The Secret is Spoiled
Warning: Spoilers for season 3, episode 18 (Abra Kadabra) of The Flash follow. If you have not watched the episode, read on at your own risk.
A Little Misdirection
Just when it seemed like The Flash would give us a big reveal regarding Savitar, the curtain closed. Abra Kadabra was a big tease, and my least favorite episode of season three. The last five minutes were exhilarating, and a reminder of what The Flash is capable of, but the rest of the episode was a disappointment. I was hoping that we would, at least, see Savitar tonight before the show goes on a mini break. That did not happen, however, and we’re left with basically nothing for a few weeks.
The farther we get into season three, the more evident it is that it’s time for the show to change its formula. The cast is still great together, Grant is still great as Barry, but this season is growing stale. We still get distracted by a meaningless villain each week just to fill time. We still have no reason to care about the threat of Savitar. It worked for two seasons, but I think it’s time for The Flash to try a different approach. Basically, we need a villain that we care about.
Just so that I’m not entirely negative, I will say there were some bright spots tonight. Cisco’s strange relationship with Gypsy has been entertaining this season, and tonight was no different. Previously, she had seemed incapably of any real affection. Then it seemed like Cisco had broken through that. Tonight, revenge was more important. Her focus on capturing Abra Kadabra likely severed any connection that she had with Cisco. Carlos Valdes played this up perfectly. With Cisco, he strikes a great balance of caring about all the tragedy happening around him but still trying to be a normal person. It may not be normal to pursue a relationship with someone from an alternate earth, but it was a real emotion for him. To watch him realize that it may never happen, and still have the resolve to do what was needed to help save the day, was the best part of tonight’s episode.
Uphold the Law, Protect my Family
Jesse L. Martin also had a pretty strong showing as Joe tonight. I know that Martin excels in almost episode, but tonight that was exceptionally true. Kadabra was from the future and obviously knew something that could help them stop Savitar. I have no doubt he was telling the truth about that. It was obvious that someone would do something to try and get that information from him, but I expected Wally to make a move before Joe. Instead, we got to see just how much knowing the future is tearing Joe apart inside. You have to think that he would jump on even the slightest chance to save Iris. Tonight, he did so to the detriment of others.
It’s hard to believe that Joe thought he could reason with Kadabra. There was never any chance that he was going to cooperate. Joe had to know that, but he took a chance. Joe is usually the most level-headed of Team Flash. As much as it pains me to say it, I hope we see him take more ridiculous risks this season. Joe West on edge is fun.
Killer Frost Breaks Free
The last five minutes of the show would have been incredible if the previous run time wasn’t so disappointing. As soon as Caitlin started going in to shock I suspected that Cisco would rip the necklace off her neck. Instead, to my surprise, they tried to save her the way she would want to be saved. Then, she was gone. They called it, H.R. pronounced her dead. I was sure that would be the moment the necklace was ripped off. Instead the show lingered just long enough to make me believe they would leave her lying on the table, and then Julian ripped it off. Killer Frost was released, and it seems Caitlin has no control.
At the very least, we have that to chew on for the next few weeks. Killer Frost is actually a much more compelling villain than Savitar is anyways. I’m torn between wanting to see Caitlin make the full villain turn or find a way to come back to the light. Either way, I hope the show starts to pick up when it returns after this short hiatus.
Abra Kadabra – In Conclusion
The Flash is starting to run in place this season. The show has given us little reason to care about its main villain and the villain of the week formula is growing stale. That said, there were some entertaining performances tonight and we were treated to a Killer ending. Hopefully when the show returns from it, it will hit the ground running and be as good as I know it can be.