‘The Flash’ Season 9, Episode 9: Recap & Ending, Explained: What Was Oliver’s Parting Message To Barry?

In its final season, so far, C.W.’s The Flash has never really made the impression of making an honest effort to redeem itself from the mediocrity of the past few seasons, nor did it offer the long-time fans something to feel excited about—that is, until the recently released ninth episode of this season titled It’s my party, and I’ll die if I want to. It saw the return of fan-favorite CW Arrowverse icons, can be easily regarded as some of the top stuff in comic-book-oriented media on the small screen in recent times, along with HBO Max’s Titans Season 4 Episode 9 and the ongoing Superman & Lois. The long-awaited return of Green Arrow in the final season of The Flash was something that kept the fans binge-watching the series once again, and the episode brought him back with due reverence as well. As the Scarlet Speedster is approaching his last lap, it’s only befitting that the character that brought the D.C. multiverse to the small screen itself (also the first in live-action and in pop culture as a whole) gets reunited with the originator of the Arrowverse, without whom none of the modern reinventions of small screen superhero media were possible.


Spoilers Ahead

Why Did Diggle And Wally Come To Central City?

As the episode begins, we see Chester, Allegra, and Cecile at Jitters discussing the party they are going to throw for Barry, who is turning 30. It’s not the first time Barry has reached the third decade of his life, though; a gamma ray blast from the villainous Dr. Orloff in the previous season had de-aged him by three years. As planned, Team Flash surprises Barry with a birthday party at STAR Labs, where some of his old friends like Diggle, Wally West, and former C.C.P.D. Captain Singh is also present.


As fans might remember, Wally is Joe’s son and Iris’ long-lost brother, who had a rough childhood growing up with his addict mother. Joe came to know about him way later when his wife was on the deathbed and took Wally into his family, consisting of his adopted son Barry and Iris. Wally started looking up to Flash, later got to know that’s Barry’s alter ego, and in a freak accident much like Barry’s own, received superspeed. Barry mentored Wally for a time and helped him shape a heroic career as Kid Flash. Later, Wally got into a relationship with Jesse Quick, a speedster from another Earth, and was heartbroken after the Multiverse ended during the Crisis event, which implied the destruction of any other Earth except the Prime one. In the end, Wally went to Tibet and joined a Buddhist bhikkhuni named Amala to seek spiritual enlightenment. At the party, Barry and Wally catch up, and Barry can’t help but notice Wally is a bit disenchanted for some reason.

Diggle, the former associate, and friend of Green Arrow, aka Oliver Queen, was also a good friend of Barry back in the day, and they reminisce about the time the trio went on crimefighting adventures. Diggle has bought a present for Barry, which is Oliver’s longbow. It should be mentioned here that Oliver died three years ago as he became the Spectre (an omnipotent cosmic character known as the Vengeance of God) and sacrificed himself to save the Multiverse. Diggle insists Barry keep the bow, as he claims Ollie would have wanted him to, but Barry is scared of revisiting the memories with Ollie he cherished so much. and he politely declines.


Who Is Bloodwork? Why Did He Crash The Party?

As the attendees at the party consume drinks, they get disoriented and faint—all except for Barry and Wally. The villainous Ramsey Rosso, aka Bloodwork, enters STAR Labs to check out his handiwork, as he had spiked the drinks previously, and the only reason Barry and Wally didn’t get affected is due to the regenerative healing factor of speedsters. For context, Riley was a doctor who lost his mother when she was diagnosed with H.L.H., and he himself became afflicted with the same. Then he proceeded to create a binding agent out of dark matter as a form of cure, became a metahuman, and turned to villainy when he found out he could sustain himself by infecting people with his blood and ingesting it. He could also turn others into a dead thrall-like state and control them. Rosso tried to strive for eternal life for himself and the rest of the world by creating a hive-mind-like state. Bloodwork had previously infected and controlled Barry, turning him into Dark Flash, and Team Flash managed to beat him and hand him over to A.R.G.U.S.

At present, Rosso has managed to break out of A.R.G.U.S., and in order to complete his quest for eternal life, he has infected Team Flash and two speedsters with them. Now, even though Barry and Wally can resist the infection due to their regenerative abilities, they are still susceptible to Ramsey’s mental manipulation. Ramsey manipulates Wally by toying with his insecurities, showing him the painful memories of his past life until he gives up and Bloodwork gains complete control over him. Ramsey also uses Barry’s insecurities against him as he mentally tortures him by showing him he is the lead of the series, and that’s the reason he gets to live while his close ones perish one by one. The loss of Ollie, Caitlin, and Frost weighs heavily on Barry, and the segment acts as a brilliant meta-commentary as well. Barry refuses to get controlled by Ramsey but discovers that Wally has already been infected, who kills Barry by phasing through his heart.


