The CW’s The Flash season one finale found Barry seeking guidance from his closest friends about whether or not he should go back in time to save his mother’s life and keep his father from ever being jailed for her murder. The dilemma: if he decides to go back and rescue his mom, then he’s changing the course of history. But if he doesn’t, then he’ll forever have to live with the knowledge that he had the chance but failed to act upon the opportunity. “Fast Enough” follows Barry’s decision-making process while furthering the character arcs of his S.T.A.R. Labs cohorts.
Here’s a recap of the season finale which aired on May 19, 2015:
Eobard Thawne (Tom Cavanagh) jokes there aren’t any cows left in the time period he’s actually from, but Barry (Grant Gustin) isn’t in the mood to laugh. Barry wants answers and it appears Eobard’s ready to provide them. Thawne reveals he’s from 136 years in the future and he killed Barry’s mom because he hates Barry. “Not you now, you years from now,” says Thawne. They will always be rivals/enemies, but when Eobard learned Barry’s name he traveled back in time to kill Barry as a child in order to stop him from ever becoming The Flash. But future Barry saved younger Barry, thwarting Thawne’s plan, so Eobard killed his mom believing that Barry would be so traumatized he’d never become The Flash. But Thawne lost his way home and got stuck here and the only way back was with The Flash’s help, so he created him, guided him, and made him as fast as possible so that he could open a wormhole to return home. If Barry helps him now, he’ll let Barry go back and save his mom and keep his dad out of prison! Barry’s skeptical, of course, but Thawne says he actually has the warm fuzzies for Barry (which, of course, Barry also doesn’t believe).
So Barry meets with his closest friends, including Dr. Martin Stein (Victor Garber), about Thawne’s proposition. Dr. Stein says it has too many risks since the timeline’s been altered. Dr. Stein asks everyone to contemplate what it would mean to alter so much history. No one would know what their lives would look like now if that happens. However, Joe (Jesse L. Martin) believes Barry should go back and save his mom, even if that means everything will change. “You’ve saved a lot of lives this past year. Now it’s time to save yours,” says Joe.
Off Barry goes to prison to try to explain everything to his dad, Henry (John Wesley Shipp), and to tell him that he’s thinking of going back in time to save his mom. His dad says that he can’t do that. There’s a natural order and Barry shouldn’t mess with that. Barry is nearly in tears as he reiterates that he can save his mom, but his dad asks him to consider what would happen if he went back and how his personality might drastically change. He might lose what makes him so special. “Maybe the greatest thing that a father can hope for his son is that one day you will become a father yourself,” says Henry, passionately. “And then you will know how much I truly love you.”
Meanwhile, Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) is giving Ronnie (Robbie Amell) a physical exam and declares his temperature to be normal. Ronnie is going to try to help Barry stop Thawne, but he’s also back because he’s not whole without Caitlin. (No, he didn’t get too cheesy and actually say, “You complete me,” but it was close). He declares his love and asks her to marry him! Aww, such a sweet moment leading up to what’s bound to be an epic fight between good and evil later in the episode.
Barry and Iris (Candice Patton) are up on the roof, chatting like the old friends that they are and talking about her lame nickname of The Streak. She wants to know if he’s decided whether or not he’ll go back, telling him that maybe if he does he’ll wind up with a successful career – and they’ll get married. She jokes that she doesn’t see herself ever taking on a hyphenated married name, but it might just be a 2024 thing. Growing up together made it hard for Barry to admit how he felt about her, and he waited too long to tell her his true feelings. Tearing up, Barry says that living with her and Joe has given him a great life. He wants to know what she would do, and she says he needs to stop thinking about other people and do what’s in his heart. “Do what you need to do for yourself,” she advises.
And Barry’s back with Thawne after that bit of advice, ready to go back in time and stop his mother from dying. In order to go back, Thawne says they need to use the particle accelerator and if Barry can go fast enough, then he’ll punch a hole through the fabric of reality and will create a portal connecting “this time to infinite times.” That wormhole will allow travel to whenever Barry wants. But, if he doesn’t run fast enough and punch through, then he’ll die. Way to throw a bucket of cold water on Barry’s already tepid enthusiasm for the plan, Thawne.
Barry takes Thawne’s plan back to the others and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) has the best reaction, saying, “Why would you ever consider doing this?!” Barry will have to go Mach 2, which he’s never done before, and if he doesn’t it’ll be like a bug hitting a windshield. But, even though he’s not into the plan, Barry needs Cisco to build a time machine. Thawne will need a ship to travel back to the future because he’s not in complete control of his speed. (Hello, McFly! Hope Cisco creates one out of a DeLorean.)
Cisco needs Thawne’s help because of an issue with dust and heat…or something that sounds potentially lethal. Cisco obviously hates having to talk to Thawne and reveals that he knows about the alternate timeline in which Wells called him a son and then crushed his heart with his fist. Thawne’s not sorry about killing him, but he’s sorry Cisco remembers it happening. That means Cisco was affected by the particle accelerator exploding. Cisco says no, but Thawne tells him “a great and honorable destiny” awaits him now.
Dr. Stein and Eddie (Rick Cosnett) are discussing the plans and the concerns for Barry’s trip into the wormhole, and Eddie says he has nothing constructive to contribute because he ultimately doesn’t matter according to Eobard. He won’t save the day or get the girl. Dr. Stein wants to know why he would believe that, and Eddie says because Eobard had a 2024 newspaper that said so. Dr. Stein quickly points out that he has a World’s Best Boss mug, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. Game, set, match, Dr. Stein. Dr. Stein thinks Eddie’s the most interesting thing at S.T.A.R. Labs because of his connection to Eobard. It’s a coincidence, and “there is no science to coincidence.” Eddie’s a wild card who gets to choose his own future. They’re interrupted by a warning buzzer which sends Dr. Stein into a state of near panic.
