FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 3x10 - "Borrowing Problems From the Future"

The Flash (3x10) - "Borrowing Problems From the Future"
Written by:         Grainne Godfree & David Kob
Directed by:       Millicent Shelton

Welcome to Season Three, part two!  And after a new precap and an actual recap we open on Barry and Iris.  A month has passed since we last saw our friends and Barry is understandably disturbed by his glimpse of the future.  It’s caused more than a few nightmares it seems and Iris has taken notice, when she asks if he wants to talk about it Barry pulls out a classic superhero move: he deflects and turns the conversation to unpacking before they’re interrupted by a furniture store on fire across town.  Or as I like to call it; The Peter Parker.

Barry heads off to the fire and it turns out Greg Grunberg’s “Detective McHardass “ is trapped inside.  When Barry and Wally arrive they find that the room the detective is trapped in has pretty much sealed so unless they’re really careful instead of saving Detective McHardass, they’ll blow up the store.  So Barry does the tornado arms and Wally opens the door and it puts the fire out and they leave the scene having saved the day.

When Barry and Wally arrive at STAR Labs Barry and Wally show a little mentor/trainee tension while Caitlin is annoyed at her power-dampening cuffs.  It turns out they aren’t holding a charge all that well (which will happen when you don’t charge them Cisco notes) and she wants Cisco to “fix” them.  Also, it seems HR has finally finished his big project is ready to show off.  Presenting the STAR Labs Science Museum.  It’s actually pretty swanky looking but there’s a problems; The only dedicated employee, Olga, is pretty but she can’t speak English.  He needs Caitlin to run the concessions’ stand and the virtual Cisco tour guide kinda sucks.  Still not too shabby HR, so it’s no wonder Cisco is all pissy about it.  (Mostly because he’s been pretty pissy about everything this season.)

Wally has swung by the police station and he overhears Joe talking with the officer at the furniture store fire and McHardass talking about Kid Flash.  Joe’s praise is pretty glowing and the uniformed officer is taking a reasonable position of “He seems like he’s shadowing the Flash like a trainee.”  McHardass on the other hand has decided that Kid Flash is some sort of poseur and coward that should be shipped off to Keystone.  (I’m starting to think if he broke his foot he’d say to the doctor: “Cut the damn thing off! I have work to do!”

Up in the crime lab, Caitlin visits Julian to get help to get rid of her powers.  Julian points out that just because he’s an expert on meta-humans that doesn’t mean he’s able to unmake them.  I mean, it’s not like he has access to a magic rock from the Speed Force that can bend reality… They threw that away in the last episode.

Also it seems that Caitlin’s cuff-problem is a little more pressing than she let on.

Back at Barry and Iris’ loft, Barry has surprised Iris by unpacking.  Because that’s easier than telling her about the future.  When Iris presses, he’s interrupted by a robbery.  Ah the old Peter Parker, it never fails… Oh wait! Yes, it does! Usually spectacularly, right Gwen? 

Oh… Oh.

Anyway, here’s a fun development.  The guy robbing the Jewelry Store is our new friend, Plunder.  The guy the news report is talking about the night Iris dies in the future.  That gives Barry some pause, so much pause that Plunder uses his super cool gun to take him down and gets away.

Back to STAR Labs to recap with the team and Barry has segued from the Peter Parker into the Oliver Queen.  That is, “I know I have a team full of supportive friends but I have to keep this secret until it completely clouds my judgement and I alienate everyone.”  Great plan, Barry.  It’s not at all suspicious to let a criminal get away then wave off any help offered.

Caitlin visits Julian again and it turns out that despite him blowing her off he wants to help but he’s a little caught up on the fact that he has a bad habit of getting the people around him killed lately.  Caitlin decides to try a new tactic to help Julian, bring him into Team Flash.

Back at the lab, Cisco has been wrangled into helping HR fix the hologram but he needs more parts and that leaves Barry and HR alone to talk about time travel.  Specifically, can you change the future?  Essentially the Back to the Future vs Twelve Monkeys argument.  Where does HR come down on things?  “I think that a man often meets his destiny on the very road he takes to avoid it.”  That’s not good, Barry.

Emboldened by beating the Flash once, Plunder is on the move again and he’s robbed a hotel this time.  When Barry arrives this time we learn that Plunder’s gun is from the Judge Dredd Spring Collection and it has magic Flash-seeking bullets.  Barry can’t out run them so he has to phase through a concrete barrier to stop them.  Barry hesitates again and Plunder seems to have some sort of remote control on his gun because it draws a bead on Barry all on its own.  Luckily Wally arrives and makes the save.  Good work, Wally!  Right, Barry?


