It’s Christmas with The Flash! But while Barry and the team are trying to get into the holiday spirit, Savitar and Alchemy threaten to ruin the eggnog. Will our heroes be able to stop these Grinches? Will I stop making these awful Christmas puns? (yes) Here we go!

The Christmas season is a time of celebration, but life’s still a bit tense for Team Flash. Sure, Cisco and Barry healed the rift in their friendship and they defeated an alien invasion. But Wally is still on the sidelines due to Joe and Iris, Barry’s unemployed and Savitar and Alchemy are still a looming threat. Even worse, as revealed two weeks ago, Julian is Alchemy.

To find out more about Savitar, Barry visits Earth-3 to get some advice from Jay Garrick. It’s always an absolute delight to see John Wesley Shipp on this show. Thankfully, he gets more to do than lecture Barry. Instead, Jay enters the fray, distracting Savitar (by getting beat up), while Barry faces Alchemy. After knocking him out, Barry seals away the Philosopher’s Stone, the source of Savitar’s manifestation in this realm.

So is all is well, right? Not quite. It turns out that Savitar’s spirit has a way of speaking to people, appearing as loved ones they’ve lost to tempt them into releasing him. That’s how Julian became Alchemy. The same thing almost happens to Cisco, who’s struggling to get through his first Christmas without Dante. On one hand, this creates a beautifully-acted scene where Cisco and Caitlin share their favorite holiday memories with lost loved ones. But on the other, it leads to Cisco temporarily freeing Savitar.

Using Julian as a conduit, the gang gets into a creepy conversation with Savitar, who mysteriously states that “One shall betray you, one shall fall, one will suffer a fate far worse than death.” The two Flashes have had enough of this and they toss the stone into the Speed Force. But somehow, Barry is transported five months into the future, where he sees Iris die.

This show has never known what to do with Iris, outside of the will-they/won’t-they romance. At this point, she either sits on the sidelines or is the damsel in distress. That partially comes from the size of the main cast, but she constantly gets the short end of the stick. Hopefully, Wally’s new role as Kid Flash will give her something more to do!

I also thought this future vision would lead to Barry moping or breaking up with Iris, but instead, he does his best to enjoy “The Present.” Christmas ends with the gang together, including Julian, Barry getting his job back and him and Iris moving in together. Not a bad way to wrap up this half of the season.

Assorted Thoughts:
– Julian clearly never saw any Indiana Jones films. If you find an ancient artifact, “it belongs in a museum!”

– So The Flash used up all its budget on last week’s crossover, as the fight scenes and Earth 3 CGI looks super-rough. It’s pretty distracting in places.

– Earth-3 has its own Trickster! And yes, he’s played by surprise guest, Mark Hamill! Great seeing him again, even if it’s for a minute.

– Okay, maybe it’s just because I live in New York City, but carolers don’t actually go to random houses and sing, do they?

– Wally gets exactly what he wanted for Christmas, a Kid Flash outfit!