‘The Flash’: Armageddon Arrives, Plus How Much From 2031 Might Come True? (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for The Flash Season 8, Episode 4 “Armageddon, Part 4.”]
Picking up just before where “Part 3” left off, Armageddon officially arrives on The Flash in the December 7 episode. But, as Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) learns as a result of his trip to the future (2031, to be exact), not everything is at it seems. And he really should have seen this one coming.
Fortunately, there’s a fix, one that leaves us wondering just how much of what happens in 2031 could still come to fruition across the Arrowverse.
Welcome to Your Worst Nightmare, Barry Allen
After witnessing his arch nemesis, Eobard Thawne (Tom Cavanagh — apparently no one wonders why he looks like Harrison Wells?), at his engagement party to Iris West (Candice Patton), Barry tries to tell everyone how it’s supposed to be as he realizes who’s really responsible for everything going wrong in his life recently. But in this future, Eobard is the Flash, while Barry is the Reverse Flash — and that means fighting his allies (including Iris, Kayla Compton’s Allegra, Chyler Leigh’s Alex and Javicia Leslie’s Ryan suited up). While he does so, we learn that Ray (Brandon Routh), Nate (Nick Zano), Sara (Caity Lotz), and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) have died, and it’s apparently all Barry’s fault.
Barry tries to whisk Iris away and convince her of the truth (“you’re my lightning rod”), but Eobard intervenes, speeding off with him and then explaining just how everything has changed. See, Eobard took a page out of Barry’s book and created a Reverse Flashpoint. He started by messing with STAR Labs and killing Joe (Jesse L. Martin), then he ran back to 2013 and made sure he was the one struck by lightning and the one Iris wrote about as the Streak. Iris then fell in love with him, he led Team Flash, and he took Barry’s face to make him the villain (for the attack on Central City as seen in Part 2). Furthermore, he went back in time and killed Barry as a child. This timeline will solidify at midnight. “I finally won,” Eobard says. “Who’s faster now?”
Upon learning the Reverse Flash’s accomplice is Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), Barry tries to fool him into helping take down Eobard by claiming that he was beating the Flash, only for him to change things in the timeline. But after they get what they need to reset the timeline — knocking out Team Flash at STAR Labs in the process, with Barry refusing to kill them — Darhk realizes something’s off. Barry tells Darhk of how the timeline is supposed be, namely that his daughter Nora (Courtney Ford) should be alive, and convinces the villain to help him by honoring his sacrifice in the other timeline.
Armageddon Arrives — and It’s a Good Thing?
Ryan’s time in Central City is short-lived, with Two-Face a threat in Gotham, but before she goes, she offers Iris some advice (and makes us hope we see these two together in the present). Iris can’t write her vows because every time she thinks about her future with Eobard, her mind goes blank, she admits. She can’t get what Barry said to her out of her head. Listen to her heart, Ryan says, repeating advice Iris had offered her earlier.
Barry and Darhk do come up with a way to change the timeline: The speedster has to hit Mach 20 and go through a time portal, by running 40,000 miles (around the Earth). But to do so would cause Armageddon, Barry realizes. He has to risk destroying the world to bring it back, just like Despero (Tony Curran) predicted. He has no choice, Darhk argues, and all he needs to do is use love to guide him. “You idiot. You’re the Paragon of it.” Iris may not remember their love, but he does.
And so Barry pays Iris another visit, telling her that he loves her. So when Thawne turns up and encourages her to turn the velocity zero gun Ryan gave her on Barry to take away his speed, she instead turns on her fiancé. “Go before I change my mind,” she tells Barry, and he does. Soon, however, Eobard chases him while Darhk fights Team Flash (and allies, including Osric Chau’s Ryan Choi in a new Atom suit). Just before Barry succeeds, Iris, lightning in her eyes, says she loves him, too.
With that, Barry returns to 2021, erasing a timeline where Despero killed the team and was about to do the same to Cecile (Danielle Nicolet). He shows the alien that the future is safe, and Despero leaves to confirm, warning he’d return if it isn’t.
STAR Labs is safe again, Barry then finds the team, and Iris and Cecile can both tell something happened. Later, he says. And then Barry finds out that Joe is alive!
However, also back in the present (and the Time Vault) is Eobard Thawne, back in the Reverse Flash suit. “Nobody uses time against me,” he says, determined to change what’s about to happen.
Future Couples Revealed … Maybe?
The 2031 timeline we see in this episode may have been erased, but it does leave us with questions about certain relationships. After all, Batwoman‘s Ryan and Sophie (Meagan Tandy) are apparently married (Iris was the former’s maid of honor) and adopting(!). Meanwhile, Supergirl‘s Alex and Kelly (Azie Tesfai) seem to be going strong, though the former never says her wife’s name.
Allegra — who moved to London and was thinking of taking a job offer in Gotham — and Chester (Brandon McKnight) hooked up once 10 years earlier, only for her to ghost him. She originally tells Alex that he left the next morning, but she lied because she pushed him away before he could leave her like others in her life had. But when Team Flash faced Armageddon, she told him she loved him, he responded in kind, and they kissed. What might that mean about what could happen soon on The Flash?
The Flash, Tuesdays, 8/7c, The CW