Previously on The Flash, “Cause and Effect”
I love this show. I do.
But this episode was a convoluted, hot-ass mess.
One Does Not Simply Walk Into A.R.G.U.S., Except When One Does
Tracy’s (Anne Dudek) speed bazooka (don’t even get me started) needs a super power source and Cisco has tracked one at A.R.G.U.S., so he and Barry head over to beg Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) to let them borrow it for a minute or ever. They don’t know what it is, they just know they need it. Turns out, it’s a piece of tech taken from the Dominators’ alien ship and Lyla isn’t too keen on handing it over to Barry since his unchecked actions are what had aliens jumping in their asses to begin with, and that ended with the death of the damn president.
I Said I Would Never Do It Again, Except When I Will
Barry decides that he’ll just break into A.R.G.U.S. and steal the power source. Mind you, he’s never seen the damn thing and still doesn’t really know what it is or where it’s held, but he’s certain he can run in there and grab it. Maybe he’ll bring a pair of tongs or those reusable grocery bags. I don’t know.
Anyway, doesn’t matter much because A.R.G.U.S. is cloaked in meta-human power dampeners and soldiers who don’t give a fuuuuuck.
You know else is out of fucks? Barry. Remember how he said he would never, ever travel back in time since that’s what started all this mess, AND sent aliens after them, AND changed Cisco’s and Caitlin’s lives? Well, no one else seems to care about that because when Barry reveals he went back in time to snatch Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) out of it, he gets barely a tongue lashing. I don’t blame Barry for doing it, but it makes no sense that Cisco wouldn’t at least give him a “See? THIS is why I wasn’t fucking with you before and shaded you on four different TV shows in front of our super friends.”
Snart is down for a little B&E (naturally), and with the help of H.R.’s Earth-19 transmogrify tech, Barry poses as Lyla placing Snart under arrest at A.R.G.U.S. After a brief fight and a lot of unnecessary King Shark, Barry and Snart almost make it out with the power source, but the real Lyla shows up and punishes Barry by giving him the power source anyway. Huh.
Fleeing Won’t Work, Except When It Does
H.R. suggests putting Iris on a plane to Paris and Barry says there’s nowhere Savitar won’t find her. Once it’s on the table, Savitar knows it’s been batted down by Barry. But then why wouldn’t the team minus Barry come up with a place for Iris? Oh, wait. That’s EXACTLY what they do not five minutes after Barry said that wouldn’t work. Barry entrusts Joe and Wally to take Iris someplace safe (while he’s breaking into A.R.G.U.S.); but they need to keep him in the dark so Savitar won’t know where. THIS is actually still risky since — as I just mentioned — Savitar will at least know that they’re attempting to hide Iris.
Still, it was a pretty decent plan until H.R. told Barry where she was (Earth-2) and it turned out Barry was Savitar. Even that wouldn’t have been too terrible if Harry had taken Iris, Joe, and Wally to someplace other than the breach room in Earth-2’s S.T.A.R. Labs. Let’s just all stand at the door to save Savitar the trouble of searching an entire planet should he happen to learn of our plan.
Savitar “you’re not my real dad”s Joe, beats Wally’s ass, and then snatches Iris.
We’re All Going to Save Iris, Except When We’re Not
H.R. feels like shit. He’s finally found his groove with the team — still haven’t heard a peep about that museum, but *Kanye shrug* — and has fallen for a woman he just met last Thursday, but he totally screwed up by dry-snitching Iris’ location to Savitar and that means he has to die. His final conversation with Cisco — where Cisco tells him how great he is and how he shouldn’t feel bad for his mistake — was dripping in “this is absolutely our last conversation.”
Again, without Barry present, H.R., Cisco, Tracy, and Joe come up with a plan to stop Savitar at Infantino Street. This intricate plan involves shooting Savitar with the speed bazooka (I can’t even!) while Joe sits on a rooftop with an ineffective gun, and Tracy presses buttons on a tablet. Where’s Cisco, the other powerful meta-human in their group, you ask? He got a vibe of Killer Frost asking him to come out to play in the same wooded area he saw in his vibe of their future fight. He decides he has to go to her and Barry co-signs (even though Barry’s ass should have already left for Infantino Street and not be privy to any pre-save Iris plans), telling Cisco that without Savitar around, this might be their only chance to get through to Caitlin… you know, after them telling us for fifteen damn episodes that once you go Killer Frost you don’t go back.
