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Recap / The Flash 2014 S 3 E 9 The Present

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With Savitar and Alchemy bearing down on him, Barry enlists Jay Garrick's help against the self-proclaimed "god of speed". Meanwhile, Wally is secretly training with H.R while Cisco faces Christmas without his brother.


  • Accidental Misnaming: H.R., after starting to get drunk on Cecile's and Joe's drinks, calls Cisco and Caitlin Ciscin and Caitlo.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • The Earth-3 scene is a throwback to the 1990 "Flash" show.
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    • Julian looking for something called the Philosophers Stone. No comment.
    • Earth-3's Trickster has even more in common with the Joker than "our" version. Both are played by Mark Hamill.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Very nearly averted, Barry seeing Iris being killed by Savitar in the future nearly causes him to forget the lessons he learned from Flashpoint, but luckily Jay is there to talk some sense into him before he has the chance to do anything stupid.
  • A God Am I: Savitar's backstory reveals that he was a normal human before gaining his powers (the first Speedster to be exact), and only later started calling himself a god.
  • The Alcoholic: Joe, after he and Cecile taste their respective grandmother's strong eggnogs, suggests both of them had alcoholic grandmothers.
  • Arc Words: "Run, WALLACE, run!"
  • Big Brother Instinct: Or, More like Big Uncle. Jay starts treating Barry almost like a favored nephew; Barry, on the other hand, starts treating Jay like his father's twin brother.
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  • Breaking Speech: Savitar, through Julian, gives one to Team Flash, where he reveals some horrific events from the future.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Heroic example. Jay keeps speaking with The Trickster, which allows The Trickster to put Jay in a deadly trap. Luckily Barry arrives and stops Tre Trickster before anything horrible happens.
  • Call-Back:
    • Near the beginning, Joe hands Cecille a report on all the Alien shenanigans last episode(s).
    • Jay tells Barry that speedsters shouldn't travel to their own future because they might inadvertently find themselves in a Stable Time Loop if they actively try to prevent something they don't like; this is exactly what happened to Eobard Thawne except in reverse. He went back in time, saw he was destined to become the Reverse-Flash and...well, you know the rest.
  • The Cameo: Mark Hamill as the Earth-3 Trickster.
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  • Christmas Episode: For Season 3.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Jay has exactly as much success as Barry does (i.e., none) trying to take on Savitar and is only saved when Barry seals up the Stone just before Jay is about to be gutted. Barry and Wally are later saved the same way.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Subverted. It first appears as Cisco has been talking to Dante, but the latter is merely an illusion manifested from the Philosopher's Stone.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Barry winds up having a mini moment of this after seeing Iris die in the future, but Jay manages to talk him down.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The title refers to the word "present" in both respects: as a gift (alluding to Christmas, and the gifts exchanged, such as Wally's Kid Flash suit); and the current state of time, alluding to the end when Jay tells Barry not to worry about the past or the future but to live in the present.
  • Dreaming of a White Christmas: Mostly averted, it rains instead, but Caitlin uses her ice powers to make it snow around the West's house.
  • Eureka Moment: Barry figures out Julian's problem when Joe says that Wally's "brain goes to sleep and somebody else is at the wheel".
  • Expy: Earth-3 Trickster is one of The Joker, appropriately enough.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Savitar says that one of Team Flash will betray the team.
  • False Friend: Caitlin lampshades that every bad guy they've had (Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash and Hunter Zolomon/Zoom) has pretended to be their friend while really being "an evil, murderous bastard". Though they quickly note that Julian doesn't seem to be lying since he believes himself more than they do.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Savitar says that one of Team Flash will suffer this.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: The Savitar box uses Cisco's memories of Dante to trick him into opening the box, freeing him with the "promise" of getting Dante back. With Savitar about to kill Barry and Wally, Caitlin has to talk Cisco into closing the box...which he does.
  • Futureshadowing: After Barry gets hit from knockback from tossing the Savitar box into the Speed Force, he winds up time traveling five months into the future, and sees himself fail to save Iris from getting killed by Savitar.
  • Good All Along: Julian is revealed to be this, as he does not even realize that he's Doctor Alchemy.
  • Grandma's Recipe: Joe and Cecile compete over whose grandma made the better eggnog. When they try the eggnogs, they both cough due to the excessive alcohol and declare each other's grandmothers were alcoholics.
  • The Herald: According to Jay, Savitar always sends someone to the worlds he visits to herald his arrival. In this case, Dr. Alchemy.
  • I Lied: Earth-3 Trickster told the people at the bank that they would be alive if they obeyed his instructions, but when he leaves the bank he is willing to blow the bank until Jay and Barry stop him.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: How Iris dies in the Futureshadowing.
  • In Spite of a Nail: While he called himself Kid Flash in the previous episode, Wally makes it clear that, just like his Flashpoint self, he does not like the moniker at all.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • The team finds out Julian is Alchemy and Julian finds out he's Alchemy.
    • Wally lets out that he's being trained by H.R.
    • Barry reveals his identity as Flash to Julian.
  • Invisible to Normals: Savitar remains invisible to non-speedsters.
    Barry: Please, tell me you're seeing him!
    Jay: Ohhh, I see him.
  • Jerkass Realization: H.R. is finally able to convince Joe to let Wally be Kid Flash by telling that if he keeps trying to stop Wally from realizing his potential he'll just go and seek validation from somebody else.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Barry winds up unintentionally time traveling five months into the future; since this episode occurs in December, that means he wound up around the time of the season finale.
  • Leitmotif:
    • Earth-3 Trickster gets the same theme as the Earth-1 version.
