The Flash Shocked the Audience with Something We Knew Was Coming

first_img Top Movies and TV Panels to Keep on Your Radar for SDCC 2019’The Flash’ Season 5 Finale Recap: 2 Big Bads and 1 Pre-Crisis Man, that ending of last night’s penultimate episode of The Flash…  what a gut-punch, right? We all should have known it was coming. After spending the better part of this season trying to change the future and utterly failing, what were the chances Barry was actually going to prevent Iris’s death? As we learned last night, they weren’t good. Even with the Speedforce Bazooka, Savitar still defeated Team Flash’s plan, and now Iris West is dead. At least that’s what it looks like.We still have one episode left in this season, and I refuse to believe that Iris is just gone. The show always has some trick up its sleeve, and it likely laid the groundwork for it this episode. Before the show just stomped on everyone’s hearts with that ending, there was some fun to be had in this episode. Team Flash found a power source that can make the Speedforce Bazooka work. It’s a piece of Dominator tech currently being held by ARGUS. Hey, that massive crossover event was good for something! There’s one problem, though. They’re not giving it to Barry. Lyla doesn’t trust Barry with something so powerful, considering how much he’s screwed things up in the past.You know what that means? It’s heisting time. Barry goes back in time to pluck the pre-death Legends of Tomorrow version of Captain Cold out of his timeline and bring him to the present. Who better to break into what we’re told is the most secure government facility on the planet than a master thief with a cold gun? Sadly, the heist part of the story isn’t as much fun as it could be. With the show’s need to cram all of its story into this episode before the season finale, there wasn’t enough time to make this the superhero heist story we all want it to be. Even so, it does feature Captain Cold going up against King Shark. Even pacing issues can’t take all the fun out of that.Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart/Captain Cold (Photo: Dean Buscher /The CW)Barry is inching near some pretty dark places during the heist. A fact that Captain Cold picks up on, and somewhat ironically pushes him back towards the heroic side of things. I guess that’s how you can tell this is late season one Snart. It starts with Barry (using H.R.’s face-changing disguise) infiltrating ARGUS as Lyla, and ruthlessly beating the guards unconscious. From the front desk, they’re able to take an elevator straight to the cell block with the power source. They made a big deal about how impenetrable this place was, it should have been a little harder than that. But hey, they had a lot of story to get through in this one episode, so plot conveniences were inevitable, I guess. After a brief, fun mention of the Arrowverse’s version of the Suicide Squad (which thanks the DCEU, we won’t see again) Barry and Snart find the power source. It’s in a cell, guarded by King Shark.This is where Snart sees Barry at his darkest. Barry tells Snart to open the cell door so he can shoot Shark in the back with Snart’s cold gun. Fortunately for everyone involved, Snart tells Barry hey, maybe don’t be a murderer. Since King Shark is a great white, and partially warm-blooded. All they have to do is lower the temperature in the room, and Shark will fall asleep for a short time. Thanks, Discovery Channel! The ensuing fight still gets pretty brutal in a way this show rarely does. As the two are making an escape, King Shark grabs Snart’s leg. Barry has Cisco close the cell door, severing King Shark’s arm. It grows back, but seeing a bloody, severed shark arm on The Flash was a surprise. The whole point of all this was so Snart could convince Barry to stay a hero. There was a second where Barry could have left Snart to be King Shark’s dinner, but he didn’t. He remained the hero. That not only reminded Barry of what The Flash should be, it convinced Lyla that he was responsible enough to take the power source. Wins all around.Pictured (L-R): Candice Patton as Iris West and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen (Photo: Dean Buscher /The CW)The more somber parts of the show were actually well done this episode. At the very least, they seemed to matter more, thanks to the constant reminders of Iris’s fast-approaching death. Iris has accepted that she might not make it and is preparing to die. It works because her interactions with her family feel genuine. She reminisces with her dad about all the trouble she got into as a teenager. They talk about the song he used to sing when she was little, which was a nice excuse to get Jesse L. Martin singing again. The man has a beautiful voice.Sadly, all the planning seems to be for naught. Savitar tricks H.R. into giving up Iris’s location, he carries the philosopher’s stone with him, which neutralizes the effects of the Speedforce Bazooka, and stabs Iris. It all plays out exactly the way Barry saw. The sequence is made even harder to watch when the goodbye video Iris made for Barry is played as she dies. This moment is so well done and effective, that I forget all the poor pacing and annoying problems that led up to it. As she falls to the ground, we hear her say her wedding vows to Barry. I’m not crying; you’re crying!Anne Dudek as Tracy Brand and Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells (Photo: Dean Buscher /The CW)That’s where the episode ends, but… come on, Iris isn’t dead! She can’t be. I refuse to believe that the prolonged death sequence, with the goodbye video intercut was anything more than an elaborate ruse. Someone on Team Flash had a plan that they didn’t tell Barry about. Thinking about it, wasn’t that last scene with H.R. a little weird? He expressed such guilt over giving away Iris’s location to Savitar, lamenting the fact that he doesn’t actually contribute much to the team. When Cisco said he’d see H.R. later, he didn’t answer. Could the Iris that died have actually been H.R. using his hologram disguise? We did see earlier this episode that the disguise is convincing enough to be a complete transformation, regardless of body size and gender. Did H.R. sacrifice himself to save Iris?Another possibility is that Barry won’t end up creating Savitar. The entire point of the heist was for Captain Cold to convince Barry not to become a killer. “The Flash should always be a hero.” If that inspires him to find another way to defeat Savitar, he may not use time remnants. With no time remnants, there is no Savitar. Iris will pop back into existence, and they’ll escape this closed loop. Whichever route the show ends up going, we only have to wait a week before we find out. After next Tuesday’s season finale, we can finally put this Savitar story behind us. Stay on targetlast_img

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