‘The Flash’ Recap: “Borrowing Problems from the Future” – What about Flashpoint?

     January 24, 2017

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Did Team Flash learn nothing from Flashpoint? After berating Barry for saving his mother and affecting their lives, his teammates didn’t even flinch at the idea of manipulating the timeline once again. Instead, they moved forward willy-nilly to change something– anything–on the chance it would save Iris.

The Flash‘s “Borrowing Problems From the Future” was frustrating at times because it was a bit of the same ole, but by the end of the hour the good far outweighed the mediocre. From Wally’s grooming to be a hero, to Caitlin’s Frost problems, to Julian’s standoffishness, these all felt overdone at times. As these storylines played throughout the episode, though, each of these character evolutions ended up working.

Even though Wally saved Barry’s life from Plunder’s heat seeking bullets, it wasn’t enough. Barry was consumed with fear over Iris’ impending death, and he took it out on Wally initially. The education of Wally as Kid Flash became repetitious still, though, especially with Barry taking on Joe’s former unsupportive role. Can’t the kid catch a break? In the end, he did.

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Image via The CW

Meanwhile, Caitlin struggled to keep her cuffs charged and working to protect her from her Killer Frost abilities. Her fear drove her to seek out Julian’s help. With problems of his own, he rebuffed her request and pushed her away. It wasn’t until they opened up to each other about their true feelings and troubles that real connection was made.

In a surprising move, Caitlin invited Julian to Team Flash. Despite his former negativity towards Barry and The Flash, his addition to the team will be an asset. Plus, Julian needs a family, and they are the perfect group to take him in.

For awhile there, it looked like Barry was going to keep Iris’ death to himself to protect her and his friends from the truth. In one of the most heartbreaking and touching moments of the show, he opened up to Iris and told her the truth in Time Vault. The love between Barry and Iris has never been as palpable as in this moment.

Love makes people do crazy things like… travel back in time to save their mother. Or, vibe into the future to look for clues to save your true love. Team Flash’s reckless pursuit to change the future is irresponsible and stupid, though it should make for engaging storytelling. The broadcast news clues will likely be the crumb trail that Team Flash uses throughout the rest of the season in an attempt to save Iris.

Still, the lack of reference to Flashpoint was frustrating. After Cisco’s anger at Barry, he should have at least mentioned it. Instead, he helped Barry vibe to the future without a moment’s hesitation. Even more frustrating than that is that for being intelligent people and scientists, they didn’t discuss or make any plans before starting to change the future. They took the newscast clues and just started altering them without any thought as to whether that would be the catalyst to save Iris’ life. If that continues, it would be disappointing. I’d rather see them have a calculated plan and even take a minute to consider the longer term ramifications.

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Image via The CW

Could this be the timeline change that 2056 Barry warned Rip Hunter about? That seems more likely now than being strictly about Flashpoint. If that’s the case, it’s about to get very, very interesting….

Rating: ★★★★ Very good

Miscellanea: 

— Shirtless Barry! The playful banter in bed was a pleasant surprise. Given Barry’s look to the future, these romantic and charming moments add to the emotional stakes at play.

— Cisco: “Let me give you some advice, Wally. Being a superhero’s not about kicking ass. Well….nope, actually that’s a straight-up lie. There’s a lot of ass-kicking involved.”

— Cisco’s hologram is horrendous.

— HR: “Well, I think that a man often meets his destiny on the very road he takes to avoid it.”

— Barry: “The future isn’t set. There’s still hope.”

— May 23, 2017 — The date of the season finale?

— HR: “I was wrong, you were right. Your theory is correct then.”

Cisco: “Challenge accepted.”

— Barry: “Hey, I sent you because you’re a hero. Iris needs a hero right now, Wally.”

— Plunder was a formidable foe, especially his gun.

— Julian: “It’s so exciting. I mean, my last team, they were all murdered by Savitar, so…”

— Caitlin’s necklace is a huge improvement over the cuffs. From being restrained to something freeing? Will this change the future?

— Barry: “If we can change one of these events, we can change them all. Nothing is set in stone.”

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