‘The Flash’ Just Gets More Absurd Ahead Of Its Season Finale

by Frank Martin

With shows like The Flash, there’s a certain amount of disbelief that has to be suspended in order to be absorbed into the universe. The science fiction aspect of the show is so stretched that viewers have to be lowered into it slowly, a little bit at a time. This is very helpful when there are twenty episodes in a season, so the explanation as to how the main villain can threaten the hero seems just plausible enough for viewers to buy that it is happening. The problem with this season is that it was playing in so many different arenas at once that viewers never had a chance to catch up, and before they understood what was happening, the main threat arrived in completely unbelievable fashion.

The good news about this episode is that the pacing was fairly strong. There were so many loose threads that the story had to move relatively fast in order to wrap everything up. The downside to this episode is that the season never built towards anything. Instead, it followed a series of arcs that moved from one threat to the next without really building towards anything in particular. Viewers are supposed to believe that this season’s main antagonist is a trio of negative forces, but the show’s mythology works contrary to that explanation. It’s so out of left field that the episode’s shocking cliffhanger does not land as strongly as it’s supposed to.

That’s not to say that the show can’t course correct itself. After all, The Flash has thrived on the ridiculous and absurd, especially when it comes to the series’ reoccurring baddie, the Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh). As he makes a surprising return in the closing moments of this episode, I can’t help but wonder if perhaps it signals something grander to come. This was just part one of a two-part story. Still, if this first part is any indication as to how things will end, then The Flash has a long way to go to make up for the damage that’s already been done.

The Flash airs Wednesdays on The CW.

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