It’s beginning to feel like, not only did this “five-part crossover event” not need to be a five-part crossover event, but maybe it was never meant to be.
Like, remove Despero and all the guest characters, and the story so far could have been a solid two- or three-part storyline for The Flash. Everything seems to be going wrong for Barry: he loses his job, Star Labs is condemned, he’s having psychotic episodes, and he apparently went on a city-wrecking rampage. But while that’s a lot all at once, it’s all stuff that could happen for ordinary reasons.
But then Barry learns that Joe is dead, that Joe’s been dead for six months, and everyone acts like this is something he already knew. That’s our first clue that Barry isn’t just having a bad week: something is changing the past. That’s when the rest of reality starts to change around him, and he’s confronted by the Eobard/Iris engagement party, and a new world where Thawne has stolen Barry’s entire life away from him.
No need for a foretold Armageddon or a lot of cameos or even a trip to the future. Just a story about Barry losing everything, from his wife to his friends to his sanity to his very existence, and his struggle to get it all back. Not only does that sound like a tighter, more dramatically focused story, but it also sounds like what the original idea for this story probably was; everything that’s been done to make Armageddon an “event” has a notably tacked on feel.
Plus, if you cut out the trip to the future, then they wouldn’t be able to spend half the episode trying desperately to legitimize their current romance storylines. Not only do we get the umpteenth reiteration of West-Allen’s cosmos spanning love, we’re told that Frost and Chillblaine become a thing, that Ryan and Sophie over on Batwoman will get married and have a kid, and that Chester and Allegra are so totally endgame we-swear-you-all, they’ll still be hopelessly pining over each other a decade later.
I just … I could have done without any of that. I could have especially done without Alex going on an aromantic-phobic rant.
That said, Ryan Choi showing up in a comics accurate Atom suit, and Damien Darhk showing up and being Damien Darhk? I wouldn’t trade those for anything.
Question of the Week: Which couple would you be more than happy to see break up/never happen in the first place?