The Flash: 3.15 The Wrath of Savitar
The week The Flash went all The Exorcist as the Star Labs teams took it upon themselves to communicate with the evil Savitar through a possessed Julian. While The Wrath of Savitar didn't quite pay off on the 'return of the big bad' cliffhanger from last week, the story instead took its time seeding more revelations about the latest evil speedster before he finally emerged at the end of the episode.
It turns out Wally had witnessed a vision of Savitar and had been seeing them repeatedly for the last week. Of course, The Flash employed the classic TV trope of characters keeping secrets for 'reasons' which was a little frustrating as both secrets this week felt hidden for plot purposes rather than natural character traits. Wally didn't tell his friends that Savitar was repeatedly turning up until the moment the vision physically attacked him in the street, observed by Barry. And Caitlin had conveniently held onto a piece of the Philosopher's stone to find a way to remove to remove her meta human powers. There was no reason for Wally to keep this vital piece of information secret, particularly when their whole mission was to get faster to stop Savitar killing Iris. While Caitlin just came across as an idiot and Julian was right to be angry with her; after all, it was partially her fault that Savitar got loose at the end - well Caitlin's and Wally's.
Tom Felton was at his best this week, and I agreed with his common sense approach not to awake the monster by tapping into Savitar through him. Fortunately the scenes where the team questioned Savitar were the highlights of the episode; Felton did a great impersonation of evil (and not in a hammy Malfoy kind of way) and there was a real sense of skin crawling going on as his Savitar-possessed form picked apart each character in turn. There was some intriguing plot building too; Savitar made himself a speedster and came face to face with Barry in the near future before the team banished him into the future.
So it begs the question; who is Savitar? Could it Wally himself who was manipulated by Savitar in a very creepy scene where he appeared as his dead mother, into throwing the last piece of the Philosopher's stone to defeat Savitar, unbeknownst that the villain was in there all along and needed the last fragment to break free. Savitar talked about creating himself and he certainly created Kid Flash and he knows each character well.Though perhaps I'm reading something more darker than the show will dare go; either he's been transformed into Savitar and he's now consumed by evil or he's trapped in the speed force. Either option is not a great fate for Wally who was Barry's secret weapon to save Iris.
That final showdown was brutal too, teasing someone familiar behind the mask while showing Savitar beat down Barry with ease. The revenge from the future by an evil speedster should feel tired given Zoom and Reverse Flash's stories, and yet surprisingly this is still an exciting turn of events. Like Prometheus over on Arrow, The Flash is doing a great job of building up the mystery behind the lead villain's identity while not suffering by playing its trump card too soon, like the show did with Zoom last season.
There was some great character work all round; Joe's upset about not being asked for permission to marry his daughter to the twist that Barry asked Iris to marry him because they weren't engaged in the future. It quickly soured the happy opening as they announced their engagement, though I'm glad it didn't lead to a break up. Barry and Iris are surprisingly strong together as a couple and I like they can treat each other like adults. They love each other and she acknowledged why he did it. There was even some nice stuff with HR playing a surrogate father to Jessie after the loss of Wally.
The Wrath of Savitar built up nicely to the big bad's return while adding a few twists and plenty of questions along the way. The episode might have stumbled with Wally and Caitlin's secrets but there was plenty of great emotional drama and menace to keep the pace to the very brutal end.