“The Flash” Season One Postmortem: “Fast Enough”

Thusly, we bring to a close the first season of The Flash which has quickly become my favorite show on television not only for the enjoyable characters and stories, but also for completely embracing everything it is to be a comic book superhero when most other comic book superheroes on television seem to be ashamed of it. Where the producers of Arrow won’t call Ollie “Green Arrow” because they’re afraid that the audience wouldn’t accept it, The Flash says, “Screw you, here’s a telepathic talking gorilla!”

You can’t help but love the unabashed unapologetic goofiness.

Despite this, or perhaps because of this and our affection for the material, “Fast Enough” contains vast amounts of raw emotionality that set this series apart from anything else on television. The Flash is one of those rare shows, unseen since perhaps the reign of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, that can go from gleeful dorkiness one minute to human drama the next all without missing a step and those two qualities were on full display as the season came to a close.

I also have to say that the relationship between the Reverse Flash and Barry and his crew is one of the most original and refreshing relationships I have seen in a long time between protagonists and an antagonist. Harrison Welles/Eobard Thawn put himself in the position where he has a genuine affection for his enemies and, although hurt by his betrayal, they return in a fashion… but it also doesn’t stop them from wanting to kill and ruin each other. It’s such a welcome change from the same old cliched thing you find in television dramas. When Welles’ said that he felt love and pride in Barry… I believed him. I think he was being serious.

Yes, he does try to kill Barry, but hey… it’s done out of love.

My goodness, this episode was a doozy. It never quite aligned with expectations which, in hindsight, was a good thing. As an audience, Barry’s decision about changing the future was always up in the air up until the very last moment and the decision to choose the life he was dealt was absolutely heartbreaking but, ultimately, true to Barry Allen’s journey through this year.

“Fast Enough” was satisfying on a lot of levels and kept an atmosphere of high stakes from beginning to end. First, with the relationships and character moments, and then with the big finale. Eddie, of course, is the true hero of this episode with his shocking sacrifice… a true “holy moley” moment and it was handled beautifully.

Grant Gustin and the cast were all on point for this finale and it really showed in their performances. It was hard not to get dragged into this time-twisting story from every single angle that the plot went through. This is emotional investment at its best.

Best of all, “Fast Enough” did what any great finale should do… it wrapped up the year’s storyline, teased future developments, and offered a frustrating “Mr. Worf… Fire” level cliffhanger that will make the Summer brutal and unforgiving.

I will be back next season and, unlike The Flash, it will not get here soon enough.

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