Dr. Stein announces to the group that there’s a possibility that Barry could destroy the city (and quite possibly the world) by colliding with the hydrogen particle by creating a singularity. Cisco once again has the best comeback, quoting the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: “So long, and thanks for all the fish.”
Thawne says it will be a bit of a risk, a drastic understatement if ever there was one. Thawne reminds them he’s been fighting alongside them, facing dangers and metahumans, and he’s been planning this for almost two decades. He says it will work, but everyone is skeptical. Thawne tells them that once the wormhole stabilizes Barry will have exactly 1 minute and 52 seconds to alter the past and return to the present. Barry points out that two minutes isn’t enough time to save his mom and to stop Thawne from going home, to which Thawne responds that everything is a choice. Thawne tells Barry he believes in him and has faith he can do it.
So, now Barry’s weighing his options. He could fail in the particle accelerator and turn to dust or quite possibly destroy the world if he succeeds. And now Joe isn’t sure going back is the right thing, and confesses he was faking it before when he said Barry should go back. Joe’s worried and doesn’t want anything to happen to Barry. Joe believes Barry is fast enough to do it, but he’s still worried. Barry’s dreamed about this moment but if he goes back, he’ll actually be losing another parent: Joe. The tragedy gave him two fathers, and he doesn’t want to lose Joe. Joe gets choked up and tells him he’ll never lose him. Ever. Another very sweet moment in this season one finale.
Eddie and Iris finally have a quiet moment together. They discuss lunch, and Eddie tells Iris about a big coincidence from a year ago when he was supposed to have dinner with another girl, a dancer who hurt her leg and had to cancel. That meant he was on the spot when a mugger stole Iris’ backpack and that’s how the two met. He now realizes how many coincidences had to happen for the two of them to get together, and because they’ve been thinking about Barry’s destiny, he forgot he has one too. His smile is huge as he looks lovingly into Iris’ eyes, telling her every moment of his life led to their meeting. “Screw the future.”
A wedding! No, it isn’t Eddie and Iris; it’s Ronnie and Caitlin, with Dr. Stein (the other half of Ronnie’s metahuman side) officiating. Caitlin looks beautiful and Dr. Stein gives a touching speech before asking the two to exchange rings and their vows. It’s a sweet exchange, with Caitlin saying everyone she holds important is there to share in their happiness. And, they kiss…a long, lingering kiss.
And after such a happy moment, we now come upon the time when everyone is saying goodbye to Barry before he possibly changes everything forever. Cisco gives him a few words of warning, and then says, “May the Speed Force be with you.” Joe hugs him, crying and calling him son. Iris plants a kiss on his forehead and he and Eddie exchange head bobs, acknowledging each other without having to say anything.
Dr. Stein reminds him about the 1 minute 52 second window of opportunity. Thawne says, “Run, Barry, run,” and off Barry goes. He passes Mach 2 and he sees his past, his present, and his future all at once. Thawne tells him to focus on where he wants to go. Barry sees his mother and he’s gone! The wormhole is stable and the countdown has started. Current Barry arrives in his house, sees his mom surrounded by the yellow light, and is warned off from saving them by himself. He stands back and lets The Flash and Reverse Flash do their things. After they’re gone, he goes to his mom who is critically injured and takes her hand. He tells her he’s The Flash, crying, and then removes his mask. “You look just like my father,” she says. He explains that it is him and she says, “Oh, my beautiful boy.” He tells her he got a second chance to come back in time and assure her he’s okay and that he loves her. He breaks down crying as he watches her life fade and then collapses on her chest in sorrow.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Thawne is looking at the time machine when a small metal object pops out of the particle accelerator onto the floor. “That’s my cue to leave,” he says. Into the machine he goes and he’s seconds away from escaping when Barry arrives to stop him, smashing the time machine. The rest of the crew have to quickly shut down the wormhole!
Thawne is so pissed that Barry didn’t save his mom that they engage in a high speed battle, and it looks like the Reverse Flash has the upper hand. He tells Barry he’s going to kill him, his friends, and then his father. “I always win,” he says…obviously leading to some event that will make him eat those words. Oh no, what happens next I didn’t see coming at all. Eddie Thawne shoots himself so that Eobard Thawne will never be born. Iris is devastated and rushes to his side. “He was wrong. It turns out I’m a hero after all,” says Eddie, referring to Eobard’s earlier declaration that Eddie didn’t matter at all in history. All he ever wanted to be was Iris’ hero Eddie confesses before taking his last breath. As Eobard begins to come apart, he asks Barry how he’ll ever get along without him. Barry doesn’t answer and Eobard is nothing more than vapor.
The wormhole was closed but now it seems to be reopened. Everything is flying toward it, including the now-deceased Eddie. Outside S.T.A.R. Labs, buildings and other material are soaring up into the sky. In order to stop it, The Flash is going to have to disrupt it, just like he did with the tornado only this time it’s bigger and scarier. Dr. Stein says it can’t be stopped, but Barry knows he has to try and up he goes. And, fade to black.
But then up pops executive producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg to assure everyone The Flash will be back for an even bigger season two, so obviously our hero was able to save the day even though we didn’t get to see him actually do it. Berlanti and Kreisberg say season two’s going to have more amazing effects as well as a new way to introduce all sorts of incredible villains. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until this fall to see if The Flash season two lives up to expectations.
-By Rebecca Murray
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