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The Flash: What's Past is Prologue

"Things just got a lot more complicated, didn't they?"

It's the one hundredth episode, and our heroes think they can stop Cicada day by running through the history of Team Flash's biggest victories and picking up a few artifacts along the way.

Also, are you ready for a big reveal? Because we've got a big reveal.

Running through time is fun. But it's not all that helpful, apparently.

This is a major fanservice episode, taking us back to the days when Grodd lived in a cage and Harrison Wells smiled like a reptile. Call me cautious, but time hacking sounds dangerous to me. How do you know picking up a tool or an artifact here or there won't kick off a butterfly effect? The truth is, Barry has no idea if that will happen. The show's letting him be reckless with the timeline since that's more fun that playing by the rules, but I keep thinking John Wesley Shipp (my favorite Flash) should pop in and wop him on the back of the head before delivering another lecture about breaking time.

The time wraiths are back, but they are oddly selective about what they choose to do. Nora's time traveling doesn't bother them, but the time hacking does. And... shouldn't Barry be concerned? If the wraiths are showing up, maybe he shouldn't be doing this.

In the end, the plan is really cool but doesn't work. Cicada can apparently grab his dagger from outer space (where Cisco previously said he couldn't open a portal) and bring it to earth at an insane speed that Superman couldn't match. Back to square one.

Meanwhile... on earth-90, trouble is brewing, a cosmological horror so epic we'll need TWO crossover events to resolve it.

Parting thoughts

-Once again, Cicada's clunker of a pickup is endearing.

-Caitlin has been through a lot. Today she had to dwell on Ronnie's death and the time Zoom kidnapped her. Poor girl.

-Barry couldn't say no to Nora's sad puppy eyes. And who could?

-I love how spooky it was when Wells raised his outstretched hand toward Cisco, like he was going to vibrate him to death again. The show has some amazing moments that are burned into our minds.

-Gideon nearly lets it slip that Nora is the fifth recruit for SOMETHING. She nearly did that in a previous episode when talking about something Barry starts in the future. This episode is a deep well of self reference.

-It's the hundredth episode. How many pictures did Sherloque have? About a hundred.

-Did you forget that Killer Frost isn't a meta? Cicada did. Advantage: Frost.

-This episode was directed by Tom Cavanagh, who plays Harrison Wells, of course. He put in some serious overtime, playing Sherloque, Wells, Wells/Thawn, and future Thawn, all while running the production. Hats off to a talented man.

Adam D. Jones is a writer and historian, as well as something of a time traveler himself, having recently been late for work more times in a row than anyone else.

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