The Flash: “The Once and Future Flash” Review

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By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

After a lengthy hiatus, The Flash returned with a solid episode that featured another time traveling adventure.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

“The Once and Future Flash” dove right back into the storyline of saving Iris. With this episode, it is safe to say that she will not be dying in the season finale. If the show were interested in killing off the newspaper reporter, they would have not spent so much time in the future showing the emotional repercussion of her death. They would have saved all of the emotional performances and events for a future season.

Even though the future was an interesting exercise in character, it was extremely bleak and depressing. Over the course of the season, the series has become a ball of doom and gloom but “The Once and Future Flash” was on a completely other level of depressing: Wally with his paralysis, Cisco with no hands, and Joe and Barry completely heartbroken. The upside to seeing how truly abysmal Future Barry was gives me a renewed sense of gratitude for the current Barry and his little glimmer of hope and fun that still remains.

The fact that the only person who is thriving in this dismal future is Hipster Harry is hilarious. He came to this Earth to have a new beginning and he got it as a successful author. It’s no surprise that once Hipster Harry appeared onscreen, the tone of the show became much lighter and more hopeful. “The Once and Future Flash” was directed by Hipster Harry himself, Tom Cavanagh.

Throughout the episode, I couldn’t help thinking about the fact that Barry said he would never tamper with time again. This episode completely threw that right out of the window. By traveling to the future, he automatically changes the past and rewrites the future. Also, by taking the piece of tech home, he tampers with the timeline. I know time travel is a part of The Flash’s story and that will never change, but I wish they wouldn’t promise something then break the promise later in the season when it’s most convenient for the storytelling. It comes off as lazy.

I loved the return of Top and Mirror Master. They were fun in their first appearance and I was thrilled to see them return. Visually, there was a fun Inception type of special effect with a bending building. I wish they were more featured throughout the episode. Unfortunately, the duo was there solely to create some type of physical obstacle to hinder Future Team Flash in reuniting and to give the episode some type of climactic event.

On a purely material and superficial note, the Future Flash’s costume was fantastic. When they were standing next to each other, the new one put the current one to shame. I’ve always liked the original suit with the different colored emblems, but Future Flash’s brighter red suit with gold/yellow accents was epic. Barry didn’t really get a substantial change to his suit this season, so I need Cisco to make him that new suit for next season.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


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