The Flash: Season 3 Episode 18 review – Abra Kadabra
This review contains spoilers.
Coming off the back of last week’s superb musical episode, the revert to a tame episode was probably inevitable, given how the writers tend to proceed after exciting episodes. This week brought a new villain to the show in the form of Abra Kadabra – a smarmy, confident antagonist who utilises science so outside the realm of our current knowledge that it perceived by us as magic (hence the perfect opportunity to use that timeless Arthur C. Clarke quote).
Kadabra is straight from the comics, with the show writers faithfully sticking to his origin story; he is a super villain from the 64th century – a time when science has made stage magic obsolete. David Dastmalchian – who is no stranger to live-action DC, having been in The Dark Knight – pulls off arrogant, creepy magician well. What he crafts though, is more a villain who you despise, rather than one you respect for being a great antagonist.
I found the moment of Barry begging rather interesting, for the simple fact that Kadabra refused him outright. Normally, a moment like this would only be written into the script if the result would change something – if it got the team an answer of some sort.
But Barry and co got nothing at all out of his pleading and the entire moment seemed simply designed to highlight how truly cold Kadabra is. IMDB lists Dastmalchian as a returning villain for Episode 23, so perhaps this coldness will play into that episode a little.
Gypsy is becoming an ever more commonly recurring character on this show and it’s really nice to see. Not only is she a great character in her own right (and we learned more about her backstory this week), but her interactions with Cisco are generally magic. This week slipped up on that chemistry a little, however, with Cisco acting very cringeworthy indeed.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being awkward – it’s something most of us have experienced – but Cisco hadn’t really acted this way up until now, so his sudden switch seemed a little desperate and strange. And he didn’t stop after being told by the others that his actions were embarrassing.
The entire episode seemed like a lot of effort just to arrive at the idea for Barry to visit the future in order to acquire some knowledge. The writers often use this tactic – belabouring an entire plot around some lame villain, just so that Barry can arrive at some new conclusion.
The prospect of Barry visiting the future is an exciting one though, because who knows what we will see int he process. Particularly if Barry intends to visit far into the future. A keen eye could spot a fair few easter eggs or hints, which could play into future events.
The episode’s other big reveal was Caitlin nearly dying and then turning full Killer Frost. Since the writers have opted to take this avenue, I can only hope that they have the courage to stick with it this time. If Caitlin is pulled back into being herself (probably by Julian) within the next episode or two, then it will be mighty aggravating indeed.
I would much rather see Killer Frost stay as Killer Frost, for a decent amount of time, causing trouble for the team. This was a good episode, but Kadabra was a little detestable (in the bad way) and the writing felt a little contrived.
Image credits: The CW