Synopsis of 3×12: When a meta begins hunting cops who went after him in Flashpoint, Iris is caught in the crossfire and Wally questions whether he can match Barry. Caitlin questions her villainous future.
In a way, that’s probably a good thing. I haven’t been too thrilled by the new meta-plot of the third season of The Flash and it’s fine to see the team go up against a new villain, the super obscure baddie Clive Yorkin, who can disintegrate people and objects with a touch. It’s ultimately an excuse to catch up all the characters with the new status quo, namely Joe, and train up Wally for his role in fighting Savitar in the future.
All of this is, arguably, fairly essential storytelling at this point. I like the idea of having to train Wally to usurp Barry but there’s just no getting around how little new stuff is actually here.
The biggest real shift is in Caitlin’s continuing struggle against her powers. When Iris suffers from Yorkin’s attack, Caitlin briefly unleashes her powers, still unsure over just how much longer she can hold back her villainous identity.
It’s really the right way the show should be addressing the struggle between what the characters know of their futures versus what they struggle with in the present, even if it feels like a repeat of so many of Caitlyn’s storylines already.
There’s just no getting around how much this feels like a filler episode, right down to the last moment reveal of next week’s cliffhanger. Even the best character beats and the smartest reveals couldn’t save an hour that barely finds anything new to say about these characters or situations.