Wednesday, May 24, 2023

The Flash: A New World, Part Four

This isn't just a series finale. It is a universe finale, marking the end of the interconnected Arrowverse shows on CW. Either Superman & Lois or Gotham Knights might still eke out a renewal, but they are both set in different DC universes. Logically, a lot of familiar faces come back for the “final run,” which is fortunate, since Barry Allen will need plenty of help saving the current timeline in “A New World, Part Four,” the final episode of The Flash, airing tonight on the CW.

Obviously, a lot has happened since “It’s My Party and I’ll Die If I Want to,” much of it involving time and speed. It seems a lot of the Flash’s old nemeses, living and dead, have been brought together, to combine their powers and harness the speed equivalent of The Force to defeat Team Flash. It would be deemed a spoiler to name names, but if you have only watched a few cherry-picked episodes this season, they might not be immediately recognizable. Regardless, they are all speedy.

Meanwhile, Iris West-Allen is in the hospital poised to deliver Baby Nora. The long-awaited arrival of babies is a staple of series finales. Frankly, “New World, Part Four” includes pretty much each and every one you could think of, except the
Seinfeld-style clip-package trial. Honestly, The Flash’s finale is more satisfying, for exactly that reason.

Fittingly, writers Eric Wallace & Sam Chalsen bring back John Wesley Shipp, the star of the 1990
Flash series, as Jay Garrick, the retro alternate universe Flash, with the cool Mercury helmet. The finale probably offers up a lot more fan service, but they require a thorough grounding in the Arrowverse.

The big climactic battle wraps up somewhat prematurely, but that sort of isn’t the point. Instead, more emphasis falls on Team Flash’s optimistic attempt to chart out a positive vision for the future. Despite the Arrowverse’s reputation to the contrary, the special effects are not bad and the characters’ chemistry is appealing, even if viewers do not know their full backstories. Yet, the series finale does not standalone nearly as well as the ninth season premiere, “Wednesday Ever After.” Recommended for Arrowverse fans, “A New World, Part Four” airs tonight (5/24) on CW.