bad for everyone involved.
Cisco examines the evidence Barry and Nora brought back, seemingly forgetting he could use his powers to get information off it. Ralph is still down for the count, but Wells has managed to follow in his footsteps and figure out what Thawne has planned. In the future, Thawne is about to be executed, presided over by his sadistic guard/torturer. He even brought a memento from the Flash Museum.
The team struggles to understand the complexity of Thawne’s plan, and ponder the dilemma they’re stuck with. It’s a really nasty choice, and a sign of growth in Barry that he’s treating something to do with Thawne seriously and not just yelling about how much he hates him. In the middle of all this important stuff, Caitlin tells Cisco to go on his date. Priorities, I guess. In a momentous evening at Jitters, Cisco reveals his secrets to Kamilla, who proves to be both a comic book geek and really cool with everything she finds out. Barry talks to Nora about their tough choice, and the hard parts of being a hero.
Ralph looks really bad, and Caitlin is worried. She and Cisco debate what to do. Wells comes in and makes suggestions. I’d like to point out that being a master of deduction doesn’t make you a scientist and Caitlin and Cisco got along and solved problems before he showed up. Somehow or other, his idea works, Ralph recovers (mostly) and the computer alerts them it has worked out the rough area Cicada is hiding in. Nora surprises everyone when she announces she has come up with a plan to stop both Cicada II now and Reverse-Flash in the future.
The plan involves bringing Cecile along to hunt a murderous supervillain, which everyone is surprisingly ok with. Flash and XS have more of their heart to hearts, which helps Cecile indicate that they’re close to She-Cada, and gives Killer Frost a great line. The somewhat complicated plan hurls She-Cada into the breech room at STAR, while XS uses a toy we’ve seen before to chat with young Grace and have her give questionable/illegal consent to a medical procedure (she’s a minor, folks). They manage, eventually, to defeat She-Cada, destroy the dagger, and end one threat.
In Iron Heights in the future, the ripple effects of the battle catch up with Thawne and cause a nasty surprise for Trevor Shinick, the bullying guard. Thawne’s revenge is short-lived and even rewound and replayed as Flash and XS arrive to stop him. They never have explained why XS’ reverse time power works differently than every other incident of time travel in the CW-verse. There’s villain gloating before the required high-speed chase all over the city, with Thawne pulling some nasty tricks. Just when it looks like the evil speedster is going to get away, he gets knocked down by the Time Sphere, carrying the rest of Team Flash. There’s a lot more talking and an acknowledgement of one of the glitches from an early episode (which I guess Barry’s time meddling changed) before the pitched battle. The team is clever and works amazingly well together, beating Thawne down hard. Nora faces her dark side at the end of the fight and then triumphs over it. This, combined with the earlier changes, has a very unexpected result, and we end up losing a member of the team, but at least they have time for a sappy speech that ties back to earlier in the episode.
The goodbyes aren’t over yet, as someone else takes their leave as well. This one I did sort of expect, and someone often overshined gets a bit of credit. Some of the team get called in to CCPD, leaving others to sort a few things out. There’s another goodbye I saw coming and really dislike. It doesn’t make much sense, but I guess it’s plot bending to real world concerns. The team is shrinking fast. Singh talks to the ones he called in, and drops several surprises. I’m not sure if we’ll be seeing him again, either, after all this. He does get in a good line about him being a detective, too.
Two of the remaining team have a teary chat, and go over a reminder of someone they lost. They make a discovery that leads to a voiceover that closes out the episode. While that plays, the two mourn their loss but smile as well, someone finds a present they were left, and another character starts working on something that might lead to an important part of their comic book life that’s been ignored until now. The last thing we see is the infamous newspaper about the future, which goes through several important changes and sets up more of the major crossover coming this year.
What I liked: At least we’ve seen the last of She-Cada, who I was sick of. It was an unexpected ending to one of the character’s stories. One of the departures I was fine with, and one is getting to be a tradition. I’m very glad Ralph was the one to figure things out; his detective skills are overlooked far too often here and in the comics. Killer Frost got some great lines. The crossover hints are intriguing. I hope the hint about one character’s comic book counterpart is something they pursue, not just a random Easter Egg.
What I didn’t: I’m not sure they needed to destroy the dagger after all, but it’s hard to be sure with the changes they kept making. One departure I hated to see, even though I saw it coming, and it makes little story sense. For a show about people who move at speed, there’s a lot of standing around talking. Parts of this get so sappy that I’m with Killer Frost’s thoughts on it.
It was a decent wrap up to a complicated season. Hopefully, we’ve seen the last of “meta-tech” in the various goodbyes we had. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5. See you in the fall, Central City.