Television

FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 8×04- “Armageddon, Part 4”

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The Flash (08×04)- “Armageddon, Part 4″

Written by:         Lauren Barnett

Directed by:           Chad Lowe

We’re in Central City 2031 and everyone is discussing their personal lives and there’s a general them of all of future Team Flash being kind of unhappy and we catch back up to where we left off last week with Barry showing up and everyone looking at him like he’s evil.

When Barry tries to remind them that he’s the Flash by changing into costume things go weird as Barry’s now the Reverse Flash and Thawne is the Flash…

Neat trick!

Thawne and Team Flash beat on Barry for a while before he escapes with Iris to their apartment.  He pleads with her to remember the past before Thawne takes him away to a warehouse and explains what he did.  Which is pretty much what we have discussed the last two episodes; He stole Barry’s life piece by piece, even going so far as to turn Barry into the Reverse Flash before he killed Barry as a boy. Which means Barry is just hours away from being erased from existence.

Later, Barry’s trying to figure what to do when the ever helpful Exposition News Report tells him Damien Darhk is out of prison.  When Barry explains what Thawne’s done (poorly spun to make him still sound evil) Darhk comes up with a plan.  Thawne’s changed a lot so Barry’s going to have to change it all back pretty much at once and the only way to do that is with Darhk’s Time Stone and a piece of tech Ray Palmer developed before Barry killed him in this timeline which means it’s now in the possession of Team Flash.

So Barry’s going to have to storm STAR Labs to get it.

Back at STAR Labs, the gang is trying to track down Barry before he can do something “evil” and Thawne shows his leadership style isn’t terribly affective. Which I find strange considering in season one he was a pretty good leader for the team despite being the Villain then.  Maybe you’re just not cut out to be a “Lead from the front” type of guy, Eobard.

Iris tries to smooth things over and get the team working on the problem which is what get Eobard remembering that he’s supposed to be the hero and he gets back into the role.  After the team splits up to do work, Alex talks to Allegra about Chester.  Apparently sometime in the past (which would put it sometime later this season) Chester and Allegra go from D & D partners to B-E-D partners but when Allegra woke up the next morning Chester was gone and things have been awkward ever since.

This is why D & D doesn’t mix with sex, kids… Well, one of the reasons anyway.

Darhk takes the pair out before he and Barry take out Chester and Ryan.  Barry finds the device they need but Cecile shows up with the Psycho Pirate mask, which seems to be teched up too.  She puts the whammy on them but Darhk takes her out. He also notices Barry’s little disappearing from time problem before the two escape with the PED.

Back at Darhk’s penthouse, Darhk confronts Barry about not only his little problem but him going out of his way not to slaughter the team when they had the chance so Barry has to come clean.  Darhk’s pretty impressed by the admittedly damned fine evil plot and decides he’s out but Barry has an ace in the hole; Darhk’s daughter is dead in this timeline when she’s supposed to be alive.  Barry allows Darhk to see into his memories to prove he’s telling the truth which gets him to help.

Over at Iris and “Eobard’s” loft, Batwoman gives Iris some bat tech to protect her from Barry if he shows up again before she asks why Iris is having trouble with all this.  Something about the things Barry said to her has planted some serious doubts in her mind and Ryan advises her friend to:

If it’s good enough advice for Luke Skywalker, it’s good enough advice for Iris West.

Back at STAR Labs, Chester and Ryan Choi (never have two characters with the same name in a story guys) hard at work.  Chester on tracking Barry and Ryan on mixing a drink when Alex shows up to confront Chester on him being a jerk to someone a decade earlier… That’s when Chester explains that he didn’t bail out on Allegra that morning he went to get coffee and when he came back Allegra freaked out so he agreed with her about just staying friends.  After Chester leaves Alex and Ryan have an argument about feelings before she leaves.

At Darhk’s penthouse, Barry’s running the numbers and to get the kind of speed he’d to crack the time barrier with amount of power he has left he’d need about forty thousand miles (about eleven times the distance from New York City to Paris) of run up.  He put incredible pressure on the Earth in the process; Earthquakes, volcanos, tsunamis, the Lions winning a Super Bowl… AKA exactly what Despero warned him he would do.

