Film & TV Reviews

The Flash Review: A Peek into the Future in “The Once and Future Flash”

by on April 26, 2017

It was great to see The Flash come back in such a character driven episode instead of going over the top with unnecessary pops and whistles. As the end of the season draws closer there are still many mysteries in play, the biggest being the identity of Savitar and if it will be possible to actually save Iris. Both of these issues were touched on this week, and more, which gave Grant Gustin and Carlos Valdes some wonderful material to sink their teeth into and damn if they didn’t do a fantastic job.

With Killer Frost now on the loose, Barry decides it’s no time like the present to go to the futurThe-Once-and-Future-Flash-imagese and find some answers. (I’ll touch on this later) Before you can say plot development, Barry is in the year 2024 and fighting The Top and Mirror Master. Make no mistake, they were just convenient distractions this week and served their purpose, although I could have used someone a little more interesting.

It doesn’t take long for Barry to discover that things have gone horribly wrong in the future. The team is no more, Cisco and Wally have endured some horrible physical injuries and everyone else is scattered all over the place. With Iris dead and Wally hurt, Joe is crushed and to top it off, the Barry from this time period has abandoned everyone and gone into seclusion. This is not exactly fertile ground in which to find some much-needed help.

This is where Gustin and Valdes begin to shine. Gustin does double duty here and does it very well, giving us a performance as the hopeful and defeated Barry Allen that is very believable and interesting to watch. Valdes also brings some great moments as the beat down Cisco, but he is not in as bad a place as 2024 Barry Allen, that’s for sure. The appearance of The Flash from the past gives him hope that things can change, however, these things are never that easy and it’s a struggle right to the end of the episode.

Not only do we find out the future IMG_2644-598x359of Killer Frost but at the end of the episode, Savitar reveals his identity to someone, just not to the viewing audience. This was very well done, setting up future episodes very well and teasing the fans yet again with who is really in that suit. At this point, I have a few suspicions but nothing concrete. The fact is, while the writers played hide and seek with Savitar to frustrating lengths this year, he is finally beginning to become a force as a villain to be reckoned with. Sure, we all knew how powerful he was but now that he is front and center he seems that much more formidable.

Now, let’s talk about the time travel. We have gotten to a point where it seems there is no way to talk Barry out of screwing with the timeline, no matter what the reason. He is a focused man, maybe too much so these days, in terms of saving Iris as his jumping to the future with Killer Frost still at large showed us. I guess I’m just going to have to come to terms with The Flash playing with time travel from now on, although it can be pretty frustrating to see how neatly they can explain things one week and have all hell break loose the next.

That being said, this was a great episode. Solid acting and it was great seeing Team Flash working their collective chemistry yet again, the real strength of this show. I can’t wait to see where this is going and how it’s all going to end.

Four stars out of five


- Grant Gustin and Carlos Valdes give great performances

- Great tease about the identity of Savitar

- Group chemistry shines yet again


- Time travel is still being overused as a plot tool

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Bottom Line

A solid return, "The Once and Future Flash" sets the table for the rest of the season with great storylines and plot arcs that still have the fan base guessing. Who is Savitar? Will Iris live? Is someone else going to die? Stay tuned...

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