Flash: Abra Kadabra

Abra Kadabra

Abra did all this to go crystal gazing?

 

After last week’s lighthearted “Duet,” we’re back into seriousness and moral quandaries. The race to save Iris tempts a few of the characters to do the wrong things. A supporting character returns, as does a villain, and we meet another of Flash’s classic comic foes in the appropriately titled, “Abra Kadabra.”

In the comics, Kadabra is a vastly powerful man from the distant future. He’s also pretty insane, which is really bad with someone at his power level. In one of the comics, I recall one of Flash’s Rogues commenting that they never let Abra Kadabra join them because he was too nuts, and this is from a group with a pyromaniac in it. It was recently revealed that the reason for Wally West’s (the original Caucasian one with red hair) disappearance from everyone’s memories was another of Kadabra’s schemes.

The show opens with two security guards at Stagg Industries (home to comic book hero Metamorpho’s chief enemy Simon Stagg) wandering around a warehouse. They run across Abra, who kills them with a stage magician’s flair and an utter lack of conscience. This bodes ill for Team Flash, who have more than enough problems of their own already.

At Jitters, Iris is showing off her ring to her father’s girlfriend, Cecile. Cecile ges the story of Barry signing and then proposing. The lady is impressed and surprised to find out that both Barry and Joe can sing. With musicals on the mind, she invites them to come with her to Hamilton. The invitation is great, but the date casts a pall on things, as it’s after Iris’ predicted death. Barry covers the group’s awkwardness and accepts. That’s a scenario Emily Post just  doesn’t cover.

Cisco vibes Iris’ death again (he must have it memorized by now) and reports back that nothing has changed. They have two more months to come up with some kind of brilliant plan to stop Savitar, and they know virtually nothing about him. Joe, Julian, and Barry get paged to a crime scene after some awkwardness between Julian and Caitlin regarding opera tickets. Once they’re alone, Cisco makes a joke about things with Caitlin and Julian being frosty.

The crime scene is, of course, the guards’ deaths from the opening scene. All three of our investigative heroes are puzzled. Barry comments the last thing they need is another new mystery and/or enemy, but Joe counters the last thing Iris would want is for them to stop protecting people to focus on her. Cisco calls to say there’s a break in at Kord Industries (comic book home of Blue Beetle, and also figuring in this week’s Arrow episode). Barry races off to try to stop this new menace so they can get back to brooding about… err… saving… Iris.

Abra seems happy to see Flash, and comments on how young he is. He also knows Barry’s name, and shares that he’s from the future, taunting Barry about Savitar. A breech suddenly opens, and Gypsy appears, hell-bent on capturing Abra Kadabra. The annoying magician gets away, vanishing in a hail of playing cards that was a really cool effect.

Gypsy briefs the team about Abra Kadabra, a visitor from the 64th century who has a variety of nanotech in his body that lets him pull off his apparent “magic.” He’s also apparently one of the most wanted back on her world, and she clearly has a stake in this capture.

Barry broods about Abra’s hints that he knows a lot about Savitar, and wonders if this is the key to saving Iris. Cisco learns that Abra is invisible to people with powers like his and Gypsy’s, and then goes about finding him another way, with STAR’s array of gadgets. Gypsy has a good case of tech envy seeing Cisco pull off his tricks, and they banter about him coming to visit her and setting up her own equipment. Their romantic tension gets interrupted when Cisco’s program located Kadabra at Mercury Labs, one of STAR’s rivals.

Flash, Kid Flash, Gypsy, and Vibe take off to try and bring in the magical maniac. In keeping with the stage magician theme, this is actually all misdirection. Abra himself pops up at STAR, making life hard for Caitlin, Julian, and Joe. After Abra deals with Joe’s gun, he wanders the lab, leaving chaos in his wake. Flash speeds in at the last minute, managing to capture Kadabra, who pleads for his release and bargains with Savitar’s real name. This is when tension starts building between Team Flash wanting to get more information on Savitar and Gypsy who wants to drag him back to Earth 19. For the moment, the question is settled by Flash punching Abra out.

Down in the Pipeline, Gypsy is furious that they’re still holding Abra. She wants to take him back to be executed for his crimes. The team manages to get her to agree to give them some time, and she stalks off, followed by Cisco. Abra taunts them all, saying Savitar is the first speedster and he’s unstoppable. He then contradicts himself by saying Barry eventually beats him, but not until after Iris’ death. The only way he’ll part with the information is if they let him go.

