Sunday, June 23, 2024

The Flash Un-Meh-sks Savitar, But Killer Frost Steals The Show

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After three seasons of The Flash, the audience should be more than used to these big reveals—thing is, we are, specially if they are expected, which lead to a very lukewarm reception to the season’s biggest mystery being finally shown. However, “I Know Who You Are” still packed a huge punch because of one amazing Killer Frost.

So, we start off with the very last scene of the episode: Barry confronting the Savitar. The dialogue doesn’t quite goes as follows, but could have very well gone:

Barry: You’re impossibly fast and strong. Your armor is pale metallic and probably ice cold. Your eyes shine blue. You wanna kill my fiancée. And sometimes you poorly enunciate your words when you speak like you’re from a different time. You never eat or drink anything. You don’t go out into the sunlight. I know who you are.

Savitar: Say it. Out loud.

As I contemplate how little I had to change the dialogue from Twilight to fit in my metaphor, we are thrust back in time 16 hours earlier to see the casual and domestic life of Joe and Cecille. The couple arrives from a jog, get all cutesy and stuff, when Cecille drops the L-word and following a shitload of clichés, Joe gets weird about it. Thankfully, he is called into a Flash meeting at STAR Labs where Barry is telling everyone about Tracy Brand.

Now if you recall correctly, that is the scientist who 2024-Barry said would create the technology that would imprison Savitar, but only in 2020. In his dossier, we learn Tracy will become one of the world’s top theoretical physicists (hooray for another DCTV Lady Genius!) earning her Nobel Prize in 2021. Iris vocalizes the idea that there’s a chance Tracy might be working on a prototype for the device now so they should try to find her.

Julian points out that people are not looking for Caitlin, but he is quickly shut down by Cisco. Also, Wally is said to be visiting Jesse in Earth-3 which leads me to two theories: 1) every once in a while, the writers don’t really know how to write too many people in the episode or 2) the writers do realize that some people are not important to the episode’s plot. Either/or, someone gets sent away for a little break and Wally got the shortest stick this time.

Cisco, Barry, and HR locate the university Tracy is working on her graduate program and find her setting her stuff on fire out of frustration for her failed dissertation as she contemplates being an attendant at Big Belly Burguer. The team tries to convince her to keep focused on her work, but Killer Frost breaks the party up. Barry is able to deflect the attacks from Tracy but, when given the chance, Cisco couldn’t bring himself to use his powers against Caitlin.

Now at CCPD, Tracy works on with a sketch artist on Killer Frost as Team Flash realizes that the villain has already teamed up with Savitar. Joe acts a bit odd with Cecille as she tries not making a big deal out of Joe not saying “I love you” back, but they end on a good note. Despite warnings from Barry and Joe on KF probably trying to attack her once again, Tracy ends up leaving to catch a bus.

Savitar calls out Killer Frost for letting Tracy go and using the name “Killer” without having actually murdered anyone. Tracy goes to Jitters for a cup of Zoom when HR “randomly” meets her. He tries to charm his way into a conversation with her by pretending to know about science when he is actually being coached by Cisco in real time. Julian tries to start a dialogue with Cisco about him not taking the shot on Caitlin earlier on, but once again, gets shut down. During the stakeout to protect Tracy, Barry tells Joe that he should tell Cecille about Team Flash as to not keep secrets from her.

Tracy tells HR about her studying of speedsters—HR even gets to “suggest” the name Speed Force for what she is describing as the place where some of the energy from the lightnings come from—and, according to her calculations, there might be a way to manipulate the speed force and maybe even control it/turn it into a prison.

As HR tries to flirt with Tracy, Killer Frost attacks, but the Flash saves the day. SO NOW, best sequence from the episode as, get this, Killer Frost basically steals that Frozone move from The Incredibles as she creates ice on the air in order to slide and move faster through the city. Seriously, it’s a great scene that must have cost a lot given how long it is and that it is enriched by The Flash chasing after her. Once again, when given the opportunity, Cisco doesn’t attack Caitlin, leading her to stabbing Barry in the like alike in her first appearance this season…scar tissue is a lot more sensitive!

However, unlike last time, Barry is all fine when they return to STAR Labs with Tracy. The team exposes Tracy to the whole story involving Savitar and how she can help stopping the villain. The point of this scene is Tracy confronting her self doubt, seeing how right she was, and how much she is worth.

Third time now, Julian confronts Cisco about not attacking Caitlin and he confesses he is afraid of killing her with her powers because he still sees her as his best friend. Joe tells Barry that he wishes he didn’t have to tell Cecille about Team Flash because she is the most “normal” part of her life. HR barges in the convo with the news that Tracy is gone from the premises.

The team investigates her pictures that came with the hologram from 2024 and HR figures out she might be near a statue of Galileo and, gasp, he’s right! He brings her another Zoom and she confides that she had found some comfort in the statue Galileo’s peers thought he was a crackpot much like her own misfortunes with the academia. However, seeing as she was right all along intimidated her far too much. HR confesses he is not actually a genius, reassures her of her intellect, and the two bond.

