While the other DC shows have already gone into mid-season hiatus, The Flash gets one more episode. This Christmas episode, like a stocking under a tree, comes filled with a mix of things.
Title: “The Present”
Directed by Rachel Talalay
Written by Lauren Certo, Aaron Helbing, Todd Helbing
Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash
John Wesley Shipp as Jay Garrick / The Flash
Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West / Kid Flash
Candice Patton as Iris West
Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon
Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow
Tom Cavanagh as H.R. Wells
Jesse L. Martin as Joe West
Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton
Andre Tricoteux as Savitar
Nicholas Gonzalez as Dante Ramon
Tom Felton as Julian Albert
Chantal Bui Viet as Danielle
Tobin Bell as voice of Doctor Alchemy
Mark Hamill as James Jesse / The Trickster
Barry Allen’s Flash interrupts the Jay Garrick version in the middle of what would have been a far better episode, and gets his help dealing with Dr. Alchemy and Savitar.
Those jonesing for more about Savitar’s origins will be satisfied somewhat by this episode.
Wells continues to train and test Wally West.
The show sold itself as a less-mopey, more comic-book series than Arrow, and, while it should include some serious dramatic elements, The Flash works best when it remembers it’s a show about a DC speedster superhero with ridiculous powers and an over-the-top Rogues Gallery.
This week gave us a highly entertaining opening with the Trickster (nice bit of TV history there), and it very nearly gave us Old Flash, New Flash, and Kid Flash racing into action together.
What can’t the Speed Force do? Jay Garrick’s battle with Savitar. should have left him battered to death, or close to it. Then again, maybe the reason it had no lasting effects was the subpar CGI, which turned him into a literal cartoon character.
Story: 4/6 This week feels a bit fragmented, but it features some effective scenes.
The show likes forcing conflict where it could be developed naturally. This week, we see the end (possibly) of holding back Wally West, and the start of Barry’s angst over yet another possible future, which he, of course, keeps secret.
Emotional Response: 4/6
In total, “The Present” receives 29/42