Okay so anyone who knows me will realise that I am a massive fan of the CW shows such as Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. I have been a fan of these shows since Arrow kicked off this whole “Arrowverse” back in 2012 as I think this shared universe is so amazing and is some of the best superhero writing on TV right now. The only issue I have with these shows are the long breaks, I mean seriously these networks like to hang us out to dry!
This week saw episode 19 of both The Flash and Arrow return after a long four week break so naturally I was stoked to have my favourite shows back! Tuesday saw the return of the Scarlet Speedster and I was so looking forward to diving into the later part of The Flash’s third season. When I saw the trailer during the break showing that Barry Allen would be travelling to the future I was so excited, as well as the fact that Mr. Tom Cavanagh would be directing this episode as well I had a slight nerd-gasm!
Before I dive into this episode like The Flash runs through the Speed Force, here’s your pre-review warning….
THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SLIGHT SPOILERS!!!! IF YOU’RE NOT UP TO DATE WITH THE FLASH THEN STOP READING NOW!!!!
Well if you’re still here and reading then either you’re up to date with The Flash or you didn’t see my warning….either way I’m going to review episode 19 from The Flash Season 3!
So as I mentioned at the start of this review, this episode saw Barry Allen make the decision that he was going to travel to the future in hopes of gaining some clues into how to save Iris from the God of Speed Savitar. I was really excited for this episode in particular especially with the idea of Barry Allen time travelling into the Central City of 2024. On the other hand, time travelling and spending more time in the Speed Force has what escalated the events that have unfolded in The Flash Season 3. I knew that this episode “The Once and Future Flash” was going to be an amazing one, especially with Tom Cavanagh directing this one. I really thought this was a brilliant episode in the series as it showed how the events of the last 8 years took a toll on Team Flash and we see a very different Scarlet Speedster, in an attempt to save Iris’s life. I thought Grant Gustin was just amazing in this episode as well!
So after Barry time travels and reaches the Central City of 2024, we soon realise that it’s not the city he or us as an audience are used to. The city is really dark and seems to be infected with crime and a city that is very Flash-less. The first thing we find out is that Iris did in actual fact die at the hands of Savitar and Team Flash disbanded and are no more. One thing I liked was how we got a look at each member of Team Flash in this future version and how the last 7 years affected each of them differently. I think one of the shock revelations was that Cisco had lost both his hands after a fight with Killer Frost and is now sporting cyborg hands. Poor guy! The episode had a very different tone to what we’re used to in The Flash, it felt a lot darker and moodier like Arrow but I think it was needed for the content of this episode. I really liked the concept that it showed us what could happen after the ongoing conflict with Savitar and how it would affect our heroes.
One of the things I thought was great in this episode is that it took a leaf out of Arrow’s book in the sense of having Grant Gustin trying to portray two different versions of his character, similar to what Stephen Amell has done with the past and present versions of Oliver Queen. I thought Grant Gustin did a really solid job of portraying the present version of The Flash and then the darkier and broodier version of Barry Allen in the future, who was a broken man and a fraction of the hero he was in 2017.
I can’t really talk about this episode without commenting on that awesome looking new suit that future Barry was donning. I mean seriously that was such a cool looking Flash costume, which had definitely been upgraded from the suit in 2017. I mean the whole gold trim looked so sweet on the suit. I couldn’t help but notice that the quality of this suit had a movie type quality to it, just take a look at the recently revealed Black Lightning suit for example. It was so cool to see Barry in this upgraded suit and as a fan, I had a slight inner nerd-gasm….It’s an exciting prospect that The Flash in the present will eventually wear this suit perhaps in Season 4 or further down the line.
I thought that the other cast members did a brilliant job of playing the other versions of their characters really well. I thought that Carlos Valdes played a brilliant Future Cisco, as his future self was a character clinging onto hope that one day Team Flash would reunite and be a meta-human busting unit as they were before Iris’s death. He was clinging onto hope that his friends would come back and be like a family again, I thought Carlos played that part so well. The one part that stood out for me in “The Once and Future Flash” is that you realise that there is this long lasting bond between Cisco and Barry that seems to endure no matter what. This goes to show the characters strength and loyalty to each other, even after what Barry had done during the events of Flashpoint.
One of my favourite actors on the show Jesse L. Martin, was nothing short of fantastic on this episode. I really thought that his portrayal of a grieving Joe West was just amazing and thought he captured the emotion of a hurting father so well. It just goes to show the range he has as an actor and the fact he captured the emotion perfect, even to the way he acted towards Barry when he thought it was the Barry from the future. I thought that he really did deliver such an emotional charged performance this week and did such a great job showing that side of our favourite detective.
I can’ forget to mention talking about Future H.R. Wells, who seems to have done well for himself in the future as a successful author from the looks of it. All those times in the pipeline recording the adventures of Team Flash seemed to have really paid off for him, good for you H.R! As I mentioned earlier, this episode was directed by Tom Cavanagh and I think it goes to show that not only is he brilliant on screen, but the guy knows how to be behind a camera too! I hope he gets to direct more episodes next season as he did a fantastic job on this one.
We did get a very different Central City in this episode with the tone being much darker and gritty, in a way it felt like Starling City back in the earlier days of Arrow. The darkness did serve a purpose in this episode, showing that the stakes for Barry and Team Flash could not be any higher. When I saw what the battle with Savitar had done to each member of Team Flash, it felt so awesome seeing the team reunite and in a sense that felt like a victory for our heroes. In terms of The Flash/ Barry Allen as a character, you realise that he is a very inspirational figure and that the characters around him really turn and look up to him even when there seems like no light at the end of the tunnel. I think that Barry helping to reassemble the future Team Flash was an important task for the Scarlet Speedster, as when he returned home to the present he had this feeling of hope and optimistic that he can actually save Iris. I think that the device that Future Barry gave to our Flash will serve as an important factor in these remaining episodes, as it could hold the key to stopping Savitar and saving the woman he loves.
Right at the end of the episode we see Killer Frost confronted by Savitar with a deal she could not refuse. I had a feeling that the writers were going to tease us for one more week about the identity of the God of Speed. They’re just rubbing it in and really teasing us now…but I like that we didn’t see the identity of Savitar in this episode as I think it would be better to save it for the next few episodes as it will create a true shocker for the audience and build the suspense up even higher. I have about 3 different possibilities who Savitar could be, but knowing how good these writers are they’ll throw a spanner in the works and my guesses will be completely wrong! I saw the teaser for next week’s episode and it looks like this could be the week we find out who Savitar actually is…I don’t think I’m ready! I feel like it will deliver and that the audience are going to be in for a shocker!
Time for my verdict on this episode now that we have come to the end of my review. I thought that “The Once and Future Flash” was a fantastic episode and probably one of my favourites in the season. It offered a really grim picture of what is in store for Team Flash in the future, 2024 doesn’t look too great for our heroes at all. The Flash is a symbol of hope and during his time in the future he offered the future Team Flash a sense of hope, in a sense that there is life after the battle with Savitar. Even with Barry returning home to the present, he came back with this newfound sense of hope that could help figure out how to trap Savitar and save Iris. I think hope is the theme that the show will need going into the closing part of Season 3, especially with the final showdown with Savitar fast approaching now….no pun intended I swear!
My rating: 9/10
Episode 19 of The Flash Season 3 was dark and gritty, offering a sense of hope for our Scarlet Speedster after the events of Savitar in the future.