The CW’s The Flash The Race of His Life TV Show Review. The Flash: Season 2, Episode 23: The Race of His Life didn’t quite leave the same impact as the season one finale, but it did leave some great twists that will certainly leave some hints for the direction for the third season. The season finale managed to neatly wrap up Zoom’s (Teddy Sears) storyline as his journey came to an end.
Last week’s death of Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) didn’t really leave the same impact for this week’s installment but it packed an emotional punch for our speedster. Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) went through so much this season as he said goodbye to the ones he loved in order to save them and even getting to reunite with his mother. The season finale felt out of place with the way the past few episodes leading up to it were structured. If the writers gave a bit of time to build up Zoom’s master plan, it would’ve kept viewers on their toes for a while. There were still plenty of emotions running during the finale, especially with Barry mourning his father’s death, but it didn’t hit the right notes just like the freshman finale.
Zoom’s ultimatim was made perfectly clear when he revealed what he was truly after. It turned out that he wanted to destroy all the Earths in the multiverse except the main one. This took a lot of planning for Zoom and it shows just how evil he actually is. It would’ve been better if the writers didn’t keep this reveal for so long since we don’t know much about the other alternate universes. Even the race between Barry and Zoom didn’t last long, yet it ended to quickly. It was surprising to witness Barry gaining an advantage over Zoom and ends up not killing him. Similar to how Eddie Thawne ended up defeating Reverse-Flash, Barry uses the Speed Force wraiths to take Zoom away and have them deal with him.
Zoom’s characterization had some ups and downs with his development. It was early on when the team viewed him as this terrifying force of nature. His story went at a low point after the revelation that he wanted to consume Barry’s speed. His development was much more interesting as the season progressed as well as the mystery behind the man in the iron mask. Zoom really pushed Barry into the avenging hero in order for them to be similar on an emotional level. The idea was that Zoom was the exact opposite of Barry up till that point. The plan was thrown right out the window when Barry overcame Zoom and ended up not killing him, which took away Barry’s chance at a true victory.
The visual effects in the two fight scenes were something of a spectacle to watch. It was a work of art seeing the slow motion sequences as the two speedsters were racing neck in neck. The beat down really packed a punch when Barry used his powers on Zoom and ends up punching him until he bled out. This was a fight to behold and it all paid off in the end. It was quick thinking of Barry to use his speed in order to create a time remnant of himself. It was a huge sacrifice on his part to use another version of himself to stop the device that Zoom was using. It pays to see Barry willing to sacrifice himself for his loved ones without killing him. Time travel is something of a mystery on this show, but hats off to Barry for planning his move.
It was also interesting to see Barry going against the wishes of his team in order to save them. Neither side of the team were wrong about what they were doing, since they were coming from a good place. Barry was wrapped around revenge against Zoom, he didn’t care what would happen to him and at the same time, he knew he was the only one to stop him. His friends knew that Barry wasn’t ready to take Zoom on, which prompted Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) and the team to decide to lock Barry up until they were able to stop Zoom. The plan didn’t work of course, ending up with Joe captured by the speed demon.
One of the big twists we learned was with who was behind the iron mask, which turned out to be the real Jay Garrick, played by John Wesley Shipp. It was a great yet predictable reveal for a couple of good reasons. One, it meant that the show now has an authentic version of Jay Garrick to work with. Another reason is that this would allow John to return sometime in the future. It was cool seeing John donning a costume for the first time since the 90s series.
The episode also had to saw goodbye to the Wells family. It was a good farewell scene, especially with the scene shared by Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) and Cisco (Carlos Valdes). The writers managed to really keep Wells this long in the season, so it will be sad to see him go. Hopefully the writers end up using him more next season as they still need to address what happened with Jesse (Violett Beane) after getting hit by the speed force.
Another big twist came at the final moments of the season finale, which sets up what may be a very different third season. It was daunting that any hopes of Barry and Iris West (Candice Patton) getting back together after that kiss was gone after what Barry did to mess with the timeline. Barry did the unthinkable when he went back in time to save his mother from Reverse-Flash. We may see some consequences take place next season as Barry managed to alter the course of his time. This might be the perfect way to start the Flashpoint storyline from the comics, so maybe season three could be the answer to that.
‘The Race of His Life’ proved to be a powerful episode to end the season despite some shortcomings. The episode did get to improve from last week’s episode, but it didn’t carry the same emotional force that the first season finale had. Zoom didn’t get quite the ending he needed, but the show managed to wrap up his arc nicely. We got some great moments from the episode and the twists that were made will really set the tone for what comes for season three.
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