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THE FLASH Recap: “Borrowing Problems From the Future”

BY The Screen Spy Team

Published 6 years ago


By Justin Carter

It’s January, and after a month long hiatus, it’s time for a slew of CW shows to make their returns.

With Supergirl already back on our screens on Monday, Tuesday marked Barry Allen’s return to television with a place setter episode that laid the groundwork for the back half of the season.

These sorts of transition episodes generally straddle the line between satisfactory and just okay, with this season’s offering falling into the latter category. In the month since Barry and Iris moved in together, despite four weeks of relative free time, they have yet to get around to actually unpacking. Meanwhile, our Scarlet Speedster has been having nightmares about Iris dying at the hands of Savitar. He hasn’t mustered up the courage to tell her about her grim fate, at least until our bad guy of the week shows up. This villain, named the Plunder because he robs jewelry stores and rocks an eye-patch like a pirate, was the baddie that Barry heard was nabbed by the Flash in the future where Iris died.

Speaking of which, in that particular future (where Iris dies), Plunder is the last villain Flash put away before Savitar guts her, leading Barry to debate whether or not to capture Plunder in the first place once. The problem here is that Barry’s line of logic doesn’t entirely match up with that of the show. It’s one of those things that you’re not really supposed to think about, but given that several Flash villains have returned in previous seasons, it’s something worth pointing out as Barry has a crisis over whether or not to apprehend a villain.

Characters in the DC/CW universe aren’t known for coming forward with secrets right away, so it was a pleasant surprise to see Barry coming clean to Iris and the rest of Team Flash in the back half of the episode. This clearly isn’t something that can be handled just by him, and as HR explains it, changing parts of their future in the months ahead may hopefully lead to a better outcome for all. To that end, Cisco and Barry vibe to the future — which is a thing they can apparently do now? — and jot down some notes that also serve as milestones the season will hit. Two points of interest include the STAR Labs museum being shut down down and Killer Frost still on the lam after a major event of some sort.

The latter naturally freaks Caitlin out, which leads to Julian being offered a place on Team Flash. It was a foregone conclusion, but given that he’s still new to all the crazy the others have been used to for years now, there’s certainly plenty of comedic material for them to work with here.

As for the museum, well, that gets its fate hopefully corrected by Cisco at the end of the episode. The soft open goes spectacularly badly — seriously, who holds one and charges full price for tickets? — but Cisco manages to rope in elementary school kids with the promise of a discount. Not only is it a much better plan than HR’s, but given how science is getting stamped down here in the US, it was more than a little inspiring to see the show appeal to kids about STEM. The museum may get more recognition for acknowledging how Team Flash manages to keep the lights on for a company that doesn’t seem to have done anything for the last two years to make money, but the real world parallels aren’t worth skipping over, either.

“Borrowing Problems” gets the job done of being the table setter it’s supposed to be. Now that we’ve got a game plan in store for the next four months, it’s time to strap in and go for a ride.

Additional Notes

  • The other two headlines to pay attention to from May 2017 involve the Music Meister, who’ll be the main baddie in the Flash/Supergirl musical crossover (yes, you read that correctly), and Central City recovering from a gorilla attack. That attack is already confirmed to be the two-part episode wherein Gorilla Grodd makes his return, and I can’t wait for that.
  • Wally gets some recognition as Kid Flash for nabbing Plunder twice, and you can bet that’s going to come back and bite him in the butt in a few weeks.
  • HR gives Barry a turtle as a housewarming gift, and I really hope that turtle gets the Speed Force somehow. I don’t worry about the logistics, I just want it to happen.
  • The Kid Flash costume looks kind of weird in leather, and I’m not sure that was the right fabric to use for Wally’s suit.
  • Surprising no one, Flash has been renewed for another season, along with the other DC/CW shows, Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, and Supernatural. Awesome, but I honestly am wondering at this point what, if anything, could get the network to end Supernatural.
  • Seriously, HR, you may be from another reality, but what made you think anyone would pay full price for a museum going through a soft open?


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