The Flash – The Present

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By: Stacy Miller

After helping his fellow superheroes battle the alien Dominators, Barry (Grant Gustin) is back to trying to stop Savitar. As the episode opens, we see Julian (Tom Felton) in India and we learn how he got the Philosopher’s stone and became Doctor Alchemy, servant of Savitar.

At Star Labs, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) finds a research paper that talks about the Philosopher’s Stone and to his surprise it was written by Julian. Barry goes to Julian and questions him about the Philosopher’s Stone, but the only information he gives is about Savitar being the first Meta Human speedster.

Barry decides that in order to get information about a speedster like Savitar he needs to ask another speedster who may be able to provide answers: His father’s doppelganger Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp). Barry goes to Jay’s Earth and after helping him capture The Trickster (Mark Hamill), they return to Barry’s Earth to talk. Jay tells Barry that Savitar is known as the God of Motion and is more than likely on Barry’s Earth to fight Barry to prove his supremacy.

HR (Tom Cavanagh) has no intention of letting the holidays go by without spreading his own brand of holiday cheer, complete with him in a Santa hat and holiday decorations for Star Labs. But Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) and Cisco are blue. The holidays are about family and each have lost a member of their family. Caitlin remembers the final Christmas she spent with her father while Cisco can’t stop thinking about Dante (Nicholas Gonzalez). So much so that he has been seeing his dead brother at Star Labs. Does this have something to do with Cisco’s Meta Human abilities? Or is it something else?

Barry takes some time away from his Savitar pursuit to spend it with Iris (Candice Patton), who is getting into Christmas by wrapping presents. But she also gives Barry the gift of her invaluable research skills. Iris has discovered that all the scientists who were part of Julian’s expedition in India died – everyone but Julian himself. This makes Julian look more suspicious and Barry wonders about his connection to Doctor Alchemy. When Cisco is able to detect that energy coming from the Philosopher’s Stone is on the roof of a Central City building, the two flashes (Jay and Barry) take off to investigate. There they find Doctor Alchemy with the Philosopher’s Stone working on giving all the Meta Humans from the Flashpoint timeline their powers back. While Barry is after the Philosopher’s Stone to stop Doctor Alchemy, Jay goes off to stop Savitar. Unfortunately for Jay, Savitar is stronger and it looks like Jay will be the one defeated. But Barry is able to knock out Doctor Alchemy and puts the Philosopher’s Stone back in the box from which it came. This makes Savitar disappear before he is able to strike Jay with a killing blow. Barry takes off Doctor Alchemy’s mask and sees that Doctor Alchemy is Julian.

Barry takes Julian back to Star Labs and locks him in the pipeline, but Julian insists he’s not Doctor Alchemy and seems to believe it. It actually appears to be true because Julian’s been blacking out and is unable to account for the time when Doctor Alchemy has taken over. In order to get Julian to trust him, Barry takes off his mask and reveals that he is The Flash. It works and Julian tells Barry that after he returned from his expedition in India he began having the blackouts and also started hearing the voice of his sister who had died. She even helped him to find the Philosopher’s Stone.

Meanwhile, Cisco is running tests on the box when he sees his dead brother Dante, who tells him that he can use the box’s power to bring him back. All he has to do is open the box. At this point I was yelling at the television screen “Cisco, don’t open the box!” But, of course, Cisco didn’t listen to me and opened the box. Out comes Savitar, proving all boxes opened at Christmas time don’t contain nice gifts!

With Savitar released, Barry reluctantly agrees to let Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale), who’s been training with HR, help him. But even with two speedsters, Barry and Wally are no match for Savitar. Caitlin goes to Cisco to try to convince him that the Dante he’s seeing isn’t real and if he doesn’t close the box that Barry and Wally will die. Even though Cisco doesn’t want to lose his brother again, he closes the box trapping Savitar once more. And it’s a good thing he did because Barry and Wally were just about to meet their ends at the hands of Savitar. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) is happy his son is safe, but tells Wally that they will have a talk about this later.

Convinced that they can speak with Savitar through Julian (as it’s obvious that Savitar has been controlling Julian’s mind) Team Flash put a contraption on Julian’s head. Savitar’s voice emerges through Julian’s lips and the deadly speedster tells them that Future Barry took everything from him and now it’s his turn to take everything back. Since the only way to get rid of Savitar is to get rid of the Philosopher’s Stone, Jay and Barry use their combined speedster powers to open the Speed Force in which they plan to toss the Philosopher’s Stone through. However, the power of the Philosopher’s Stone going through the Speed Force sends Barry through a portal where he sees Iris in the deadly grip of Savitar while another Flash is begging him to let her go. Iris cries and is telling Barry that she loves him. Then, Savitar kills her! Jay arrives and is able to bring Barry back to his own Earth and time. He tells Barry that he had traveled four months into the future. Now, Barry is determined to keep Iris’ deadly fate from happening.

But for the time being, Team Flash gather together to celebrate the joy of the season by drinking Joe and Cecil’s egg nog. Wally loves his present – a shiny new Kid Flash costume.

The episode concludes with Barry bringing Iris to the apartment he leased and wants her to move in with him.

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