Flash – Season III – Ep. 19 “The Once and Future Flash”: A Review

Posted: 04/29/2017 in Uncategorized

Even if this episode was terrible or sub par, which it surely was not, the depiction of the classic Flash uniform in Barry’s (Grant Gustin) jaunt to 2024 would have allowed this episode to stand out. The classic look is a love letter to fandom at large. The episode itself though bleak allowed for some needed traction toward the inevitable showdown with Savitar. Flash seems well on its path to deliver a superior finale.

Really, the only complaint one could find about this ep was emo looking future Flash Barry Allen which was quickly assuaged by future Flash kicking ass. In any case, this ep picked up where last week left off, namely the return…seemingly permanently of Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker). The transformation from empathetic, kind Caitlin Snow to Frost is so thorough that one questions if she can be brought back. Her role leading to the season finale will assuredly be instrumental on any account. Her complete switch to Killer mode is compelling. Julian (Tom Felton) though unapologetic for his actions, desperately attempts to put the genie back in the bottle via an effort at replacing Caitlin’s pendant. Her considerable intellect, however, is not dimmed by her new found blood lust. She quickly counters the team’s measures including undermining the trio of Cisco (Carlos Valdes), HR (Tom Cavanaugh) and Julian’s endeavour to hide from her within the vault. The “Swing Lo” fear filled segment between HR and Cisco was kind of funny but were it not for the fastest man alive’s intercession, she might very well have gone too far.

Rather than pursuing her, Flash stays on point, opting to run to the future with a little help/power boost from Kid Flash (Kienynan Lonsdale). The show runners do a solid job at linking both the present day Killer Frost rising arc with the overall future trip narrative. Central City 2024 is a very dark place. Flash is reintroduced to the duo of the Top (Ashley Rickards) and Mirror Master (Grey Damon) who gamely put a beat down to him. His meeting with Cisco is no less demoralising but for a different reason. Kudos are to  be given to Valdes for his depiction of a wounded, maimed version of himself who nonetheless maintains some degree of hope. The launching point of the future arc is the present in which Iris (Candice Patton) elicits a promise from Barry to look after her father should her murder be inevitable. The point seems trite until it doesn’t. Flash’s 2024 visit reveals that Barry has dis-assembled his team who have gone off to their own slices of hell. Julian relegates himself as caretaker/jailor of Caitlin now permanent Killer Frost. He still attempts to cure her, but she clearly has made her choice. Wally’s fate should be devastating but as he has yet to earn our investment in his character, it lacks the oopmh it should have. HR’s fate is perfect, capturing the essence of his absolutely fatuous and shallow lifestyle. His reading his superhero romantic fiction while messaging female fans however was again kind of funny. While on topic, Tom Cavanaugh directed this episode and showed a good hand at it.

The meeting of the Flashes however is where proper emotional impact was presented and felt. Future Barry advises the present version that nothing he does will save Iris. He advises him only to prepare and spend as much time with her as possible as a positive outcome is impossible. Despite having beaten Savitar at this point, the victory is hollow. What is somewhat galling is the fact that FB will not give present Barry Savitar’s identity. We know Caitlin/Frost became his acolyte and do not expect her to reveal his identity but come on. The notion of “you don’t know what it’s like, but you will” has due resonance but as a show normally rife with hope, it certainly seems in short supply here. Joe and Barry’s fractured relationship startles as it is the one constant that has informed the show.

That the group will eventually reform seems inevitable. The moments between the future team and Present Flash however kind of made one wish he would linger a little longer in 2024 as honestly the two on two battle sequence including a trippy demonstration of Top and Mirror Master’s abilities in tandem was superior. The end sequence which teases Savitar’s true identity could be a feint as he is an individual  known for showing people what they want to see. Caitlin/Frost’s reaction however might lead to a completely different possibility as to who this latest big bad is. Flash continues to deliver, remaining simply outstanding and well worth your time.


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