Welcome to the Couch Club, our recurring column devoted to all things #DCTV! This week, Joshua Lapin-Bertone says farewell to the Arrowverse and the hero at the heart of it—the Flash.

Nine years is an impressive run, especially considering that I get winded after running for nine seconds. Barry Allen has finished his final lap and The Flash has concluded its epic run. It’s strange to think that we won’t be seeing Grant Gustin’s Scarlet Speedster on the fall TV schedule. When a show is on the air as long as The Flash, it’s hard to imagine a time when it didn’t exist.

By now, Flash fans have seen the series finale and have likely shed their fair share of tears. It was great to see Barry save Eddie Thawne, bringing the series full circle. And it was heartwarming to see Barry and Iris hold their baby daughter. In the past nine seasons, they’ve been through the ringer, so they’ve really earned this happy ending.

It’s even more touching when you remember how things began. In the first episode of The Flash, Barry struggled to find a way to tell Iris he had feelings for her. Now they’re happily married with a baby. I almost want to go back in time to tell Barry not to give up hope, but the series hammered home the dangers of time travel. However, this did get me thinking about 2014, and what life was like before The Flash premiered.

I don’t mean to sound like an old man, but kids these days don’t know how good they have it. To truly grasp the impact of The Flash, you need to look at the landscape of comic book television before 2014. Don’t get me wrong, Arrow and Smallville were both extraordinary shows, but they didn’t embrace the comic books the way The Flash did. Before The Flash, it felt like superhero shows had to compromise in order to stay on the air.

Smallville was a prequel story, and the early seasons felt like Dawson’s Creek with a Superman twist. Arrow told a dark and grounded story and avoided calling Stephen Amell’s character Green Arrow for the first few seasons. Both of those shows worked, and they were extraordinary, but it felt like they had to obey unwritten rules about superheroes on television. A superhero show either had to be a prequel, or avoid using costumes and other traditional comic book elements. Otherwise, they risked being cancelled after one season like the 1990 Flash television series starring John Wesley Shipp.

We take it for granted now, because we have no shortage of superheroes on TV, but The Flash was a breath of fresh air. He got his costume in the first episode. His antagonists actually went by their villain names! This may seem like a low bar, but I grew up watching comic book shows where the hero would mostly fight mobsters, and if we were lucky, a villain from the comics (lacking their costume) might show up once or twice.

Arrow might have launched the Arrowverse, but The Flash helped propel it into the successful franchise it was. Speaking from my own personal experience, over the past decade, I’ve spoken with lots of kids who got into the DC Universe because they loved The Flash. Their love for the series got them to check out Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and all the other shows. There’s no telling how many people became DC fans because of this show, and that’s something to celebrate.

The Flash also reignited my love for the character. Inspired by the television series, I revisited some of my favorite comic storylines, like “Trial of the Flash,” “Born to Run” and “The Return of Barry Allen.”

It's honestly hard to do the series justice in the space that I have here. I could sing the praises of the cast, but there were so many talented actors that I’d need a whole series of columns. Nobody was miscast and everyone added a sense of warmth to their role. Admit it, all of you wanted to hug Jesse L. Martin at one point. Or maybe Carlos Valdes had a geeky moment that made you feel seen.

Who else cheered for Candice Patton when Iris finally won her Pulitzer Prize? This meant a lot to me since we’ve seen her journalism career from the very beginning. That’s the beauty of a show with an effective cast—we fall in love with them. Their victories become our victories.

I’m going to miss stepping into STAR Labs with Barry and his friends. I’m going to miss sitting down for a cup of coffee at Jitters alongside them. I’m going to miss watching them frantically brainstorm as they try to stop the latest crisis. I’m going to miss the fatherly advice from Joe West. I’m going to miss everything. But I’m also going to have so much fun revisiting every second of it.

The Flash was a one-of-a-kind superhero show. Those don’t come along too often and I’m so glad we got to experience it together.

The Flash’s final season may be done, but you can relive past adventures by streaming the full series on Netflix.

Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DC.com, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Joshua Lapin-Bertone and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros., nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.