The Flash’s midseason finale (episode nine, “The Present”) is full of great life advice. (No, seriously.) Predictably, none of it comes from Barry, who needs Jay to be his Get-a-Grip friend FOREVER.
Aside from a thorough redemption arc (by way of Julian—whose reveal was very Scooby Doo villain), the main theme of this episode is not getting bogged down on what might happened. Instead, it’s living in the moment, focusing on what’s right in front of you. Joe does it—he and Cecile finally make out. In a room full of people, but hey, no judgement here. Conversely, Cisco learns this the hard way, nearly getting everyone killed, because of a Dante hallucination.
What saves him? Catlin. Catlin and Cisco consistently save each other, and they are my favorite platonic friendship duo. They’re too pure for this world, and if they ever make out, I will riot. I love them as friends. (And I secretly ship her with Barry, so hush.) They are wonderfully supportive of each other. It’s nice to see a relationship like that where it doesn’t involve boot-knocking.
Speaking of not being in the present: Julian. The poor Indiana Jones wannabe is the carrier monkey for all this trouble (see the mysterious box, which Cisco describes as, “It’s creepy. Like Indiana Jones melt-your-face creepy.” TRUE.) He’s been losing time as Alchemy, which turns out to be a possession of sorts by Savitar. It was interesting that what got Julian to trust the Flash was…Barry revealing his identity.
Because of course. *rolls eyes at the least secret identity since Oliver Queen* Granted, it works. That establishes trust, brings Julian to Team Flash, and gives us the tiniest bit of Draco Malfoy: “I’ve never liked you, Allen.” Using Julian to talk to Alchemy, it goes about as well as you’d expect. There’s an evil Wizard of Oz vibe, before Alchemy gives a vague and grim prophecy. So, it’s almost a relief when Jay and Barry team up and throw him into the speed force. Yay Flash duo! Boo this revealing Irish’s possible death! Whoopsy!
I absolutely bristled at Barry’s immediately Must Save Iris reaction, because Barry: no. Learn something, dude. But it turned out he did, because Jay was able to talk him out of it and talk some sense into him. I love that they’re bringing John Westley Shipp onto the show more and letting him don the suit, again.
Speaking of suits: Wally. Yes, by the end of the episode, Wally gets his own suit. He also saved Barry’s bacon (mmm, bacon): “Yo, metal mouth. Clearly, nobody taught you how to play nice with others.” Sufficient banter for a newbie, yes?
But what I really loved were his scenes with HR. Guys? HR is delightful as hell, even when drunk on the Nog. Possibly especially then. He might not be a genius, but he’s good with people (despite—or because of?—his pathological need for people to like him). He is the one who gets through to Joe about supporting Wally. His reactions to everyone consistently crack me up (“That was so scary! … That was a scare-a-thon.”). I love how they’re running with the various Wells incarnations. Easily my favorite thing this season, because HR makes me smile. More smiling, I say!
Speaking of smiling, I know that I’m not really an Iris/Barry shipper. However, the ending scene at the gorgeous apartment? I teared up. I am a ridiculous romantic, and that got me right in the feels. It looks like Barry is running full speed into his future, and I cheered for them. That was a big step (“I got you a wallet.” The delivery there was perfect. Candice Patton is excellent.). But it also felt like it had been a long time coming.
I loved Christmas at the Wests’, but I have one very pressing question: was Julian wearing a boutonniere? I assume he was meant to be festive, but that seemed a bit overzealous, high school prom. Which, honestly, fits Julian, I guess. He’s terribly out of sorts, was accidentally a conduit for evil, and kind of got all his former friends murdered by a god who lives in a box.
Right. Who hasn’t been there? *cough*
I’m curious to see where things pick up, when the second half of the season resumes. Until then, try not to miss me too much. Unless you’re Tom Cavanaugh, in which case: call me. *wink* XO