The Flash Mob: “The Present” Looks Good. The Future? Not So Much.

"I wasn't fast enough to save ____." - Barry in every episode so far.
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Break out those latex suits and settle in: It’s time for your weekly The Flash recap and discussion thread! This time, we’re talking about the midseason finale “The Present,” which finds Barry running to the future for the first time ever. There’s a lot of drama to unpack in this holiday-themed episode, so look out for spoilers all around. You have been warned.

We’ve been waiting all season for that Harry Potter nod and we finally got it! Just like Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat Pray Love, Julian (played by Potter alum Tom Felton) travels to India to find himself. Actually, he’s there because he’d been seeing what he believes is his dead sister and she told him to find this very important object—the Philosopher’s Stone. Haha! Get it? Because….nevermind. The point is, he finds it and has been periodically blacking out every since. I think he might have a drinking problem.

Barry travels to Earth-3 to find Jay Garrick and learn more about this “speed god” who looks a heck of a lot like Lord Zed in The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. We find out that, in addition to being the first speedster, he also has a bone to pick with Barry because Barry is a threat to his power. Side note: Mark Hamill’s Trickster is welcome on any Earth. He’s a pure delight to watch.

Meanwhile, HR and Wally continue their adorable training sessions, and I think my brain would have exploded if HR dabbed at the end of that celebratory “You’re faster than Barry” dance. Why do I feel like he’s an avid watcher of viral Youtube videos and already knows how to whip and nae nae? Their scenes are a nice balance from Sad Face Cisco, who’s still processing his brother’s death. At least he can swap depressing Christmas stories with Caitlin Snow because every holiday party needs a pair of Grinches.

As with every superhero story ever, the festivities are interrupted by a fight between good and evil. Savatar and Alchemy pop up for a fun little rumble in the…concrete jungle? Savatar is trapped in that stony box, Jay is injured, and Alchemy is finally captured. Oh, and it’s confirmed that he’s JULIAN! But seriously, Iris’s research was like a giant neon sign saying ‘HE IS WHO YOU’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR.’ On the plus side, this episode remembers that Iris has a life outside of just being Barry’s supportive girlfriend. Kudos.

More drama as Team Flash finds out HR has been giving Wally “vocal lessons” and that Julian might not be a crazy person at all. Then there’s Cisco seeing Dante, who convinces him to open Pandora’s box and that’s when all hell breaks loose. Savatar wreaks havoc on Barry (with an assist from a wisecracking Wally) until Caitlin convinces Cisco to close that darn thing. S.T.A.R. Labs’ whippersnapper team then figures out that Alchemy isn’t real, it’s just Savatar speaking through various conduits. They tap into Julian’s brain and we learn nothing new except for an ominous prophecy that sounds like the “You shall all fall” bit from The Originals. So who will betray, who will fall and who will suffer a fate far worse than death?

What better way to stop that prophecy from coming true than to piggyback off Jay’s speed and chuck the box holding Savatar deep into the the Speed Force? Well, it looks like it worked, until Barry accidentally runs to the future, only to see Iris die. (That was way harsh, Sav.) So that explains why Iris doesn’t write that story about The Flash in eight years. He apparently “wasn’t fast enough” to save her. But, as Jay points out, that doesn’t mean this will be her fate. Just live your life. (We should all take those words to heart.)

With the bad guys defeated for now, it’s time for the official Christmas celebration with heavily spiked drinks, sweet kisses under the mistletoe, Wally getting his Kid Flash suit, Julian popping by to stop Barry from resigning as a CSI, Christmas carolers dropping in and Caitlin giving us snow. Happy Holidays, everyone! And a special shoutout to HR’s Charlie Brown-esque ugly sweater, because that is a thing of beauty. But most wonderful of all, and my favorite part, is seeing Barry and Iris have their special moment in their new apartment. Yep, they’re finally moving in together and things are good…for now.

How long do you think that will last? Discuss away!

(image via screencap)

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