The Flash 3.10: Borrowing Problems For The Future
Grainne Godfree and David Kob
The Flash returns with an episode that serves the purpose of reminding the audience of the stakes for the second half of the season. Of course, the main plot thread is Barry’s struggle with knowledge of the future (or a possible one, anyway) and his efforts to prevent it. Obviously, it’s not that simple, or it wouldn’t be a compelling story arc.
That said, there is a sense that this episode is padded out a bit, as Iris’ death at the hands of Savitar is revisited at least three times. And a lot of the time in-between is spent on Barry’s ridiculous levels of overcompensating by showering Iris with gifts. Thankfully, the writers don’t even try to have Barry keep Iris in the dark too long, because that would have become tedious very quickly. It’s tedious just in this episode, especially when he is hiding his true fears and intentions from the rest of the team.
Much to my surprise, HR is a big part of the episode, and that serves to demonstrate how the character has integrated into the “family” in some wonderfully subtle ways. (Subtle compared to his personality, shall we say.) For all that he is a blowhard and something of a con-man, his plans for the museum make a lot of sense and serve the needs of the team rather well. He’s finding a place in the world, and that is one of the better arcs this season.
Some of the disappointment for this episode comes from the endless debate over whether or not the future can be changed. How many times have Barry and other speedsters gone into the past, thereby changing the present? It’s literally the same thing. The “present” is the “future” for those in the “past”, and it’s all essentially temporal relativity. In fact, much of Legends of Tomorrow answers that question definitely, and since Barry knows about the Legends, all this debate wastes a lot of time!
On the other hand, if there wasn’t concern about changing the future, there wouldn’t be a storyline for the rest of the season. And thankfully, some clues are given in terms of the variables that might be able to be manipulated. The challenge for The Flash will be to keep things interesting when there’s still the bulk of the season left to unspool.
- HR is getting much better characterization that I had expected to see
- Far too much repetition throughout the episode