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THE FLASH Recap: The Midseason Premiere Finds Barry “Borrowing Problems from the Future”

THE FLASH Recap: The Midseason Premiere Finds Barry “Borrowing Problems from the Future”

Editor’s note: This post contains spoilers for the latest episode of The Flash! Proceed with caution, speedsters. For reals, if you haven’t yet watched this week’s episode, “Borrowing Problems from the Future” we highly suggest you do so before proceeding. Okay? We good? Let’s go.

Aaaannnnnd we’re back! The Flash returns from its midseason hiatus with “Borrowing Problems from the Future,” in which Barry learns from his past mistakes and decides to tell all of Team Flash that he witnessed Iris’ future murder at the hands of Savitar (in December’s midseason finale). Like a lot of folks I was worried that the “God of Speed” would become a tired retread of last season’s Zoom, whom one could argue was already a retread of the first season’s Reverse-Flash. Thankfully, this hasn’t been the case, since the presumed Big Bad doesn’t even appear beyond the requisite replay scene, witnessed when Cisco vibes Barry into the future to learn more about the events surrounding Iris’ death.

Lest one worry that Iris functions as a mere McGuffin, a prize to be won or lost, the mere fact that she now shares Barry’s life and home has made her his full partner. She’s the first person he confides in now, and the reason he tells his teammates why he’s too distracted to subdue this week’s villain: Plunder, a one-eyed and, truth be told, one-dimensional baddie with a fancy ray gun that for once wasn’t invented by Cisco. But Plunder at least allows the show to introduce Kid Flash as Barry’s official colleague in the field, since in stopping the high-tech hooligan the younger speedster essentially rewrites one of the headlines that Barry witnesses at the time of Iris’ death, proving to himself and Team Flash that the future is not set in stone.

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Those headlines give us a sweet taste of what’s in store for us in this back half of the season. And every one of them sounds wonderful; including an ape attack by, presumably, Grodd and his newfound friends in Gorilla City; the return of Killer Frost (despite Caitlin’s getting some improved tech here with which to control her alter ego); and the in-story reveal of who will confront Flash and Supergirl in their upcoming musical crossover—Batman: The Brave and Bold villain the Music Meister.

But we don’t have to wait for that March event to enjoy some levity on the show. Tom Kavanagh’s H.R. again proves he’s The Flash’s MVP as he opens his STAR Labs Museum, to the initial chagrin of his colleagues. As always, everyone’s at their best when doing light comedy as they react to a malfunctioning Cisco hologram (“…my love of…SCIENCE”) and learn that their new responsibilities include serving cappuccinos to bewildered visitors.

In just its first episode of 2017, The Flash is already renewing its commitment to returning to the lighter tone it maintained throughout its first and so far best season. Here’s hoping it keeps up the good work.

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Accelerated Particles:

  • “Two suits, one mannequin. That’s what we call a conundrum.”
  • “Either you charge the cuffs or you go all Frozone on us again!”
  • Greg Grunberg, the luckiest actor in Hollywood (a.k.a. J.J. Abrams’ best friend), shows up again this week as the CCPD’s newest patrolman.
  • H.R. really likes his cappuccinos doesn’t he?
  • Shout out to the Nebula Awards this week for all of the science fiction literature nerds in the audience.
  • “I thought this museum was free.”
  • “Hang on, McFly. I’m about to vibe you back to the future.”
  • Is it just me or does Wally’s suit look a little constrictive? I keep worrying he’s gonna put a tear in it while phasing through walls.
  • So why exactly do two speedsters take so long to catch up to a guy on a motorcycle that can’t possibly be doing more than 100 MPH?
  • This week’s message about the future not being set in stone is something we’ve heard in plenty of sci-fi films and TV shows, but it’s especially reassuring to hear it during this great time of uncertainty in America.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@JMaCabre).

Images: CW

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