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Ever since its beginnings in 2013, the Arrowverse has made quite a reputation for itself in the world of crossovers and interconnectivity. With a total of 7 crossovers beginning in 2014, fans are treated to a wide variety of comic book character and events brought to life. The most recent of these came to fruition in The Flash’s Armageddon in late 2021. Although, this event was much less of a crossover compared to past years in terms of scale, we do get a ton of characters that we haven’t seen in for a while. As we dive into a review and recap of the first five episodes of The Flash Season 8, please be aware that this review will include spoilers. Lets dive into The Flash Armageddon!
The season premiere begins with a cold opening of the future. Central City is in ruins and a man (Tony Currans character) stands before the absolute carnage raining down upon the city. This scene straight away sets the tone for the rest of the episode. Snap back to the present and it’s revealed Team Flash are up to their usual shenanigans in Central City. We finally get some character development for Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) who is at long last ready to get back into the dating scene following her husbands death some seasons ago. Iris is working on her podcast and Barry is happy saving people from every day accidents. And then there is Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) who arrives on Barry and Iris’ doorstep. Although its great to see his character again, he doesn’t really add much to the story instead feeling extremely shoehorned in. Despero (Tony Curran) is a fine villain for this story although he isn’t the best considering a lot of the logic behind his motivation is extremely flawed. His whole motive is based on the fact that he believes Barry to be the cause of an event called Armageddon which leads to catastrophe in the future. I think as the episode goes on it slowly gets worse. But as the ending draws closer the quality does increase, with the final few minutes being the strongest really depicting the struggle in Barry’s mind.
Continuing on from the prior episode, Flash has seven days to defy fate and save his world from imminent danger. According to Despero, he would lose his mind which would in turn lead to Armageddon. Chaos ensues with just about everything going wrong for Team Flash. Barry doubles down on proving his innocence and a shocking revelation is uncovered. The said revelation is the reveal that Detective Joe West had been dead for six months which comes as an utter shock to Barry. Its a twist crafted for the shock factor, and its certainly executed quite well. I found a few of the moments in the episode to be a little contrived and contradictory to other seasons. In particular, one of the subplots involving Gideon and how Gideon has to erase themselves. Not written too well. As the episode draws to a close, Barry goes to Jefferson Pierce AKA Black Lightning. Which makes for a great cliffhanger for the slowest episode of the crossover.
The third episode of Armageddon introduces several new plot points that progress the story along. I think the stuff they introduce with Thawne replacing Barry in a Reverse Flashpoint timeline is probably the most interesting out of all the five episodes. The interactions Barry has with Jefferson was one of the best moments in the entire event and something that was teased back in Crisis. I feel that was some well done fan service. This episode also has a lot of hard hitting emotional moments for long time fans of the show which I love to see. After that episode 2 ending we were sort of led to believe that Barry had been erased from the timeline which set up a lot of great moments in this episode. This is probably the strongest episode out of the 5 but I wouldn’t say this is anything special. A few minor writing flaws but nothing too serious, although there is some cliché moments.
Part 4 of the crossover really gives the feel of conclusion and ending that the event needed. Which is weird because this isnt the final episode. The episode centres around Barry being the Reverse-Flash with Thawne being The Flash and the problems that situation could lead to. This episode reminded me of the Elseworlds comic series a ton. With like Ryan Choi becoming Vigilante and the Legends are dead. I found that to be a really cool scenario. The episode is structured in a way that the flow of the story is quite logical and smooth which I really appreciated. I think one of the biggest issues with this episode and CW shows as a whole, is that the the team up shots seem so awkward. Its a minor criticism but it’s always prevalent in these shows. Overall, its an enjoyable penultimate episode.
The finale of this miniseries crossover provides a decent capper for the event whilst leaving room for the plot of the rest of Season 8 and other shows. It was great seeing Mia Queen again but her involvement and arc in the episode doesn’t seem to be closed too well. The Despero arc is also seemingly left open even though it appears he dies. Like I said in the Part 4 review, part 4 provides a better ending to the event whereas this episode just feels like CW prolonging the episode count just so its more marketable. A few nuisances in the writing department but nothing overly bad. Especially in comparison to the second episode of Armageddon.
Overall, The Flash Armageddon is an average crossover providing some special moments in an average collection of episodes. Utilizing great character performances, the showrunners manage to convey an emotionally rich plot with high stakes.
The Flash airs weekly on Wednsdays on The CW, you can stream the first 11 episodes of the series on The CW app right now. Also Check Out: our Review for the extremely fun Sonic 2.