Gypsy and Cisco have a talk about her grudge against Abra. As was pretty apparent from the start, Abra killed her former partner (both professional and romantic). Gypsy wants her revenge, but also doesn’t want him to hurt anyone else. Caitlin patches up Julian from the go-round with Abra, and asks that he at least forgive her for keeping that piece of the Philosopher’s Stone and not telling him. Julian makes a joke about he only has, “a flesh wound, as the Monty Python boys would say.” Ok, anyone who’s a Python fan can’t be all bad.

Back at their loft, Barry agonizes over the issue with Abra Kadabra. For whatever reason, Barry is sure the man is telling the truth as far as knowing everything about Savitar. Iris, as usual lately, plays conscience, saying that she doesn’t want someone who has hurt so many people going free on her behalf, and she doesn’t think Barry wants that either. While I can see that, what I’m wondering about is the time scale here. If Barry and Iris had time to go home and hang out for a bit, what’s everyone else doing while this goes on? Particularly, what’s Gypsy doing? It’s not like STAR has guest rooms, unless you count the Pipeline.

Speaking of the Pipeline, Joe goes there to visit Abra. That makes sense; you could argue that he and Barry have the most invested in her survival. After taunting and threats, Joe opens the cell, which sets off alarms. Abra gets as far as “Savitar is…” which is when Gypsy shows up, furious again and messing everything up. Abra goes to the Time Vault, using a gadget to trace something. He pulls a crystal of some sort out of a hidden compartment in the wall, “Thank you, Dr, Wells.” Joe tries to confront him about the deal they made, which is why he let him out, and Abra causes some kind of explosion, knocking Joe back and impaling Caitlin with a large piece of shrapnel. Bad timing, Caitlin.

In the aftermath, the team argues what to do. Caitlin refuses to go a hospital since there are records for her as Killer Frost, a wanted criminal. She’s going to talk Julian through the surgery, which is several different kinds of both crazy and tough. Gypsy goes to find Joe and bitches him out, saying he has a messed up sense of justice for a cop. He’s not in the mood. Cisco walks in during the argument, overhearing their argument. Gypsy blames Joe for Abra escaping, very loudly.

The surgery scene for Caitlin is impressive on her end, and full of errors in general. Julian is doing the procedure, with Iris inexplicably assisting. They are both in surgical scrubs, but have their hair uncovered, which makes no sense at all. Killer Frost heals better than Caitlin does, but she says she’d rather die than do that again. When Julian finishes digging shrapnel out of her, Caitlin says he needs to stitch her up because she’s going to pass out now. Cisco, meanwhile, has gone over the gadgets that Abra has been stealing, and figures out Abra is building a time machine. Evidently, he wants to go home.

The team works out they can track him when he opens the portal to go home. It’s weird to me that the portals to go to other Earths look the same as the time travel ones. After some arguing amongst them, the team agrees that they will work together, so Flash, Kid Flash, Vibe, and Gypsy will be chasing him down. There’s a huge pursuit through the city, with Cisco getting out a great geek line ala Gandalf. Finally, Flash runs up the side of a building and phases Abra out of his time ship, which then goes through alone. After a lot of taunting about getting to feel like he helped kill Iris this time, Abra is taken back to Earth 19 by Gypsy. Things with Gypsy and Cisco end on a not so good note as they part.

After some moping by Joe back at the West place, there are two end scenes that I don’t think are signs of good things to come. In one, Barry decides he hasn’t done enough bad ideas related to time travel, and is going to go to the future to learn Savitar’s secrets. Because what could possibly go wrong there? Meanwhile, there’s a really bad development with Caitlin’s recovery. And, just to make the suspense worse, Flash goes on break until April 25th for reasons I, at least, don’t know. Agents of SHIELD did something similar a while back with another major cliffhanger.

What I liked: It was nice to see Gypsy again. This was a good adaptation of Abra Kadabra, showing both his power and his general insanity. I completely understand Joe breaking ranks to cut a deal on the side. The bit at the end with Caitlin looks bad, but it’s going to be an interesting story to see develop. I loved Cisco’s geek line.

What I didn’t: Cisco can’t catch a break, and I felt bad for him at the end with Gypsy. The surgery scene made no sense on almost any level. And why is Barry screwing with time again? Jay isn’t around to bail him out now.

Overall, I think this was one of their better episodes, especially if you ignore the surgery. I’ll give it a high 3.5 out of 5. It would have been higher without the negatives above.

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