The Flash has had some interesting midseason finales. “The Man In The Yellow Suit” was one of the best episodes in Season 01. Season 02’s “Running To Stand Still” was decent. So how would “The Present” do? Well, more good than bad, though it only teases the back half of the season in one way.
Right off the bat, it was good to FINALLY get more backstory on Julian and Savitar. The former was appreciated, as it explained well and truly why he is Alchemy. The latter was much more appreciated, as we got to see him more as a Multiversal villain, instead of just a one-note one like say Zoom. Jay Garrick (the real one from Earth-3) knowing about Savitar was a big part of that. As well as Savitar knowing about Garrick. As it proves he’s “a true god”, or at least something close.
Unfortunately, both these reveals had costs. First, that Indiana Jones opening sequence? Complete with the Arc Of The Convenant box opening? Yeah…pass. Then there’s Savitar. While I totally dug the whole “he’s trapped in the box!” aspect of it. When we find out that Future Flash is the reason Savitar is like he is, and that this is all a revenge scheme from the future more or less…it really drained the impact of it all. Especially since it’s now basically Reverse Flash all over again. Which sucks, because Savitar could’ve been so much more.
Which of course, brings us to the “future reveal” of Savitar killing Iris in front of Barry…which is exactly what Zoom did to Henry last season! Again, repetition really killing the impact of things. As for what I feel about the reveal itself. Either it happens, and it’s pointless, and proof you “can’t change the future”, which we know is not true. Or it doesn’t happen…and thus what was the point of doing it at all? I would be VERY surprised if Iris dies. Especially after the backlash of what happened with the death of Laurel Lance on Arrow. They can’t kill BOTH Iris and Laurel in the same universe. The fans would eat them alive.
Onto everything else. Having Jay Garrick be in the episode like he was was so much fun. He again got to be a mentor to Flash, all the while helping him out of some pretty tight spots. And despite the “twist” with the future reveal, having Jay advice Barry on what to do was very pure. Especially since Barry actually listened! I’ll admit, I wish we saw more of Earth-3 Trickster (MARK HAMILL!!!!!), but I’ll take what I can get.
As for the rest of the team, it was a mixed bag. While Wally was still very annoying and boneheaded, I do agree with HR convincing Joe to give Wally the approval he needed to become Kid Flash. Yes, it was still very stupid to go against Savitar, but he won’t learn if not in the field.
Cisco and the box was frustrating, even though we learned it was basically brainwashing, and I’m glad he got the where with all to shut it. And Julian becoming less of a putz was good too.
My only other complaint is that besides Wally getting the Kid Flash suit and Barry’s future vision, there really isn’t much to tease the back half of the season. Yes, we know Savitar will get out, but it just felt hollow. I wish we got more.
“The Present” did a lot of good things, but it did stumble at parts. But overall, it was a good midseason finale.