The Flash: The Present Review
By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)
“The Present,” aka The Flash’s Christmas episode, showcased a series first, a fun cameo, and a wrap-up on Alchemy.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
I’m glad the series finally found another way to use Barry’s time travel. Going to the past and constantly changing the timeline was something that was getting really old. I will be the first to admit that I love the time travel trope (Shameless plug for 12 Monkeys. It’s phenomenal.), but, The Flash has used and reused this plot device too many times. At least this time they used time travel it was in a different way. Only time will tell if their new use of time travel will work.
In the episode, the writers once again managed to create a secret that someone, in this case Barry, has to keep. This seems to be an Arrowverse problem. At this point I’m so over it that I’ve actually come to somewhat accept that this is something that the Arrow and The Flash will continue to do and that it’s almost a waste of energy continuing to write about it.
The Flash made an excellent choice regarding Julian and his evil counterpart Alchemy. Throughout the run of the series, the ‘Big Bads’ have been people who were close to the team then ended up betraying them. Thankfully, The Flash chose to go a different route with Julian. Of course, Julian and Barry weren’t exactly friends to start the season so his ‘betrayal’ wouldn’t be one that was as emotional as Reverse Flash or Zoom. I’m just glad they are showing Julian as a potential good guy who was manipulated by the actual villain, Savitar. (Indiana Jones Julian for the win!)
Savitar hating future Barry is very reminiscent of Reverse Flash. That was a plot point that didn’t need to be repeated. It was done so perfectly in season one with Reverse Flash that anything will pale in comparison.
Cisco falling for the dead brother mirage was ridiculous and out of character. He’s one of the few characters who wouldn’t fall for that trick. To be fair, this is not Original Timeline Cisco so who really knows what he would and would not fall for. If the series decides to go here, which they should, they are creating a quintessential backstory for a villain. It seems like the theory of Cisco being the villain in the fight with Caitlin may actually come true.
I loved the brief Earth-3 scene. It was so fun and goofy and something The Flash needs to take advantage of from time to time. Seeing John Wesley Shipp and Mark Hamill interact again as The Flash and Trickster was wonderful. I never thought that was going to happen, so it was a fantastic surprise. The more I see of Shipp and his Flash costume, the better. For some reason, I actually prefer his suit to Barry’s. And it looks like the series is setting up a tradition of having Mark Hamill crash Christmas episodes. Yes, please.