The Flash 3.18 Review – “Abra Kadabra”
After last week’s rather chipper episode of The Flash, the show returns to its main storyline. It’s interesting how things can switch tones so quickly. Last week featured the hyped musical crossover with Supergirl. It was far from filler however, as the ending had Barry re-propose to Iris. Today’s episode, “Abra Kadabra” brings back the more serious atmosphere. There’s a lot to like here, with the primary thing being that everything comes together perfectly.
The big thing here is that Abra Kadabra himself is actually an engaging antagonist, unlike a lot of other one-shot villains in this show. He isn’t the usual “villain of the week” throwaway. He’s vital to the plot, unlike say Shade who was completely irrelevant to the story back in the episode titled “Shade.” David Dastmalchian’s portrayal of Abra Kadabra was excellent; he was basically a more serious version of Music Meister, which was perfect. Barry’s first meeting with Abra was very well done. Not only is the actual battle unique (the card scene is one of the most memorable of the show) but the dialogue is great as well because Abra reveals he’s from the future and he knows everything, including Barry’s identity. This intensifies the atmosphere for the rest of the episode.
The great thing about this episode is that everything is done right. The pacing is fantastic and there’s tension because of Iris’ future death. Iris herself has really developed as a character here. Previously she was understandably frightened about this future, but now she’s being strong about it. One of the best scenes is when Barry is deciding what to do about Abra claiming he knows who Savitar is. He will give Barry that information, but only if Barry lets him go and not be taken into custody by Gypsy. Barry seems to be leaning toward agreeing, but Iris says that letting a murderer go, thus putting other lives in danger, is not worth her life. There’s a lot of compelling dialogue in this episode.
Gypsy plays a large role throughout. Her first scene was well done: she teleports right into Barry’s first encounter with Abra Kadabra. We later learn that Abra killed her partner, thus making her character arc here even more interesting. This is a problem for the characters, because as stated before Abra is offering team Flash a deal which conflicts with Gypsy wanting to bring him into justice. A turning point was Joe letting Abra out, then things going haywire when Gypsy finds out and interferes before Abra reveals who Savitar is. Abra escapes at that point, soon leading to a heated argument between Joe and Gypsy. Joe believes he’s justified because protecting family is the most important thing to him while Gypsy fires back. This heated exchange was very well done.
On some last notes, the climax is a highlight. It features some fun sequences, plus we get to see Cisco and Gypsy team up briefly. The best part about the climax is the Flash’s finishing move: it looked like something straight out of a comic book and had cinema-level quality. Caitlin has a pretty substantial role in the episode. She almost dies in a well done, emotional sequence. The big cliffhanger here is that she ends up turning into Killer Frost. The other big cliffhanger is that Barry decides that the only way to gain knowledge on how to save Iris is to travel to the future. Based on the preview, we have a lot to look forward to when the show comes back on April 25th. Oh, and one last thing: H.R. is absent from the episode until the last sequence. I had completely forgotten he existed until he showed up in the last few minutes. His presence would have contributed nothing to what was going on before. This shows that he isn’t needed.
Overall, “Abra Kadabra” is the season’s strongest episode. The story moves at an excellent pace. The dialogue is very good, and the action is fun to watch. Abra Kadabra himself was a fun antagonist, and unlike other “villains of the week,” he was actually important to the grander storyline. The tension, from Iris’ future death to Gypsy wanting to bring Abra in, is all great. The season looks to keep going with hopefully a strong last few episodes to match today’s quality.