What more could you want in a season finale?
The Flash Season 1 Episode 23 was everything the freshman series was all season long – action-packed, emotional and wickedly entertaining.
Absolutely nothing went as expected, and that doesn't worry me one bit. Hell, I almost felt sorry for Eobard as he said, "Home," and his time machine exploded. We should have guessed that Barry already had everything he ever wanted.
The hour was full of the things we've come to love from The Flash. Every single discussion Barry had was enough to rip your heart straight out of your chest. The decision he was making was enormous and had far reaching consequences that kept changing.
Barry had tear-filled heart-to-hearts (that kid can cry) with Joe, his father, Iris and Eobard Thawne. This week, it was the chats with his father and Eobard that really struck home. Henry Allen only appears when he's ready to wax poetic, and he let his son know how he felt about changing the world they lived in if it meant Barry might change in the process.
Barry: I can save mom.
Henry: At what cost? You said time won't change. What if it changes you?
Barry: I don't care.
Henry: I do. I am in awe of the remarkable that you are becoming. All the things you achieved and not just as the Flash, but you, Barry. Your honesty, your heart. You're always a hero, and your mom would be just as proud. And if she had a say in this, if she thought for one second that you going back to save her would mean losing what makes you so special, she would never want that! [Barry sobs] Barry, what I hope for you, maybe the greatest thing that a father can hope for his son is that one day you will become a son yourself and then you will know how much I truly love you.
Eobard continued to be the man we hate to love when he again used the very word about Barry (while Barry not only pounded on the glass in rage, but cried in confusion while speaking with Thawne).
Barry: I want to kill you right now!
Harrison: I used to know that rage. I used to feel that rage every time I looked upon you and now I know what Joe and Henry feel when they look on you with pride. With love.
During his chat with Iris, Barry remarked how growing up together probably ruined their chances at a future because they were so close he missed his window of opportunity to tell her how he felt and she fell in love with Eddie. It was a relief, honestly, that they finally addressed why the two haven't found their way to each other.
It was natural having the Firestorm duo around to help with something as complex as time travel, especially when powering up the particle accelerator was necessary to create the wormhole through which Barry would travel.
Honestly, when Ronnie and Caitlin got married, I imagined it being erased when Barry changed time, but that didn't come to pass. Nothing official has been said, but the marriage sure makes it seem that Robbie Amell is sticking around The Flash for Season 2.
When Barry was running through the speed force, some of the things he saw from the future included Killer Frost, the Flash Museum, a look at the Legends of Tomorrow preview (will he be in that episode?) and himself in prison. That was a fun jog! That didn't even include Cisco learning he was also affected by the explosion. Caitlin and Cisco's abilities are just more to explore in Season 2.
It never occurred to me future Barry would stop present Barry from saving his mother. When she told him he looked like her father... oh the feels...yet, now that the hour is over, I have hope for Mrs. Allen again. Am I crazy? We'll get to that in a little bit. A lot of what I want to do here is theorize about The Flash Season 2 because I'm just buzzing with ideas.
When Dr. Stein was chatting with Eddie about being the wildcard in the group and Eddie subsequently made that amazing speech to Iris about not letting the future dictate who he is today, it seemed like that was the point of it all, for them to end up together. But it's never that easy, is it? Of course he had a heroic purpose.
Ultimately, Eddie was the one who changed time and if there is a major shift when we return for The Flash Season 2, it's because of Eddie's sacrifice. Let's take a minute to talk about all of the things that should be altered as a result of what he did.
Eobard Thawne is dead. He should never have been alive. Unless Barry goes back in time and saves Eddie. SPOILER ALERT: The producers have said they're parting ways with Rick Cosnett. That's a major bummer because, damn, that guy really brought it over the last quarter of The Flash Season 1.
However, if that's true, then he shouldn't be resurrected to reintroduce the Reverse Flash again. Am I right? And if he's dead, then there is no way Eobard Thawne could ever be in existence, right? So even if Barry didn't change time when he went back because his future self told him not to (and what was that about, anyway?), shouldn't anyone Eobard killed be alive?
If Eobard could just magically disappear before our eyes, is there any reason another person (or other persons) couldn't just magically appear before our eyes? Kind of like those shows where someone all of a sudden is frying an egg in the kitchen as if they'd been there all along.
I'm thinking about Nora Allen, Harrison Wells, Mason Bridge, and in a pinch, even Harrison's wife, Tess. I realize this could get tricky, because by bringing back too many people too soon, then even the particle accelerator doesn't get built. But seriously, doesn't some of this sound like it could be done if they want it to be done?
That said, I have no doubt Harrison Wells will be alive, whether through a reappearance or some other method. Tom Cavanaugh isn't going anywhere. How they'll explain Nora being dead by a guy who was never alive if they choose to go that route? We shall see. It would be really cool if a lot of things were rewritten at the hand of Eddie Thawne. It would keep his name alive well past the last time we saw him on screen, that's for sure.
Season 2 will look a lot different than The Flash Season 1 no matter how it comes to pass. Eddie will be gone and Eobard Thawne in Harrison Wells' skin is no more. That complex being who was caught between love and hate for the people he was stuck with was a wonderful character.
I'm sure Tom Cavanaugh will reinvent another remarkable version of Harrison Wells and all of the actors around him will make it an easy transition, but that dynamic will be missed.
The Flash never takes itself too seriously and the writing team knows exactly how to parse out the right amounts of drama, emotion, action and camp without overdoing it. There are plot holes, sure, but the overall entertainment value weighs so heavily in the positive they're easily overlooked. As long as that formula remains in tact, The Flash will continue to be one of the most enjoyable shows on television.
Your turn guys! What did you think of the finale? Are you going to miss Eddie? Are you up for a new version of the real Harrison Wells? Do you think there will be other changes as a result of Eobard Thawne's death thanks to Eddie's heroic move?
Don't forget, you can watch The Flash online all summer long via TV Fanatic!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.