The Flash Review: The Present (Season 3 Episode 9)

Everyone discovers Julian is Alchemy.  Savitar tricks Cisco and almost kills Barry. Barry seeks help from Earth 3. Barry glimpses the future and is terrified.

The Flash Season 3 Episode 9 might as well have been titled ‘Julian Albert and the Philosopher’s Stone’. (Yes that was a Harry Potter joke, but if the writers didn’t want everyone cackling over the fact that Draco found the philosopher’s stone on a show with a lightning bolt symbol they wouldn’t have written it in).

So Julian was found out. Last episode it seemed like that perhaps Julian was actively working with Savitar, this week we discovered Savitar was just using Julian to play out all of his earthly doings.

Savitar, we discover is more than just the fastest being alive, he is the first man to be given speed.

With time he became a machine, a god, and he certainly thinks of himself as a deity, insisting everyone bow down to him. When he speaks through Julian to tell everyone their futures, it’s truly bone chilling.  For all of Barry’s time traveling he has hardly ever known anything about the future (save for Jax and Stein telling him about his future self and the newspaper article written by Iris West-Allen). 

No, this time we see real repercussions of Barry’s actions in the future, not just because Savitar says so, but because Barry sees one possible outcome. Iris being killed is devastating, but we know that if it happened, Barry would create a thousand Flashpoints to bring her back.

Speaking of bringing someone back, it was both beautiful and heartbreaking to see Dante again, even if he was a manipulation of Savitar. Dante may have been a creation, but Cisco’s emotions were very real and watching him lose his brother again really hit home that Cisco is still reeling from the loss; otherwise Savitar wouldn’t have been able to manipulate Cisco into freeing him.

So Savitar only functions when the stone is exposed, so destroying it seems to be the only possible solution, except as Julian says, it can’t be destroyed. So now what? Jay, our friendly guest from Earth-3 suggests throwing it into the speed force. It works, but it seems like it’s only a temporary fix, because we are privy to a future where Savitar kills Iris which means…something.

Barry working with Jay is a sight to behold. Jay calls him his sidekick, and the way Barry looks up to him, being the sidekick to Jay Garrick isn’t such a bad thing.

Every time John Wesley Shipp is on the show it’s a constant reminder that Henry is gone, but certainly not forgotten. A part of him, his soul, or his aura, or what have you lives on to teach and guide and comfort Barry.  Jay telling Barry how proud Henry would have been, on the holiday episode mind you where emotions are heightened, means Barry has his father’s blessing to do what he’s doing.

Other highlights:

  • Wally training with HR, giving them both purposes on the team.
  • Joe being the one to present Wally with his Kid Flash suit, speaking of fathers accepting their speedster sons.
  • Iris and Barry moving in together. No matter what future happens for them, they are in it together.
  • Trickster’s cameo was a warm and welcome sight to such a serious episode.
  • Julian welcoming Barry back to work at the lab. Hopefully these two can be real partners now and not just two people who live in the same circle.
  • Julian saying Happy Christmas (as they do in the world of J.K. Rowling, or maybe it’s a British thing, either way it was nice to see him reject the idea of being alone on Christmas).

The Flash returns January 24th at 8/7c on The CW.

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