The Flash Review: “The Race of His Life”

I suppose it had to come down to a race.

Title: “The Race of his Life”

Director: Antonio Negret
Writers: Todd Helbing, Aaron Helbing, David Kob

Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash
Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow
Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon / Vibe
Candice Patton as Iris West
Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells
Jesse L. Martin as Joe West
Teddy Sears as Hunter Zolomon/ Zoom
Violett Beane as Jesse Wells
Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West
Michelle Harrison as Nora Allen
John Wesley Shipp as Henry Allen
Tony Todd as the Voice of Zoom
John Wesley Shipp as Jay Garrick

Premise

Team Flash imprison Barry after they decide he’s too emotional unstable to go after Zoom, and attempt to bring him to justice without the Flash’s help.

We learn the secret of the Man in the Mask.

Despite the episode ending with Zoom defeated and things looking pretty good The Flash does something dubious at the end in order to set up the next season.

High Point

The writers, increasingly, allow Barry to make effective use of his powers, and this week, whatever his emotional impairments, show a man who knows what his powers can do.

Low Point

Barry is under stress, but he’s shown himself a reasonable man before. Surely the Team’s plan would have worked a lot better with Barry’s help.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 A masked villain who tells the hero to unleash his anger and join him, and says, “Noooooooooooooo!” when things turn against him? A rainy-day funeral? For all the potential of this episode, it really dipped into clichés and familiar models.

Effects: 5/6

Acting: 5/6

Story: 5/6 The episode made effective use of elements introduced throughout the last two years, and it was good to see Zoom get dragged off to Speed Force Hell, or wherever those things took him.. It was a bit of a disappointment that the big confrontation came down to, “Hey kid, y’wanna race?” and lasted about as long as a schoolyard challenge.

Emotional Response: 4/6 The reveal of the man in the mask was not surprising, but it was somewhat satisfying. Shipp can still appear in the show, and Jay Garrick’s comic-book legacy is secure. I just wish he had played an actual role in the finale.

Production: 5/6

Overall: 4/6

In total, “The Race of his Life” receives 30/42

Although the number designating a particular Earth is a matter of convenience, the DCWB-verse’s Earth-2 and Earth-3, if one exchanges their number, fall close to their original comic-book versions.

I’m not crazy about the epilogue, but it might set up some interesting things in motion for the now four-show strong DCCW line-up next year.

5 replies on “The Flash Review: “The Race of His Life””

  1. Fez says:

    The race bit and the Zoom resolution felt “cheap” for want of a better word. I can see why they went that way, but it was ultimately not satisfying. I did call the identity of the man in the mask several months back, my wife had bet it was Eddie which I also would have been alright with.

    From what I’ve been reading, the final appearance of Zoom and what Barry did at the end all appear to be a Flashpoint and Black Flash setup which could be interesting.

    Unless I’m forgetting something though, they have already setup his reversal of the ending part: A “future” flash shook his head at (S1? S2?) Barry to stop him from saving his mother, but we haven’t actually seen the “current” Barry go back and do that, did we?. Presumably that’s actually a future Barry at some point in S4 who stopped his S3 self and previous self from saving his mom (again?) which would negate all of that.

    In the immortal words of Miles O’Brien and Miles O’Brien: “I hate temporal mechanics”.

    • Fez says:

      Got my seasons mixed up in the above, first one was S1, then S4 should have been S3.

    • JD DeLuzio says:

      Will Flashpoint affect the entire line-up, I wonder.

      • Fez says:

        Someone asked Stephen Amell that and he said he didn’t know for sure but he felt that it probably wasn’t going to affect Arrow since they didn’t usually deal with time travel effects there directly, but they have shown Star City in other shows during crossovers dealing with time travel. So if it does, it may be confined to a crossover.

        Since they announced the big crossover event coming next season will involve all four shows, it’s a safe bet there is some bleed-through that will happen at least during the crossover.

  2. quantaman says:

    Am I the only one who thought they’d all be better off leaving Barry locked up in the particle accelerator for good?

    He nearly destroyed the planet at the end of the last season.

    Nearly destroyed the multiverse at the end of this season.

    And still managed to obliterate a timeline after escaping that mess.

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