The Season 1 finale, “Fast Enough,” picks up on the tail end of this season’s revelation that Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh, “Ed”) is the Reverse-Flash from the future and the murderer of Barry Allen’s (Grant Gustin, “Glee”) mother (Michelle Harrison, “Continuum”). Dr. Wells is in captivity, but he has the power. He offers Barry a deal: help him to get back to the future and he will be allowed a chance to save his mother’s life.

“The Flash”

B-
Season 1 Finale
CW


Whenever time travel is used it is important to ask: Are we living in the world of “Back to the Future” or “The Prisoner of Azkaban?” Can the changes made in the past actually change and affect the future, creating a parallel dimension, or is the timeline set in stone and any actions taken during time travel act as a self-fulfilling prophecy? To put it more simply, does the show exist in the world of the multiverse theory or the causal loop theory? This show’s universe supports the multiverse theory. This means that the actions taken have ramifications.

This poses a question of morality. Is it right to go back and change the past if it may save a life? What would the potential ramifications be of changing it? There is no way of knowing if the resulting reality will be better or worse. What if changing the past means Barry never becomes the Flash? What about the people he saved as the Flash? Or those who the Arrow (from “Arrow”, mother show of “The Flash”) saved, whose life he saved while investigating his mother’s death? Barry’s father (John Wesley Shipp, “Dawson’s Creek”) worries about how it will change him. He asks, “What if it changes you?” and reminds him that his mother wouldn’t want him to lose himself. Barry is most concerned with the fact he would lose his time with Joe (Jesse L. Martin, “Rent”) and Iris (Candice Patton, “The Game”) — his adopted family growing up.

The episode begins with too much exposition and voice-over that doesn’t really provide viewers with anything they needed to know. If you are going start your finale with exposition, it should probably set up the episode for the viewer, not make general statements about plot lines we learned in the pilot episode.

On top of this, the show takes a really really long time to get to the action. And when it does, Barry doesn’t even save his mother. The resulting black hole is anticlimactic, because what television show would destroy the entire world in the Season 1 finale? That’s rather hard to come back from.

The science of this episode is completely screwy. What about the Flash colliding with a hydrogen particle in the accelerator creates a portal to different times? How does one navigate the wormhole correctly? Can one return to this time after you change the past or are they stuck on that new timeline? What scientific theory is this based on, “Doctor Who”?

The risk that Barry’s collision with the H molecule is that he may create a singularity (black hole). How would this collision cause a collapse and become dense enough to form a singularity, where is the mass coming from? Additionally, I refuse to believe that Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker, “Justified”) a scientist working in a particle accelerator has to ask: “What’s a singularity?”

The episode didn’t even leave enough time to show the most interesting part of the episode and, as a result, Barry’s attempt to “unwind” the black hole is left as a cliffhanger. And for that matter, a black hole doesn’t work like a tornado — you can’t unspin it. In fact, the black hole is close enough to them that they should all have probably all been sucked in by now.

But, where the plot fails, the characters’ emotional interactions step up and carry the episode. Barry does get a chance to say goodbye to his mother in a scene that brings out the water works. Barry also has a long talk with his father. The scenes between Barry and his father are always some of the most well-written and heartstring-tugging moments of the show. Barry’s dad is only ever pulled out of jail to deliver an emotional speech and make Barry break down to tears. Grant Gustin is a really good crier. He somehow manages to look like an emotional wreck and a work of art at the same time. It makes the viewer want to rewind and rewatch the scene, because they were too busy staring at his face to hear the dialogue.

The character Cisco (Carlos Valdes, newcomer) has up to this point played the role of comedy relief. He is both the straight man and the funny man, likely to point out that the fact that he is surrounded by superheroes and villains is crazy! This episode changes his role. It is revealed that he was affected by the particle accelerator, too, and it remains to be seen what his powers will be. It is likely he will no longer be relegated to the position of sidekick.

Lastly, the most important character development came from Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett, “The Vampire Diaries”). It had been revealed that he was an ancestor of Dr. Wells. And in the end it is Eddie who saves the day by shooting himself and therefore erasing Wells from existence. Eddie was the real hero of this episode, not the Flash. His actions saved the day and the episode.

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