The Flash: 3.20 I Know Who You Are
It's been a long time coming but we finally know the identify of The Flash season three's big bad Savitar. I think it works to; it's far more satisfying than Zoom's identity last season (in fact season three is generally an improvement) and it opens up a whole new host of questions. Barry Allen is Savitar; a dark, bitter twisted future version of himself. To be honest, the clues were kind of there already and the moment that Killer Frost starting replaying Barry's words before he even had a chance to speak them sealed the deal. The reveal at the end of the episode wasn't jaw dropping but it wasn't ridiculous either. It just kind of felt...right.
Now that may suggest that I'm not happy with the direction that season three has taken; far from it. For the most part this has been a much more cohesive year overall and the narrative of Flashpoint, Iris's death and Savitar have made for a much stronger connective tissue. Now with Killer Frost in the mix, it's upped the ante even further. I think where I feel undecided is in what a future Barry being the villain means. Is he this Barry Allen's destiny or some dark alternate future? Is he an offshoot of Flashpoint itself? I don't believe we'll know how successful Savitar is until the season is out; certainly why he would kill Iris if this sends him down his dark path (as last week's episode suggested) raises a conundrum or two. Either way, with just three episodes left, there is still a strong momentum to the finale, the opposite of season two that seemed to peter out before the end of the Zoom story arc.
But that was just the ending; I Know Who You Are had a lot of fun with Killer Frost before we got there and it was a blast. While there is still a flicker of doubt behind her eyes about willingly killing someone, Caitlin Snow has been almost consumed by her new identity. And now in league with Savitar (two heroes turned villains) the episode really began to pay off a year or two's worth of storytelling. The big battle in Central City as Killer Frost created sweeping ice bridges across the cityscape was nothing short of spectacular. Cisco faltering in taking her down was understandable, but Barry faced the consequences of her ruthless in a particularly vicious moment where she slammed an icicle into his leg.
And the later showdown, after she had captured Joe's girlfriend Cecile, I wondered if we were going to see the future we saw last week played out as Cisco / Vibe finally battled his old friend; instead his anger, his determination and his will to save her won through, only to be lost as Savitar carried his new ally away. I do wonder if this is the end of Danielle Panabaker's time on the show, at least as a series regular. Despite all of Cisco and Julian's plans to cure her, it might be more tragic if she stayed as the enemy; a former hero recurring throughout season four as a villain? That would add some spark to next year.
Plus we have a potential replacement in Tracy Brand (Anne Dudek), the scientist who helped Barry trap Savitar in the Speed Force in the future. There was a great reference to her being Sarah Connor or Miles Dyson and there was certainly a Terminator motif at play as Savitar sent Killer Frost to kill her before she could help invent the cage that would defeat him. But was was so surprising was how well she fit into the team. Tracy had brilliant chemistry with HR Wells too, their spicy coffees hinting at a spark of potential romance further down the line. With a balance of genius and heart, I could see her playing a pivotal role in the final weeks ahead.
I'm more convinced than ever that it will be Joe that won't make it out of the season alive though. After fumbling his way through his feelings for Cecile and trying to protect her from his secret ties to the Flash, he ended up nearly losing her and then finding true love again. She is certainly looking like a goner, but I think his decision to embrace happiness will be his undoing and there is likely to be another twist if and when Iris is eventually saved (and I think she will).
I Know Who You Are was one of the strongest episodes of season three, unleashing Killer Frost in spectacular style with thrilling confrontations between her, Flash and Vibe and Panabaker really having fun with her new ruthless alter ego. Tracy Brand made a great addition to the team and we finally learned who Savitar was. Barry really proved himself in solving the puzzle but now the heartache begins - and the headache too - as we try to work out how the Flash is going to defeat his evil future self...