I’ve maintained since the early days of Season Two that The Flash needed to beef up their interests in The Rogues. The Rogues Gallery is literally The Flash’s most important asset and has been sadly neglected in favor for Omni-speedsters that can slow the story to a crawl despite the writers best intentions. So it’s been a welcome change to see The Flash rectify this problem by bringing in a new Rogue, tonight’s titular villain: “Abra Kadabra”.
Despite the shadow of Savitar looming over this week’s episode, “Abra Kadabra” delivered an entertaining episode about a 64th century con man. Played by the impressively talented character actor Dave Dastmalchian, Abra Kadabra was given a particularly chaotic energy that could only be described as delightful. While one might consider Dastmalchian’s performance a little over the top, one has to remember that Abra Kadabra is a man with a 4,000 year head start over anyone else in the room. With a bevy of technological tricks and sheer charisma to spare, Abra Kadabra knows he’s better than his 21st century contemporaries. I mean seriously. Imagine you had a chance to go back to 2,000 B.C. with iPhones, various guns, and all the fun little nick knacks mankind has developed of 4 millennia…you’d act like whimsical mad man too.
Abra Kadabra’s “magic” was pretty cool too. I admit that his teleportation card trick was my favorite gag of the night as he created a cloud of confusion using a deck of simple playing cards. However, as much as I enjoyed the magic like technology, I really appreciated the sheer threat level of Abra Kadabra. His powers were so unusual that it took the combined forces of Flash, Kid Flash, Vibe and Gypsy. To say that he proved to be a challenge for our fearless heroes is an understatement.
I think that’s why I was somewhat irked when the plot of the story took a left turn. Instead of the focusing on how to stop Abra Kadabra, the plot became tied into the tired and plodding narrative of Savitar’s identity. Honestly, I gave up caring. After months of teasing out Savitar’s identity, they’ve exhausted my good will. Unlike Season One which revealed Harrison Wells at the mid-season break or Zolomon Hunter in a two thirds of the way through Season Two, Savitar’s identity is still a question mark.
Worse yet, the delay has sapped any momentum from the story and directed a stark light at this season’s over arching plot, which I am sad to say, was truly lacking. No matter what Savitar’s identity turns out to be, I’m going to feel underwhelmed and that’s a really disappointing feeling. To add insult to injury, the answer was left unresolved.
And now we’re in a month long hiatus before the final batch of episodes in late April. At this point, I just want Savitar to go away. The chance of this guy becoming The Flash’s greatest rival is evaporating at a record pace and it’s really too bad. Maybe they’ll figure out a way to make the reveal something amazing, but I’m feeling a lot of doubt about it.
On the flip side, one of my favorite Rogue subplots got a huge bump in the story department this week: Killer Frost. Despite some serious failings on the Savitar front, this season has really nailed the Caitlin/Killer Frost dynamic. Her slow burn (freeze?) story into a deranged psychopath has been nothing short of brilliant. After an explosive run in with Abra Kadabra Caitlin had to perform emergency surgery on herself with the help of Julian. It was probably one of the most tense moments of the year as she gritted her way through a pretty wicked abdomen wound.
After she passed through the danger period, everything seemed to be on the up and up but of course, you gotta end the episode on a big note so she began to go into systemic shock. With Caitlin banging on death’s door, Julian had to make a choice: let her die as Caitlin or remove her power suppressing totem and let Killer Frost out, which would precipitate some accelerated healing. It was hard to watch as this could very well be the moment that destroys Team Flash as we know it. All I ask is that Savitar not suck away all the awesome from this amazing build up.