WARNING: This article contains many spoilers from the second season of The Flash. If you haven't caught up, then stop reading now!
The first season of The Flash impressed comic book fans worldwide and became The CW's biggest hit ever. However, Just like with Arrow, fans wondered if Greg Berlanti and his crew would be able to create a second season that could live up to the first. Thankfully, they succeeded. The second season is much darker than the first and further explores the Flash mythology, yet remains very loyal to the comic books. It's been a rollercoaster of emotions this season, and things are set to heat up in the season finale. As we prepare for the conclusion of Season 2, let's reflect on the moments that have left us both jumping with joy and emotionally distraught.
The Earth-2 two-parter was a real highlight for me. We've become accustomed to the world of The Flash, so the fact that we were given the opportunity to explore a completely different Earth for two full episodes was, simply put, out of this world. The cast members were incredible as they played their doppelgängers, specifically Danielle Panabaker and Grant Gustin, who both played completely different characters to their Earth-1 counterparts. While playing his Earth-2 counterpart, Jesse L. Martin got the opportunity to show off his vocal abilities — a trait that fans of the musical Rent are already well aware of. When Earth-2 Joe died, the fans wept. Despite only knowing him for a short time, he had the same face as our Joe, and that was just too much for us to handle. The two-parter was excellent and now that we know of Earth-2's existence, there are plenty more of opportunities for compelling storylines here in the future.
4. Hartley Rathaway's A Good Guy!
I'm so glad that The Flash is on almost all year round as the show has introduced so many concepts that one would be justified in occasionally getting confused. Not only have they dealt with time-traveling, Earth-hopping and the Speed Force, but in order to gain knowledge from Evil Wells on increasing his speed, Barry takes himself back to the events of Season 1, Episode 11 — that is, when Hartley Rathaway (SMASH's Andy Mientus) is on the loose. On top of kidnapping the past version of himself as well as almost being killed by Evil Wells, Barry has to deal with a time wraith. Their job is to ensure the past remains the same (Legends of Tomorrow, anyone?) and thus this creature is hunting him. As Hartley puts it, "Holy Harry Potter." Barry changes the timeline since he knows how Hartley escaped, thus Hartley remains a prisoner at S.T.A.R. Labs. When Barry transports himself back to the present, outrunning the time wraith, he is shocked to see that Hartley has become a member of Team Flash: The altered timeline has made Hartley one of the good guys. It was a brave move on behalf of the writers, and one that so excellently paid off. More appearances from Andy Mientus next season, please! He's wonderful as Hartley and would be a welcome addition to Team Flash.
3. Henry Allen's Death
Arguably the reason behind Barry's crimefighting passion, Henry Allen was wrongly imprisoned for Nora Allen's murder. At the beginning of the season, Henry was finally given justice and set free from prison. Admit it, you cried. It was a beautiful moment that fixed everything wrong with Barry's world. Flash forward (no pun intended) to the penultimate episode, in the ultimate act of revenge, Zoom kills Henry right in front of Barry. Not only did he replicate the location of his mother's death, he replicated the circumstances by stabbing him in the chest. As distraught viewers, we also felt as if we were being stabbed in the chest. This horrific moment has set the wheels in motion for what will unquestionably be an action-packed, vengeance-filled season finale.
2. Barry Disintegrates In The Speed Force
After we'd long accepted that Barry had lost his powers (again), Harry decides that in order to defeat Zoom and rescue Caitlin, they would have to recreate the particle accelerator explosion. Unsure of what to do, Barry ultimately decides that it is his responsibility to save the world from Zoom, so he accepts Harry's offer. When Barry is suited and ready to go, they recreate the events that originally made him the Flash in the first place. Unfortunately, it doesn't go as planned and poor Barry seemingly gets torn apart in the wave of dark matter. It appears as if Barry has died, leaving Henry, Iris and Joe devastated. There were tears as viewers were left wondering what had happened to our beloved Barry. This isn't Game of Thrones, you can't kill off the main character and hope that the audience will still tune in every week (I'm looking at you Arrow), therefore, we at least hoped that Barry would be resurrected. That didn't make this scene any less painful to watch though. We've known Barry Allen for almost two years and to watch that kind-hearted, selfless hero of a guy get torn apart like that really left me (and everyone else, I'm sure) devastated.
1. 'Run Barry, Run'
If somebody asked you to associate a quotation with The Flash, it would be the one above. However, despite being used on numerous occasions, it's use in "The Runaway Dinosaur" is without a doubt the most poignant yet. When Barry discovers that he is in the Speed Force, he attempts to find his way out. However, that proves difficult as the Speed Force is aware that he is holding back. When the Speed Force takes Nora Allen's form, she shows him why he has been holding back: He has never visited his mother's grave and, ultimately, he hasn't accepted her death. After a little conversation, Speed Force Nora insists that she is proud of him, as is his real mother. The acting between Gustin and Michelle Harrison is phenomenal, and just like the scenes from the finale last year, the chemistry between the two actors — and the characters — is incredible to watch. It's a tear-jerking moment that gives Barry the courage and strength that he needs in order to finally let his grief go. As Iris appears in the Speed Force, Barry extends his arm to her and they both return to Earth. At the same time, the gang is about to be brutally murdered, but not before our favorite hero immediately saves them all, proving not only that he has his powers back, but that he's the hero that we all knew he could be. He is ready.
It's been one hell of a season and let's hope that the cast and crew can give us many more moments like the ones above during this Tuesday's season finale. It's going to be an explosive end to an incredible season! Prepare for anything!
Check out promos for both the Arrow and The Flash season finales here, or see The Flash's below: