Tuesday, December 21, 2021

The Flash Episode Guide: Season 8, Episode 5 - Armageddon, Part 5

 For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Barry is given a chance to end his feud with Eobard Thawne once and for all, but the consequences could be dire for the entire Arrowverse. Meanwhile, the Green Arrow of the future journeys to 2021, seeking a lost loved one.


Green Arrow and the Canaries (story picks up from the failed pilot) and the many contradictory origin stories of the Reverse-Flash in various The Flash comics.


Barry says that future Chester made the PED, when it was said in 804 that Ray Palmer made it. (Perhaps future Chester enhanced it in the six months after it was taken to STAR Labs?)

Iris' lecture on Oliver Queen ruining his life by killing to protect his loved ones neatly ignores that Iris killed Savitar to save Barry Allen in The Flash season 3 finale.

It's odd that Joe would threaten to disown Barry and Iris if they didn't save Thawne, given that you'd think a police officer would appreciate that sometimes you have to take lives to save lives... like Joe did when he shot Clyde Mardon to save Barry in The Flash pilot.

Despero says point-blank that he cannot kill the Reverse-Flash because the only way to be sure he won't survive somehow to menace the future is for him to have never existed in the first place. Yet he still goes on to try and kill Thawne after Barry and Team Flash refuse to let him fade out of existence. 

The idea that removing Thawne's connection to the Negative Speed-Force will save him doesn't make any sense since one of the powers the Negative Speed Force is supposed to grant is immunity from paradoxes. (Come to think of it, why isn't THAT protecting him anymore?)

Why would Despero bother pretending to be a hero from the future if he's really some petty tyrant exiled from his home planet? It wouldn't make it any easier for him to come back and time to kill The Flash.

For that matter, Barry's reasoning that Despero must be a bad guy because he's willing to kill for a greater good doesn't make much sense given how many of Barry's friends (Oliver Queen among them) have the same belief.

Barry's reasoning that the Flame of Py'Tar must follow the laws of physics like a real flame despite being an alien magic power source is probably the most wonky pseudoscience in the show's history.

For all Barry and Team Flash do to try and spare Thawne's life and save him from being erased, they do nothing to explore the possibility of saving Damien Darhk and finding a way for him and Nora to live. Granting that this is a magic problem they don't have the experience or ability to deal with and Damien would likely refuse, having made peace with his death, it's still odd the possibility isn't suggested.

Barry also never seems to consider the possibility that taking away the source of Despero's power might kill him.


Danielle Panabaker gets a truly powerful moment staring down the Reverse Flash and telling him she can happily watch him die after all he's done to her family and friends.

Neal McDonough gives a masterful performance during his brief scenes as Damien Darhk and he and Courtney Ford finally get the chance to give Damien and Nora the farewell they didn't get during his last appearance in Legends of Tomorrow.

Katherine McNamara is frankly wasted in this episode, but her brief appearance showcases why she deserved to headline an Arrow spin-off centered around Mia Queen.


The fight between Despero and The Flash may be the best in the show's history in terms of CGI cinematics. 

Flash Facts

The backstory Thawne gives in this episode regarding why he came to hate Barry Allen most closely resembles his backstory in the Rebirth era Flash Comics. In that reality, Thawne sought to become a hero like The Flash in his time after figuring out how to give himself superspeed.

The key difference between the Arrowverse Thawne and Rebirth era Thawne is that, in the Arrowverse, Barry apparently showed-up Thawne as he was about to make his big debut as a hero. This made Thawne determined to prove that he was the superior speedster.

In the Rebirth era, Barry traveled forward in time and discovered Thawne had taken up his mantle, only to turn him in to the authorities after he learned that Thawne was staging some of the accidents from which he saved people.Thawne later sought redemption after serving his time and became a professor of history who worked at the Flash Museum of his time. He later became obsessed with destroying Barry after he traveled back in time to show his hero that he had changed and discovered Barry giving the same inspiring speech he had once given to Thawne to Wally West.


Damien Darhk theorizes that he was drawn back in time to 2021 thanks to his connection to the Time Stone that Barry was wearing when he traveled back in time. He is unsure, however, why he is still alive and why Nora hasn't returned to life yet.

Temporal fade is when a person begins to flicker in and out of existence due to changes in the timeline.

Mia Queen explains that she traveled to 2021 tracking a temporal signature but that she accidentally tracked Thawne's "scent" by mistake due to how much temporal energy he carried.

When Barry used the Time Stone to reset the timeline, it eliminated all possible time variables, restoring a single permanent timeline. This is why, if Thawne is erased this time, it will be permanent and he won't be able to survive as a time remnant like he did following the death of Eddie Thawne in 123.

A speedster can have their connection to the Speed Force or Negative Speed Force destroyed by being exposed to continuous voltage, like blowing a fuse. 

Mia uses a Canary Cry arrow to take out Frost and Allegra.

Barry reasons that the Flame of Py'Tar may be a mystic alien energy source, but it still has to act like a normal flame, which means it can be harnessed and dispersed by a vacuum.

Chester reworks the PED into the lining of a pair of gold boots for The Flash costume. This gives Barry the ability to redirect energy fields around him, including the Flame of Py'tar.

Dialogue Triumphs

(Barry explains the Reverse-Flashpoint to Joe.)
Uh... well, I'm so sorry you went through that. Hey, listen to me. I'm here now, and I'm not going anywhere.
Barry: I know, it's just... seeing you again after everything that's happened... 
(Joe chuckles. ) 
Barry: It's just... I can finally breathe again.
(Joe and Barry both jump suddenly and stand as a voice speaks behind them. It is Damien Darhk, who has somehow appeared in Joe's living room.)
Damien: Nothing like a second shot at life. 

Barry: Damien, what you're doing now...
Damien: I'm no hero, Barry. I'm just a dad.

Thawne: Flash. I didn't come here to fight. I came here to make a scene, publicly, so that there would be witnesses for what I have to ask you.
Barry: What is it?
Thawne: I need you to save me.

(Thawne has been taunting Caitlin by telling her she's wasted her life with Team Flash.)
 Fine. You want honesty? When I was a resident, fresh out of med school, one of the first things they taught me is that sometimes, you lose a patient. That death is a part of life. So guess what? It's your turn. Because all the speed in the world can't help you outrun what's coming for you.
Thawne: You'll save me. You'll save me, Snow. You don't have a choice.
Caitlin: (continuing as if he hadn't spoken) And another thing: I stayed here because Barry and the rest of the team, they're not just friends, they're family. And just so we're clear, what I've been doing for the last eight years is hating you. So if you're looking for someone to save you, look somewhere else.

Barry: Don't you have anything better to do than trying to destroy my life? 
Thawne: Destroying you is my life. 

Dialogue Disasters

Joe: This decision is for the two of you. But I can tell you one thing: if you let Thawne die, you don't have to worry about him destroying our family.


The episode continues where 804 ended, with Barry running to Joe West's house to see him after calling him on the phone to confirm he is alive.

Damien Darhk appears in Joe's living room. He guesses that there's something he has to do before the timeline is restored.

Barry gives Damien Darhk back his time stone.

Revere-Flash appears at CCPD headquarters.

Barry tells the rest of Team Flash about the Reverse-Flashpoint and how Chillblaine and Frost were married in that future.

Barry doesn't know about Chester and Allegra's rekindled romance from 804 or that the two ever became romantically involved in the first place..

Barry gives Chester the PED.

Taylor at CCC Media sends out a news alert regarding the Reverse-Flash attacking CCPD Headquarters.

Mia Queen, the future Green Arrow, shows up at CCPD HQ and threatens Thawne, asking him where William is. This is a reference to William Clayton, Mia's older half-brother, who was abducted in A809.

Thawne says he has no idea who William is..

Mia notes that Thawne is suffering from temporal fade, suggesting he doesn't have long to live.

Thawne surrenders himself to Barry, saying he only made a scene so there would be witnesses when he asked him for help.

Thawne wants Team Flash to keep him from being erased from the timeline.

Chester knows who Mia Queen is and has heard many stories about her parents.

Caitlin says she is going to call Frost in so the whole team can discuss whether or not to save Thawne.

Mia is against the idea of saving Thawne, saying nothing good can come of it.

Barry asks Caitlin to figure out how long Thawne has before he stops existing. 

Mia tells Iris that she's come to the past looking for her brother, who was abducted two years earlier.

The only other clue Mia has apart from a temporal signature leading her to 2021 is the Queen family Hozen, which William gave to her before he was abducted.

Mia says that she hasn't killed anyone yet, but she will to rescue her brother.

Iris tries to convince Mia that her father ruined his life by killing people.

Mia points out that Thawne killed Joe West and tried to manipulate Iris into marrying him

Caitlin says that Thawne has two hours left to live and that she can quite happily watch him die.

Thawne recalls Ronnie Raymond and his death in 201.

Caitlin tells Barry that she thinks they need to let Thawne die.

Barry asks Thawne why he's so determined to destroy his life.

Thawne claims that, in 200 years, he discovered how to give himself The Flash's powers and go faster than he or any other hero had. Unfortunately, before he got the chance to reveal himself to the world, The Flash showed up and saved a crowd he was meant to save. This inspired Thawne to prove that he was the superior speedster.

Thawne says that he will keep trying to find ways to ruin Barry's life once Team Flash saves him.

Despero returns from 2031 and confirms that the Armageddon was prevented. He came back to 2021 to confirm that Thawne is erased from history.

Barry asks Despero why he doesn't just kill Thawne if he thinks it is so important. Despero says that he would, but there's a chance that he would come back as a remnant like he did before. The only way to be certain, Despero says, is for Thawne to naturally be erased by the forces of paradox.

Barry, Iris and Caitlin vote to let Thawne die Cecile, Chester and Allegra want to find a way to save them.

Iris tells Chester and Allegra, point-blank, that they do not get a vote when it comes to Thawne.

Joe shows up and asks to speak to Iris and Barry in private.

Joe tells Iris and Barry that if they let Thawne die they won't have to worry about him destroying their family, because it will already be destroyed.

Barry says that he thinks he can save Thawne by removing his connection to the Negative Speed Force, the same way Jefferson Pierce almost took away his powers in 803.

After Team Flash decides to save Thawne, Despero takes control of Mia Queen and turns her against them.

When Barry tells Despero about his plan to depower Thawne, Despero points out that Thawne has been depowered and regained his powers before.

Iris tells Allegra and Frost to protect Thawne from Despero, but they are neutralized by a Canary Cry arrow used by Mia.

Barry tells Despero that he thinks he must have been the tyrant on his homeworld rather than the heroic rebel leader, because a real hero wouldn't choose to take a life instead of trying to save one.

Despero is able to knock out all the power at STAR Labs, except for the force-field trap containing Thawne.

Mia shoots Caitlin in the leg.

Cecile is able to use her powers, mixed with Mia's willpower, to break Despero's control.

With his control on Mia broken, Despero threatens to destroy all of Central City of Team Flash doesn't allow him to kill Thawne.

Barry is able to disperse the energy of the Flame of Py'Tar by using his new boots 

Despero seemingly spontaneously combusts after Barry snuffs out the Flame of Py'Tar.

Barry is able to destroy Thawne's connection to the Negative Speed Force with a focused electrical blast. This also stabilizes him in time.

Barry rents out a bar for a private party to celebrate.

Damien Darhk shows up at the party. Mia threatens to kill him for what he did to Laurel Lance and Damien says she can go ahead, since he's not sure how he's still alive anyway. Mia changes her mind.

Sebastian James is Mia's favorite brand of scotch.

Iris gives Mia a lead, saying that one of the symbols on the Queen family Hoen matches a symbol on some heavily redacted documents from Berlin. She couldn't find out more thanks to some intense firewalls, but she thinks a great hacker could probably get more.

Mia says she will consult with Felicity Smoak in 2021.

Joe comes to the part with Allegra and Frost.

Frost notices Chester is starring at Allegra and guesses he has a crush on her.

Barry thanks Allegra and Chester for holding him accountable regarding Thawne.

Damien gives Joe his Time Stone, saying he thinks that he'll need it some day.

When Joe takes the Time Stone, Damien disappears. 

Damien briefly meets Nora in some sort of psychic landscape resembling the bar, but ethereal and glowing.

Nora appears in the bar confused, asking what happened to her dad.

Joe takes Nora away to explain everything.

In CCPDHQ, a photo of several police officers labeled New Years Eve 2014 changes so that Bart and Nora are seen in the background behind Joe and Eddie Thawne.


Damien Darhk and Nora Dark briefly meet in some sort of psychic space between life and death.

Untelevised Adventures

Despero travels to 2031 and determines the Earth is no longer endangered by the Armageddon event.

Mia Queen spent the two years following her last appearance in A810 searching for William Clayton in her time with no success. She denies having killed in that time, but has still done things she thinks Felicity wouldn't approve of. 

Barry makes arrangements with Cisco Ramon for the Reverse Flash to be locked up under ARGUS custody.

Mia goes to Felicity Smoak in 2021 to ask her for help in tracking William.

The Fridge Factor

Mia Queen is only saved from a quick death at Reverse Flash's hand because Thawne was holding back.

Mia Queen admits that her arrival in 2021 is accidental, having tracked the wrong temporal signal after spending two years failing to find her kidnapped brother William.

The Boomerang Factor

The drama over the Reverse-Flash being allowed to live requires characters who killed in self-defense before to suddenly become militant about heroes never killing ever.

The Bottom Line

An utter disappointment, both as an individual episode and the conclusion of Armageddon, which manages to undo everything the first four episodes of Season 8 did to salvage the series after Season 7. The long-awaited Mia Queen cameo is pointless, only serving to make the character look incompetent while failing to advance her story. The fight with Despero is nonsensical, as is the central storyline with Team Flash suddenly deciding they need to save Thawne. The damnable thing is that there's some wonderful effects works and performances among all the elements that don't work, but all that does is highlight how much better this should have been.

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