The Flash returns from its midseason break with an intriguing episode that sets up a new status quo…
There are two ways of handling a midseason break. Either simply continue on from where you left off (as on yesterday’s Supergirl) or use the break to completely reboot the season. Interestingly, The Flash has plumped for the second one this time around – complete with new a ‘saga sell’ at the beginning – which seems to have given it a new lease of life.
Yes, any lingering issues from Flashpoint have been swept aside and the new aim is to change the future – namely Iris’ death (which Barry witnessed in the midseason finale). Over the course of this episode, Barry shares the news with the team (all except Joe) and they realise the only way to change the future is by altering the events that lead up to it. What this leads to is some intriguing hints about what we can expect to see in the next few months – via the future headlines. Let’s run through them. If you don’t want to know what they mean, look away now:
- “Music Meister gets six-figure book deal.” This is the name of the villain from the upcoming Flash/Supergirl musical crossover. The character will be played by Glee’s Darren Criss. Why he gets a book deal, we have no idea.
- “Luigi’s opens after murder.” As far as I know, there hasn’t been a restaurant called Luigi’s in The Flash before. Moving on…
- “Joe West honored at City Hall.” Good for Joe!
- “Killer Frost still at large.” Not good for Caitlin!
- “STAR Labs Museum closes.” Also not good for H.R.!
- “City still recovering following gorilla attack.” This will be the upcoming two-parter that will see Gorilla Grodd return to Central City with an army of apes.
It’s a brilliant device that will add an extra bit of drama to the upcoming episodes: they won’t just be one-and-done adventures but each will form part of the wider tapestry of the timeline.
Elsewhere, Wally got to shadow Barry as Kid Flash for the first time, as they took down Plunder. Seeing Barry wail on Wally yet again wasn’t great but at least they seem to have put that behind them by the end of the episode. Plunder was also pretty rubbish but at least his gun with its smart laser bullets made for a cool action scene.
Julian was also invited onto Team Flash this week – a pleasant surprise to have it happen this soon. I like Tom Felton as Julian and it will be fun to see him carve out his own place in the gang. The episode’s comedy relief, meanwhile, came from H.R.’s optimistic attempts to open his STAR Labs museum – resulting in some classic bonding scenes between Cisco and Wells. The highlight of this episode, though, has to be that scene in the Time Vault where Barry reveals to Iris that he saw her die. Kudos to Grant Gustin and Candice Patton for playing that moment so well.
All in all, ‘Borrowing Problems From The Future’ did a fantastic job of restarting the season in a big way while promising some exciting stuff to come. It might just be the fact that this is the first new episode in over a month, but this is one of my favourites of this season.