    • A more somber and slower paced variation of Barry and Iris' Love Theme plays in the background as Barry witnesses the death of Future Iris at the hands of Savitar.
    • Also a more tender and sweet variation of the theme plays when Barry shows Iris the apartment he bought for the two of them.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Julian assumes the Flash is trying to frame him for Alchemy's actions and has trapped him in the pipeline for no good reason...until Barry reveals himself, causing Julian to open up about his blackouts...
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: Barry and Jay interrupt Alchemy attempting to empower all the former Flashpoint metas at once.
  • Mr. Exposition: Jay has heard enough about Savitar to explain to Barry (and the audience) where he comes from and what his goal is. Subverted in that he's actually wrong about why Savitar is after Barry; Savitar isn't after Barry for becoming too powerful and a challenge to him now, he's after Barry for revenge.
  • Mundane Utility: Caitlin uses her power to change the rain into snow to make it more appropriate for Christmas.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Earth-3 Trickster is first seen talking to himself about how he tricked his latest victims into thinking he wouldn't kill them, but did so anyway. This is a nod to the Golden and Silver Age comics, where characters would often talk to themselves out loud about what they just did and how they did it (which served as Exposition for the reader).
    • A Freeze-Frame Bonus reveals that Julian's full name is Julian Albert Desmond. Albert Desmond is the civilian name of Doctor Alchemy in the comics.
    • When Barry briefly visits the future, he witnesses a news broadcast about how The Flash captured Jared Morillo a.k.a. Plunder. Morillo was one of the Rogues during the 2000s run of the Flash comic.
    • Barry's visit to the future takes him to Infantino Street, in reference to Carmine Infantino, a highly prolific comic illustrator during the Silver Age who played a big role in establishing the era. (Among other things, he established the iconic look for Barry and the rest of the 1960s era Flash characters.)
    • Team Flash decides that the box containing the Philosopher's Stone is not good enough, and opts to throw it into the Speed Force for good measure, turning it into a prison. Superboy Prime suffered the same fate, minus the box part.
  • Not Hyperbole: When Cisco says the Savitar box is "nothing", he clarifies that he isn't saying it is inconsequential. He means it shows up on no tests, as if it doesn't even even exist.
  • One Phone Call: When Julian is being held at Star Labs, he demands that Flash grant him his phone call.
  • Pet the Dog: After saving him from Savitar's grip, Julian arranges for Barry to get his job back.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Cecile and Joe kiss under a mistletoe (much to the joy of Wally and Iris) and seemingly get together.
  • The Reveal:
    • Julian is being mind-controlled by Savitar, and he himself is not aware of it.
    • Earth-3 is finally shown on-screen.
  • Revenge: Turns out that Future Barry somehow imprisoned Savitar, so he's come to the past to make life hell for Barry.
  • Screw Destiny: Jay states that the reason speedsters shouldn't travel to the future is that the future isn't fixed and what they see is only a possibility that may happen, may not, or may happen in a different manner than how they believe they observed it, and seeing a possibility may make them assume that future is inevitable and as a result of trying to prevent it instead cause it to happen.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Savitar is trapped...wherever...and unable to act in the physical world as long as the container the Philosopher's Stone is in is closed. Let's hope nothing happens in five months...
  • Shirtless Scene: During Jay's narration, there is a shot in which the man behind Savitar is shirtless before getting the Savitar armor.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Status Quo Is God: After everything has calmed down, Julian stops by the West's Christmas party. There, he tells Barry that Captain Singh never got around to processing Barry's resignation, more or less telling him to come back to CCPD.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Due to opening the box containing Savitar, Julian developed one in the form of Alchemy.
  • Super-Speed Reading: Barry speed-reads textbooks on Savitar's Hindu namesake in hopes of a lead. No luck.
  • Taking You with Me: Earth-3 Trickster handcuffs himself to Jay while wearing a bomb vest in hopes of killing them both. In comes Barry.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Joe and Iris finally consent to Wally becoming a speedster, with the Kid Flash costume as their seal of approval.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: Savitar says that one of Team Flash will die. When Barry accidentally runs five months into the future, he sees Savitar killing Iris.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Jay doesn't take kindly that Barry is the one who catches The Trickster even if The Trickster was very close to kill Jay.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: There's a bank robbery going down carried out by a lunatic in a weird suit, stopped by a superhero in costume, and then a second superhero in costume shows up, and then the cops show up to take the lunatic away, and in the background people and traffic continue on as if nothing is happening. Just another day on Earth-3.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Trying to find a way of seeing his sister again caused Julian to discover the Stone and release Savitar.
  • Was Once a Man: Whatever Savitar is now, he was once a human speedster. The first one to be precise.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Savitar tells Team Flash that somewhere down the line he will tear the team apart if they try to stop him; he also kills Iris in a (possible) future.
    • Wally finally becomes Kid Flash as he gets his trademark yellow costume from the comics as a Christmas gift.
  • Wham Line:
    • Savitar has a rather foreboding prophecy for Barry and Team Flash.
    Savitar: One of you will fall, one will betray you, and one of you will suffer a fate far worse than death.
    • Barry's special gift for Iris.
    (Iris looks around a spacious apartment)
    Iris: Where are we?
    Barry: Home!
  • The Worf Effect: Jay, Barry and Wally were no match for Savitar.
  • Worf Had the Flu: The only reason Team Flash was able to get the upper hand against Savitar is because he's a Sealed Evil in a Can, and cannot do anything unless the box containing the Philosopher's Stone is open.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: Jay's attempt to escape from Savitar results in this.
  • Zeppelins from Another World: Earth-3 has airships.


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