The Flash: Season 1, Episode 23 (finale): Fast Enough

Author's Note: The Flash is a fun show. A little goofy sometimes, but fun. There's a reasonable amount of treknobabble and people miss opportunities and such, but people are generally at least somewhat intelligent and realistic.

And then there's this episode.

Intro Voiceover: My name is Barry Allen. I am the fastest man alive.

The Audience: That's what she s—

Management: Ahem!

The Audience: Oops, sorry.

Management: Look, let's cut to the chase, right? Barry Allen is the Flash, fastest man alive, sultan of speed, police forensic expert, lightning bolt, yes, yes, blah blah. Harrison Wells is his friend and colleague who helps train him and is—shocker!—the Reverse Flash, Eobard Thawne, a man from a century or so in the future. When Barry was a kid—

Harrison Wells: Oy! How about a little show don't tell?!

Management: Right, sorry. Okay, go for it.

Twenty-something years ago, at the Allen residence...

Reverse Flash: Hah hah! I am from the future, I hate the Flash of my time, so I'm here to kill him as a child!

Future Flash: Haha! I am the Flash from your time, and I'm here to stop you!

Gravelly Voiceover: ROUND ONE, FIGHT!

Big superspeed fight: [ensues]

Future Flash: Oh noes! As always, Reverse Flash (who, fortunately, is not calling himself 'Professor Zoom' in this continuity)—

Reverse Flash: Curse you, Broome, for saddling me with that name! Currrrsssseeee yooooouuu!

Carmine Infantino: What, I get no love?

Reverse Flash: Fine, you get a curse too. A curse for you! And you! A curse for everyone!

Carmine Infantino: Thank you! That's all I'm asking for, a little respect!

Future Flash: Right. Okay, uh...oh, yes. Reverse Flash is too fast for me, so I will take my younger self and run away, leaving my parents to die!

Reverse Flash: Oh yeah? Well, I'll kill your mom! [kills her] And your dad will be blamed for her murder!

The Audience: Hang on, why was her dad blamed? He was unconscious next to her when the police arrived, but he had no wounds like he'd been in a fight and there was no blood on him or even near him, despite the fact that Nora had a hole in her chest put there by a super-speed finger. Where's the weapon? He's barely got opportunity, let alone motive or method!

Reverse Flash: Hush, I'm monologuing! Anyway, now that I've killed Barry's mom and sent his dad to prison, I'll go home...hang on. Wait, what's going on? Why have I suddenly lost my connection to the Speed Force and therefore my ability to travel in time?

The Audience: Well, men of a certain age...performance problems...

Reverse Flash: Damnit. Okay, fine. I'll wait twenty years for Barry to grow up, build a nuclear accelerator in the middle of the city, blow it up so that it gives everyone superpowers, hope to God that it gives Barry superpowers, then I'll train him so that he's fast enough to break through the speed barrier and create a wormhole that will let me travel through time to go home.

City Council: Excuse me, did you say 'nuclear accelerator in the middle of the city'? Because we kinda have a problem with that.

Management: What are you doing here? I wrote you out of this script in the second draft!

City Council: Oh please, like you do drafts of these things.

Management: Moving on!

~Twenty-ish years later~

HW: So, Barry, that's how it all went down. Now that you've captured me and are keeping me in this cell—which, may I add, has no toilet—I'm giving you a chance: use my plans to create the wormhole and go back in time to save your mother. I'll go forward to my own time and we'll be done.

Barry: Joe, you're the man who raised me after my father went to jail. Iris, you're my stepsister who I've always had this massive crush on and in another time line I end up marrying, which is a little Game-of-Thronesy but we'll roll on by that one. Caitlyn, Cisco, you're my friends from the lab who have helped me with my crimefighting all year. Eddy Thawne, you're Joe's partner and, in an amazing coincidence, the multi-greatgrandfather of Eobard Thawne, aka Harrison Wells, aka Reverse Flash.

Everyone: Barry, we know who we are. Stop expositing.

Barry: Right, sorry. Anyway, what do you think I should do? Should I go back in time and save my parents?

Everyone: Hell no. If you do, our current timeline ceases to exist and everyone on Earth dies.

Barry: Oh, good point. Okay, let's get a beer.

Management: Ahem!

Everyone: *sigh* Fine. 'Gosh Barry, I dunno, chum! You need to do what your heart tells you to do!'

Management: Secondary characters. Always so uppity.

Barry: Okay, Wells, how would this work?

