THE FLASH Season 9 Finale Recap: Barry Allen's Story Ends With Some Big Surprises And A Long-Awaited Return

THE FLASH Season 9 Finale Recap: Barry Allen's Story Ends With Some Big Surprises And A Long-Awaited Return

The series finale of The Flash aired on The CW last night, but how did things end for Grant Gustin's Barry Allen after nearly a decade on our television screens? Here's our recap of the epic final episode...

By JoshWilding - May 25, 2023 07:05 AM EST
Filed Under: The Flash

The CW ended The Flash's near-decade-long run last night with an action-packed series finale. 

The Negative Speed Force was once again at the heart of this episode, with it quickly revealed that the Speed Force's antithesis had given Eddie Thawne another shot at life. As Cobalt Blue, he's given the opportunity to kill Barry Allen in return for a new life for himself as Central City's beloved hero. 

After enlisting Reverse-Flash, Savitar, Zoom, and Godspeed, a fight ensues which ultimately comes down to Barry and Eddie confronting each other in the Negative Speed Force (the other evil speedsters are ultimately absorbed by Eddie so he can increase his speed). After convincing his former ally to overcome its dark influence on him, the Scarlet Speedster finally discovers a way to ensure both Forces can coexist. 

As a result, Eddie remains the avatar of the Negative Speed Force, but is no longer Barry's enemy; instead, he has the chance to be a superhero with no strings attached.

In recent years, Caitlin Snow's role in The Flash has become increasingly convoluted. Killer Frost was revealed to be an alternate personality and ultimately gained her own body before sacrificing herself. When Caitlin tried to bring the anti-hero back, she inadvertently replaced her mind with a new personality, Khione (who just so happened to be a nature goddess). 

Well, she finally vacates Caitlin's body and gives Team Flash their old friend back! 

Nora is later born and the Fastest Man Alive then makes a surprising decision. He uses the Speed Force's lightning to give three more humans his powers; Piper Curda's Avery Ho, Trevor Carroll's Max Mercury, and Destiny Huggins' Jess Chambers. Each has ties to the comics and are largely reimagined for the series, and we can't help but wonder if early plans called for them to star in a spin-off. 

The Flash then takes one more run through Central City - he clearly plans to remain a hero - and we then bid a final farewell to Grant Gustin's take on the character. With both The CW and the actor moving on from the Arrowverse, we're guessing this is it for his Barry, but it's been quite the ride...

THE FLASH Star Grant Gustin On Why He Was Unsure About Playing Barry Allen And His Talks With James Gunn

THE FLASH Star Grant Gustin On Why He Was Unsure About Playing Barry Allen And His Talks With James Gunn

THE FLASH: Today Is The Day Barry Allen Goes Missing After He Vanishes In Crisis; Grant Gustin Responds
Recommended For You:

THE FLASH: Today Is The Day Barry Allen Goes Missing After He Vanishes In Crisis; Grant Gustin Responds

DISCLAIMER: is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE], and/or the user who contributed this post, may earn commissions or revenue through clicks or purchases made through any third-party links contained within the content above.

FireandBlood - 5/25/2023, 7:41 AM
Iris looks miserable.
dragon316 - 5/25/2023, 7:41 AM
I like show can’t say for how much have made it passed season 2 yet I am tired see flash main villians be speedsters all time
soberchimera - 5/25/2023, 8:42 AM
@dragon316 - Cobalt Blue isn't even a speedster in the comics, he's like a Green Lantern that makes blue fire constructs.
KWilly - 5/25/2023, 7:48 AM
I watched this finale just out of respect. Like showing up to a funeral for someone you haven't talked to in ages, lol.

I mean, I guess it wasn't that bad. Didn't understand half what was going on, since I haven't seen The Flash since S5. And I've forgotten a lot of plot points from the stuff I did watch.
MotherGooseUPus - 5/25/2023, 7:53 AM
@KWilly - I should of watched. I used to love this show but then stopped watching after the super smart dude in the chair season (forgot his name). I enjoyed it for what it was... probably should of watched this but oh well. I liked Grant as Barry
GhostDog - 5/25/2023, 8:10 AM
This sounds…like an ending that happened
soberchimera - 5/25/2023, 8:42 AM
So they made Cobalt Blue into just another speedster? Shocker.
PartyKiller - 5/25/2023, 8:48 AM
What a terrible boring it was. They brought back previous season bads to just treat them like other crap & each were defeated by nobody's. The laughable balance of the speed force. Wonder where they got an idea like that? Hahaha. Then at the end we got the hypocritical sermon about everyone being together. But not Hartley Sawyer right?
soberchimera - 5/25/2023, 9:09 AM
@PartyKiller - Not too mention the current head of DC Studios was fired for the exact same thing.
DanFlashesShirt - 5/25/2023, 9:00 AM
That clip was so cringe.

