The Flash Season 2 Finale Review: ‘The Race of His Life’ [Everything Has Changed]

When it comes to season finales The Flash knows exactly how to surprise the hell out of you just when you think it was safe to breathe a sigh of relief. Cliffhangers? That’s too generous. They seemingly render you emotionally paralyzed as you go towards the light of hellatus.

Following a gut-wrenching season one finale, The Flash followed up with another solid finale that was made even more amazing following that final scene where Barry decided to save his mother knowing that there would be consequences to the current timeline. Simply put: EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED.

Oh shit

Here’s the thing: I love Barry, I really do. But this season – and these last few episodes – have really showcased how selfish Barry has been. Last season we saw Barry coming to an understanding that he couldn’t save his mother when he went back in time because it would jeopardize everything that had happened since then. That includes saving all of those lives that he saved last year.

And yet in this finale, Barry seemingly said, F*** it, I can’t live in this world without my parents anymore, which is actually something that he managed to do for most of his life. His mother was dead, and his dad was in prison. But he found another family. And he was happy.

But just think of the consequences that come with Barry’s decision. He’s no longer The Flash. Central City doesn’t have that symbol of hope. All of those people that he’s saved were never saved.

And people call Oliver Queen selfish.




Has Barry learned nothing from the Speed Force? The Speed Force was trying to get Barry to understand – to warn him that other tragedies were coming in his life that even he couldn’t outrun. Because they know the consequences of messing with time. Because that’s something you can’t do. You can’t just be like, That can’t happen. I’m going to change that. It affects EVERYTHING.

Even Barry had said that he’d finally come to a good place with his mother’s death. So why did he feel the need to go back in time to save her? Was the pain too much? Did he forget about his family he was leaving behind?

Look, I understand that Barry must be in unspeakable pain, but he needs to be able to control that or he is no better than Zoom. Especially when people are looking to you lead in times of crisis. You need to have a clear head on your shoulders. Don’t act without thinking. Don’t act selfishly. Act like a hero.

Once again: I really, truly love Barry, but this needed to be said. Barry was incredibly selfish in his decision. He might in ten different kinds of pain, but that doesn’t mean he can just act without thinking like that. Being a hero with a lighter personality doesn’t give you a pass either.

Characters have flaws, but it doesn’t make us love them any less. And having flaws doesn’t make Barry any less of a hero. We all have flaws. Hell, I know I can be selfish at times – we all can be – but in Barry’s case being selfish comes at an even greater cost.

But man does Barry know how to screw things up…

Are you kidding me

Besides the fact that hiatus will be living hell, The Flash has seemingly decided to move forward with Flashpoint, a famous comic where Barry is living on an alternate timeline where he’s the only one who seems to remember what has happened. Also, The Flash doesn’t exist. Basically: Barry is stuck.

Obviously this Flashpoint was created on the show when Barry went back in time and decided to save his mother, unlike last year’s season finale. While this certainly opens the door to virtually anything, the fact of the matter is that this is going to have significant consequences, which has me emotional, worried, and thrilled at the same time.

But to be honest, I don’t know how much I’m looking forward to this direction only because it’s seemingly going to affect the other shows. Not only could it, but it should. This is a shared universe, and this is such a significant storyline that it should affect the other shows to a degree. While it wouldn’t be big enough to bring people back from the dead, it should be enough to alter relationships, notably Barry Allen’s relationship with the characters on Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl.

But when you really think about it, Nora Allen’s death set a great deal into motion. That’s how Barry became obsessed with the supernatural cases; that’s how Barry came to Starling City. Without Nora Allen’s death, Barry doesn’t come to Starling City, which means that Oliver most likely dies or is ousted as the Arrow in the season two midseason finale. Also, Felicity wouldn’t have known Cisco or Caitlin, which led to the Mirakuru cure that they used to defeat Slade and his army, which means Amanda Waller destroyed Starling City with a nuke. But I’m hoping that the whole “time wants to happen” thing happens in order to fix everything on these shows.

