Welcome back to my weekly recaps of The Flash. To read previous coverage, go here.
One will betray you.
Apologies again. Such was the case with my Supergirl coverage, life caused me to fall completely behind in my television viewing. However, also such as was the case with last nights Supergirl, of all episodes to return to, it would seem this weeks installment of The Flash was the best choice, offering up perhaps the strongest episode the series has produced in season three thus far. Action packed, emotionally raw and offering up major decisions and pitfalls for each character to fall into, each that was telegraphed largely from who we know the characters to be, it was a potent and thematically exciting episode. Sure, Barry kind of behaves like a dick, Wally has been trapped in some unyielding hell and the team continues to fray, but when it’s all done in a manner that justifies the drama it adds to the story rather than detract as has been the case in the past.
Here are some thoughts on the episode as a whole.
Who the heck is Savitar?
The Flash loves to exploit the friend turned foe narrative and while it’s pretty much a given at this point and time this year we’re less certain of who it’s going to turn out to be. We knew in season one that Harrison Wells was the man in the yellow suit and despite it being obvious it still packed a dramatic punch because of how much we cared for him and his dynamic with the team, Barry especially. In season two we also had a pretty strong hunch that Jay would be the big bad and that was instead met with a pretty heavy sigh because a. we weren’t surprised and b. we just didn’t care due to a mix of lazy, apathetic writing and a less than stellar Teddy Sears. What’s different this year is we have no real hint on who is Savitar and, perhaps, the biggest surprise could be that he’s no one we know? Maybe his identity could stay hidden and instead the one who betrays him is a friend who gets in his way of saying Iris?
But that’s unlikely.
Caitlin seems too obvious at this point in time due to how heavily they’ve been tracking her potential shift into Killer Frost. Similarly Julian seems unlikely since he’s new enough that we won’t be as stung if he turns out evil and he’s also already dabbled with being mind -controlled.
Throughout the majority of the episode my guess was Wally, even if I had to excuse the idea that he’d kill his own sister, no matter how warped. He was angry with Barry and feeling betrayed and weak and maybe this was the start of his trajectory to getting more control before completely loosing it. But then he was sucked into the speed force vortex and I’ll need some legitimate explanation to wrap my head around that one.
My last guess? Cisco. No matter how much it distresses me it would fit into Savitars line of Reverb telling him he had the powers to become a god, a quality Savitar clearly cherishes. It would also make sense with the darker, slightly angrier version of the character.
I’m likely wrong, but please feel free to speculate below. ‘
Angry Barry vs. Angst Barry
The difference between these two versions of the character makes all of the difference in the world when it comes to how enjoyable this show is. Grant Gustin is very good as this character, completely charismatic in all iterations of how Barry Allen and the Flash behaves. However, aside from the absolute vulnerability he can express at any moment (might he be one of the strongest criers currently on TV?) his character is less frustrating when he’s working on anger versus fear. We’re frustrated throughout the entire episode because of how he’s letting his fear bog him down and ruin his relationships with those around him, abusing Iris’s trust with a false engagement borne out of his anxiety of loosing her. On the otherhand, his resolve shaking anger at Savitar when he comes out of the speed force is palpable and makes him much more of a looming threat. This is the version of the Flash we need to see more of to buy his face off with Savitar to believe that he even stands a chance.
That being said, all angry all the time Barry is not a fun look and I’d certainly love some of that fun to return.
But for now…
The real fallout if Iris dies
Because of how much of the season has been dominated but this potential outcome, I’d like to believe that the shows writers are smart enough not to kill of this character. Take a look at what happened when Arrow killed Laurel Lance’s Black Canary. I can’t imagine anything less than double that outage if the same happens to Iris, a wonderful character, lead by a soulful actress and one half of the strongest, most stable relationship in the DC TV universe.
I can’t possibly see how the show would redeem themselves and build back their audience if this were to happen. Hopefully it’s nothing more than a red herring.
What did everyone else think of the episode?