Eobard Thawne: I’ve controlled your life for so long Barry. How will you get along without me?
Beware: Spoilers may follow
Even after all the years the Flash has been on air, season one still manages to be the best season. Its villain of the week scenarios combined with a season long storyline mystery worked by building it episode by episode. And this episode managed to bring a season long mystery to fruition resulting in an incredibly emotional roller coaster ride to the end.
The story is Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) has finally captured the man who killed his mother Eobard Thawne a.k.a. the Reverse Flash (Tom Cavanagh). Thawne tells Barry why he killed Barry’s mother Nora (Michelle Harrison), why he helped Barry get faster and save so many people, and his desire to return home. Barry outright refuses to help Thawne until the latter offers him a tempting opportunity in exchange: to go back in time and save his mother from her death by Thawne’s hands.
Past superhero movies and TV shows alike have involved the villains giving the hero tempting opportunities like this. What sets it apart however is the emotion surrounding it. The interactions about the matter hold a great deal of emotional weight through the all the actors’ performances. Such scenes include seeing Barry interact with his imprisoned father Henry (John Wesley Shipp) about the matter of going back and Henry telling him not to as it could take away what makes Barry the man he is, Joe West’s (Jesse Martin) goodbye to Barry before he goes resulting in Barry addressing him as ‘Dad’, and of course Barry saying goodbye to Nora after ultimately deciding not to save her. There’s also a deleted scene involving Barry and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) with the latter voicing his concerns that Barry going back might mean they never become friends. This like the others truly strikes a chord given that the villain of the week storylines over the course of the season truly built up the bonds between all of these characters.
Thawne revealing that Cisco is a metahuman is a conversation that hits the perfect amount of comedy and mysterious. It gives off (for lack of a better word) an eerie vibe about what Cisco would be able to do that continued all through the next season.
This was Rick Cosnett’s last episode as a main on the show as Eddie Thawne and the creators figuratively and even quite literally made him go out with a bang. This is a guy who has been told by his descendant that his existence has little if any matter, as he is not destined to marry Iris (Candice Patton) despite the fact that the two genuinely love each other and the fact that even after finding out this information with words of encouragement from Professor Stein (Victor Garber) he decides to take destiny into his own hands and him and Iris decide to get married anyway. This however has a devastating payoff as Eddie winds up shooting himself in the chest to save Barry and erase Eobard from existence. This is a tearful moment in itself seeing Joe and Iris’ reactions to it capped off with Eddie’s final words about only wanting to be Iris’ hero. The worst part about all this however is that looking back on the show now, in a sense Eobard was right: Eddie’s sacrifice has turned out to be completely in vain as Thawne still continues to exist.
Although Eobard is very much supposed to be the bad guy and that at this point this was the only character Cavanagh was portraying his performance is still top notch. Just three simple words (I hate you) to Barry about his motives are chilling. And his desire to return to his time truly feels genuine.
If there is one real nitpick about the episode it’s that the wedding between Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) and Ronnie (Robbie Amell) feels somewhat sudden. But it’s not the main focus of the episode.
Fast Enough truly proves how a superhero’s adventure can be driven on sheer emotion and characters. It may have taken a lot of time to get to this point but from the get-go to the end it delivered its strengths fast enough.