The Flash finale has finally arrived. The much-loved superhero series about the Scarlet Speedster has been a part of people’s lives for the past nine years. Season 9 of this CW series took viewers on an exciting journey, delivering exciting adventures and heartfelt character arcs. Giving fans a worthy conclusion to one of the most recognizable live-action superheroes is a difficult task.
From the first episode of this season, the goal has been to prepare viewers. Prepare them for a rollercoaster of emotions that comes with the closing of a chapter. So let’s dive in and talk about Barry Allen’s (Grant Gustin) last run on our screens in The Flash finale.
[Warning: Spoilers from The Flash finale, final season, and television series as a whole are below!]
The Flash final season: four story arcs in just thirteen episodes
The plan for this season was to bring back characters from previous seasons, as well as introduce new ones, all accumulating in interesting stories. With thirteen episodes, it’s something that could have been quite challenging but really wasn’t.
There are four main story arcs in the ninth season of The Flash series. The first is a story focusing on the Red Death (Javicia Leslie) and her plan to be dictator of the world to prevent crime. In this adaptation, Red Death is an alternate version of Ryan Wilder a.k.a. Batwoman from Earth 4125. She’s a delusional character with Homicidal tendencies.
In the first episodes, the Red Death assembled a team of villains to help her, comprised of Owen Mercer a.k.a. new Captain Boomerang (Richard Harmon), Rainbow Raider (Paul Anthony), Fiddler (Magda Apanowicz), and Murmur (Alexandra Wailes). Their goal is to steal components needed to create the Cosmic Treadmill, used to travel through time and space. Similar to what Savitar wanted to do in the season 3 finale.
Barry gets help from his old “friends” Hartley Rathaway (Andy Mientus), The Hotness (Max Adler), and Goldface (Damion Poitier). They defeat Red Death and, with Batwoman’s help, put her away for good. Although this story arc was something different, I feel it was wasted potential.
Of course, bringing back the old villains and introducing new ones was a really interesting decision. But to me, this special event seemed like something that should be either shorter or longer than five episodes.
Unnecessary fillers in season 9
After the Red Death story, there are three episodes focusing on Team Flash and their adventures. With season 9 being the final one, episodes without Barry Allen or with very little screen time of Flash are inexcusable. I understand the need to fill in some gaps and finish story arcs that were started in seasons 5 or 6. But they could have done it prior to the last season.
The episode featuring Dreamer (Nicole Maines) going on a dream trip with Iris (Candice Patton) was needed from the perspective of fans of the Supergirl series. It explained what happened to the other characters since we haven’t seen them together for two years on screen. But as an episode of The Flash, it was really weak.
Then there was a really fun episode with Barry and Iris, showing their last “normal” adventure together. All they had to do was stop the Time Thief, which was easy.
That still leaves five episodes before The Flash finale. The plot of the ninth episode focused on Barry’s 30th birthday. This is the last time we see John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale).
Barry’s party, however, is interrupted by Ramsey Rosso/Bloodwork (Sendhil Ramamurthy), who escaped from prison. It was also the episode that brings back Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) as Spectre and Green Arrow again.
Honestly, it felt like the good old days from the first three seasons. Barry and Oliver working together again to save the multiverse, that’s something beautiful. It was a dream that every fan wanted to come true after the Crisis On Infinite Earths event. So the ninth episode provided a high-quality and emotional story.
“A New World” is full of emotion and unexpected twists
“A New World” story serves as a four-part finale to wrap up all the story arcs and properly end the series.
The first part of the event focuses on Barry’s abduction by the Cobalt Blue Stone, which transports him back to March 18, 2000. Which is the day his mother died, and he stopped Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher) from killing his younger self. Barry spends some time with his parents (even though they don’t know who he is) and finally accepts the past. He embraces the tragedy that defined him and is now at peace with what happened.
He has one last conversation with this version of the Reverse Flash (the one who later trained Barry in season 1) and disappears. It’s a perfect circle, because now Barry is the OG Timeline Flash who saved himself, so the story makes sense. This is also a very important moment for fans.
The episode also featured Rick Cosnett, whose return was unexpected for many fans, as Malcolm Gilmore. It later turns out that Eddie Thawne was reborn in the year 2049 with amnesia, all thanks to the Cobalt Blue gemstone. In parts two and three, the story focuses on him as he tries to find out more about what is going on.
Meanwhile, in both the present and 2049, the Cobalt Blue gem tries killing the West-Allen family and all their friends. It manipulates the people closest to them, only to hurt and later kill Barry. These three episodes really sum up Barry Allen’s journey and how he has evolved both as a person and a character. But there’s still one last episode left, and it’s something that hurts emotionally to write about.
Barry Allen’s last run in The Flash finale
There is no easy way to say it. With A New World, Part 4, the story of Barry Allen and the rest of Team Flash comes to an end. After nine years of running, this threat is the last thing Barry has to overcome. All in time for the birth of his daughter Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy). The final threat comes in the form of Eddie Thawne as Cobalt Blue, who has brought back villain speedsters from across The Flash’s history.
They are Eobard Thawne a.k.a. Reverse Flash (Tom Cavanagh), Zoom (Teddy Sears), Savitar (Tobin Bell & Grant Gustin), and Godspeed (Karan Oberoi). All the villainous speedsters have returned to help Eddie kill Barry. A big fight ensues, one of the most passionate and adrenaline-filled we’ve seen in recent seasons. Team Flash must defeat the big bads and save the world.
Of course, the finale of The Flash would not be the same without Jay Garrick played by the iconic John Wesley Shipp. He also played the role of the Flash from Earth 90, whose story we saw in the 1990 series The Flash. Every time he appears, I feel that they share the father & son bond, even though they are not related. But Jay knows he looks like Barry’s father and they’ve known each other for so long, so to me, they’re like father and son.
When all the fighting is over, and our heroes are able to safely return to their lives, there’s finally a peaceful moment. So calm, I couldn’t believe it was over. Each season’s ending heralded the appearance of a villain or the continuation of the story. But in this case, there was nothing, just a happy ending with no obligations.
Grant Gustin was, is, and always will be: The Flash
If it weren’t for The Flash series, I wouldn’t be here. From the first episode, I loved the series and was there for the good and the bad. Rooting for the characters, supporting the decisions of the creators, and having fun while watching. Watching behind-the-scenes footage from previous seasons, I felt like I was part of this big family.
Watching such a passionate, emotional, thrilling, and loving series was something unimaginable. Grant Gustin gave us an iconic interpretation of the Flash. He is certainly one of the most recognizable superhero actors of our era. Grant breathed life into the character, lived as him for so long, and always gave fans 100% on screen.
This fantastic, deeply researched, and fun-filled series has come to an end. I’m sure I’ll watch it over and over again, as I’ve done for the past few years. But first, it’s time to accept that it’s over. It’s easy to say “Let’s not cry because it’s over, but be happy because it happened”. So I will say that it will always be in my heart. It made me who I am now and helped me with my life, and I’ll be always grateful for that.
The Flash finale perfectly serves as a nod to every fan of the series who watched it and every DC Comics fan. It doesn’t matter at what point in the past you started watching it, all that matters is that you did.
The Flash final season is currently streaming on the CW. Did you like it? Let us know on Twitter and our Discord channel. And if you haven’t already, check out our review of the season nine premiere of The Flash!
Review: The Flash Season 9 Premiere