And we wrap up the rest of our WB shows this week, but rest assured, OTM will continue. I still need to finish the back half of Daredevil Seson 2, and I'll also be watching Preacher any day now. But on to the finales.
The Flash: "The Race Of His Life" (25% Stupid)
Oh, The Flash. How can you manage to make the best two things in the episode Barry being locked in a cell and Barry and Iris kissing? This episode oscillated between Smarter Than Usual and Dumber As Usual so fast it gave me a couple of concussions. Two examples.
1) Barry's gone dumb with rage over the death of his father, so the team has a super-intervention and locks him up and tries to take down Zoom on their own. SMART.
1a) Their plan is to knock Zoom, who can create breaches, back through a breach and then close the breaches. And Jessie wants to go and live on Earth 2 with her friends on a world where Zoom will be alive and free to do whatever he wants. SUPER DUMB.
2) Barry realizes that he's in no condition to start a relationship with his cough almost sister cough and tells her he needs time to heal. Iris understands and perfectly reasonably agrees that this is a good idea. SMART.
2a) Barry's idea of "healing" is to abandon everything he learned from the Speed Force and everything he's learned over two seasons and save his mom in the past, presumably doing irreparable damage to the timeline that will be reparable next season by the end of the first episode. On the other hand, if The Flash really does negate the Season 1 finale, does that mean Ronnie never dies so Jax never becomes Firestorm so Legends of Tomorrow Season 1 never happens? I could get behind that.
The rest of the episode was similarly uneven. For every nerd glorious moment like John Wesley Shipp suiting up as Earth-3 Jay Garrick Flash, or Cisco calling Harry a tool, there's another thing like, oh, the second season finale in a row that's resolved by a speedster running in a circle around a bit of supersciency tech. You've only had two seasons, Flash. Even Arrow waited a couple of seasons before reusing "Madman wants to destroy Star City to start anew because humanity is hopeless and sucky".
Here's an idea for Season 3, Flash. Have Barry get over his shit, dress up in his fancy red and yellow suit, and run around catching villains who throw boomerangs and use mirrors. It's a solid formula.
Arrow: "Schism" (10% Stupid)
I wish they hadn't kept the nukes in play.
The problem with global nuclear annihilation, as things to pin your season finale on, is that it's too big. It's too big for the budget, as we saw when Felicity and Curtis hacked all the misses so they'd explode in space. All we saw was like ten seconds of them saying let's hack all the missiles so they explode in space. No flashes in the sky, no sign that 15,000 nuclear missiles just exploded in near-Earth orbit, nothing.
It's also too big for a shared universe. Was the Earth about to be destroyed in nuclear fire at the same time Flash was trying to stop the destruction of every other Earth? There's a version of this where both Arrow and Flash fail, and Zoom triumphs for like 12 hours before the nuclear fire rains down on Central City. Plus, now the world's been unclearly disarmed, which will, I guarantee you, not be addressed.
THAT SAID. Given those things, the episode still mostly worked because, unlike certain other shows on the same network, the things the characters did were, for the most part, consistent with their characters, smart given the situations they were in, and generally free of bullshit. Team Arrow is like three times more competent than Team Flash and a bajillion times more competent than Team Legends, so their struggles feel way less contrived. Team Arrow rarely caused it's own problems this season, which makes it refreshing.
At the end of the season, everyone except Felicity embarked on a voyage of personal discovery. Ollie's the interim mayor, Diggle's back in the military, Thea's sitting in an apartment with a bunch of candles, and Quentin is off banging Felicity's mom because he's sad about Laurel. I can be snarky about this because, well, last season ended with Ollie and Felicity leaving on their own quest for peace and happiness, and we all know how long that lasted before they were back in Star City spin-kicking people with leather-clad legs. I expect about the same number of episodes will be required to get the team back together this season. Plus, now they have Curtis.