Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed the crossover madness because we’re switching speeds from Zombie to Christmas theme. Thus, we have a gift in this mid-season finale!
The finale launches with Julian in India on a quest for the Philosopher’s Stone, more affectionately known in these recaps as the Magic Rock. He delves into Indian ruins, unearths a box, and frees its powers.
The crew needs to figure out how to track Alchemy. Cisco finds a dissertation about an ancient, powerful Hindu rock, ironically written by Julian. Barry questions Julian and discovers that Julian funded an expedition to find the Philosopher’s Stone (said to be the first object to give people powers) but says he never did. Barry continues questioning and inquires about Savitar. Julian defensively tells him to let it go. As Barry departs, Savitar beckons, and Julian (or should i say Alchemy?) answers.
Meanwhile in Earth 3, the Trickster has a showdown with the Flash/Jay Garrick – you know, the version played by Barry’s father. The Trickster unloads a machine gun, but the Flash captures every bullet inside his metallic helmet. Barry rushes in, lassos the Trickster and disables his surprise bomb. Although he saved the day, this isn’t the reason for his arrival. Barry asks Jay about Savitar. Jay doesn’t know much except Savitar was the first man ever granted with speed and progressed to become the God of Motion. He also has the M.O. of sending a predecessor [Alchemy] to an Earth before he arrives. Since Savitar’s imposing presence is imminent, Jay agrees to partner with Barry.
Cisco sees a ghost of Dante for the second time. He tells Caitlin, and she suggests that his mind is playing tricks on him. Cisco recollects a pleasant Christmas that he shared with Dante and admits it was one of the few times there wasn’t tension between them.
Barry returns to his Earth, and Iris tells him she found a story where 4 scientist were killed in an Indian excavation led by Julian. Barry recognizes there’s a connection between Julian and Alchemy, so he and Jay prepare for battle. Wally wants to tag along and confesses that he has been training with HR. Nevertheless, Jay and Barry depart [without Wally] and arrive for a showdown with Alchemy. Savitar instantaneously arrives, grabs Jay, and gives him a dose of rag-doll treatment. Meanwhile, Barry engages in a quick round of fisticuffs with Alchemy. He uses a speedy sneak attack to knock Alchemy unconscious. Afterwards, Barry encloses the Philosophers Stone in a box (which stops Savitar from Killing Jay), and Barry unmasks Alchemy’s true identity: Julian.
Barry takes Julian to a metahuman containment cell where he [convincingly] denies any knowledge of Alchemy and claims that they are framing him – so much that Cisco and Caitlin kinda believe him. The Flash returns and questions Julian. To gain his trust, Barry unmasks himself. Julian tells Barry that he suffers from blackouts and his dead sister reappeared and informed him where to find the Philosopher’s Stone. As a result, Julian went on the expedition to India and spent months searching. Upon finding the stone, Julian says he returned to consciousness in a hotel room and learned of his squad’s death by way of a news report. He thought he would be blamed for their deaths, so he ran to America.
Dante appears in front of Cisco yet again, except this time he isn’t just a fleeting glimpse. He tells Cisco the stone can cause him to be reborn. Under emotional duress, Cisco opens the box and Savitar appears. Caitlin pages Barry to the Cortex, where Cisco, seemingly entranced by the box, needs help. Savitar tells Barry to “bow to his god,” and begins slinging him around in a personal game of wall ball. Joe, Iris and Jay, see Barry caroming off the walls via a security camera but can’t see Savitar. HR gives Wally a bode of confidence, and he runs to the scene (against Joe’s wishes). Caitlin confronts Cisco, urgently pleading with him to see Savitar’s mental manipulation. He awakens from the trance and closes the box.
In the post-showdown fallout, Cisco begins working on a plan he thinks will work against Savitar. In essence, they want to sync Julian’s brainwaves with the box in order to speak with Savitar. He agrees, and Cisco hypnotizes Julian. He screams, then the voice we know as Savitar begins speaking. He knows all of their names and claims that he is the “future flash.” He tells them dooming information about their destinies and says he has come to reclaim everything that was once taken from him. Long story short, he’s trapped in eternity and blames Barry and, thus, is on a revenge trip.
Jay suggests that they they throw the box into the speed force because it’s an endless void of time and energy. The box has too much gravitation pull for Barry to throw alone, so Jay proposes a plan where he runs in front of Barry -like a fullback does for a running back- which will create a slipstream where Barry can siphon his speed and convert it into his own. They launch into a full-throttle race around the particle accelerator course. Jay reaches his top speed while carrying the box and laterals it to Barry. Barry throws the box into the beginnings of the speed force and gets blasted. When he gets on his feet, a news report time-stamps the occurrence. He begins walking down Infantino Street and hears somebody shout “DONT!” He approaches and sees Savitar confronting another version of himself while choke-holding Iris. Savitar extends a claw and kills Iris, whose limp body falls into Barry’s arms. Jay rushes in to bring Barry back to present time from this “future” vision, set to occur in 5 months.
Barry begins theorizing this is the reason why the news article in the timeline vault was no longer written by Iris. Jay assures Barry that the future holds endless possibilities and tells him to focus on the present and the consequences of his decisions. Now that the box is gone, Christmas Eve begins unfolding on a rainy evening at the West household. HR is drunkenly floating around the house (undoubtedly thanks to Joe and Cecile’s competing eggnog recipes).
And, what’s Christmas without gifts? Wally unwraps a Kid Flash speed suit. Julian unexpectedly arrives and gives Barry an envelope while explaining that he cancelled Barry’s work termination. Carolers sing to enhance the Christmas feel, and Caitlin quickly channels her frosty powers to transform rain into snow. Barry and Iris leave, and he takes her to their new apartment. Based off his trip to the future, he wants to secure his relationship with Iris for as long as possible.
So, as the episode wraps, we’re left with many questions still: Is Savitar actually sealed in the speed force? Is Savitar the Future Flash? Does this vision from the future come true? Enjoy the Holidays. Merry Christmas! Be sure to tune in on Tuesday, January 24th when the season returns.