So, here’s the thing about the Oliver Queen, once you commit to it you really have to commit to it.  Barry is pretty pissed off that Wally saved his ungrateful life interfered in his fight with Plunder but since he can’t tell anyone that it’s because he’s trying to stop Iris’ death in the very near future he just comes off like a jerk. 

Barry gets everyone in a bad mood before the opening of the museum and since that goes over like a lead balloon everyone is now even more pissed so when Julian arrives and tells the gang he’d like to accept her offer to join Team Flash it’s time for an argument.  Caitlin then explains that the cuffs aren’t enough and if they can’t solve the problem on their own then having access to a guy that’s been obsessively studying metas is not a bad route to take.  Honesty, it’s a hell of a trump card.

Since we’re doing the confrontation portion of the dramatic arc, Barry decides he will be telling Iris what his problem is and he will be telling her now.

He takes her down to Eobard Wells’ Time Vault and shows her the 2024 Newspaper and explains everything.  He even goes so far as to imply he’d give up being the Flash if it meant her life but Iris just couldn’t live with that so she convinces him to tell the others.  Because dammit!  The open honesty thing actually works.

HR tries to point out the herculean task they’d be undertaking.  As he understand it, the future wants to happen the way it’s laid out.  They can’t just change one or two things, they are going to have to change a lot to avoid this.

Cisco hits on the idea of vibing into Barry’s memory with him and getting details to try and avoid the future.  They go after some big details that they can change and put together a list:

1)      Plunder captured by The Flash.
2)      The Music Meister gets a six figure book deal.
3)      Luigi’s opens after murder.
4)      Joe West honored by City Hall.
5)      STAR Labs Museum closes.
6)      City still recovering after Gorilla attack.

And the big one, which is a big problem: “Killer Frost still at large.”  They’re interrupted by Future Barry confronting Savitar and Iris dying but they get some good news.  HR is now on a nearby roof with Plunder’s gun and while he wasn’t able to stop Savitar, the good news is that it’s possible to change the future.

They now have the opportunity to test their theory since Plunder’s escaped custody.  Barry tells Wally to suit up after he apologizes for being a dick and explaining that it was because of Iris.  The two find Plunder as he’s making his escape, and Barry explains that it has to be Wally that captures him.  Not just because it changes the future but because Wally is more than capable enough to do it.

Wally saves the day and gets a hero’s welcome from the city and the list will now read; “Plunder captured by Kid Flash.  Barry and Iris head home to get ready for their house warming party.

But first, it’s time for the grand opening of the STAR Labs Museum take two, this time with better results all the way around.  Including a new and improved holographic Cisco as tour guide.

The gang arrives at Barry and Iris’ with gifts; a potted plant from Wally, a cute childhood picture from Joe and a turtle from HR.  Julian also shows up for the party and Barry welcomes Julian to the team.  He’s already helping out since he and Cisco have designed a new way to charge Caitlin’s cuffs with a necklace.

Meanwhile, across town someone appears terminator style from a rift.  Fortunately it’s not Ah-nold, Kristanna Loken or even Summer Glau here to kill/save John Connor but it’s potentially unfortunate for HR since she has a holographic image of him and she doesn’t look nice.

Pretty good episode to come back with.  Not a lot happened, but after being gone for six weeks it was probably better to have an episode that sets the table for the second half more so that digging into the story straight away.

I’m always a little wary of time travel but I’ll give them this.  They are doing the work to make sure that time travel is a big deal with big repercussions.  That’s important if there’s any hope of putting time travel as a plot device away.  We also have a list to move the plot forward as well as preview what’s to come. (See you soon, Grodd.) 

TL;DR- Pretty good episode to come back with.

**Edit: Whoops! This was meant to be a four, not a five.**

Things We Learned This Week:

1)      Caitlin’s power dampening cuffs are beginning to fail.
2)      Team Flash is now aware of Iris’ pending death and they have a plan to stop it.
3)      Julian has joined Team Flash.

Three Questions:

1)      Who was the woman that came through the rift and why is after HR?
2)      Can the team save the STAR Labs Museum or should they perhaps rebrand?
3)      Can they unmake the future or will their efforts bring about that future?

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