(WARNING: This article has MAJOR SPOILERS for the midseason finale episode of The Flash. I mean, I pretty much break down the whole thing so be warned)
This week saw the mid-season finale of #TheFlash and fans were treated with one of, if not the best episode thus far (Yes, including the four-night crossover). Some of the episodes have been hit or miss this season, with fans complaining that the season overall has not been as strong as the previous two. I have been impressed thus far, but I do see the validity of some of the issues.
Barry creating the #Flashpoint timeline caused the majority of the problems this season. Hell, the crossover event started because Barry’s actions tipped off the Dominators to metas being on Earth. The fact that the gang must fight another speedster again and the fact that there has been no clear main arch have all fed the lesser season fire.
Mark Hamill Returns As The Jok—Ahem, The Trickster
Mark Hamill made an awesome cameo in the episode as the Earth 3 #Trickster. It’s always great to see homages to the '90s Flash show and this time did not disappoint. We even get to see John Wesley Shipp play the Flash, fighting the Trickster. On top of that, this version of the character is clearly based on The Man Who Laughs, originally played by Conrad Veldt, who was the inspiration for the #Joker. Now that is a very deep cut.
Wally Comes Into His Own
After eight episodes of buildup, we finally get to see Wally in action. And true to form, he helps Barry then gets knocked around a bit. In Wally’s defense, Savitar has shown no mercy to any speedster he has come in contact with, as Jay took a pretty substantial pounding earlier in the episode, as did Barry in Episode 7. The writers have really nailed down the character of Wally since he first appeared in Season 2. He hated Barry but loved the Flash. As soon as he got powers he wanted to help people. Even the witty banter to a villain was spot on when Wally first approached Savitar. Wally was always “My Flash” and it looks as though he is in good hands.
One Will Betray Them
Savitar is the self professed god of speed and showed off some of his prowess by giving the team knowledge of the future. That is primarily where his knowledge comes from. It is interesting that his powers derive from the Philosopher’s stone as opposed to the speed force. Perhaps the philosopher’s stone gets its powers from the speed force somehow? One of the great mysteries we can look forward to when the season returns in January.
One does have to wonder who will betray the team. We have three likely suspects: Caitlin, who comes closer to her evil personality every time she uses her powers, Cisco, who desperately wants to save his brother and will go to extremes to do so and HR, who we know nothing about and was even referred to as "fake Wells" by Savitar himself in the same breath that he claimed there was a traitor in their midst.
Of the three, I would say that Wells is the safest bet. We already have another (superior) version of Wells from Earth 2 and he’s the one we know the least about. Caitlin and Cisco are both essentially the hearts of the team. Granted, the producers could make it one of them BECAUSE it would hit harder. We’ll just have to wait and see.
One Will Die
One mystery we will NOT have to worry about is who will die. Ever since the crossover, we were teased about something happening to Iris, as she no longer is the person who will write the infamous article from Season 1. Now, as a longtime #Flash fan, I know that at some point, Iris will "die," or at least appear to. What will eventually happen is she gets flung into the future, where Barry will spend about a month before going off to save the multiverse in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Now I severely doubt that will take place on the show; however, the death of Iris does raise the stakes and gives Barry something to work towards as opposed to whining about being the cause of every evil that ever existed on his Earth.
We Know About Albert Desmond
Since the beginning of Season 3, many fans have (rightfully) speculated that Julian was in fact Dr. Alchemy. This episode confirms that not only is he the good Dr. (I know he’s just Alchemy in the show, but he’ll always be a Dr. to me.), but they also incorporated the split personality from the comics as well (at least to a point). It appears as though #Savitar possesses Julian at certain points, which would lend itself to the split personality trope. He is still a good guy overall and when he is controlled by Savitar, his actions are not his own. Time will tell if good triumphs in the end.
This episode was great in all facets. There was not a moment that I wasn’t on the edge of my seat or reaching for a tissue box because of all the feels. If it weren’t for all the entwined storylines, I would suggest this to be a perfect jumping-off point for someone interested in giving the show a chance. It had action, drama, and humor. The big guy in red came early this year. And he came in fast.
What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments below!
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What did you think of Hamill's turn as the Trickster?