The Flash Season 3 Episode 23 Review: Finish Line

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We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. Because Iris West is alive and well and a total badass.

Unfortunately, not everyone survived Savitar's wrath on The Flash Season 3 Episode 23 "Finish Line."

Barry Enters the Speed Force - The Flash Season 3 Episode 23

It turns out H.R. switched places with Iris after rescuing her from Savitar's lair. Now we know why the face-changing technology suddenly reappeared on The Flash Season 3 Episode 22.

H.R.'s sacrifice completed his hero's journey. It made up for him accidentally giving away Iris' location to Savitar-Barry, and it gave him the chance to prove that he's not a coward.

Not that we thought he was. Yes, he was a tad annoying when he first arrived on Earth-1. But he grew on us, and he meant something to Team Flash.

His death hit Tracy, Cisco, Wally, and especially Iris, hard.

Tracy: Why are you doing this?
H.R.: I couldn't be a coward. I'm not a coward.

But in the grand scheme of things, it's as low impact as it gets when it comes to killing off a member of Team Flash.

We know Tom Cavanagh isn't going anywhere. Iris summoned Harry from Earth-2 to try and convince Tracy to help Savitar. Then, Barry asked Harry to stick around.

And that's a good thing. Harry's the best version of Wells. He's bonded with the team. He's a genius. He no longer has the excuse of his daughter tying him to Earth-2.

So it's hard to be too sad about H.R. dying when he's already been replaced. 

Two Barrys - The Flash Season 3 Episode 23

I'm also not going to be shedding any tears over Savitar-Barry.

For a moment, I did believe he wanted to change. Mainly because of Iris. I saw his love for Iris shining through when she reached out to him.

It's hard not to be moved by that. As we've seen, all versions of Barry Allen love Iris West. So it made sense that he might be swayed back to the light side of things with her help.

Except that would have been too easy.

Cisco [laughing]: You better have a Plan B. Because I don't think your Plan A worked out too well.
Savitar-Barry: Fix this.
Cisco: Fix what? The Speed Force Bazooka? I didn't name it. If I didn't name it, I didn't make it. And if I didn't make it, I don't know how it works.
Savitar-Barry: You know enough about it to alter what it does.
Cisco: Oh, I see. You want me to alter it. What do you want me to alter it into? Like a hair dryer? Or a waffle maker? Oh, I know maybe something that's going to fix that thin crust pizza you call a face.

Instead of doing the right thing, Savitar-Barry continued his quest to rise to God-status. In order to do that, he needed to tear apart the Speed Force. Or something.

No matter how much exposition dialogue The Flash offers, I'm still every bit as confused as Joe when it comes to time travel and the Speed Force. Maybe a physics degree would make watching the show easier.

I suppose it doesn't matter in the end because, as usual, Cisco outsmarted the bad guy. And I will always applaud that. Especially when it lead to an awesome battle sequence.

Excuse me? - The Flash Season 3 Episode 23

Barry shoving Savitar out of the suit and taking it over was so cool. Not as cool as Caitlin's ice bridge on The Flash Season 3 Episode 20, but a close second.

Not only did Barry get the upper hand, but he proved to his future self that he did learn his lesson. He knew he didn't have to be bad. Pain wasn't the worst thing in the world. It was part of him.

I like the message this sends. We've all suffered. We'll continue to suffer. Life is hard. But we don't have the luxury of moving through time to fix our problems or get do overs. We have to face the bad stuff.

That's what Barry finally accepted.

Iris [reads future newspaper]: Iris West-Allen.
Barry: It changed back.
Joe: Does that mean what I think it means?
Barry: Yeah, Joe. The future's ours again.

But, let's be honest. The coolest part of the entire scene was Iris coming in with the gun to deliver the final blow to Savitar-Barry.

He had it coming. She was protecting her friends, the man she loves, and bringing karmic justice to the person who tortured her for months. 

Joe West taught his daughter well.

Working Together? - The Flash Season 3 Episode 23

Of course Iris wasn't the only lady who had a choice to make.

When the big moment came, Killer Frost chose the right side. She stopped Savitar-Barry from killing Cisco. But she also chose not to take the cure. 

I always assumed Caitlin would end up as a hybrid between the two versions of herself so this wasn't a huge shock. Although, I did expect her to take the cure. I assumed it wouldn't work the way Julian intended.

Now the big question is how long will Caitlin/Frost be on her own before returning to Team Flash? Not too long, I hope.

Brokenhearted - The Flash Season 3 Episode 23

How cute were Barry and Iris with their wedding invitations? 

It was so nice to see Iris reveling in the fact that she had a future again. And Barry's eagerness to spread the good news was contagious. So of course we knew it had to come crashing down around them.

Iris survived, but Savitar-Barry was not the only one who had a debt to pay.

For the millionth time, I'm lost with all this time travel stuff. What happens now?


The Flash Season 3 kicked off after Barry created Flashpoint so it's fitting that it ends with Barry making up for that selfish mistake.

Again, I don't really understand the logic of why the Speed Force needs a speedster to keep it going. But I'm proud of Barry for not even hesitating to step up. He knew it had to be him. 

His goodbyes were tear-filled and touching. The scene gave us a glimpse at how much each of these characters has grown. And Barry and Iris' farewell hurt the most.

She wanted him to stay. He wanted her to promise to live her life and move on. As far as they're both concerned, this is the end. He's not coming back.

Stunned - The Flash Season 3 Episode 23

Again, I like the symmetry. They worried about saying goodbye to Iris, but Barry ended up being the one to leave.

We know this won't be the last time we see him. The show is called The Flash, after all. But will The Flash Season 4 pick up months down the line? Will it pick up with Barry in the Speed Force? Will Team Flash be stable without him?

That's what makes it a good cliffhanger. We may know that Barry will return, but we don't know how or what shape he'll be in. Maybe he'll be sad to leave the rest he's getting in the Speed Force.

All right, Flash fanatics! Tell us what you thought of the season finale.

Were you surprised to see H.R. in Barry's arms? Are you sad to see him go? Or happy Harry's back on the right Earth? How awesome is Iris? And Caitlin for breaking through Killer Frost's icy exterior? 

What do you think will happen when Barry returns? Does anyone have any casting suggestions for DeVoe?

Remember, you can watch The Flash online anytime!

Finish Line Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (168 Votes)

Mandy Treccia was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in September 2017. Follow her on Twitter.

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The Flash Season 3 Episode 23 Quotes

Iris [reads future newspaper]: Iris West-Allen.
Barry: It changed back.
Joe: Does that mean what I think it means?
Barry: Yeah, Joe. The future's ours again.

Tracy: Why are you doing this?
H.R.: I couldn't be a coward. I'm not a coward.