The Flash Stumbles Over Finish Line for Nine Season Run on Blu-ray

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The Flash Season 9

As the DCEU ramped up anticipation for the theatrical release of The Flash, the CW series -- know for its inconsistent peaks and valleys of storytelling -- wrapped up its ninth and final season in typical fashion: by blending some great ideas and standout episodes in a way that still manages to lead to a milquetoast ending.

Being the final season, there was a sense that the writers were reluctant to create too large of an epic storyline. By this I mean that, unlike previous seasons where a conflict was established that carried through to that season's finale, we had instead two mini-events that wrapped up relatively quickly. The first of these was "The Mask of the Red Death" which (loosely) adapts a part of the DC Comics Death Metal series, in which multiversal variants of Batman go bad and take over or become other characters. In this case, it was a Batman who stole Barry's speed and became Red Death.

This being the CW, of course, Batman was off limits. So instead we get Batwoman (Javicia Leslie) from an alternate timeline, all while the current Batwoman is missing in action. The setup is great, the threat is serious... and then in typical fashion the whole thing is resolved in a bit of a "too easy" fashion as one of the rogues Red Death recruits betrays her to Team Flash.

The other mini-epic that could have filled the season was "A New World," featuring the return of Season One's Rick Cosnett as Eddie Thawne and Matt Letscher as Eobard Thawne. Eddie is back from the dead after having killed himself to prevent the existence of his descendant, Eobard. Well, we all know that didn't work because the Reverse-Flash continued to be a character throughout the series, and when the mysteriously resurrected Eddie realizes his sacrifice was for nothing, he is shown temptations of the world he could have had if he had stayed alive -- specifically a life and family with Iris (Candace Patton), which he now feels was robbed from him by The Flash (Grant Gustin). This arc had a lot of great moments, including taking us full circle to the pivotal moment of the show where Nora Allen is murdered. (Just for fun, sit around some time and try to figure out how many versions of The Flash are running around the Allen home at the time of the murder; it's like taking inventory of how many Deloreans are parked in Hill Valley in 1985.)

Sadly, the series devolves into one long, drawn-out baby shower -- an excuse to bring in as many former cast members as possible to say their goodbyes to fans while sitting around drinking coffee and eating cake. It drains the energy out of the entire series and goes on for far too long.

Ultimately, this season of The Flash is to be enjoyed like the seasons before it -- by judiciously picking and choosing which episodes to watch.

3.5 / 5.0