The spoilers outside are frightful.
The Flash went for a gleeful Christmas episode by giving us the literal smoking gun, Savitar’s own Ark of the Covenant, the Philosopher’s Stone. No really, they really had Draco himself, Tom Felton, in his role as Julian Albert do a little Indiana Jones-style arqueology-ing. It wasn’t half bad and at least it grounded Savitar with a starting point. That being said, Savitar is kind of a ghost antagonist so it was nice to have Julian in the hotseat to give him a temporal human presence.
The ominous warning from the self-called Speed God sets the expectations for the rest of the season: “One shall betray you, one shall fall, one will suffer a fate worse than death”. TV shows are superstitious this way. Once something like that is said, you can almost bet it’s written in stone. Theories will fly and the show will go back and forth between pretending they’re wrong until they ran out of time and… Well, perhaps running out of time is the key here.
In the meantime, like every Berlanti show, we get several significance out of the title. Mainly, there’s several presents abound in this episode such as the Silver Age style foiled caper in Earth-3 where Jay Garrick’s Flash (John Wesley Shipp) captures known evildoer The Trickster (Mark Hamill). Also, in time for Christmas, we finally are giving Wally his Kid Flash costume – LONG OVERDUE, PEOPLE! I really think this was drama for drama’s sake, so I’m glad he’s finally getting approval instead of being shutdown.
It couldn’t be a mid-season finale without a cliffhanger so the show has decided to put Iris in the path of an oncoming Savitar train. Even though the box with the stone gets tossed into the Speed Force, Barry has an accidental time travel minute to see Iris die. Feels like a false trail towards Iris being the fallen one in Savitar’s Prophecy. More in the Highs/Lows.
Let me state the obvious with Arrow. The show has been all over the place for a while, trying to inject new blood and bring characters from the comics, then making them underperform (yes, I’m still talking about Ragman) and focusing on too many things at the same time.
So, yes. I still think they underutilize Rory and severely de-power him from doing his thing as Ragman. There’s way too much focus on Rene being a complete asshole and messing things up as Wild Dog. Finally Evelyn Sharpe as Artemis (put your hands up if you didn’t recall she was there, or her superhero persona or the fact she missed the Invasion Crossover). Curtis might be the worst as Mr. Terrific, not because he does anything wrong but because he’s usually first pick to get his ass kicked. This time he also breaks up with his husband Paul after confessing what he’s been up to.
Prometheus gets an origin story of sorts with some Clayborne guy that Oliver
took down killed as The Hood. Seems the guy had a son. So, the idea is that Prometheus grew up and trained himself in a path very close to Ollie’s to the point he even does a move that Oliver learned from a woman in Russia. It was the one time that I thought flashbacks would help but instead the flashback was back to the good ole’ Hood days with Diggle and old-style Tech Support Felicity. Those were the good ole days?
The first big shocker in this episode was Green Arrow fighting Prometheus and getting swindled into killing detective Billy Malone, Felicity’s love interest. That was an extremely below the belt move that might have Oliver brooding for the next season (extra on the brooding bit). The second one is a complete WTF moment where Oliver gets back to the lair and finds Laurel freakin’ Lance standing there.
- Supergirl is not on this week? Kara doesn’t get to squee over Christmas? This sucks 😦
- The Flash at times was a little too much gleeful, but I guess it’s the season and that’s what you do.
- Savitar’s Prophecy: “One shall betray you, one shall fall, one will suffer a fate worse than death” is going to haunt the STAR team for the rest of the season. And it’s the show’s crutch going forward. Now the show has to deliver one betrayal, one death and… something. I guess that perhaps someone will get erased out of existence? That would be tragic. The thing is, if it’s someone from the sidelines we won’t care too much, so the deal is to put our main cast in danger. The easy cheat would be to introduce new characters to become fodder later.
- Cisco has to literally face his brother Dante again and choose to close a box that seemingly could give him back his brother… And if you’ve lost a loved one you empathized how strong that siren call was for him.
- Caitlin using her Killer Frost powers to put a little frost was cute. Still, I hate the fact that she has to wear those damper bracelets. She would be the first suspect for betraying the team if she was to embrace Killer Frost again, but I think that’s too easy. I fear for her life/existence now.
- If Caitlin had gone Killer Frost (again, not becoming evil, just using her powers) to save Barry and Wally, she might have a chance at reconciling herself. It’s another opportunity missed. Then again, she was needed to get Cisco out of his reverie.
- Could Wally be up for falling or being erased out of the timeline? Could he get his own name like Impulse or other so he’s not Kid Flash? Are we really going to push him into the sidekick role?
- HR’s best line so far: “The longer someone is denied their potential, the longer they will look for it elsewhere.”
- We can almost be assured that Iris is not the one dying in Savitar’s Prophecy.
- It was nice to see John Wesley Shipp being Silver Age Flash and Mark Hamill’s reinterpretation of the Trickster, even for just a solid minute.
- The Philosopher’s Stone reference to the Harry Potter universe with Tom Felton right there could’ve used a pop culture reference from Cisco. No? I thought it would be worth it.
- It would be nice if Savitar’s Prophecy NEVER BECOMES TRUE. However, you know the rules of geek TV shows. That is as good as if was written in blood. The show has literally forced itself to come up with those events. I find it constraining.
- Arrow has not left anything behind. Literally we get another episode of Oliver’s favourite play, It’s my fight, I will fight this alone. He doesn’t get his ass kicked. Instead, he gets tricked to shoot at who we think is Prometheus… To find out that it’s Billy Malone. That sucked so bad, yet at the same time was such an edgy move by the show. That will drive a rift that Felicity, despite her best efforts, will not (and should not) forget.
- The movement that Prometheus does and plays in slow motion for Green Arrow is a lateral flip off a desk. That was the move that Oliver was taught by “a woman in Russia”? A movement that does zero damage and leaves you exposed to the enemy? I’ve been critical of the fighting in Arrow before (Ollie uses his bow as a bashing weapon 90% of the time), but please use an actual offensive move.
- I just realized that some genius decided to add a light inside Spartan’s helmet so we can tell that it’s Diggle. From an actor’s perspective, we can now be assured it’s David Ramsey in the shot. From the perspective of the helmet supposed to hide his identity THIS IS IS AN EPIC FAIL.
- Speedy was back for a moment, although she was never used. Speaking about Thea, I don’t want her and Rene suddenly going out. Rene’s respect for Diggle is his only redeeming quality. His constant disrespect for Felicity and apparently for women in general should get him zero respect and I think he’s due to get his ass kicked AGAIN. I almost want Thea to do it, but the show would turn it into a thing and then into a romance thing with a guy that has zero charisma.
- Ragman doesn’t get to do anything. Again. The one guy in your team with superpowers. The one able to stop bullets. The one with super-strength. That guy. Ragman should be able to stop Prometheus in a snap, without getting anybody killed.
- I don’t want Prometheus to be just a regular person. Ok, he could have super-trained himself after Oliver but even then… Hasn’t Oliver already gone through quasi-meta melee combatants of the stature of Deathstroke? Malcolm Merlyn? Ra’s Al Ghul? How come he’s not able to bring down this guy?
- Enough dancing around, let’s talk Laurel Lance. Is she really Laurel? Can someone check if Black Siren is in her cell at STAR Labs? This could be literally anything.
That will do for now.