Previously on The Flash, “Attack on Central City”
Now that we’re done with the monkey business, The Flash can get back to everything that makes it great: the team dynamic (even when it’s problematic); the high stakes in facing a formidable, secret villain; the compelling relationship drama that can only be achieved when the characters truly care for one another; and a few WTF moments (even when they’re problematic).
Wally tells the team about his Savitar visions after Savitar attacks him in an alley. Barry is, rightfully, pissed and worries that this connection between Wally and Savitar could lead to Savitar knowing their every move.
In trying to figure out what Savitar wants and how to stop him, Julian once again allows Savitar to communicate through him; Caitlin admits to keeping a piece of the Philosopher’s Stone; Iris learns that Barry proposed as a way to change the future; Wally is tricked into freeing Savitar and taking his place in the Speed Force; and Barry is seriously wounded.
Why Not Both?
The best conflict is one in which all parties have good points. The team agreed to not keep secrets and we’ve seen them stick to that (*side-eyes Caitlin*). If Wally thought seeing Savitar was just stress, it’s understandable that he wouldn’t say anything. On the other hand, he’s a speedster and knows about meta-humans, time travel, and alternate timelines and worlds – he shoulda said something about seeing Savitar. Barry agrees and lays into Wally.
In Barry’s defense, they’re trying to save Iris’ life so no one should be taking chances and withholding information. But Barry’s treatment of Wally and banishing him from the cortex in case Savitar can spy on them was so harsh it set in motion the events that led to Wally, feeling hopeless, releasing Savitar.
H.R. and Wally have such great chemistry. I could watch an hour of just the two of them doing stuff and thangs. H.R. had some of the funniest lines of the episode, plus a touching moment with Jesse as she mourns Wally. Keinynan Lonsdale delivered with this material; some of the more challenging material he’s been given thus far.
Also, I really like Julian. Can we just kill Caitlin and let him stay? Which brings me to…
Caitlin Snow is a Duplicitous Heifer and She Needs to Go
I’ve been saying since season two that Caitlin is problematic, and this would be fine if she’s written that way on purpose – and I’m not sure that’s the case. She showed some serious classism when choosing the new Firestorm. She’s had to be begged several times to use her powers to save lives. She makes EVERY situation about her. Caitlin Snow has most definitely #NotAllWhiteWomen’d conversations on intersectionality in feminism. Caitlin Snow is totally the type to vote for Trump, and then walk around wearing a safety pin the next day. Caitlin Snow asks, “What about crime in Keystone?” when Central City’s black citizens protest police brutality.
Caitlin Snow is the worst.
She admits first to Julian, and then later the team, that she kept a piece of the Philosopher’s Stone in the hopes that she could use it to stop her powers. The only one to call her on it is Julian. I don’t begrudge Barry his anger at Wally, but I damn sure call bullshit on him not even raising his voice at Caitlin. No one had a problem with her keeping a huge, dangerous secret. Then, the writers made it worse by making it so that it’s a good thing Caitlin kept the piece. Savitar is trapped in the Speed Force and needs the entire stone to get out.
I’m sure there are some delusional viewers – you know, the ones who use Photoshop to remove the black female lead of the show and replace her with a white woman whose character has never, ever been romantically linked to the white male lead, yet swear they’re not racist – who will say that this is a sign Barry truly loves Caitlin and can’t bear to be cross with her. To those viewers I say, back away from the hallucinogens. Go outside. Smell some flowers. Pet a puppy. And reevaluate your life choices.
To the writers: Get some black writers in that room. At least three. Barry stays jumping in Wally’s ass. It’s so damn gross that you basically had Barry Kanye shrug in response to Caitlin’s betrayal. The only way this will be somewhat forgivable is if Wally is Savitar (more on that in a bit). In which case, good. Barry deserves all this hot ether Savitar is about to unleash.
Say Yes to the Dress, Iris
Funny that this is one of my favorite episodes in a long time, and it contains a major speed bump for WestAllen. Again, both Iris and Barry have understandable points of view on this one.
Everyone knows that Barry and Iris are meant to be, and that they will be married. Barry doesn’t think he’s proposing to Iris out of fear; they’re going to get married anyway so what’s the harm? But Iris has a good point: the proposal is tainted because the impetus for it wasn’t a romantic desire to make Iris his wife (which Barry does have), but the fear of losing her. It’s like one more thing to check off the Stop the Future whiteboard. It’s a legitimate concern because marriages that begin based on a rash decision rarely work out.
Once everyone has the full picture, they know it’s not right. Joe couldn’t believe Barry didn’t ask for Iris’ hand, and now it makes sense that he didn’t. Barry, when he’s thinking straight, would remember the importance of this romantic (but antiquated) gesture. He’d do it for Joe. This was a great touch to inform the audience that Joe’s and Iris’ concerns weren’t out of nowhere. They come from the two people who know Barry Allen best.
Now, Barry just needs to ask again and let that woman say yes.
Who Is Savitar?
At some point in the future, Barry banishes Savitar to the Speed Force where he’s been trapped long enough for him to lose his mind several times over. When Barry created Flashpoint, Savitar got the idea to turn Wally into his Flashpoint self, Kid Flash. I’d asked from the beginning why he’d want to make another good guy, particularly a speedster and one who’s close to Barry. Savitar needed Wally to get fast enough so that he could open the Speed Force and take Savitar’s place.
Now it’s clear why they rushed to have Jesse move to Earth-1 for Wally, even though they’ve had no real contact. With Wally out of commission, Jesse will be the speedster help Barry needs. Kinda like how they sent Henry Allen camping for a full season, just so he wouldn’t have cause to make the Jay Garrick connection to his family.
We still don’t know who he is under that Ultron suit, or why he and Barry had beef in the first place. After this episode I’ve narrowed down the options to:
- Wally West
- Eddie Thawne
- Barry Allen (maybe one of the versions created due to messing with the timelines repeatedly)
These are a few clues and how they apply to my suspects:
Though Savitar implies that he and Barry haven’t yet met in Barry’s timeline (the one we’re viewing), Savitar knows things that he can only know if he’s currently working with the team now. (Wally)
Savitar said, “I’m nothing like you, Barry. You’re cruel. You’re selfish. From my perspective, you’re the big bad.” (Wally, Eddie)
Savitar knows that H.R. was a fraud and was trying to find his place in the team. He knows that they’ve been trying to change the future. (Wally)
On why he and Barry are enemies: “Because we had to be. Only one of us could live.” (This season, there’s been a lot of talk of Wally and Barry being in competition, and of Joe having to choose one.)
To Joe, answering what they did to him: “You took everything from me! I never asked for any of this, Joe. I’m only this way because of you. All of you.” (Eddie, Barry)
When asked when he and Barry meet: “Not long now. You’re there when I become who I am.” (Wally, because it’s a paradox and Wally/Savitar is created when he’s sucked into the Speed Force)
Barry asks if he gave Savitar his speed: “Oh, no. I created myself, Barry. Only I can bring out my greatness.” (Eddie, Wally)
Barry: “We got rid of the Philosopher’s Stone.” Savitar: “Did we?” (Wally; why wouldn’t Savitar say, “Did you?”)
Savitar: “But Barry Allen doesn’t kill. He’s the good guy. The boy Joe raised. The man Iris loves. You have everything and deserve none of it.” (Wally, Eddie, Barry)
Leave your thoughts on the episode below or on our Facebook post for this review, and we’ll read them on tonight’s podcast.
The Flash S3E15
"The Wrath of Savitar"
Starring: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Keinynan Lonsdale, Tom Felton