When last we left The Flash, Savitar had not only dropped a prophecy of doom upon Team Flash, but momentarily propelled our hero into the near future where he witnessed the death of Iris at the hands of the villain. Now time marches toward that event, can the Flash stop it from happening? Find out after the time jump in my review of “Borrowing Problems from the Future.”
Protect the Future
Pardon me as I borrow a thematic line or two from the last big Marvel Comics event, Civil War II, but Barry has a choice to make – he can protect his future, or change the future. Jay made it clear to Barry when he pulled him back, that this is only a possible future. Why doesn’t Barry listen to Jay?? Even so, Barry doubled down and asked Iris to move in with him, you know, 24/7 protection.
We open on Barry’s nightmare of reliving Iris’ murder when he wakes up next to her. She’s awake too as he screamed in his sleep, third night in a row. When Iris asks if Barry wanted to talk about it, I wondered if she already knows. In the comics, Barry talks in his sleep – it’s how she found out he was the Flash. If it’s also true here, there’s a lot that Iris already knows.
Back in Business
I loved seeing the Flash and Kid Flash team handle the fire at the start of the episode. And then when Barry pulled out some real useful science in the form of a good old fashioned Flash Fact, oh yeah, this fanboy squeeed. Can we just have an episode of moments like that? The camaraderie of Team Flash that follows is so good that I have to worry that something bad is coming.
H.R. Wells is ready to open, sorry, soft open the S.T.A.R. Labs Museum. He takes the gang on a tour that includes of course a coffee shop, and also a virtual Cisco with a few kinks, good for a laugh or two. All in all it is a good idea to not only have a cover for Team Flash’s operations, but also income. We’ll see how long it lasts though…
The Caitlin subplot of wanting to get rid of her powers has the stink of an Arrow busywork subplot. There’s nothing else to do with this character and we don’t want to fire the actor, so here, do this for a few episodes. This is especially frustrating with Caitlin, because her only point now is that she’s Killer Frost. Perhaps linking her to Julian will give them both something to do.
Caitlin goes to Julian for help to get rid of her metahuman powers, since he is somewhat an expert in these matters. He rejects her at first, still as unlikable as ever, so one might suspect he had a bad time at the Wests’ Christmas party to turn him sour again. When the two are bonded by survivor’s guilt, Caitlin eventually makes a counter-offer – join Team Flash. Let’s hope he can do the job…
We knew this was coming – the arrival of Plunder. Flash’s vision of Iris’ murder occurs while Plunder’s trial is in the news, and in this episode the Flash meets him for the first time. In the comics, Plunder is the evil mirror universe doppelgänger of Detective Jared Morillo, discovered by Mirror Master and the Rogues, and unleashed on our world. He’s a mercenary who thrives on chaos, not a nice guy.
Here on television, once realizing who he is, Barry hesitates to stop him. If he doesn’t get caught, he doesn’t go to trial. Plunder, named by H.R. not Cisco (dammit), is a jewel thief with a futuristic rifle. His resemblance to Arrow’s Deadshot is too close for comfort. That’s the problem with ‘realistic’ costumes, they get old quick. When Barry refuses Wally’s help to catch the criminal, Kid Flash jumps the gun and takes the villain out live on TV. No way Barry can stop it.
Time and Truth
I have rattled on many times before about the Barry and Iris relationship in the comics and how it’s a love that is stronger than time and space and life and death. But another theme of these reviews is also how different the comics are from the television universe. One thing that has never matched up is that relationship, because Barry is always keeping things from her. This episode that changes. I hope.
Barry takes Iris to the time vault and shows her the holographic newspaper, and explains what he saw in the future. Her reaction is pretty much as expected, as is Barry’s – they’re going to stop this from happening. They tell the rest of Team Flash, sans Joe, because they can’t do it alone. These people and their secrets will be their undoing.
Vibe to the Future
In a sequence similar to the better scenes of the second Back to the Future, where Marty travels back to the first movie, Cisco and Barry vibe to the future May 2017 that the Flash saw last episode. They see disturbing headlines like Killer Frost still at large, city recovering from gorilla attack (Grodd!!), and S.T.A.R. Labs Museum closes.
There’s also a mention of Music Meister, the animated villain voiced by Neil Patrick Harris on Batman: Brave and the Bold. Could we finally be getting that rumored all-musical episode of The Flash? I hope so! Also there’s a difference in this vision, H.R. on a nearby roof with a rifle (Plunder’s?). Unfortunately Barry and Cisco leave the future before seeing what H.R. does.
Needing to fill time, and also prove the future can be changed, Flash and Kid Flash chase an escaped Plunder. I loved more of that great team action once again, Kid Flash getting some props, and his capture of the villain proving time can be changed. Can we have more of this please? And I think the TV Kid Flash costume has finally grown on me.
Notably Cisco holds on to Plunder’s rifle, so H.R. could have it in May, and I think that’s more important than where the rifle came from or how it does what it does. Could what we’re seeing in the future be a trap, a trap for Savitar? We’ve seen holograms of Cisco this episode, and of Captain Cold, so why not Iris? And I loved H.R.’s gift to Barry of a turtle named McSnurdle. Bring on the Terrific Whatsit!
Next: A bounty hunter arrives from Earth-19 for H.R. Wells in “Dead or Alive!”