The CW’s The Flash Fast Enough TV Show Review. The Flash: Season 1, Episode 23: Fast Enough, is a most appropriate title, especially when you consider what Barry (Grant Gustin) will be asked to do. Dr. Wells (Tom Cavanagh) presents Barry with a life-changing choice. Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell) return to help the S.T.A.R. Labs team with this final fight.
When the first few episodes of this show aired, I was very critical about how the show was playing out. I was concerned with the innocence and boyish nature of Barry. The show felt too soft and like it was going to be too formulaic. I didn’t realize it then but it finally started to hit me. As Barry was maturing and learning to better deal with his situation, the show began to mature and become more complicated as well. The threat level became more than just another bad guy trying to hurt Barry or steal something. This threat was far greater. This evil wanted to erase him from existence. Working from that angle, it’s no wonder this show has succeeded.
There were many moments that exceeded my expectations in this episode. The first was a complicated one on one scene between Barry and Dr. Wells. Watching Barry unload on him, trying to communicate his anger and how trust had been shattered, was simply some of Grant’s best work. We finally got to watch a mature Barry look at Wells for what he really was and it was painful. We felt the betrayal. There was also a genuine admiration from Wells for Barry. Had he never come here he wouldn’t have gotten to know the Barry everyone else knew. He came to this time hating Barry and we saw him build an actual admiration for him. Which means this task at some point was a lot harder for Wells than he expected. He was also impressed when he had been defeated. All of the lessons Barry has been given had paid off. Which is something that had to be extremely hard for a character like Wells to accept. After all, Dr. Wells had pre planned all of the things we saw play out very well. It is what you would call a master game of chess…in real time. Still, good overcame evil. Well sort of. When Wells offered another option to Barry, another twist was revealed. This was so powerful Barry had to ponder it. Begging all of those who were important to him to help find the proper answer. The beauty in it is, deep down inside he new the answer. When he had slipped through time before, he had a chance to see how things could go wrong. This had to be playing in the back of his mind. The one thing he wanted since he was a child was there for him to take back…but at what cost. The acting and motivation here was fantastic. This was almost a farewell party for Barry as each Joe (Jesse L. Martin) And Iris (Candice Patton) weighed in on the subject. There were some very touching moments that viewers will remember going into the second season.
The scenes with Barry consulting with both his fathers, was solid as well. Jesse L. Martin has been doing a sensation job all season long but this performance was his best. You can feel him holding back and also being torn apart inside about this whole affair…about the possibility of losing his son. John Wesly Shipp turns in an amazing performance as well. He offers his fatherly advice in a way that feels like it may be the last time. If Barry is missing his mother after all of these years imagine how his father must feel. The pain was there but at John’s core he knew…it was wrong to bring his wife back from the dead. This was a solid scene with real conflict. Fine writing and well executed performances!
In the middle of Barry’s struggle to make his decision on which direction to go, Caitlin (Danielle Panamaker) and Ronnie wed! This was a wise play and helped make the episode feel much fuller. We had watched this young lady torturing herself over losing the love of her life, then doing it all over again when she finds him only to have to lose him again. Caitlin was on an emotional rollercoaster ride that seemed to be headed into an dark lonely station. We even saw her a few episodes ago kissing Barry back and we know she doesn’t want to revisit that. Barry’s demeanor during the small wedding was very well played. The weight on his shoulders could be felt as he conveyed much with his expressions. Story wise, this all could have played out very corny. Given the timing of it all, it works.
Discovery works even this late in the game. Cisco’s (Carlos Valdes) bubbly attitude has been very subdued for more than a few episodes and he has Dr. Wells to thank for that. The scene where Eobard, speaking through Dr. wells, informs him he gave birth to his metahuman abilities was very interesting. Then we have Eddie (Rick Cosnett) getting that much needed pep talk from Dr. Martin Stein…at the right time. Everyone has a role to play in this. Who would have guessed exactly how important Eddie’s role was? We had hints but his final act was a classic! This episode was packed with such fine writing and acting. I just cannot stress that enough.
The closing of one chapter while prepping us for the start of another was a clever way to wrap season 1. In the back of my mind I knew Barry wasn’t going to save his mother. Far too much could go wrong and this action would really be saying he hasn’t grown as a character. He also had another lesson here. Sacrifice. He had to put his wants aside and let things roll, as they should. His path and choices from the start happened for a reason…a much more significant reason. The defeat of Eobard Thawne was also very satisfying. In the end, Eddie was willing to sacrifice himself to be the hero and so was Barry. The wild card was the Back hole threatening to cause massive damage as the show closed out. Now of that isn’t a powerful way to setup season 2, I don’t know what could top that. We will be eagerly waiting.
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