Glad people enjoyed these shows, but thank the lord this era of CW DC TV shows is over.
Blergh - 5/25/2023, 9:36 AM
You know…it’s a fine ending. No stupid twists and a hopeful look into the future.
I can’t claim I loved the Arrowverse, I actively started resenting it once Felicity took over Arrow in season 4. The Flash was great until s4, Legends lost its way once it turned into a self aware comedy and rejected the original cast par Sara, Black Lightning was cool and S&L lost all credibility to me once it forcefully separated itself from the Arrowverse to maybe live another day on HBO max by cutting ties (can’t tell me it wasn’t planned to be part of the Arrowverse given Diggles early appearances).

It started great and felt like a living universe. I’ll give Berlanti props for that.

I’ll forever cherish the time we had some really amazing villains in Merlyn, Deathstroke, Damian Darhk and Reverse Flash.
That Legion of Doom show should have happened
Origame - 5/25/2023, 9:37 AM
Don't know why they didn't give this much closure. Still prefer grant's idea of having Barry sacrifice himself to the speed force then becoming the lightning bolt that gave him the powers at the beginning of the series.

Also, what a waste of all those great villains just to make them fodder for Eddie of all people. Like we knew he was gonna come back at some point to be cobalt blue, but making him the ultimate villain for the flash? When reverse flash has been clearly established as his greatest rival?
MrDandy - 5/25/2023, 10:39 AM
End of an era. Thanks for the good times Flash. For me, it never recaptured the magic of those early seasons, but Grant Guston owned the role. Hope he gets good opportunities elsewhere.

So long Arrowverse!
DocSpock - 5/25/2023, 12:01 PM

Thank heavens this soapy mush is over.

The Arrow/Flash/etc. verse was a great concept, but as they ruthlessly overwokenated it and cared MUCH more about box checking with no regard for quality, it just devolved into annoying sludge.

Yes, you can have quality shows that portray gay & black people in sensible everyday ways, not as overly stereotypical caricatures that were offensive in their poor representation. They never understood this.

LilJimmy - 5/25/2023, 1:32 PM
That was the end? Awful.
CLTMAN29 - 5/25/2023, 2:32 PM
There's a part of me that's proud I've never seen even 30 seconds of a single DC/CW Arrowverse show. Seen the comments, and read the summary and that pride still swells.
bkmeijer1 - 5/25/2023, 2:50 PM
Think it's a solid enough ending for a DCCW show. Hopefully we get to see Gustin return next month in The Flash though. He's the far better Flash anyway
Himura - 5/25/2023, 4:24 PM
I know S&L are still technically going but this is pretty much the end of the Arrowverse to me. It has had its ups and downs but they pulled off something on television that I could only dream of as a kid.

End of an era. Thank you.
dracula - 5/25/2023, 6:08 PM
I gave up on the show 1 episode into armageddon, tuned it just to see how it ended

Well it wasnt the besr finale of the arrowverse but it wasnt the worst
LeonNova - 5/25/2023, 8:09 PM
I love how it took Barry himself entire seasons to beat each of the previous Big Bad Speedsters and he barely made it out alive doing so, but they each got taken out in minutes by his lame new sidekicks. It was a pretty anti-climatic finale honestly. Grant Gustin had a great run and I’ve enjoyed him in the roll, but the show definitely ran its course. The arrowverse wasn’t perfect, but it gave us a lot of great moments and characters, I’ll still remember it fondly.
AvalonX - 5/26/2023, 7:48 PM
My son and I watched every season until I think around Covid when it just got too stupid and Cisco left. I said, he man, why dont we watch this 4 part finale. I don't know why they didn't have the episode where he goes back to 2000 and relives that day and is revealed to be the future version we say in S1 be the finale.

The next couple of episodes didn't really do anything for any of the character arcs except maybe whatever the silly hell Caitlin is now. The writing was terrible and bringing back all those villains who get dispatched ...easily (and not by the Flash) was cringe. Eddie was a stupid inclusion and where was Wally and Bart? I know Wally returned.
View Recorder