How Did Barry Meet Ollie?

After his death, Barry gets transported into the afterlife and ends up in Purgatory, on the island of Lian Yu, where he gets the shock of a lifetime after seeing Ollie. After his sacrifice during the multiverse war, Ollie was assigned to watch over the new Multiverse from Purgatory. Initially, Barry is caught up in disbelief but later recognizes his old friend. To Barry’s surprise, Ollie tells him that after the end of the old Multiverse, he has been assigned to watch over a new one that is forming—one that is in jeopardy thanks to Ramsey using Wally as his infected speedster. Meanwhile, Wally opens the multiverse portal, through which Ramsey inserts his infectious blood to corrupt the Multiverse.

Barry asks Ollie to send him back to Earth, but Ollie states that as long as Barry himself wants to stay in this condition, he can not return. Barry confesses he actually believes in what Ramsey had shown him: that it’s not fair for him to be able to live while people close to him perish in his pursuit of justice, and therefore, a part of Barry accepts the death and is unwilling to go back. Ollie states that the sacrifices are worth a greater purpose, which overcomes the guilt Barry has to live with for the rest of his life. Oliver assures Barry of his faith in his heroism, remarking that heroes don’t stop running. Barry is now prepared to take on the challenges and return to the earthly realm, and Oliver returns with him, too, as the multiversal crisis demands his presence.


What Was Oliver’s Parting Message To Barry?

Barry and Oliver return to Central City to face Bloodwork and an infected Wally West. Barry takes on Wally and tries to reason with him, while Green Arrow, with his trademark longbow, battles with Bloodwork’s army of thralls. In the meantime, Khione repels Bloodwork’s infection from Team Flash and the rest of the party attendees, and Diggle, equally surprised and delighted to see Oliver, joins the battle as well. Barry finally manages to break Bloodwork’s hold over Wally by reminding him of all the good memories he shared with Joe, Iris, and him, and the duo joins the line-up opposing Bloodwork as well. Barry and Wally entrap the now monstrous Bloodwork with their lightning shackles while Ollie delivers his iconic catchphrase, “You have failed this city,” and launches a mystical arrow that not only cures the infected Multiverse but also purges Bloodwork’s infection from the world as well and makes Ramsey Rosso a human again, neither afflicted by H.L.H. nor by dark matter.

At STAR Labs, Diggle and Ollie, two best buddies, catch up, and Ollie wishes Diggle the best for his family and future. Later, at the bar, Ollie and Barry chat before bidding each other a final farewell. Mutual respect and brotherly love mark the moment, and Ollie remarks that there are many ‘Flash’ all around the Multiverse, but none are as impressive as Barry. However, Barry is still having doubts about how effective he actually is from a larger perspective, and he asks Ollie whether he is doing enough. Ollie utters the same lines that he said to Barry all those years ago when Barry came to him first after learning about his newfound powers to seek guidance. Ollie remarks that Barry is capable of answering that himself, that whether he inspires hope, whether he has become a guardian angel to his city, whether he is making a difference if he knows these answers, then he can figure them out on his own. Before departing, Oliver states once again that the bolt of lightning chose Barry, something he should never forget. The episode ends with a grateful, delighted Barry paying the bill and leaving the bar. A memorable birthday gift indeed.


The bromance between Oliver and Barry in this episode opened the floodgates of emotion among fans worldwide and must have reminded us of the brilliant team-up events in Arrowverse’s golden years that we so missed. Barry owes a great deal to Ollie, as it was he who inspired Flash to use his powers to seek justice, while Ollie will be forever grateful for the fact that Barry managed to become a hero that he himself, as a vigilante, couldn’t become. The legacy of Arrowverse lies deeply with these two characters, and the proper handling of that aspect in this episode respected that fact. As Arrowverse approaches its conclusion, this episode provided much-needed closure and a chance to say farewell properly, not only to the characters but to dedicated fans as well. The final four episodes are rumored to be a singular narrative of four hours, divided in an episodic way. We are likely to see some more familiar faces return, starting with the original Reverse Flash in the next episode, Matt Letscher’s version. Who better to see through the ending of Flash’s journey than the one who initiated it in the first place?

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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