The truth of the matter is that it most likely won’t affect those shows during its seasons. And it shouldn’t. The Flash shouldn’t be able to dictate how these other shows operate. But these other shows will probably just gloss over it because they shouldn’t have to deal with it.

But the crossover is a different story. How do they address this during the big crossover event? Basically, Team Arrow, Team Legends, and Team Supergirl have never met “The Flash” because he doesn’t exist. Maybe they’ll come up with a way that they met “Barry Allen” in passing – though I don’t know how. Honestly, I don’t see how this doesn’t end up being a mess as far as crossovers go.

But then the potential is there for a phenomenal storyline in season three. Here we have Barry – seemingly remembering his true timeline and the relationships he has with the people in his life – living in a world that just isn’t his true reality and he’s unable to do anything about it. Think about it: No Barry and Iris; No Barry and Cisco; No Barry and Caitlin; No Barry and Joe. (NO!!!!) Perhaps this is even something they could solve by midseason thus setting up the possibility for another significant arc for the remainder of season three – perhaps even the return of Reverse Flash, if he happens to factor into all of this.

My head hurts after that. Here’s what else happened (before that last scene):

Barry and Iris Break Our Hearts

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Just when we thought things were looking up for WestAllen… Following a traumatic experience in Barry losing his father, facing and defeating Zoom, and seeing his father’s doppleganger, Barry found himself in a place where he didn’t feel like he was ready to be in a relationship with Iris. For so long it was Barry that was ready, and Iris wasn’t. But most recently Iris had come around to it. Only now Barry made it perfectly clear that he wasn’t in the right frame of mind and told her that she deserved all of him. And he’d get to that point. Iris told Barry that he’d waited years for her to finally be ready, and she’d do the same for him. Only she didn’t know that Barry planned to rewrite history, including them. But we were rewarded with a beautiful kiss that left us crying tears of joy and sadness. Our poor WestAllen hearts!

The Man in the Iron Mask Is…

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I wish I could say I was more surprised that it was Jay Garrick under the iron mask, but I wasn’t. But I was more focused on who Garrick was under that mask. Seeing that it was Henry Allen of Earth-2, on the other hand, blew my mind. Then again we all should’ve seen it coming — Barry’s father’s mother’s maiden name was Garrick on that Earth. But seeing the reveal and Barry’s immediate, gut-wrenching reaction to his father’s Earth-2 doppleganger more than made up for it.

Zoom’s Demise

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Ding dong, Zoom is dead. While Barry ultimately ended up racing Zoom, creating that energy Zoom needed to destroy the multiverse, Barry used one of Zoom’s tricks against him: he created a time remnant of himself and used that to ultimately stop the energy — rather that past version of Barry absorbed it and died — while Barry fought Zoom. While Barry spent most of this episode wanting to kill Zoom himself, he was able to compose himself long enough to allow these time demons to retrieve Zoom and take care of that themselves.

Harry, Jesse, and Jay Garrick Leave for Earth-2

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With the threat of Zoom gone and Earth-2 still in existence, Harry and Jesse decided to return to their home, and even took Garrick with them so they could drop him off on Earth-3. Earlier in the episode, Jesse told her father that she wanted to return to their Earth to live her life. But she gave him the option to stay on this Earth where she finally saw him happy — working with Barry, Cisco, Caitlin, Joe, etc. But ultimately Harry chose to go with his daughter, which we shouldn’t have ever doubted. After everything Harry has done to protect his daughter, there was no way he was going to say goodbye now.

The Flash returns Tuesdays this fall on The CW.

What were your thoughts on “The Race of His Life?”

Alyssa Barbieri

Senior Managing Editor

Teacher by day, writer by every other free moment. Obsessed with sports, TV, books, movies, and superheroes. Proud shipper and supporter of strong female characters. TV Editor and Sports Editor. I write about DCTV, This Is Us and so much more. Contact: alyssa@fangirlish.com.

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