As always, no matter what the show, time travel is a tricky thing. I can be a useful tool if done properly or leave an audience puzzled and frustrated at some of the things they have just seen. This week’s episode of The Flash entitled “Flash Back” gave us a little bit of both. Some puzzling story lines to be sure but some of things that came out of this episode were pure gold, making the whole time travel idea still a worthy plot device. (Note to the writers: Let’s just not overdue it)
Barry’s frustration in not being able to get faster leads to the decision to go back in time to try and sort it all out. The idea is full of holes, with the possible ramifications of what he is thinking on doing huge but hey, he does it anyways so we have to live with it. (This is more of a Oliver Queen like decision but hey, nobody is perfect) He then of course, runs into lots of familiar faces, some who are now dead, some who he wishes was dead while on his quest to fit in, get what he needs and get out.
There are some genuinely funny parts, Cisco quotes, his trying to figure out which Flash was which, Harrison/Eobard getting visually frustrated watching future Barry continually open his mouth and screw thing up, not to mention just the general humor in being part of events that you have already been a part of. Oh, and Cisco playing Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” as a way to get answers…classic.
However, the best part of the episode by far was the verbal showdown between Barry and Harrison/Eobard in the time vault. It was a great back and forth between two very smart individuals, covering a lot of ground and surprisingly, ending with Barry having the upper hand. I believe this was important as Barry has been pouting a lot lately, especially when it comes to his lack of speed and his inability to get faster. Confidence is a huge thing in real life and in characters on television and this couldn’t have come at a better time for him. Let’s just hope it stays with him long enough to tackle Zoom when the time comes.
There were, as always with time travel, some strange things going on. The time wraith for instance, creepy even while ripping of the Dementors from Harry Potter, seem to pick and choose those to pursue who are travelling through time. I guess if they chased everyone, we would have seen them every other week on the Star Trek series. Also, it was nice to see Eddie again but when he killed himself, wasn’t that supposed to erase himself from existence, as in permanently?
However, even with my time travel issues, this was a solid episode. Some great moments with some interesting plot building that should now lead the way to the final showdown with Zoom. It remains to be seen if this will be to the death or a grudge match that might spill into next season.
Four stars out of five
- The Harrison/Eobard and Barry verbal head to head was very well done
- Some great humor in this episode
- For the most part, they handled the time travel issue well
- The Time Wraiths/Dementors were pretty lame
- Let's hope they don't start overusing time travel as a plot device