‘The Race of His Life’ Flash 2.23 Recap – Season Finale
Warning: Our television series recaps contain spoilers of the episode being reviewed, as well as episodes leading up to it.
All the awards to Grant Gustin for pouring so much emotion into an hour of TV.
The season two finale of the CW hit The Flash hit the ground running (haha) with an incredibly emotional Barry reeling from the events of the previous episode: the murder of his father right before his eyes. Major props needs to be given to Gustin here for an incredible performance throughout the episode and throughout the seasons; where in the past we’ve been given a Barry Allen that, despite incredible adversity, has managed to pick himself up and look forward to the future, The Race of His Life sees Barry at his darkest, most vulnerable, and (much to Zoom’s delight) his absolute angriest.
There’s a lot of emotion running high in this episode, and while most of them are coming straight from the titular Flash himself, the emotions are also reciprocated by those who are close with him–Team Flash. With a wounded Barry comes a wounded team. Even Wally, who’s new to the whole ‘Barry as the Flash’ thing, showcases his hotheadedness when he realizes what Team Flash has done to Barry (unanimously voted to lock him up for his own good) and understands that they need Barry to help defeat Zoom, once and for all.
The final moments of the episode aren’t to be missed: look away for a second or two and you’ll miss the much-awaited appearance of Black Flash, which will certainly impact the next season…and not in a good way, either. But, for the time being, things in Barry’s world seem to have settled down. At least, around him, they have. Barry on the other hand, is anything but settled.
Perhaps what’s most notable with this is that it’s not an ending that comes without consequence, and it’s not one of those season endings where ‘all’s well, the city is safe, we are all okay now.’ It’s very clear, not just from the ending but throughout the whole episode, that Barry’s demons are catching up with him and closely haunting him. More importantly, Barry is done not doing anything about it.
It’s been sort of an odd season, but with the addition of Supergirl to the CW’s lineup this fall and the promise of a four-series crossover between Flash, Supergirl, Legends, and Arrow, seeing where Barry and co. end up going into the next season is enough reason to stay tuned. The Big Bad’s out of the way, yeah, but Barry’s got some things he needs to deal with before he can go on with living a normal life. And if there’s anything we’ve learned about superheroes, it’s that they never get to do that.
For now, Barry is still running, but is it for the right reasons?