“The One With the Nineties” – Review of S7E6 of THE FLASH

From time to time, an episode of THE FLASH takes the spotlight off of Barry Allen and shines a light on other members of Team Flash. This week we get Cisco and Chester in an adventure through time, with shades of Groundhog Day and Back to the Future as a bonus. It’s a great story that just happens to be framed by time travel. Wanna know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

NOTE: This review is posting before THE FLASH airs in the Pacific Time Zone USA. If you haven’t seen the episode yet, STOP HERE and come back after watching the show. You’ll be glad you did!

Team Flash is trying to find a way to track Fuerza and Psych. It’s one way of keeping the Speed Force/Nora safe. Cisco and Chester have placed a number of amplifiers around the area, which should do the job. But, just as they set up the last amplifier near Masonville, a green wave hits them, transporting them to…

December 4, 1998!

We get a fun look at the year, from the old Blockbuster Video to the pay phones on the corner to flip phones to the fashions of the day. It’s not the main focus, but it is a fun sidelight to the episode. But, back to December 4, 1998.

There is a specific reason for that date, one that we don’t immediately discover. We are back in Chester’s home town, and the secret to get back to 2021 is (hopefully) here. They realize that they are dealing with a force that can rewind time, and start to look for whoever in town could be it’s avatar. Their first potential target tries to warn Cisco and Chester, just as they are looped back in time to the start of December 4th a la “Groundhog Day”. 

We find that December 4, 1998 is the last day Chester saw his dad alive. This is the key to the whole episode. While Chester had thought his dad never cared, he finds by going back to see him that his dad had always been proud of him. Chester’s dad just didn’t know how to express it. Together they rebuild the sensor that could be the key to going home, and the hunt is back on for the source of the time loops.

That source? An athlete named Deon Owens, who somehow gained this power and went back in time. He was trying to prevent the injury that ruined his NFL dreams, but that’s the one point in time that he just could not change. His constant rewinding was having ripple effects throughout time, including some interesting costume changes for Team Flash in 2021 and the presence of a huge dinosaur in Central City.

Chester talks Deon down, and the immediate danger is over. But, Deon is beginning to realize the full extent of his power, and we will likely see a lot more of him soon.

Back in 2021, Cisco comes up with the names for the forces that comics fans will recognize. Strength Force (Fuerza), Sage Force (Psych), and Still Force (Deon). As we move to the Epilogue, Joe reveals to Frost that the hunt is on for her. Frost is not worried, at least for now, and that’s where the episode ends for now.

NOTES:

  • Barry is barely seen in this episode. He’s in the cryo chamber at the start of the episode and has just a few lines at the end. But, that allows the spotlight to be on other characters, and for a one-off episode, I’m fine with that.
  • There is a side story involving the Speed Force/Nora that weaves in and out of the episode. Basically, Iris is forging a relationship with the Speed Force, though Barry does not appear to be as happy with that idea. We’ll likely see more of that next episode.
  • All of Team Flash got temporary “out of time” looks, which have to be seen to be believed. Each was outstanding in its own way – you’ll just have to see them to believe it.
  • Frost keeps her new look at the end of the episode, using thrift store items to replace that 1970’s hippie look (which actually works for the character).
  • I’ve given only a brief description of the story thread involving Chester and his dad, but there is much more to that part of the show. It was not just great for the character of Chester – it was a great episode for the actor who plays him, Brandon McKnight. This may be his best episode so far.

SUMMARY:

This episode was a great vehicle for Cisco and Chester, while introducing another of the new Forces. It worked for me on a lot of levels, from the “Groundhog Day” vibe to the touching story of Chester and his dad. I’ll give this episode an 8/10 – of course, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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