The Flash, Episode 23 “Fast Enough” Broadcast on May 19, 2015
Teleplay by Gabrielle Stanton & Andrew Kreisberg
Story by Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg
Directed by Dermott Downs
The series usually opens with stock footage accompanied by Barry narrating his purpose on the show. The same narration is given, but gone are the images of the Flash running about. At S.T.A.R. Labs, under the eyes of Joe, Cisco, Caitlin, Ronnie Raymond, and Dr. Martin Stein, Barry walks to the super villains’ cells, summoning up one containment unit. As Barry narrates, “…And one day I’ll find who killed my mother and get justice for my father,” the face of Dr. Harrison Wells, aka Eobard Thawne, aka the Reverse-Flash, is revealed in the unit. “That day is today.” Cue opening title card.
“Go ahead, Barry. Ask it,” Thawne says to the man on the other side of the partition. “Why did you kill my mother?” Thawn eeks out, “Because I hate you.” The villain reveals he went back in time to wipe the hero from the map, so there’s no one in the future to stop his deeds. Barry–a future Barry–followed him to the past and rescued his younger self. Thawne thought if he could make the young Barry suffer a tragedy his child self could never recover, and never become the Flash. However, with Mrs. Allen dead he discovered he’d lost his way home: he’d lost his ability to harness the Speed Force. Realizing the Flash was the only person who could get him home, “I created the Flash.” Eobard tempts Barry with going into the past to save his mother’s life, if he creates a wormhole for him to go back to the future. Barry refuses, but his opposite continues to tempt him with a chance to fix his past wrongs. Barry walks away. Back among his friends, Dr. Stein proposes that everything will change if Barry goes back in time and alters it. No one will know the difference because their lives will be different. “There’s no choice here, Barry,” Joe says. “You have to do this. You gotta change the past,” and the detective grabs his jacket and leaves. Barry goes after him, to find that Joe wants him to have a family, even if it means the detective never gets to raise him. “This is why you became the Flash, Barry. To put things right.” Cue first commercial break.
There’s a lot of crying in this episode as young Mr. Allen has to decide to change the world he knows for a chance to get the life he’s always wanted. The script pulls Barry in all sorts of directions, with characters telling him to do it, with others, surprisingly, telling him not to. Grant Gustin gets to put Barry through the emotion wringer, and he does a sensational job, and those he speaks with are equally impressive, starting with Tom Cavanagh; the opening scene is a superior scene between good and evil, with evil holding all the cards. I love that Cavanagh decided to speed up his delivery, to show his true personality. Jesse L. Martin was great as the foster father telling his son to alter the past, erasing all bonds that they’ve created. The one that pushed me over was John Wesley Smith as his father Henry. I was tearing up big time, with that music making his words manipulative magic. A surprising scene occurs between Candice Patton and Rick Cosnett; this is what I wanted to see Iris act like, and Eddie…Oh, Eddie. Dreams come true. Robbie Amell and Victor Garber don’t get too much to do in the episode except push forward Caitlin’s story and provide scientific knowledge, since Wells isn’t really going to help anyone anymore. What happens in the past was incredible, and what happens after that is even better, with something incredible (OMG!OMG!) appearing out of the wormhole and another famous hero, soon to be appearing on a CW show being brought up. I wasn’t keen on the ending though. I’d like to watch a show without a cliffhanger for the season finale, but I’ll be watching religiously when the show returns in the fall.
The good: The story, the actors, the action, and two big endings for two characters.
Fun lines: “I needed you to get fast!”, “I want to kill you right now!”, “Don’t you want that chance?”, “Now it’s time to save yours,” “At what cost?”, “…which used to be a name that made me smile,” “A great and honorable destiny awaits you now,” “You, sir, are an anomaly,” “So long and thanks for all the fish,” “Everything’s a choice,” “Let’s not fight on our wedding day,” “May the Speed Force be with you,” “One minute and fifty-two seconds,” “Run, Barry. Run,” and “Home.”
The bad: A cliffhanger ending that wasn’t really necessary. Was it?
The final line: Big payoffs on several fronts with hints of things to come next season. This is a dream come true for a comics fan. Overall grade: A