THE FLASH Review: “The Once and Future Flash”

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THE FLASH goes back to the future this week after a month off. The mechanics of time travel are so wonky on this show with Barry (Grant Gustin) traveling back and forth in time without really explaining how he can choose to go forward in time or backward in time. This was an excellent episode, but hopefully in future episodes and/or seasons, the writers can explain just how Barry can manipulate the Speed Force to travel to when and where he wants to go. With that said, this episode was a great dive back into the show for the last few episodes we have left this season.

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With Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) on the loose, tensions are high. Barry decides to travel forward to the future to find out Savitar’s identity. However, Barry arrives eight years into the future in 2024 to find that not only is he broken, but Team Flash has been dismantled. With everyone trying to live through every painful day, Rosalind “Rosa” Dillion aka Top (Ashley Rickards) and Sam Scudder aka Mirror Master (Grey Damon) have taken over Central City in the Flash’s absence. Will Barry rise to the occasion? Or will he get what he wants and leave?

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H.R. himself Tom Cavanagh directed this episode and I think it’s safe to say that he should direct more. With Top’s powers, we got to see the most extreme vertigo-inducing effects so far especially with the climax. I will never tire of the Inception/Doctor Strange visuals, so I’m glad Ashley Rickards and Grey Damon got to return. I hope she gets a significant episode next season. The color palette being muted worked to great effect as Barry’s fire truck red coat (not to mention The Flash suit) stood out against the dark hues of everything else providing one last gleaming beacon of hope in a future that’s been ravaged.

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I loved the new Flash suit that future Barry has. Sooner rather than later, I hope our Barry gets the upgrade after we deal Savitar. Speaking of, Barry’s trek to the future proved to be fruitless. But, he did learn that there’s more at stake than just Iris’ (Candice Patton) death. The team itself needs to be saved. Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) had his spine severed after a fight on his own with Savitar. What he saw left him so broken that not only is he disabled, he’s catatonic. Cisco (Carlos Valdes) has lost his hands in a fight with Killer Frost. Without his hands, he can’t vibe. Julian (Tom Felton) works at Iron Heights prison and is just as broken as Joe (Jesse L. Martin) is since Barry broke the promise he made to Iris about being by Joe’s side no matter what. And Barry looks like emo Peter Parker from Spider-Man 3 (no that’s not a good thing). One of the biggest questions that will be answered next week is Savitar’s identity, as Killer Frost in both the present and future has aligned herself with him no questions asked once she learned of his identity.

Cisco and Joe are the heart of this episode. Love has motivated Barry through the course of the show so far. And with every mistake he’s made, he’s always had the best of intentions. So, it’s no surprise to find out that Cisco is the one keeping Barry in the future with the hope that Barry would reunite the team and save the day once more. It’s also no surprise that Barry wants no part of helping, being selfish about getting what he wants and returning to 2017. Tom, Jesse, and Carlos gave great performances this episode with a lot of heartstring tugging. Hopefully, the device that future Barry gave present Barry can help in the fight against Savitar. Not to mention that future Barry gave it to him along with some much-needed information about trapping Savitar in the Speed Force with the help of a physicist named Tracy Brand. Sadly, she didn’t figure out the technology to do that until after Iris’ death.

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Ending the episode on a touching moment between Barry and Joe was a nice touch, as was the stinger of Killer Frost in the present aligning herself with Savitar as she learns his true identity. If Savitar is all powerful and so strong, why does he need a suit of armor? In my eyes if he was truly the “god of speed” he would have a normal suit just like Reverse-Flash and Zoom did in the last two seasons. And in my eyes, no one is more powerful than Zoom. As a matter of fact, I wished on Legends of Tomorrow before Eobard got taken out we got to find out who was more powerful.

Can Caitlin Snow be rescued from her Killer Frost alter ego? Who is Savitar? Is he really the god of speed? And when is Barry gonna get that dope new suit? Stay tuned true believers! It’s good to be back!

TB-TV-Grade-A-

Season 3, Episode 19 (S03E19)
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8PM on The Flash

Read all of our reviews of The Flash here. 
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A lifelong film enthusiast since he can remember, Brandon is an indie filmmaker/screenwriter and freelance critic who resides in Trenton, NJ. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter to talk movies, shows, and music (especially hip-hop).
Follow Brandon on Twitter: @bwood0824
Keep up with all of Brandon’s reviews here.

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