Catching Up: The Flash Episode 318, "Abra Kadabra"

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Flash 318 Abra Kadabra

Finally we get the introduction of a classic FLASH villain who's gonna reach out and grab ya. (Sorry, but I've been watching the whole episode with The Steve Miller Band song running through my head. If you don't know which one, hie thee to the Googles.)

DAVID DASTMALCHIAN (ANT-MAN, MACGYVER) plays the larcenous legerdemainiac from the future, Abra Kadabra, as the DC Universe gets a little broader with references to Stagg Industries and Kord Industries -- known for their prominence with DC superhero characters Metamorpho and Blue Beetle, respectively. But what does a guy from the future, with technology so advanced it is indistinguishable from magic -- and yes, Caitlin (DANIELLE PANABAKER) and Cisco (CARLOS VALDES) both acknowledge Arthur C. Clarke's law in the episode -- need with technology from the 21st century?

Kadabra is more than just a thief, however. He's a brutal killer with an unredeemable evil streak running through him. And our Earth isn't the only one he's victimized. Re-enter Gypsy (JESSICA CAMACHO), who has more than just an Earth-19 warrant out for the predaceous prestidigitator. Her vendetta with Kadabra is personal, setting up a tense confrontation between her and The Flash (GRANT GUSTIN). She wants to take him back to her Earth to face justice for multiple murders. But being from the future, he has something The Flash needs, something that is key to him saving Iris (CANDICE PATTON) from her pending murder two months away: the identity of Savitar!

When Kadabra is ultimately captured by Flash and Gypsy, he's put into the Pipeline for holding, because however much they're behind against any villain who is always steps ahead of them, when they built the Pipeline they did it to nullify every metahuman power known or unknown, even those granted by an infusion of future nanotechnology. He offers Barry an exchange: his freedom for the information to save Iris. Barry refuses, but it's Iris's father, Joe (JESSE L. MARTIN) who ends up being the one freeing him. Unfortunately, Gypsy interrupts the moment before Kadabra can reveal Savitar's real name. Kadabra disappears on them, to reappear elsewhere in the S.T.A.R. Labs facility, seeking out and finding the hidden "future room," where he also finds an orb behind one of the panels. (Honestly, the team really needs to disassemble that room to find what other goodies the "evil Doctor Wells" hid there; Eobard Thawne could have listening devices there for crying out loud!) He offers up thanks to Dr. Wells, and absconds with the object, but not before delaying Team Flash by dropping a bomb on them -- literally -- which ends up impaling Caitlin with shrapnel.

Julian (TOM FELTON) operates on Caitlin -- who stays awake and directs the procedure the whole time! -- with Iris assisting. There's a risk of getting the last piece out, however, and Cisco theorizes that if they remove the power dampening necklace Caitlin wears that it would enable her Killer Frost powers to come forward and help her regenerate her tissue. Caitlin flat out rejects this option, however, and the operation proceeds apace -- seemingly successfully.

At the same time, Cisco also determines what our elusive illusionist is doing: he's building a time machine, just like the one Cisco helped Wells/Thawne develop. Which means Kadabra is trying to get back to the 64th century. All they have to do is wait for him to open a warp, and they'll know where he is. And Kadabra is doing just that -- in a flying device not too unlike Doc Brown's DeLorean. It's a chase seen with Speedsters and Warpsters as they try to stop Kadabra from giving them the slip for good. The capture has Barry really firing on all circuits, and the climax is too good to describe here. You'll have to see it for yourself to fully appreciate it. (Several of the scenes with Barry facing Kadabra are like this -- THE FLASH production crew really outdid themselves this time!)

With Kadabra in Gypsy's custody, Barry says he has nothing to offer him in return for the information, but appeals to whatever humanity Kadabra has in him. Kadabra reveals that he has none, and that he's been Flash's enemy for years -- even though this is Flash's first encounter with him (doesn't time travel just mess with your head?). He also says that despite the worst villains Flash faced -- Thawne, Zoome, and <b><i>DeVoe</i></b> -- it was Savitar who really broke him. And that's a secret he'll take with him to the grave.

(<b>FLASH FACT:</b> In the comics, Clifford DeVoe is the identity of Jay Garrick Flash villain, The Thinker. Did THE FLASH writers just give us the name of next season's big bad?)

Barry tells Iris and Joe that the bad guys like Thawne and Zoom have always been a step ahead of them because they came from the future and already knew what was going to happen. So Barry's going to take that same tactic. He's going to run into the future and learn about the present as history so he'll have the same advantage. But won't he be altering the past of the future by changing the present, creating a potential future-Flashpoint?

Also, as a second kicker to this episode, we see Caitlin recovering, talking with Cisco (and H.R. Wells -- TOM CAVANAGH -- who's been absent this entire episode), when she goes into a seizure. Julian rushes in, they try to revive her, but she flatlines. In desperation, Julian rips the necklace from her. Moments later, her heart starts to beat again. Her wound heals (and the frost even eats the stitches; that's handy), and then she <i>explodes</i> in a cloudburst of snow, before standing revealed as Killer Frost.

Grade: 
4.5 / 5.0