Flash: “The Once and Future Flash”


Jim’s Thoughts

“The One and Future Flash” didn’t exactly burst out of the proverbial gate. It offered another look at another timeline, and since we all know Barry will achieve “the impossible” in stopping Savitar, it’s not even a timeline I can take all that seriously.

My problems with this episode are pretty much in line with the problems I’ve had with the entire direction of the show. I don’t care about the Barry/Iris romance, and it’s trying to force me to care. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but their efforts to do that undermine every member of the team.

In the future, when Iris dies, Barry grows his hair out and fronts a My Chemical Romance reunion. He stops caring about anyone or anything, and all the members of team flash pull away from one another.

First, I don’t believe Iris is that important to the dynamic of the team. Remember, Wally has known the West family for all of, what? A year? He wouldn’t have a normal sibling relationship with Iris. If his mother’s death didn’t break him, why would that of his estranged sister? Then again, he fell in love with Jessie Quick faster than a fart floods an elevator, so maybe normal human emotions never apply.

Second, if Barry going into seclusion means none of the other team members stay together, hell, none of them even stay in touch with one another, how tight can their individual bonds really be? Would Barry really retreat so far into self-pity that he’d stand by and watch Central City crumble? If so, he’s not a hero and never was. All of this boils down to two things. The CW writers don’t understand what the decisions they’re making say about the characters they’re working with, and that they’re burning the cast’s dynamic to the ground to manufacture higher stakes for a bad storyline.

Kyle hit the nail on the head when he said the outlying problem with this season is that its leaning on the mystery of who Savitar is, and Savitar hasn’t been made interesting. Nobody cares who Savitar is, and no revelation is going to be enough of a payoff to satisfy being strung along as far as we have been. Ending the episode with the teaser only reminded me of how annoying all this has been.

Kyle’s Take

The teaser at the end was insulting. Flash explained Savitar is someone Barry knows, and we learned earlier in this episode Killer Frost knows his identity when she joined him. The episode told and then showed. The teaser added nothing.

The timeline “The Once and Future Flash” presented had the same issues as the Earth-2 versions of Flash characters. A lot happened, the script dumped years of info through dialogue, and this reality won’t matter after this week. Jim’s right with his assessment that Barry will do the impossible and save Iris. Flash couldn’t kill off Iris any more than Arrow could kill off Felicity.

I sell this reality for all the reasons Jim does. Wally shouldn’t go catatonic after his estranged sister dies (he didn’t for his mother who raised him), and Barry isn’t much of a hero if he could sit back and let Mirror Master and Top overtake Central City. Seriously, he’s going to let The Rogues Light ruin his city? And where was he when Cisco and Caitlin needed him? I question Cisco’s sincerity when he said, “I missed my friend.” Barry changed time so Cisco’s brother would die, wouldn’t change it back, and left him alone to suffer for eight years. Barry hasn’t been much of a friend.

I’m not sure if Flash can recover from its missteps and I don’t care who Savitar is. “The Once and Future Flash” built up nothing. The finale is looking like a whole lot of nothing.

Thanks for reading.

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