The Flash’s 23rd episode (“Finish Line”) kicked off by making me ugly cry. I’m not even kidding. Turns out, HR switched places with Iris, so Savitar skewered him instead. His death was marked by a fallen drumstick and enough salty tears to make a lot of margaritas. While I have adored every incarnation of Wells, like Cisco, I felt a special connection to this one—more than Harrison, who seems to be sticking around for a while. I think it was HR’s complete and utter zest for life that made me love him. Or, as Iris eulogized, “HR understood life. … He was our hero. He was my hero.” HR may have been a total goof, but he loved and enjoyed life to the fullest. And his death gutted me. (I do have questions about his funeral, though. I mean, technically, he didn’t exist on that earth. So, um. What?)
So, what was the ‘finish line’ in this episode? Was it defeating Savitar? No, I don’t think so. I mean, yes, Evil Barry was the worst. And while he and Iris had a nice Phantom of the Opera/Christine moment, he was a total shitgibbon. I almost would’ve preferred him to have a change of heart, instead of a fake one. It might’ve been a compelling (albeit brief) redemption arc. Instead, Iris shot him. (Did we know Iris could fire a gun? Because daaaaamn, girl is a crack shot.) Got to say, I was not expecting that, and it was pretty damn awesome to see Iris take some action/have some agency.
Jay Garrick shows back up, thanks to Cisco’s smart thinking. Of course, the Speed Force has a fit in the form of hell lightning, appears as Barry’s mom, and Barry ends up restoring the balance by sacrificing himself. As the Speed Force says, “His race is over.” So, that is, presumably, the finish line. Which…good grief, yes, he screwed up really badly. But the dude cannot catch a break. I mean, he delivered all the save-the-date cards! That’s going to be sad and embarrassing.
But there’s one fascinating and good thing left: Killer Frost. She saved Cisco, who gave her the option to be cured. (I loved that he didn’t try and brute force it. Giving her the option was a nice decision.) While she’s not a big bad at the moment (the makeup difference was also a great touch), the Ice Queen doesn’t know who she is. In the middle of a bizarre identity crisis, she takes off to find herself. Honestly, that makes more sense than the idea of Cat Grant spending a year in a yurt, so I’m going with it.
Will Barry be trapped in the Speed Force forever? I doubt it. Unless they’re going to rename the show Kid Flash. But we’ll have to wait until next season to see where the gang ends up. Hopefully, we’ll see more of Jesse and Julian.
See you at the starting line, kittens.