Spoilers ahead for "Wrath of Savitar," the latest episode of The CW's Flash!
The short version: Savitar is messing with Wally's mind, so the gang hooks Julian up for a few chats with the beast. Barry is kind of a dick. Savitar tricks Wally into letting him loose and Savitar stabs Barry. But he's okay.
The good: Savitar creepiness, the Caitlin twist, Wally's fate
Tom Felton's Julian is slowly becoming a likable member of Team Flash, but dang, the dude can straight-up turn on the creepiness when he needs to. The gang hooks up Julian to Cisco's device to channel Savitar a couple of times to try to pump him for information. Felton is positively terrifying in these scenes, which is especially impressive when you consider the fact that it's not even his voice they're using. That's all in the eyes, man.
We learn that Savitar was trapped in a Speed Force prison by Future Barry, and by tossing the Philosopher's Stone into the Speed Force to get rid of it (which seemed pretty dumb in the first place), they actually gave him exactly what he needed to escape. All he had to do was trick Wally to throw in the last piece, and boom, it's super-fast freedom. Savitar mocks Barry and the gang for trying to change the future, and it brings up some interesting questions about fate vs. free will (though Flashpoint already showed you can change time, and it happens every week on Legends of Tomorrow, but whatevs).
As for that final piece of the Philosopher's Stone? Caitlin's had it the entire time, and had she just kept it locked up and never told anyone, Savitar would still be stuck in the Speed Force. But hey, the plot demands it. Having Caitlin keep the fragment as an effort to cure her Killer Frost powers made a lot of sense and circled back to the lingering arc about her internal battle with Killer Frost. A smart callback that actually seemed to fit the character's motivations. Well done.
Boy, how about that ending? As comic fans are well aware, Wally West has spent a bit of time trapped in the Speed Force over the years. Well, the small-screen version has officially made his first trip. Savitar tosses Wally into his prison while making his escape (because Future Barry made up that rule, for some reason?), leaving nothing but a charred piece of Kid Flash suit in his wake. It was a chilling moment, and trips into the Speed Force always make for a, uh, trippy good time.
Other good moment: H.R. thinking he's the best man. Adorbs.
The bad: Dumb decisions, Barry's kind of a dick, heavy-handed 'Fear'
Look, dumb decisions are a staple of TV storytelling, but this is just silly. Wally keeps his flashes of Savitar a secret for … no reason at all. You literally have a team of scientists who specialize in this stuff, not to mention Julian has gone through it before. Use the resources around you, bro. Then he tries to solve the problem by himself and tosses the fragment into the Speed Force — doing exactly what Savitar wanted him to do. Again, don't go rogue.
Barry Allen is supposed to be a nice guy, but once again he's kind of a jerk to Wally. To the point that Joe (once again) has to chime in with a "Hey!" when it goes too far. There have to be better ways to show Barry's frustration other than just being a raging dick toward Wally. Let's get a bit more creative.
This week's theme was fear, and they hammered it pretty hard. Barry acted out of fear in proposing to Iris in an effort to change the future; Wally did a whole bunch of stupid stuff out of fear; Caitlin kept the stone fragment out of fear; etc. Some of these stores worked great. Others — like Wally being a complete idiot — did not.
Savitar offered up a few teases about his eventual assault on Team Flash, if you listened closely. He tells H.R. that he'll survive and calls him a coward; and he tells Iris that either she dies or he dies. So, are their fates somehow intertwined? If Barry saves Iris, that means he'll kill Savitar? There's also the lingering questions of who will betray the team, and we doubt that it's Caitlin or Julian at this point (that'd be a bit too obvious, no?).
Also, it's starting to feel more likely that Savitar might be someone we've met before or will meet in the future? He seems to know a whole lot about Team Flash, to the point that he's talking with them with a bit too much familiarity. Fans have been waiting for the show to bring back Rick Cosnett's Eddie Thawne — could a far-future version of Eddie, lost in the time stream and stripped of his humanity, be under that mask? If not Eddie, who else could it be? They have a piece of his suit now, so maybe that will provide some answers.
Other notes: Savitar looked a whole lot better this week, effects-wise. Also, how did Barry magically hold his own in a fight this time around (at least before getting stabbed)? He went from getting his butt beaten to actually landing a few punches. Hey, we're psyched to see Barry get in a lick or two, but it seemed a bit sudden.
Line of the night:
"You guys can count me out, because I didn't bring an endless supply of boxers to this planet." - H.R.
Next week: Barry heads into the Speed Force to save Wally and comes face-to-face with more than a few late, great familiar faces.