The Flash, there was a massive shift in the show’s status quo in the closing moments — one that will likely mean a permanent change for the universe of the series.
After a year in which Barry was criticized for being reckless and selfish with his powers, and Wally gained super-speed and struggled to hone his skills, each of them took a big step forward in their heroic journey in “Finish Line,” tonight’s finale.
Faced with a Speed Force that was destroying Central City because it needed an occupant for the “Speed Force Prison” originally built for Savitar, Barry sacrificed himself to the Speed Force, willingly surrendering himself and appointing Wally his successor as The Flash.
Given Barry’s easy turnaround — he went from delivering his wedding’s save the date announcements to sacrificing himself to the Speed Force pretty quickly, and seemed fairly flip about the decision. Could that mean he already has a plan for how to get out of it, or is it just that he was comfortable with the sacrifice he was making.
In the comics, of course, Barry spent years trapped in the Speed Force after joining with it in Crisis on Infinite Earths. During that time — 20 years in the real world — Wally became The Flash and crafted his own legacy distinct from Barry’s. That Crisis, complete with its red skies, has been teased (in the future newspaper with the Iris West-Allen byline) ever since the show’s pilot.
It’s hard to know, then, just what it means for the show going forward. Certainly the idea of bringing Wally up to be The Flash is something that would make a lot of sense, but as we saw with last season’s finale and the season 3 premiere, the show isn’t averse to taking even the biggest parts of The Flash’s comic book legacy and shrinking it down to just an episode or two in order to serve the larger story of the TV series.