The Flash Season 3, Episode 9 Recap: “The Present”


In the midseason finale, The Flash travels to Earth-3 to ask Jay Garrick advice on dealing with Savitar, while also dealing with the reveal that Julian Albert is Dr. Alchemy.

With the threat of an alien invasion over with, The Flash can concentrate on solving the mystery of who/what is Savitar? We begin four years ago in the Indus Valley, where Julian Albert is dressed like Indiana Jones and leading an excursion. Julian is haunted by a voice that sounds a lot like Savitar. He finds an artifact and when he opens it, the screen is filled with a bright white light.

Barry Allen heads to his old office to ask Julian some questions. Julian admits he used his inheritance money to search for the Philosopher’s Stone (a.k.a. another name for the Sorcerer’s Stone in Harry Potter!), which is where Dr. Alchemy gets his ability to grant metahumans their powers.

After doing some digging, #TeamFlash discovers that Savitar is the first meta with speed. So he’s the OG of Speedsters. Apparently, Christmas dinners are a big deal in the West household. Joe West even has a date with Cecile Horton, as they make a bet on who’s grandmother has the best eggnog recipe.

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Barry travels to Earth-3 to get some advice from Jay Garrick on how to deal with Savitar. We get a cameo from Mark Hamill, reprising his role as Earth-3’s Trickster. After the two speedsters are done with Trickster, they get down to the business of Savitar. Jay’s heard of him, but even he’s not fast enough to see Savitar. Jay calls Savitar the God of Motion and says Savitar sees Barry as a challenger. So this all comes down to ego? Is Savitar afraid that Barry will surpass him as the preeminent speedster?

Speaking of speedsters, Wally is the newest member of the club and has begun his training with H.R. Wally. It seems he’s is even faster than Barry was when he first started. This excites Wally, and he wants to tell everyone the good news. H.R. is no dummy, however, and knows better than to trifle with the West household.

The holidays are reminding Cisco Ramon that his brother Dante is no longer alive. He’s starting to have visions of his deceased brother. While this is going on, Barry still hasn’t wrapped Iris West’s gift. She’s all excited about what she got Barry, and he’s “meh” to it all. Barry better be careful or he’ll start to lose boyfriend credits.

It’s time for some action, and up next is a tag team match between Savitar and Dr. Alchemy versus The Flash and Jay Garrick. Jay can finally see Savitar, but he probably didn’t see the butt-whooping Savitar was about to put on him. Barry makes quick work of Dr. Alchemy and traps the Philosopher’s Stone in a box, which stops Savitar from killing Jay. The Flash pulls off Dr. Alchemy’s mask to reveal Julian underneath.

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Julian wakes up in a cell at S.T.A.R. Labs. He has no recollection of the last few hours as Dr. Alchemy. #TeamFlash wonders if Julian is just acting dumb. Cisco performs some tests on the box holding the stone, and all the results come back as if the box doesn’t exist. Barry asks Julian if he ever blacks out or has moments he can’t recall. Julian doesn’t give any straight answers, so to gain his trust, Barry takes off his mask. This allows Julian to open up to Barry, and he starts to reveal how his blackouts began when his sister died at 20. One day she came back to Julian in a vision and told him where to find the Philosopher’s Stone.

While the two are talking, Savitar makes his move on Cisco. Savitar tricks Cisco into opening the box, essentially freeing the God of Speed. Wally decides he can’t stand on the sidelines anymore and races to save Barry. Caitlin Snow pleads with Cisco to close the box, and that the visions of Dante aren’t real. At the last minute, Cisco comes to his senses and closes the box.

Joe is furious with Wally for risking his life like that. And the secret training sessions with H.R. come to light. H.R. says Wally is special, and if Joe keeps denying him, Wally will search for acceptance somewhere else.

Cisco rigs up a device that will allow them to speak to Savitar through Julian. Savitar begins speaking to #TeamFlash through Julian, and prophecies that one of them will betray, and another will fall. Savitar comes from a future where future Barry ticked him off royally. One creative idea on how to defeat Savitar is to bury the stone underground.  Cisco quips, “Nu uh, Jumanji.”

They all agree the best solution is to toss the stone into the speed force. Barry will run with Jay and siphon some of his speed. Just as Barry tosses the stone he’s dragged five months into the future, where he witnesses Savitar kill Iris right in front of him.

This is some pretty heavy knowledge for Barry to process. He contemplates creating another “Flashpoint,” which Jay immediately shuts down. Jay says the future is fluid, and the most important thing for Barry right now is to live in the moment.

We end the episode at the West holiday party, where the battle of the grandma eggnog ends in a tie. And a kiss between Joe and Cecile. Even though Julian usually spends Christmas alone, he manages to make an appearance. Finally, Barry’s big gift to Iris is their very own apartment.

Next: Catch up with a recap of 'Invasion!'


Savitar’s reveal that there is a traitor in #TeamFlash made me think about the Killer Frost / Vibe fight we saw a few episodes ago. The obvious assumption is Caitlin is the traitor, but what if it’s Cisco? Savitar already manipulated him once, who’s to say it won’t happen again?

Closing Thought

That wraps up the first half of The Flash Season 3. Will Barry be able to prevent his future from happening? I hope so, cause I’d hate to lose Iris West as a cast member, especially after everything she and Barry have gone through the last two seasons.