It is that time of year when TV shows across the big broadcast networks bring their seasons to a close. Last week, The CW saw season 1 of its DC Comics time-travel team-up series Legends of Tomorrow wrap up with the team facing off against immortal villain Vandal Savage for the last time (for now, anyway). This week, the network will see two more of its comic book-based series air finales, as Arrow season 4 and The Flash season 2 deliver a final one-two superhero punch on Tuesday and Wednesday night before starting things up again in the fall.
Both series have put their heroes through the ringer this season, and the finales promise huge climaxes to bring the respective storylines to a close. In anticipation of the big season-enders, The CW has seen fit to release a pair of extended trailers, giving audiences a bigger-than-usual glimpse at what is set to unfold in Star and Central City, as the Emerald Archer and the Scarlet Speedster face-off against season-long nemeses who just so happen to have world-ending plans up their sleeves. Both trailers are focused on reminding audiences of what's at stake, and how the various Big Bads plan to enact their evil schemes.
Arrow has been trying to bring a ray of light into the darkness that seems forever cast upon Star City – especially this time of year, when the city is wracked with manmade earthquakes, or is stormed by evil armies hell bent on tearing the city to pieces – by showing Oliver choose to take on his foe in the light of day, without the aid of his trusty bow and arrow. So far, the battle against Damien Darhk and HIVE has proven to be fairly treacherous. Not only did it pull Oliver from his blissful retirement in the burbs, but it also resulted in Felicity's temporary paralysis and played a small but significant role in the dissolution of their romantic relationship. Furthermore, Team Arrow lost one of its own, as Laurel Lance fell in battle with Darhk, and died a short time later.
Hard as it may be to believe, that's not the worst of it. As the above trailer demonstrates, Darhk's serious about raining down nuclear terror on the world and, despite the best efforts of Felicity and her computer-hacking father, Damien apparently has the means of doing it. What the trailer also shows is that Oliver is really good at rallying people to his cause – whether he's just plain old former-billionaire playboy Oliver Queen or the Green Arrow – as it appears the former mayoral candidate still has some pull with the people of Star City.
This sets up a familiar scene wherein two groups run headlong into one another on the streets, in what is presumably the climactic battle of the season. How all of this addresses Damien Darhk's now godlike powers and the question of why he would bother engaging Oliver in hand-to-hand combat when one presumes he could just fling him around like a ragdoll is reason enough to tune in and see how Arrow brings season 4 to a close.
A hop, skip, and a jump down the road from Star City, Barry Allen is facing his toughest challenge yet, as season 2 villain Zoom has challenged the Flash to a race. After last week's episode featured the death of a major character – Barry finds himself stuck between wanting revenge for his fallen loved one and needing to be a hero. As the trailer lays out Zoom's plan, it becomes clear the murderous speedster's schoolyard challenge to his Earth-1 adversary has greater implications than to see who is the fastest man alive. Those implications have to do with the safety of the multiverse, as Zoom wants to goad Barry into using his powers to aid in the destruction of various planets across dimensions.
While both series have the world (or worlds) at stake in their respective finales, The Flash is still riding the fallout of what happened in 'Invincible,' making 'The Race of His Life' into more than just another showdown with a cruel villain. The emotional significance of Barry's loss will certainly play into how the Flash ultimately deals with Zoom, as the series looks to end things on a similar narrative high note as it did with season 1.
With each show facing a potential world-ending scenario, it will be interesting to see how the they stack up against one another, and whether or not the events in Arrow are mentioned in The Flash or vice versa. Either way, from the look of things, The CW has a big week of finales ahead of it.
The Flash airs 'The Race of His Life' on Tuesday, May 24 @8pm on The CW. Arrow will air 'Schism' on Wednesday, May 25 @8pm on The CW.