Sidenote: I see they are building into a possible relationship between HR and Tracy and, I admit, they got the “cute factor” right, probably due to Anne Dudek’s and Tom Cavanagh’s performances. However, I really kept waiting for Tracy’s “I’m gay” line the entire time. Sure, The Flash gets some slack for being the first DCTV show to have gay characters (Captain Singh & Pied Piper, season 1), but at this point, it is also the only one not to have regular/main LGBT+ representation as Arrow gets Curtis, Supergirl has Alex and Maggie, while Legends has Sara. Honestly, I actually got very disappointed when the “reveal” didn’t come because it had a lot of potential.

So, Cecille arrives at Joe’s for the scene that was screaming to happen: she tries reassuring him that it is okay for him not say the L-word, but he ends up breaking up with her because he doesn’t want to see her dragged into the more “risky” parts of his life. She leaves the house, but doesn’t get far away as Joe’s entire not explicited point Killer Frost captures her and threatens her life, telling Joe that he will get a text with an address to take Tracy to or Cecille will be killed.

They regroup the team at STAR Labs to cook out a plan. Julian reassures Cisco that his intentions come from love and that he can use his powers to save Caitlin. So, Joe and The Flash takes Tracy to the address and meet up with Killer Frost. Barry tries talking to her, but his attempts at convincing her to be a good person meet up with Killer Frost saying the exact lines in unison as she explains Savitar has told her exactly what goes down that night because he has already lived it.

Killer Frost attacks and, once again, gets the best out of Barry, but is met with Cisco’s powers. He ends up overpowering her and taking a blood sample before Savitar comes and takes her away.

Back at the lab, as Cisco wonders how Caitlin knew exactly what Barry was going to say, he drops the almighty “It’s like Savitar was there”. Iris points out the obvious: why didn’t Savitar just kill Tracy there and then instead of leaving with Caitlin? The answer was pretty much a “¯\_(ツ)_/¯ idk, man, he needs her for something”. Julian says the blood collected might help them reverse engineer a cure for Caitlin’s “affliction”.

HR and Tracy talk once again and she basically lays out the idea: the exoskeleton suit Savitar uses is a “strange metal” that allows Savitar to neutralize the electric charge he builds around himself when he runs because of how fast he goes. So, a device able to harness that power could be the one to trap him inside the speed force.

Joe and Cecille meet up as he apologizes for hiding his personal drama with metahumans and for freezing when she told him she loved him, leading him to a poorly executed attempt at pushing her away. However, he is done with it: he officially takes off his old wedding ring, tells her he loves her, and sits back to tell the whole truth.

We find ourselves with Barry and Iris catching up with Wally, back from his trip, and with an ecstatic Joe after coming clean. Mr. Sleuth himself, Barry Allen, starts connecting the dots—the many, many dots we got this season—and gets the “I KNOW” look on his face.

He leaves the house and meets up with Savitar at a discreet location. The scene plays back like the beginning of the episode: Savitar knows everything about Barry, Joe, Iris, Wally, and Team Flash and, now, Barry knows who he is. The exoskeleton comes off to reveal, pause for dramatic effect,  a scarred Barry Allen: “I am the future Flash”.

So, there’s that. I would say the reveal was a bit anticlimactic probably because people have been theorizing that a corrupted future version of Barry would be a villain with the Reverse Flash, Zoom, and Savitar—these “dramatically satisfying” reveals only pack a punch because they have to be someone we already know and care about. It was like that with Harrison Wells, working wonders, and with Jay Garrick, to a lesser extent. This time, it kind of failed because it was already SO expected rendering the “plot twist” less effective.

It’s not that it doesn’t make sense though: there are several clues throughout the season and compilation videos on Youtube prove it. The scar was a nice touch, though, and thankfully we will get our answers next week. However, due to my creativity or lack thereof, I am left wondering about the implications: why did 2024-Barry didn’t know it if this has already happened? Has Barry being in touch with Tracy changed the future? Also, are we to believe that time isn’t a closed loop, leading 2024-Barry from last episode being from a timeline where the past version of himself having never gone to the future for answers? I’m not quite sure, to be honest. Time travel is confusing and creates loopholes right and left.

Current theories go on about a Barry from the Iris-less future becomes evil and goes back in time to assure his own creation by killing Iris himself, getting us back to the loop thingy. Even if this makes sense so far, I still wish they had gone with a more out-of-the-box idea to “Who Is Savitar” if they need to make a big deal out of it anyways: just think what if Savitar is an Iris from a different Earth? Sure, this sounds completely insane and the justification would have to be amazing—even if a bit repetitive considering we had Zoom from Earth-2—but at least it would not be so obvious.

One thing is certain though: this episode was amazing covering Tracy’s first appearance (I love Anne Dudek, so I am totally loving her character), Killer Frost’s “rivalry” with Vibe, Cecille and Joe’s relationship, and the reveal about Savitar. Season 3 is almost over and I can’t wait to see where it leads us.

Images Courtesy of the CW

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