And we’re back. After a long winter break The Flash has returned with its mid-season premiere. “Borrowing Problems From the Future” expands on the tragic possible future event that was teased in last year’s mid-season finale, “The Present”, as Barry struggles with the knowledge that Iris West may eventually be killed by Savitar. This ultimately affects his performance out in the field and his training of Wally West, a.k.a. Kid Flash. Additionally, this episode sheds some light on Caitlin Snow’s current state, as well as HR’s plans for a S.T.A.R. Labs museum.
As the episode begins we are treated to a team-up between Barry and Wally saving a police officer trapped inside a burning building. The scene serves as a training scenario for Wally, who has really come into his own this season. Even though Wally has some haters already, specifically the ungrateful cop who later badmouths him, Wally continues to strive to be a better Kid Flash.
It’s good to see another actual super-powered hero on Team Flash as well. I know both Cisco and Caitlin have their own abilities, but both seem to choose to stay back at the base rather than out in the field. While Team Arrow over in Star City consists of multiple vigilantes fighting crime, it’s fun to see Team Flash take its first steps in that direction.
As the episode progresses that comradery between Barry and Wally starts to break down, as Barry attempts to alter events to change the outcome of what he saw in the future. The new villain dubbed Plunder (Stephen Huszar) arrives and according to Barry’s trip to the future, Plunder is supposed to be apprehended by him. When Wally ends up helping in this regard Barry is unsurprisingly frustrated. Nearing the conclusion of the episode this conflict is resolved as Barry ends up telling Team Flash the truth about his plan to change the future, with the exception of Joe West.
Having Barry immediately come out with the truth to Iris and his team is a good choice to make. Like most obstacles Barry faces on The Flash, they are usually faced better as a team. Though I wonder how things would have been different if Joe West knew the truth as well. Barry’s reasons for not telling Joe do make sense, but it may have been better to have his police expertise on the matter.
When Barry and Cisco vibe their way into the future to get a sense of the news headlines they can change to alter the future, we do get a few interesting teases of what may come in the remainder of season 3. These teases include a reemergence of Gorilla Grodd, Caitlin once again becoming Killer Frost, and a mention of Music Meister, who we know we make his first appearance in The Flash and Supergirl‘s upcoming musical crossover.
In addition to setting up a new direction for Team Flash to head in, “Borrowing Problems From the Future” also makes some new developments for the series. After some reluctance from Barry and the rest of Team Flash, Julian is officially accepted as a member of the team, as Caitlin needs as much help as she can get for her Killer Frost problem. Also, after an unsuccessful soft opening, the S.T.A.R. Labs Museum is officially up and running. This not only further justifies HR’s place on the team as he was one who thought of the idea, but also justifies S.T.A.R. Labs’ existence in Central City.
Overall, this week’s episode was a welcome return for the series. It added plenty of new elements for fans to be hopeful for, and made for a fun and compelling story. Plunder has villain-of-the-week spelled all over him, but even he had some attributes that made him a formidable opponent as he used weapons almost specifically suited to go up against speedsters. The episode even concluded with a surprising twist as we find out HR is being hunted by someone from his Earth.
Next week, Cisco will go full on Vibe against someone from Earth-19 hellbent on apprehending HR. Check out The CW’s “Whisper to a Scream” trailer below for a glimpse at next week’s episode “Dead or Alive,” and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Borrowing Problems From the Future” in the comments.