Barry is understandably hesitant, he’d have about two minutes to crack the time barrier before his attempt destroyed the planet and that’s a tall ask just to get a single life back, even if it is his own.  Darhk points out he’d be leaving the world literally in the palm of Thawne’s hands but Barry counters that when it’s all said and done, he’s just not fast enough.  Darhk replies that when it’s really all said and done there was a reason he was chosen as the paragon of love during the Crisis.  If it’s to save the people he loves, there’s nothing Barry Allen can’t do.

There’s another scene where Alex and Allegra discuss her weird hang ups about the people in her life and how she took that out on Chester. (Don’t think I’m on Chester’s side on this, pining for someone that acted like an asshole to you for a decade? Chester! Grow a spine and find someone else! You’re both idiots!)

Back at Iris’ loft, Barry goes to her one last time before he makes his attempt to fix the timeline.  Iris is conflicted to say the least because somehow she seems to think Barry’s telling the truth.  Unfortunately Eobard shows up to stop Barry but Iris uses the Bat gadget Ryan left behind on Eobard and tells Barry to go.  Barry meets up with Darhk one more time before starts his run.

Shortly after Barry hits the Atlantic, the Armageddon stuff begins around the globe while back in Central City Damien is attack by Frost, Chillblaine, Atom and Alex.  They subdue him but planet starts coming apart.  Fortunately, that’s the moment Barry finally breaks the time barrier.

Back in 2021, Despero’s tortured each member of the team to death to find Barry, saving Cecile for last. As he’s decided Cecile doesn’t know and serves no more purpose a wave of energy washes over them both leaving Despero alone just in time for Barry to return as the Flash once again with a nicely repaired timeline.  He convinces Despero of what happened and Despero agrees but not without leaving a warning for him.

Up in the STAR Labs lounge, Barry finds the team all back to normal enjoying a fast food lunch.  Barry tells them he’ll explain later but for the moment he’s just happy to be back together and everyone’s is safe and whole. Including Joe.

Down in the Time Vault, Thawne arrives vowing revenge.

This was a very cool episode.  There weren’t a lot of other things they could have done with the story as built so the Thawne reveal might not have been much of a surprise but we’ve talked about this before;  You don’t need a big dramatic surprise when you execute a really well told story and through four parts they have done just that.

This is a plot worthy of a Barry vs Thawne story to hate someone so much you run the risk of the timeline being destroyed to ruin Barry before killing him shows just how much pride Thawne must have swallowed to do what he did for Barry in Season One.  On the other side you have Barry basically destroying the world bring it back, very cool. 

I liked the dynamic between Barry and Darhk. Neal McDonough was a ton of fun in the episode.  He had menace when he needed it, charm when he needed it and he was even able to put together a solid final act pep talk for Barry.  Grant was also a lot of fun, particularly early in the episode when he was trying to play villain for Darhk’s benefit but was just kind of terrible at it. Though I will say that Barry had a pretty good “villain’s voice” in those moments and if we learned nothing else from Werner Herzog as the Client in the Mandalorian, a good villain’s voice is almost half the job.

But as a certain 1970s television detective might say, “There’s just one more thing…”

“What happens now?”

Barry you saved both the Earth and the Timeline but Thawne’s still out there and just as importantly there’s probably repercussions to playing with the Timeline like this.  So what are they?

Right now it feels a little bit rushed (I know! It’s part four of five so it can’t be that rushed. My point is exactly that, it’s part *Four* out of Five.) so they do still need to stick the landing.

I guess it’s a good thing we’ve got another part to this story.

Things We Learned:

  1. Thawne manipulated the timeline to cause all of this as part of a plan to not only kill Barry as a child but destroy him first.
  2. Barry did in fact cause the destruction Despero witnessed in 2031.
  3. Barry has undone that damage by repairing the Timeline.
  4. Thawne has returned to 2021 to get his revenge on Barry for foiling his plot.
  5. Despero has returned to 2031 but has vowed to return if he thinks Barry is ever a danger to his time again.

Questions:

  1. Will Despero return to present day ever?
  2. Has Barry successfully repaired the Timeline or will there still be consequences to come (Beyond this week’s concluding part) in the future?
  3. What will Thawne do and how does Gideon factor in to this?
  4. Will the incident between Chester and Allegra still occur?
  5. In the 2031 Barry left behind did he manage to pierce the time barrier in time or did the world come apart?

Just another guy on the internet.

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