Note: There will be spoilers contained within the recap and review
On this week's episode of The Flash, Barry talks to Wells, who is in a containment unit. Barry asks Wells (Thawne) why he killed his mother. Wells says he hates Barry... Barry from the future. Barry wants to know why but Wells won't tell him why. Wells wanted to kill Barry in the past, but the future Barry followed and saved Barry. So Wells killed Barry's mother. Wells says after he killed Barry's mother he got stuck. Wells needed Barry to get fast to a wormhole could be created to get Wells home. Wells says Barry can go back in time, but Wells doesn't believe him.
Barry talks to the group at STAR Labs about the idea of traveling back to save Barry's mother. Dr Martin explains if he goes back that everything will change and Barry won't remember anything. Essentially, Flashpoint. Cisco mentions if he does this, Barry will have never met anyone at STAR or lived with Joe and Iris. Joe says Barry should do it.
Barry visits his father at the prison. He's against the idea of Barry traveling back in time because of the possible changes. Ronnie and Caitlin talk back at STAR. They plan on getting married again. Iris finds Barry on the roof and the two chat. She asks if Barry is going to go back. Iris says to do something for himself.
Barry goes to ask Wells how to travel back in time. Wells tells him to use the particle accelerator. Wells tells him that if he doesn't go the velocity needed, he will die. Dr Martin talks to everyone about the accelerator and traveling back in time. Cisco doesn't understand why he's going back in time. Dr Martin says he needs to go at least Mach 2. Barry needs Cisco to build a time machine. Wells has been putting together a time machine, but they need all the pieces for Wells. Cisco gets info from Wells on the time sphere (machine) they're going to build. Cisco tells Wells that in an alternate time line, he killed Cisco. Wells says because he can see through vibrations of the universe, and he was around the particle accelerator when it exploded, he may be metahuman (Vibe!). Cisco is a bit freaked out by all of this and leaves.
Dr Martin talks to Eddie and Eddie says he's no help because he doesn't matter because Wells told him that he's forgettable. Martin says what are the odds that Wells came back to Eddie's time. Martin says Eddie is the only person here that gets to choose his own future. Martin tells everyone else there's a problem with the calculations. There's a chance the explosion could create a black hole, which could create a global catastrophe.
Wells reassures everyone that nothing will work and Barry has almost 2 minutes to save his mother, then he comes back and they can close the wormhole so nothing bad will happen. Joe and Barry talk some more about traveling back in time. Joe says Barry is fast enough to do this.
Eddie visits Iris at work and brings her some lunch. Eddie wants to get back together with Iris. He says “Screw the future” and Iris repeats it. Ronnie and Caitlin get married outside of STAR Labs and Dr Martin marries them.
Barry says goodbye to everyone before he heads to the past. Barry makes it into the accelerator and runs. Barry sees the speed force. Barry coaches him on. Barry travels back in time, to his house. He sees the future Flash there and he motions for Barry not to intervene. Barry talks to her mother as she's dying. He pulls off his mask to talk to her. Cue teary eyes across America as Barry talks to his mother. His mother passes away.
Back at STAR Labs, Wells walks around his Time Sphere and says Rip Hunter would be impressed. Jay Garrick's helmet pops in and Wells says it's time for him to go. Just as he's about to take off, Barry comes back and smashes the time sphere. Wells is furious. The two begin to fight. Wells gets one up on him and is about to kill him. Then, there's a gunshot. Eddie shot himself. Wells/Thawne is being erased from existence. There's a light and the warmhole, which they closed, is reopening. Eddie's body is sucked into it. The warmhole is eating everyone and won't stop. Flash jumps into the wormhole... and the episode ends.... um... what?
As far as season finales go, this one was different, to say the least. It really steps away from what fans traditionally expect. We don't see the hero get finally defeat his antagonist, since that happened in the last episode. Sure, Thawne and Barry duke it out here, but that's not the focus on the episode. We're left at a point where we don't get closure for the episode as well, which is something a lot of episodic television shows do now, but no where near this extent. As far as this goes for a season finale, it's actually quite the shock.
A good chunk of this episode focuses on Barry's decision to travel back and time and that's important, but the problem with how this all plays out is that the first 20 minutes of the show is just the secondary characters asking Barry if he's going back in time and Barry not knowing if he should do it or not. Aside from Barry's father, he gets the same exact advice from Iris and Joe. Throughout the episode, it's this back and forth internal struggle for Barry, at least that's how it's supposed to seem. It comes off more of just Barry bouncing around though and it becomes a bit aggravating.
I'm also having some small problems wrapping my head around Eddie undoing the Thawne lineage by possibly killing himself. Never say never because his body was pulled into the warmhole/blackhole but there's so many changes with time going on here and a few things feel like they don't add up. Expect a larger piece about all of this later on.
That's really the only complaint about the episode, as a whole though. About halfway through, when Barry starts preparing for and traveling to the past, that's where this episode kicks up into full gear. The episode isn't about beating down the bad guy. It's all about undoing wrongs... at least what the main character considers "wrongs." Sure, Barry's mother being murdered is a wrongdoing, but so much good came out of that, like Barry becoming the Flash and saving lives.
Let's just get right into the part where we all cried or teared up. By the way, if you didn't tear up during this, you're a monster or just switched on the CW at a real awkward time. That moment when future Flash "tells" present Flash to hold off is emotional enough on its own, but then Barry had to go and talk to his mother in THE most memorable scene of the season. Let the tears fall down your face for this one as Barry reveals himself to his mother by removing his mask. This scene was brilliant and worth every moment of build-up. Then, in one of the most epic shots of the season, Barry punches the time sphere and we get another great fight, which leads up to a great, and saddening, sacrificial moment.
Here's a few other quick notes:
Jay Garrick's helmet. Enough said.
We also get a Rip Hunter reference too, but we all know he'll be around in DC's Legends of Tomorrow, which is still a terrible name for a television show.
Please let Cisco become Vibe sooner rather than later. He's the heart of this show. His conversation with Wells leads us down that path.
There's always a moment, in every season finale, where the cast comes together for a "happy" moment. Here, it's Ronnie and Caitlin's wedding. It seemed forced into the episode.
Overall, it's not the best episode of the season, but it still stands out as a great one. The biggest problem was just the repetition of Barry going back and forth between everyone, wondering if he should go to the past or not. The payoff is really in the second half though and while the actual ending was quite bizarre, it worked and the overall episode was a pretty big success. I cannot wait for next season now.