The Flash Season 3 Episode 9 Review: “The Present”

The Flash Season 3 Episode 9 Review: "The Present"

Coming off of the crossover, The Flash has been looking a lot stronger lately. While there is still a lot to fix, the show seems to be attempting to finally restore things to their normal form after Flashpoint didn’t really have the impact everyone expected. The crossover was a ton of fun but finally seems to have fixed the Barry and Cisco drama, which will be a huge event to finally move past that allows the show to focus on it’s actual antagonist for the remainder of the season. Being the mid-season finale, “The Present,” finally jumps into some more background about The Flash‘s newer characters, including Alchemy and Savitar, which is something that hasn’t been touched on and has held the villain back from really being seen as a threat.

Surprisingly, this episode starts out pretty rough by touching on Julian’s backstory finally. The problem with this season of The Flash has been that the drama from Flashpoint has delayed giving viewers insight into who the villains are and what their story and motive for everything is. Julian has been a fun character to have around, but it’s seemed like a huge waste of Tom Felton’s acting to have him just play another character who comes across as Draco Malfoy. The reveal that he is Alchemy was no surprise, but felt very uneventful because the show hasn’t given enough background on the character to truly care about him yet. “The Present,” spends the majority of it’s plot finally diving into the character of Julian Albert and gives viewers some pretty satisfying results. By exploring the character’s backstory, it turns out he was actually a normal nice guy destroyed by the death of his sister, and Savitar tricks him into believing he can bring her back. It’s actually pretty sad to see him learn that he has been one of the city’s most recent threats and that it’s beyond his control, but the writers do a nice job of creating an intertwining arc for Barry and Julian in the episode.

The Flash has always been a show that revolves around a hero who represents hope and has an ever-growing family who will always have his back. “The Present,” does a good job of bringing back that feel on multiple fronts. Barry deciding to reveal his identity to Julian shows how much the character believes in the good of people. When he needs Julian to trust him the most, he stops caring about everything else because defeating Savitar is more important to Barry than keeping his identity a secret. The Flash has never been as strict with this idea, but it really does show how much Barry believes in the greater good of society, and it feels great to have these types of moments and themes reappearing in the show. On top of this, Julian actually comes around in the end and shows up for Christmas, and the final scene of the show really embodies the entire feel that The Flash has established in it’s previous seasons; the idea of family. Between Joe and Cecile finally getting cozy on screen, Julian showing up and the family gifting Wally his Kid Flash suit, The Flash finally feels like it’s home for the holidays and ready to get back on track as being the charming and lovable show with a team people enjoy routing for.

Now that there is finally some more information on Savitar, it will be really interesting to learn more about the character. Although having another speedster as the show’s main villain, Savitar is definitely unlike anything the show has given us before and as a villain, the character has his own agenda that is purely about power. He sees Barry as a threat to his power, possibly because Barry has been destroying the speed force. Savitar seems to have a rich background that The Flash has only broken the surface of so far, and now that the writers have explained Julian’s involvement, it really does clear a path for the plot to start focusing on who this “God” actually is. Savitar is easily the biggest threat that the show has had so far, and compared to Zoom or Reverse Flash, the character truly is just flat out faster than Barry and all other speedsters, which will really have to get the team thinking to defeat him.

“The Present,” starts out rather rocky, but ends up doing a pretty big turnaround and being a great episode. Having Cisco open the box to release Savitar seemed like a disappointing turn of events, but he actually ends up making the right decision in the end. Julian finally comes around as a character and the writers gave viewers something to finally relate to that is sad and shows his good intentions. The Flash has had a ton of flaws this season, but has managed to slowly start clawing it’s way back to the show the fans know and love. Last night’s episode was a great balance and finally delivered some much needed development to start moving the show’s season 3 story forward. “The Present,” was a perfect holiday episode to leave off on, because it really was The Flash that everyone is used to.

Other Thoughts:

*That has to be a troll right? You bring on Tom Felton to play a jerk villain who is looking for……….wait for it……… no really………….. THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE…….

*Hamill finally getting to play on screen Joker… brings a tear to my eye.

*The prophecy/ threat Savitar brings up is pretty interesting, especially with the scene of the future and what happens to Iris. I feel like showing it now essentially means it won’t actually come true….

*HR, MVP of The Flash season 3. Tom Cavanagh is just such a beast. The character is so great. This episode he drops knowledge on Joe and gets drunk.

*Caitlin using her powers to make the night more special was a nice touch.

*I seriously love that Savitar can move as fast as a DBZ character.

*It was interesting to hear Jay talk about how he’s essentially heard of Savitar in passing and always thought he was a myth. Did they basically confirm or just say that Jay basically has other speedster connections? It would be neat if the show essentially needed everyone to defeat this guy.

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