It’s the season to be jolly. But of course, on The Flash, Barry finds a way to put everyone in a sad state. With Savitar running around (some pun intended), can you really blame him? Yes and no.  The episode, which is titled, “The Present,” can be interpreted many different ways. It’s a bit of a present to the fans for bringing back some popular characters, especially another version of Mark Hamill‘s The Trickster (who looks very much like another character he’s known for). Another way to look at the title is a meaning of time – as in the past, present, and future. Once again, time is knocking on Barry’s door, but in a direction he’s never gone before.

While the team is gearing up for the holiday season, Barry is on full alert mode with Savitar still on the loose. And can you blame him? Not really. Savitar is a proven menace and known god of speed. Looking for some advice on the situation, The Flash visits an old friend on Earth-3. That’s when we see The Trickster runs out of a bank he’s just robbed. Right on cue to stop him, though, is Jay Garrick, but the Trickster lives up to his name and pulls a fast one by revealing a bomb under hit coat. Luckily, Barry shows up just in time to remove the explosive and apprehend him.

According to Garrick, Savitar has always just been a myth of the Speedforce, but eventually sees him and ends up battling him while Barry tries to capture Alchemy. Right as Savitar is about to kill Garrick, he disappears. Barry stops Alchemy and discovers that it’s actually Julian under the mask. Back at the lab, Julian is confined to one of the cells while the team figures out what to do with him. After discovering that Julian has been blacking out and Savitar has been using him as a host, the team finds a way to communicate with Savitar through Julian. They discover that Savitar’s confinement is a result of Barry’s actions in the future. Garrick suggests that they throw the Alchemy stone into the Speedforce where it would remain trapped in eternity. After throwing the stone, Barry is thrusted through a portal (one audiences have all seen before). Now the question isn’t a matter of where Barry is, but when.

It turns out that Barry had been pushed into a future where he’s lost to Savitar and kills Iris. But before he can do anything, Garrick pulls him back to the present. That’s when Barry gets a lecture about time and to never travel into the future. The episode ends with Jay going back to his Earth and everyone (even Julian) going to the West household for some holiday cheer. The final scene has Barry revealing to Iris that he bought an apartment for the both of them claiming that while he doesn’t know much about the future, he knows that he wants to spend every moment he can with her in the present.

This week’s episode was a heart warming one (and at one point a heart wrenching one) which answered a lot of questions. Fans finally got some insight as to how Savitar operates and what part Alchemy plays in the grand scheme of things. It also looks like Julian is off the hook for his actions. Overall, the episode lacked that big mid-season push, especially when compared to the first and second mid-season finales. The episode didn’t end with any big cliffhangers or lingering questions. Alright, the Iris West issue is a big deal, but because it hasn’t happened yet, it didn’t have as much of an impact as other events have had.

Once again, John Wesley Shipp does an excellent job of making everyone wish he was their dad. Seeing as how well things have gone for him playing Jay Garrick, there is probably no other actor better for the job. And of course, no review would be complete without saying something about Mark Hamill’s appearance as The Trickster. It was short. Still, seeing him for those few minutes and interacting with John Wesley Shipp’s Flash was worth every minute. Here’s hoping fans haven’t seen the last of that combination.

Lastly, is there anyone who doesn’t know The Flash’s secret identity? It seems like whenever Barry needs someone to trust him, he has to reveal himself. Thanks to this week’s reveal, it looks like Julian will be hanging around a lot longer and may play more of an important source of information with the team.

The Flash is now on winter break, but airs Tuesdays at 8 PM EST on The CW.

Category: reviews, TV