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THE FLASH Review “The Once and Future Flash”

BY The Screen Spy Team

Published 6 years ago


By Justin Carter

The Once and Future Flash

It’s been a month since Team Flash graced our TVs, and as is the case with such long breaks, the returning episode exists more to set the stage for the remainder of the season than anything else. That’s perfectly fine, as this episode (directed by Tom Cavanaugh himself) is entertaining throughout, at least until it reaches the end. After Killer Frost woke up at the end of “Abra Kadabra” and went on a rampage through STAR Labs, Barry decides that this is the perfect time for him to go into the year 2024 to find out Savitar’s identity and gain an edge on how to beat him.

No surprise that 2024 Central City is in bad shape, and that Team Flash is separated in the future where Iris dies. What is unexpected is how largely bleak it ends up being for all involved; Killer Frost joined up with Savitar and shattered Cisco’s hands, leaving him with no Vibe powers and her imprisoned by Julian, Savitar broke Wally’s spine and traumatized him to the point where he can’t even speak, and Joe’s constantly visiting Iris’ grave. (HR is, funnily enough, the only one to not be traumatized in the last seven years, having become a famous author in this Earth and romancing several women at his public reading.) Future Barry has given up completely, holing up in the now shut down STAR Labs and letting both Top and Mirror Master (apparently) rule over the city with an iron fist.

As dour as all of it is — and it is, to the point where even Future Cisco’s quips don’t even help much — these scenes do a good job of giving Barry something worth fixing, in addition to his soon to be dead wife. HR being fine aside, nothing in the future plays out too unexpectedly, as Barry’s able to get the able-bodied remaining members of Team Flash back together to help bring down Top and Mirror Master. And even though you know it just was going to happen eventually, seeing Future Barry step up and put on his upgraded Flash costume and get back in the groove of things was just great to see. The episode definitely earned that moment, all things considered, and Future Barry also gives him information on a woman who can create a device that will trap Savitar in the Speed Force.

Unfortunately, the ending did leave me annoyed. Killer Frost winds up coming across Savitar and the forest, where he offers to team up with her, and when she asks why she would trust a guy who she has no reason to trust, he sheds his armor. This is convincing enough for her, but the problem is that we end up not knowing who the guy is. Given that his identity was the whole reason Barry went to the future and how Future Frost cryptically said that the reveal would blow our minds, I was expecting the full reveal now. But nope, we have to wait another week to learn the identity of this Speed God when we should have learned it multiple episodes ago. This isn’t enough to bring the episode down at all, but man, talk about a disappointment.
Additional Notes

  • The most important thing for Future HR upon returning to STAR Labs was finding his old pair of drumsticks that he left there years ago, because of course.
  • I have no clue why HR and Cisco thought to sing “Swing Low” while Killer Frost was hunting for them, but it was silly nonetheless.
  • Future Barry’s hair is laughably emo, and props to whoever picked out that wig.
  • Okay but seriously, if we don’t learn Savitar’s identity next week like we’re promised, then that will be extremely upsetting.

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