John David Mazzarella ‘20 / Emertainment Monthly TV Staff Writer
Warning: The Following Contains Spoilers for The Flash season 3
After a fun musical distraction, it’s time for The Flash to get serious again. A new villain known as Abra Kadabra (David Dastmalchian, a.k.a. that guy who is always an acquaintance of the Joker) arrives in Central City to steal tech. Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) investigates to find the mysterious foe is yet another adversary from the future, this time, however, they’re armed with knowledge of the Flash and Iris West’s (Candice Patton) current situation. Gypsy (Jessica Camacho) returns to apprehend Kadabra, whom she has a deep vendetta towards. Before Gypsy can take Kadabra back to Earth-19, he tells Barry he’ll reveal Savitar’s identity if he releases him. Now team Flash and Gypsy need to come to a compromise in order to bring Kadabra to justice and ensure Iris’ safety.
The episode isn’t anything special, though it’s not terrible. There’s some fun light action and the plot is what one would expect from a show like The Flash. Unfortunately, the problems with this episode are big.
“Abra Kadabra” witnesses the return of Gypsy, and she is very unpleasant in this episode. She comes out of nowhere and the writers lazily set up a deep-rooted grudge between her and Kadabra. It gets to the point where she essentially becomes the antagonist of the episode. The show tries to make her actions and attitudes justified and relatable but, by the end of the episode, she still comes off as an irritation. In fact, no character particularly shines in this episode. The dialogue doesn’t help; it sounds like it was a first draft script. Everything sounds straight and to the point, with little emotion.
The biggest problem with this episode is the misuse of hype. The advertisements and the episode arc teased the reveal of Savitar’s identity. Even IMDb, prior to the episode’s release, stated that Savitar’s identity would be revealed. There are two instances that nearly gave up the secret, but both times did nothing except continue the hype. In the end, the episode is all anticipation with no payoff. The episode tries to make up for this by ending on the transformation of Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) into Killer Frost, which is admittedly the best part of the episode. Still, at that point, the disappointment has yet to fade.
The message the writers are trying to get across is a good one, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, but there were better ways to get his point across. It also makes instances when Barry’s actions create a greater risk solely to protect his friends more obvious.
For the most part, “Abra Kadabra” is passable. It’s really Gypsy and the misuse of hype that tips the scale against it. With Arrow already revealing the identity of Prometheus and Legend of Tomorrow has concluded its second season, it’s baffling why The Flash feels the need to pad out this season. They keep stressing how Savitar is the Flash’s greatest foe, but he’s barely around. With weeks between the release of this episode and the next, the next episode ought to be something special.
Episode Grade: C