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The Flash Review: Great Story Lines and Performances In “The Present”

by on December 7, 2016
 

When The Flash began using Flashpoint as a force to drive this season I was less than thrilled as I’ve always thought time travel was a lazy way to tell a story. Sure enough, the quality of episodes was erratic at best and I began to wonder if this is the way the season was going to play out, very average with weak story telling. However, The Flash pulled up its socks so to speak and has delivered some consistently solid episodes, capped off by the mid-season finale “The Present”. Multiple interesting story lines and great performances by many of the cast made this a great way to leave us hanging for a while, with numerous things to ponder until the show returns in late January.fla309a_0343b

WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS!

The episode started off with a wonderful nod to Raiders of the Lost Ark while at the same time giving us a much needed back story for Julian. His reveal last week that he was really Doctor Alchemy was not that surprising but for it to fly it needed a good explanation and thankfully the show delivered. The same can be said for Savitar, who initially was looking like nothing more than another version of Zoom but in “The Present” we discovered he was much more. Delusions of grandeur and godhood make him much more dangerous than Zoom ever was and much more interesting as well.

It was also great to welcome John Wesley Shipp back as Jay Garrick, who Barry went to see to help him out with Savitar. Shipp has always been solid as Barry’s dad but this episode he actually got to be a superhero and played that role very well. Instead of being the comforting dad Barry could lean on he was all about The Flash, explaining to Barry what needs to be done, how to do it and why he should try and forget what he saw when he jumped forward in time.

Ah yes, the death of Iris. Part of me was not sad to see this transpire, evthe-flash-season-3-photos-110en if it happens five months in the future, but as Jay explained the future is not set and this might never happen. It will be interesting how Barry deals with this as time goes on, knowing how he likes to think he can fix everything even though everyone else knows he can’t. There is a good chance someone will die in the clutches of Savitar but I highly doubt it will be Iris.

This was also a great episode for the actors to show off their talent. Carlos Valdes was excellent again as Cisco, showing he is still carrying around a lot of emotional baggage during the scenes with his “brother” and making these scenes feel very believable and powerful. Tom Felton also shows off some great acting chops and makes us believe that not only is he not a jerk but someone to be pitied and helped. His coming over the good guys was nice but somehow I feel like it is going to be short lived, as in maybe he’ll be the one that Savitar kills.

With all these storylines going on, and the writers managed to juggle them quite well, how about that little cameo with Mark Hamil as the Trickster? Watching him and Shipp go at it, even if it was only briefly, was so much fun. These are the kinds of things that comic fans around the world love and it was great for the show to take a little nod in their direction this week.

The episode ended with Barry surprising Iris with their own place and a nice little embrace as the snow gently fell outside. Corny maybe, but I have a feeling this is the last moment of peace these two might have for a while so hey, why not let them enjoy it?

Four and a half stars out of five


Positives

- Great story lines and organized very well

- Actors bring out their A game in this episode

- Nice to see The Trickster again

Negatives

- Ending a bit sappy

- Is it me or is Wally being thrown into the superhero racket a little too quickly?

Editor Rating
 
Cast
95%

 
Sound
92%

 
Visual
92%

 
Writing
95%

Author Score
94%

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Bottom Line
 

Never mind it being a mid-season finale, "The Present" was simply a great episode. So many things were crammed into this week but it was done with great care and organized very well. So excellent acting capped off a great all-around effort that should leave fans eager to see what will happen when the show returns in late January.