HW: You get in the accelerator and run in circles to go really fast—

Barry: Why is the solution to every problem 'run in a circle really fast'?

HW: As I was saying! You go really fast, then we shoot a hydrogen proton—

The Audience: Does it have to be a hydrogen proton? Could it be an iridium proton instead? Or maybe a helium proton?

HW: Guys, I just read the script, okay? Anyway, Barry, you collide with the particle.

The Audience: Doesn't he collide with, like, a bazillion protons every time he goes out for a jog?

HW: Scriiiipt! [waves script furiously]

The Audience: Right, sorry.

HW: Anyway, Barry. You collide with this particle. If you're going fast enough, you'll create a wormhole which will let you travel back in time and me travel forward in time.

Everyone on earth: Wait, what? Traveling to two different destinations through the same wormhole? That's stupid. A wormhole only has two ends.

HW: Scriiiipt! [waves script furiously]

EoE: Right, sorry.

HW: Thank you! Jeeze. Okay, right, so. You collide with the particle, create a wormhole, go back in time, I go forward in time, you save your mother, I get home, everything is hunky dorey. Just one thing: after you create the wormhole, you have one minute fifty-two seconds to get there, save your mom, and get back. If you don't, the wormhole will turn into a black hole and destroy the planet.

Every non-crazy person ever: This is a stupid plan, let's not do this.

Barry: Yep, definitely stupid. Who wants a beer?

Management: Ahem!

Barry: *sigh* Fine. Sounds great! I love this plan, I'm excited to be part of it!

HW: By the way, if you aren't going fast enough when you hit the proton, you'll die.

Barry: Oh. How fast do I have to be going when I hit the proton in order to open a wormhole that will allow me to time travel?

HW: At least Mach 2.

Barry: What.

HW: At least Mach 2.

Barry: But...there's, like, bazillions of protons everywhere. If all it takes to open a wormhole into the past is to hit a proton going Mach 2, then every single Concorde flight should have arrived in London before it left New York.

HW: Scriiiipt! [waves script furiously]

Barry: Fine. [runs Mach 2, hits the proton, goes back in time, hides in the closet while Future Flash rescues Kid Barry, intends to jump out and save mom after FF and KB are gone so as not to cause a paradox]

Future Flash: [sees Barry in the closet, holds up a hand in a 'Stop' gesture]

Barry: Well crap. [waits until mom is dying, has touching heart-to-heart]

~Meanwhile, back in the future~

HW: Ah, here we go. I'm sitting here in my time-bubble thing, in front of the wormhole, all set to go home the way I've been wanting to for the last twenty years, Barry is off in the past so there's nothing stopping me from going, I could go any time I wanted...I could go now...or now...or now...

The Audience: SO DO IT ALREADY!

HW: Scriiiipt! [waves script furiously]

Barry: [comes flying out of wormhole, punches out HW's time bubble thing, preventing him from leaving]

Sciencey Character: Oh no, we've only got fifteen seconds left to shut down the wormhole before it destroys everything! Quick, run downstairs, open the access panels, and do the thing to turn it off!

The Audience: Hang on, why were you guys upstairs again? You knew you were going to have to do this, right? Why weren't you standing there next to the conduits, with the panels already open?

Entire Cast: Scriiiipt! [wave script furiously]

Reverse Flash: You stopped me from going home! I will kill you! And then I'll kill them! And then I'll kill everyone else...despite the fact that my powers don't work very much.

Eddy Thawne, multi-greatgrandfather of Reverse Flash: [shoots himself to save the day]

Reverse Flash: Nooooo! [is erased from existence]

The Audience: Hang on...if he never existed, then Reverse Flash never existed, so RF never went back in time to kill Barry, so his mom never died and his dad never went to jail and Barry never grew up with Joe and Harrison-Wells-aka-RF was never here to build the accelerator that gave Barry his powers. How does Barry still have his powers? Why would Eddy be dying, since he wouldn't have shot himself without RF there? How is any of this happening?

Entire Cast: Scriiiipt! [wave script furiously]

Sciencey Character: Oh, hey, look, the wormhole reopened. And turned into the black hole thing we were worried about. And now it's got an accretion disk around it. Yep, we're boned.

Barry: I can stop it!

Sciencey Character: [babbles about tera-electron-volts]

Barry: I can do it! If I run fast enough around the disk I I dunno. Running in circles really fast is always the answer! Look, don't bother me, okay? I'm running really fast!

Barry: [runs really fast]

Episode: [ends]