Flash is the next of the hero shows back from the winter hiatus. The voiceover has changed, now focusing on the vision Barry had of the near future when Savitar kills Iris. In addition to giving Barry and company something new to worry about, it gives us the title, “Borrowing Problems From the Future.”
The show opens with Barry having nightmares about Iris’ future death. I guess that’s Pre Traumatic Stress Disorder? Barry also comes down with a case of Smallville Syndrome (keeping secrets needlessly) and doesn’t tell anyone what’s going on. Because lying on these shows never goes badly, right? Barry and Iris’ domestic scene gets interrupted when they get an alert about a fire. Barry Flashes off, shadowed by Wally as Kid Flash. They put out the fire, save Detective Patterson, and Barry teaches Wally a few science-based facts, which is a lot like their early relationship in the comics.
The team regroups back at STAR Labs and introduces several sub plots. HR is charging ahead with his idea about making the upstairs a pay museum, which isn’t thrilling most of the rest of the group, especially when a lot of it isn’t working right. Also, Caitlin’s power-damping bracelets aren’t working right, the charge running out too quickly. Maybe that’s from her powers? Caitlin is still convinced that if her powers come back, she’ll change into Killer Frost, although powers don’t seem to be making Cisco, Barry, or Wally evil. Or Ronnie and Stein when they were around.
Caitlin is so worried she goes to see Julian, Barry’s co-worker/nemesis. True to form, Julian is a jerk and Caitlin leaves. She has an episode in the hallway when her eyes change to Frost’s silver, and somehow recharges her dampers off some handheld gadget. Imagine what could happen if she actually plugged it in?
Barry brings Iris back to the loft for a surprise. Apparently, their jobs and lives have kept them too busy to actually unpack and he’s gotten tired of waiting. So, he’s done it himself and done some superspeed decorating. This could be a bad drama scene, but Iris is actually happy about this, so that’s one bullet dodged at least. This time they get interrupted by a robbery alarm. The thief turns out to be a minor DC villain called Plunder, although in this version he looks confusingly like the Deadshot that was on Arrow. He’s also part of the future Barry saw, so he’s way off his game.
Partially from the pressure of Iris’ impending death, Barry starts snapping at Wally about not following his orders. Everyone is surprised. Even Joe says Wally’s doing well. As this goes on, Julian gets back in touch with Caitlin. He’s feeling guilty about his killing cops as Alchemy, which was his excuse for his most recent bout of dickery. Finally, he agrees to help Caitlin, and she invites him to join the STAR crew. What can go wrong there?
Cisco tries to help HR with his STAR toys, although he’s clearly not in to this at all. After he leaves to get more parts, Barry asks HR about his own experience with changing the future. Of course, HR’s experience is mostly involving his sci fi books that he wrote, so I’m not sure what Barry thinks he’s going to learn here. Plunder strikes again, and Flash hesitates this time, worried about Iris. Kid Flash ends up capturing Plunder and gets recorded doing it. This boosts Kid Flash’s rep and apparently changes an element of what Barry saw.
Tensions rise and tempers flare back at STAR. Barry is mad Wally acted without consulting him, Cisco still hates the STAR Museum idea, and then no one shows up at the opening. Well, almost no one. Aside from two random strangers who get annoyed it’s not free and leave, the only other one is Julian, who came to take Caitlin up on her offer… that she forgot to tell everyone else about. Nope, nothing wrong there. Iris, not being an idiot, can tell Barry’s been hiding something from her. He takes her to Wells’ (the first one) Time Vault, shows her the infamous newspaper, and explains the change in byline. Iris, rightly, tells him he can’t stop protecting the city just to save her. This a lead in to him telling her, finally, about what he saw from his Ghost of Christmas Future trip. They tell everyone else, except Joe (more secrets, great), and they devise a plan to link Cisco and Barry to use Cisco’s Vibe power to revisit that glimpse of future and get as much detail as possible.
On a tv off to one side, they find headlines, none of which bode well. Plunder is on the loose after being captured by the Flash. Music Meister gets a book deal (he’s the announced villain in the upcoming musical Flash/Supergirl crossover), the STAR Museum closes, and Central City is recovering from the recent gorilla attack. I guess Grodd’s going to return. Oh, and Killer Frost is still at large. All in all, no good news, with a possible exception. This time, Barry sees HR on a nearby rooftop with a rifle, which wasn’t part of the vision the first time. So maybe the future can be changed? Then again, Plunder has just escaped, so maybe nothing changed.
Barry apologizes to Wally for being a dick before, and they take off together. Plunder now has a different rifle, and there’s a chase through the city as Plunder uses all sorts of gadgets to try and throw off the speedsters, somehow staying ahead of them on a motorcycle. Eventually, Kid Flash catches him, gets a great response from the crowd that sees it, and changes at least one thing Barry saw in the future. And they keep the rifle, which may be what future HR had on the roof.
Cisco pulled a few tricks and both got the STAR Museum gadgets working again and attendance up. After this good news, there’s a housewarming at Barry and Iris’ loft. HR brings a reptile, which he claims is tradition on his Earth. Sometimes I wonder if he’s just screwing with people. The party goes well, even with Julian there. Julian and Cisco may have even solved Catilin’s damper problem. But ominously, a woman pops out of a rift in a dark alley, with a holo of HR. Or one of him, anyway. I know who she is, but only because I looked at the IMDB page, so I’m not going to spoil that.
What I liked: It was great seeing Wally coming in to his own as Kid Flash. Iris’ strength after learning of her possible fate was good to see. Some of the Joe and Barry scenes were great. And I really don’t mention it enough, but the special effects on the show are great.
What I didn’t: I’m really tired of the keeping secrets for no reason bit. Plunder looked too much like Deadshot. I don’t get how Plunder stayed ahead of two speedsters on a bike. They also didn’t explain where he got his gadgets from.
Overall, it was a decent episode. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5. They’ve done such a good job with him in the past, I’m looking forward to Grodd returning.