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‘The Flash’ Review: “The Once and Future Flash”

John David Mazzarella ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Warning: The Following Contains Spoilers for The Flash season 3

Having exhausted all his resources, Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) decides to visit the future to find the answers he seeks. When he arrives, he discovers things in the future don’t bode well. Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) is still Killer Frost, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) got Skywalkered, making it impossible for him to vibe, Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) is comatose, and both Barry and Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) now have a defeatist outlook on life due to Iris’ (Candice Patton) death. On top of this, no pun intended, Top (Ashley Rickards) and Mirror Master (Grey Damon) wreak havoc in the absence of the future Flash. In his quest for answers, Barry soon finds out his future self never finds out who Savitar (Andre Tricoteux) is, and has to go back defeated. In his attempt to return to the past, Barry finds something is keeping him trapped in the future. Now Barry needs to find a way back to the past, while future Cisco pleads with him to help save the future.

Every season has a time travel episode near the end. These episodes are often the worst of the season; however, this episode is actually one of the best in this season. This lies with the setting of the future. In the past, the time travel episodes have taken place in, well, the past. Since this is the future, Barry doesn’t interfere with previous events. This eliminates confusion about the current timeline. The future setting also allows for the writers to do whatever they want with the story without any consequences. The ending did feel rushed, however, everything else was done so well it’s forgivable.

There are plenty of good character moments in this episode. There wasn’t any character whose actions felt out of character, and the drama felt real and served the story. Seeing everyone miserable and defeated in the future, as tragic as it is, is a nice change of pace from the often-optimistic episodes. The present characters also have their share of powerful moments. Barry’s promise to Iris at the beginning is one of the emotional highlights of the season. This episode also strengthens the view of Savitar as Barry’s greatest foe, as all the turmoil in the future is the direct result of Savitar’s actions.

This episode was directed by Tom Cavanagh, the same guy who plays H.R. Wells. If this episode is any indication, The Flash should have more actors direct. There is great attention to detail, like a close up on how many rubber bands–like the one Joe took off Iris’ flowers–are in a separate jar. It’s a little visual, but coupled with the setting and character and it tells a story.

This episode was filler, but it was good filler. It held a level of interest while giving the audience a fun worst case scenario. The episode isn’t dissimilar to Duet in that regard. Still there are only four episodes left in the season, how much longer before Savitar returns to being the main focus?

Episode Grade: A

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