“The Once and Future Flash” Review of S3 Ep19 of THE FLASH

The Flash is going to the future to figure out Savitar’s identity, believing that to be the key to saving Iris. What he finds instead is what this episode is all about…and the title actually means something here. We get a very interesting view of what we hope will turn out to be an alternate timeline, in a story reminiscent of a certain favorite movie of mine…but more of that in just a moment. Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD

Barry has realized that in the article from 2024 there is no mention of Savitar. THAT must be the year to visit to figure out Savitar’s identity. As he prepares to go he has to save his friends from the now-unleashed Killer Frost. She gets away, but the rest of Team Flash is safe for the moment.

Barry tells the team of his plan to run to the future, and to return to the present seemingly without missing a beat. Wally helps boost him there, to find…

A world without the Flash.

Oh, Barry is there all right, but he has given up the cowl and the fight. He was able to finally defeat Savitar, but not before a series of events that left him a broken man. Here’s what he finds out about the future:

  • Iris has died (in this timeline)
  • Killer Frost aligned with Savitar in return for being “cured” of her Caitlin personality. She is captured, but can’t be cured.
  • Killer Frost knows who Savitar is…but she won’t tell
  • Before being captured, Frost freezes off Cisco’s hands, rendering him powerless.
  • Savitar breaks Wally’s back, leaving him in a near-catatonic state

And after all this, Barry somehow defeats Savitar…but by now he’s a broken man. Future Barry has shut down S.T.A.R. Labs and pushed away everyone he cares about.

Cisco acts as Barry’s conscience in this episode, finally convincing him that he needs to put the team back together to defeat (in this case) a much more powerful Mirror Master and Top team up.

They do defeat Mirror Master and the Top…but only after future Barry agrees to get back into action (with a VERY cool future version of the Flash uni). Team Flash is back together and Barry returns to the present with…

A gift from future Barry. Not the name of Savitar (in this timeline Barry never learns that). Instead, future Barry gives our present Barry a drive with information from a scientist named Tracy Brand. Tracy developed a Speed Force trap 4 years after Iris’ death. She has since disappeared…but if Barry can find her in our present and get her to decipher the info on that drive, maybe she can develop that trap in time to save Iris. That’s the plan anyhow, as Barry returns to the present. Barry doesn’t share everything he learned, just that he knows Caitlin will align with Savitar and that the drive may have the key to saving Iris.

We cut to…

EPILOGUE: This is the moment in our present that Killer Frost meets Savitar. He reveals himself to her and she instantly trusts him to help…but we don’t see his face or hear his real voice just yet. Who could this be? We may find out next week…though the rumors are already out there.

SUMMARY: This was in a way a super-powered “It’s a Wonderful Life”. In this case, we see what could happen if Barry gives up, looking at a world that may still have Barry but does not have the Flash. Future Barry looks a lot like Chris Gaines (the alter ego of Garth Brooks for one ill-fated pop album a few years ago). But, the story is still powerful. No, we don’t get the easy answer Barry came looking to find – but we still find a glimmer of hope, and that makes for a much better story. This wasn’t a perfect episode…some parts were just too dark for the Flash as a series…but it was still a solid chapter that drives us toward what should be an exciting arc for the end of Season Three. I’ll give this an 8/10 – but that’s my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

One thought on ““The Once and Future Flash” Review of S3 Ep19 of THE FLASH

  1. Dallin Turner

    It seems like Savitar has to be Eddie/Eobard Thawne. That’s the only person I can imagine making Caitlin react that way. (Not that she’s talked about her former fiance at all since Season 1.) By the way, what needlessly convoluted armor for Savitar. It takes him like five minutes to get in and out of it in the most awkward of positions.

    Anyway, I still think it’s really, really stupid that Caitlin’s powers instantly make her super evil, to the point of wanting to kill her good self. It makes no sense and seems super lazy.

    I’m also sick and tired of this show’s basic formula that is carried over from episode to episode. It doesn’t matter who they’re fighting, what timeline they’re in, or what planet they’re on, each episode goes down the same way. In the first half, one or two characters do something stupidly out of character, which creates a melodramatic misunderstanding that lasts for about 10 or 15 minutes before being instantly resolved with one teary-eyed speech. Case in point, this episode.

    When Barry arrives in 2024, he first meets Cisco, talks to him for about 30 seconds, hardly asks him any questions, then finds his older self. When he finds out older Barry doesn’t know who Savitar is, young Barry INSTANTLY decides to go back home. No follow-up questions! No investigating! No looking for Wally, Joe, Caitlin, HR or anybody! He decides he should go back to 2017 right there and then. This was against Barry’s character and was only done so they could show how desperate Cisco was to get his friend to stay around a little longer.

    So Barry does stay around for a little longer, visiting everyone, telling them all that he’s from the past. Except for Joe. For no reason at all. All he had to do was say, “Hey, Joe! I’m from the past!” And Joe would have been happy to see him! But no, they wanted to set up … some kind of … emotional(?) … reconciliation. Or something. I don’t know, it was all predictable and underwhelming. Especially when older Barry decided to end his years of depressive reclusion and everybody decides to immediately forgive him. And I knew that was exactly what was going to happen because this is The Flash, and that happens every episode. I wish we could get some variety here.

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