At the fateful confrontation, Barry manages to shoot Savitar with the speed bazooka (I mean…), but it doesn’t work because of all the fucking things they decided to keep from Savitar, the creation of the trap four years earlier wasn’t one of them. He’s already figured out how to beat the trap to begin with and it’s due to the Philosopher’s Stone. Thanks, Caitlin.
Savitar then gets down to the business of killing Iris in front of Barry; the one thing we said wouldn’t happen, until it did.
Up to Speed
The fact that Grant Gustin is so damn good as Needs More Hugs Barry only convinces me further that the Savitar reveal should have come a lot sooner. He’s scary good when he looks at people we know Barry loved with nothing but scorn and contempt. And when he threatened to kill Harry? Damn. So good.
Iris and Joe’s last conversation was beautifully written and acted… I just wish they’d had it in a hotel room under an assumed name in Earth-2’s Australia.
More Wentworth Miller, please.
So many great H.R. moments/lines. *sniff* I’m going to miss him.
Considering Temper Tantrum Barry is Barry minus goodness in his heart, it’s tempting for the show to hit that dead horse one more time: Barry shouldn’t lose himself to save Iris, or anyone for that matter. I wish the show had resisted that temptation. Not just because they’ve gone to that well a few times before, but it feels particularly hollow when he just broke the rules to get Snart and no one said squat.
Lyla had several good reasons for withholding the tech from Barry: his reckless time travel shenanigans caused aliens to attack them and the tech is so powerful it would be catastrophic if it falls into the wrong hands… like Savitar’s. So it was a bit annoying when Barry asks if her refusal to help was because he changed the fact that she had a daughter when he created Flashpoint. Basically, are you petty or nah? Nah. How about she’s a competent woman who understands the importance of her job? Of course, it made it even more absurd that Lyla would then hand it over after he lied to her, injured her men, and compromised her job, just because she saw him spare King Shark and not leave Snart behind.
Killer Frost is just… ugh. Since when does she want to be a god?
Questions & Predictions
So, there’s no way Iris West is really dead or will stay dead. If it’s the former, that means someone else took her place. One way this could have happened is if everything we saw go down was part of the plan we didn’t see the team formulate when Barry left them alone. Since he’s not in on it, his reaction is real. Of course, this doesn’t explain Joe’s reaction unless he’s just jarred by seeing someone die while looking like his daughter.
The most likely candidate is H.R. since he felt extremely guilty for giving up Iris’ location and was staring at the piece of Savitar’s suit they obtained in “The Wrath of Savitar.” Since it acted as a way to locate the suit, perhaps H.R. transmogrified himself to appear as Iris, found where Savitar was holding her before midnight, and managed to swap places with her. How he knew to behave just as Iris had in those visions of the future is something we can forgive, I suppose, if need be.
There’s the pesky question of Savitar’s endgame and the exact nature of his “birth.” If Iris is already dead, can’t Barry alter the future and Savitar’s origins by not making time remnants? Sounds like the best play is to get the stone away from him and use the speed bazooka (*sigh*) again.
And what does any of this have to do with Killer Frost? It’s possible Savitar wishes to end this loop by going to, or creating, another some kind of new reality. Has he promised a way of bringing Ronnie back? But why would Killer Frost care about Caitlin’s husband? Since they’ve spent zero time exploring how her powers work or what she wants (other than to just cause trouble and speak in auto-tune), it could literally be anything and that’s annoying because it guarantees that only diehard fans of the character(s) will give a shit.
Or maybe Savitar really needs Cisco and Killer Frost is his bait to get him. Vibe’s powers seem like they’d be more useful to Savitar that Killer Frost’s.
Will we ever go back to the night Barry thought he was going to save his mother, but another version of himself told him…
Could that be the key to stopping Savitar once and for all? I don’t know. I have a time headache.
Also, where the fuck is Julian?
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The Flash S3E22
Starring: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Keinynan Lonsdale, Tom Felton