With the huge revelation in the season finale of Superman and Lois, it appears that The Flash is the last Arrowverse show still standing over at The CW. Not only is it the last show set in the Arrowverse, but it is also becoming the longest-running show in the connective universe. With The Flash season 8 coming to a close last week and a ninth season coming sometime in early 2023, it will push past the eight seasons that Arrow closed out on.
Many shows become tired and repeat stories the longer they continue, so did The Flash follow the same pattern? Or did the show produce something spectacular for the eighth outing of our Scarlet Speedster? Let’s suit up and speed off!
Not caught up on season eight yet? You can also read our The Flash season 8 premiere review, from part one of Armageddon.
[Warning: Spoilers from The Flash season 8 are below!]
From Armageddon to negative forces: The Flash’s story
Continuing the pattern from season six, this season was broken into a series of graphic novels and interludes. Three graphic novels and two interludes to be exact, the first of which was the mini-crossover Armageddon.
The five-part story saw Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) face off with Despero (Tony Curran), an alien from the future that accuses Flash of bringing armageddon to the world. Throughout the five episodes, Barry requires the help of multiple superheroes from across the Arrowverse to either save the world, though it’s unclear if the world needs saving from Flash or Despero. By the end of Armageddon, Barry crosses multiple timelines to get to the bottom of the mystery, before finally setting the timeline right.
The best part of Armageddon was that it gave the Arrowverse a mini send-off, even though we didn’t know that at the time. The event brought together Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams), Alex Danvers/Sentinel (Chyler Leigh), Ray Palmer/Atom (Brandon Routh), and Ryan Wilder/Batwoman (Javicia Leslie). Some of them had previously said goodbye to their individual shows, while the others would be canceled by the end of the season. This mini crossover was a shell of other seasons’ crossovers, but it was nice to get one last outing uniting the larger Arrowverse.
Graphic novel: death revisited
The second graphic novel of season 8 also saw the return of an old face from the Arrowverse’s past, but with a huge twist. Robbie Amell returns as Ronnie Raymond as well as Deathstorm. As Deathstorm, Ronnie exhibits bright blue flames instead of his standard orange fire. He also feeds off of people’s grief, forcing Team Flash to confront some of their deepest losses, such as Chester (Brandon McKnight) with his father.
Over the course of the six episodes in this chunk, we discover that Ronnie’s grief traversed the universe, before becoming Deathstorm. Meaning, that a piece of Ronnie does live in Deathstorm, which explains why he wishes to make Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) his wife.
This section also dealt the heaviest blow of the entire season, giving fans the death of Frost (Panabaker) in her mission to protect Catilin from Deathstorm. The send-off they give Frost in the closing moments of this graphic novel and the first episode of the second interlude was incredibly emotional. The amount of blubbering noises I made during “Funeral for a Friend” was more than I care to admit.
The final graphic novel for the series…I mean season
When Eric Wallace wrote this season, he thought there was a good chance that it could be the final season and initially wrote it as such. Although I didn’t know that when I was watching it, you could feel a sense of finality throughout the entire season. Especially in this closing chapter. The connective tissues of season eight were Iris (Candice Patton) and her time sickness.
The sickness is initially treated by Deon (Christian Magby), however by the end of “Funeral for a Friend,” Iris vanishes. Her time sickness and where she disappeared to becomes the center of the final story. Involving the negative speed force and more science than my brain could comprehend, it becomes apparent that a war is brewing. The negative speed force is flooding Iris with negative tachyons, knowing that she would infect the positive speed forces, upsetting the balance between good and evil.
The final battle united Barry with his daughter Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) and son Bart (Jordan Fisher), along with new speedster Menna a.k.a. Fast Track (Kausar Mohammed) against the Reverse Flash (Tom Cavanagh) for one epic showdown. This fight felt like a series finale fight, with the Flash and his team winning out against the ultimate evil once again. It reminded me of the original Charmed where the sisters defeated the source of all evil for the last time. The entire final episode felt like it wrapped up the stories nicely and didn’t require anything else – with the exception of the cliffhanger.
What worked in The Flash season 8
As always, the acting in this series is good. The actors and actresses work together well. The cast delivered fantastic emotional scenes balanced by humor and witty banter. Danielle Panabaker stood out among the rest for her work portraying Catilin Snow and Frost. The pain and loss Catilin experienced with the death of Frost is something that will stick in my mind forever. It also drove Catilin to extremes to bring her back, which makes sense in a show about superheroes and incredible scientific advancement.
Cecile Horton (Danielle Nicolet) continues to be one of my favorite characters in the series. The acting chops on Nicolet is just amazing and the work she does as Cecile is something that everyone should be watching The Flash for. Watching her grow in both her powers and as one of the most essential members of Team Flash is the highlight of the past couple of seasons. With the introduction of her new powers of telekinesis, I cannot wait to see where her story is headed come season nine.
The worst bits of The Flash season 8
The loss of Frost as a character hit me hard and in many ways felt unnecessary. Yes, the sacrifice from Frost in her attempt to save Catilin was heartwarming, especially when the earlier part of the season dealt with Frost’s lack of emotions and place in the Flash family. It made sense to see her want to save Catilin, cementing her legacy as a hero.
However, having just lost Cisco a season or so before, writing out Frost from team Flash felt like one loss too many. There were so many stories left in a character like Frost. Hopefully we see more of her in the future.
By the time the final episode rolled around, I was almost tired of seeing Reverse Flash as the villain of the story. Tom Cavanagh is a fantastic actor in every role he does, however, it’s time for the writers of The Flash to put the villain to rest. There are plenty of other adversaries to choose from, so let sleeping dogs lie.
Overall impressions of season 8
This season is far from my favorite, but it was still very good. The Flash still felt impacted by the pandemic, as well as the big changes behind the scenes at The CW. I appreciate what they did give us with Armageddon, allowing for one final crossover between some of my favorite Arrowverse heroes.
I am incredibly grateful that The Flash is getting at least one more season because I would have been disappointed if this was the last outing for our Scarlet Speedster. But what did you think? Did you enjoy season 8 of The Flash? Let us know on Twitter!