Well it’s back to business on Flash with this episode. Invasion! may be over, but Savitar and Doctor Alchemy never left, and thankfully this episode moves onto that remaining thread quickly. As many fans predicted: Julian Albert is actually Albert Desmond, the traditional Doctor Alchemy of the comics, albeit a servant of Savitar on the show. Tom Felton plays that twist about as well as anyone could under the circumstances, which is a shame since Felton’s take as someone who doesn’t tolerate Barry Allen’s shenanigans was fantastic. Speaking of fantastic though, Mark Hamill makes a brief return as the Trickster of Earth-3 and that minute is milked for every ounce of Joker-ish charm it’s worth, which gives way to Barry recruiting the Jay Garrick of that Earth for help and knowledge of Savitar. How Jay knows any of what he does about Savitar’s extremely vague history (something something Speed Force) is attributed to the Speed Force. While no one is really asking for realism from a show involving people moving at super speed, Savitar is even more ill-defined than Zoom was, and it doesn’t really help shade him as a threat when there’s really nothing to connect to.
On the bright side though, the Christmas theme gets to pervade the episode. Be it through people meeting various forms of Christmas past: Barry having to deal with his father’s doppleganger, Cisco having to spend Christmas without his brother whilst being visited by his ghost, and Julian having to grapple with his past as Albert Desmond catching up with him. The best part of this episode by far is we finally get a proper team-up between two generations of the Flash. While that’s unfortunately marred by the inability to give Savitar a definitive style beyond Megatron with super-speed. All of that leads to Barry’s first time traveling to the future after attempting to ditch the Philosopher’s Stone in the Speed Force, which proves to not be as foolproof of a plan as they expected after Barry watches Iris brutally die at Savitar’s hands.
Jay gives Barry a lecture about not seeing or altering the future, which seems rather useless in light of Barry having repeatedly screwed with time over and over again, but this leads to changes anyway since Barry motivated by the possibility of impending doom asks Iris to move in with him which…Well, if anyone could help me figure out how long they’ve been dating, that’d be great since it seems like kind of a big step. It also leads to the death of the endless lectures towards Wally and his being given a Flash uniform. Overall, this episode was a bit of a comeback from the endless episodes of Barry being reamed and never learning anything thanks to people absolving him of fault through pep talks, but there’s literally nothing to connect to with Savitar. He’s a vague nemesis of future Barry who’s also a ghost. While I get that the writing staff doesn’t want to repeat themselves, they’ve ended up digging a hole for themselves, and threatening to fridge the black female principal isn’t going to help with that. On the bright side:the episode ends on sort of a high note, and certain things are resolved like the team’s continual verbal abuse of H.R, Julian is treated like a human being as opposed to Draco Malfoy with a voice modulator, and Joe finally gets some love. With any luck, the Flash will have more to say next season, and less of it involving Megatron beating up John Wesley Shipp.
4 out of 5 Megatron Blades
- I think I threw up in my mouth when they brought back the “Kid” Flash gag as they gave him the uniform. Give the Flash the respect he deserves, please.
- So if that future glimpse was anything to go by: one of the best Wally West Rogues Jared Morillo aka Plunder is gonna show up. With any luck, he’s the gonzo Mirror World version.
- So can we get more of Joe’s love life when the show returns from break?
- It’s also nice to see Caitlin point out the supervillain pattern in their lives stemming from people they’re friends with. Hopefully this doesn’t mean she’s gonna fall in love with Julian.
Merry Christmas everyone!