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TV Review: The Flash - Season 3 Episode 15 "The Wrath of Savitar"

03.07.2017

EPISODE 15: "The Wrath of Savitar"

SYNOPSIS: While training with Barry, Wally starts to have visions of Savitar, which he hides from the team. A dangerous secret threatens Barry and Iris' happiness.

The Flash, TV Review, The CW, DC Comics, Superhero, Comic Book, Fantasy, Drama, Science Fiction

REVIEW: While Arrow made the decision to unmask their arch-villain Prometheus last week, tonight's episode of The Flash keeps the mask on Savitar for a little while longer while upping the stakes for multiple characters on the show. With just about eigh episodes left in the season, The Flash is beginning to set up an endgame for the Flashpoint saga that will likely have lasting repercussions for this show. Now, over the previous seasons there have been plot decisions made that were presented as game-changers, but with the pending death of Iris West on the horizon, it is looking more and more likely that this show is going to have a whopper of a season finale. Tonight's episode snuck up on me a bit but managed to pull together some plot elements that I felt had dangled just long enough and boy was the payoff worth it. Barry Allen's life has never been more in flux that it is by the end of this hour.

Last week, Wally began having visions of Savitar. Now, the team knew this was impossible because they threw the Philosopher's Stone into the Speed Force weeks ago, right? Well, it turns out that Savitar may be trapped in the Speed Force but he is able to pop out and torment Wally bec ause the whole stone was not sent over by Barry. In fact, Savitar has been stuck inside the Speed Force the entire season with Barry's creation of Flashpoint spurring the villain into action. That's right, when Barry created Flashpoint, and therefore created Kid Flash, Savitar realized he could manipulate Wally West's ego and desire for fame to his advantage. So, Savitar has been playing the team the whole time with the end goal to be freeing himself and imprisoning Wally West in his place. How do we know this? Well, Savitar monologues his whole plan during the closing scene. Classic villain move.

Wally has always been a character in love with himself and the idea of being a superhero. It makes sense that Savitar would manipulate that but, at the same time, we have other characters on this show manipulating things in their own way. First, Wally uses Cisco to vibe into the future for clues to save Iris and notices that she is not wearing an engagement ring. Calling this out to Barry forces him to reveal that he proposed to try and change the future to save her. After contemplation, Iris decides she does not want to marry Barry under the threat of fear but only because they truly love each other. We also learn that Caitlyn kept a portion of the Philosopher's Stone after Julian, under Savitar's control, threatens everyone with his imminent return. When Caitlyn reveals she kept a sliver of the powerful token, Julian is aghast that her feelings for him were all a ploy to try and rid herself of her Killer Frost abilities. Caitlyn insists that is not true but Julian storms off regardless.

Everyone is forced to face some awful realities this week but no one more than Wally himself. After finally achieving the speed needed to save Iris, Wally reveals that he has been seeing Savitar and is dressed down by Barry for it. Jesse tries to console her boyfriend but Wally is terrified of seeing the speedster who will kill his sister in mere months. While talking, Wally sees a vision of his dead mother. She sweetly lauds her son's speed but Wally soon realizes that it is just Savitar toying with him. Determined to finally rid himself of the spectre, Wally steals the remaining piece of the Philosopher's Stone and goes to throw it into the Speed Force. The team at STAR Labs quickly realizes that Savitar has been in the Speed Force the entire time just as Wally opens a vortex and throws the rock in.

The Flash, TV Review, The CW, DC Comics, Superhero, Comic Book, Fantasy, Drama, Science Fiction

What follows was brutal for any fan of the show. As Barry watches, unable to stop it, Wally's Kid Flash uniform is burned off of his body as he is pulled into the Speed Force. Moments later, Savitar comes crawling out and proclaims his freedom. Threatening Barry with death, the two speedsters fight. It is worth noting that for most of these scenes, Savitar is actually an actor in a costume rather than CGI. On one hand, it is nice to see a more realistic presence on screen but at the same time the bulky costume looks like a reject from an episode of Power Rangers. Barry is able to get some good hits in on Savitar but the villain plunges a talon into The Flash and makes his escape. Back at STAR Labs, the team removes the talon and Cisco begins to run tests on it. Caitlyn apologizes for lying but Barry feels ultimately responsible for kicking everything off with his creation of Flashpoint. The episode culminates with Barry realizing Iris has removed her ring and Jesse mourning the loss of Wally.

A brutal and tough hour for The Flash, this was also one of the better episodes this season. More than any other hour, this one truly makes the stakes tangible. With Wally trapped and Iris's days literally numbered, Barry is against the ropes. The fact that everything is spurred by Flashpoint makes the limited time we saw that universe all the more poignant. It also drives home the inclusion of Wally West as Kid Flash. I have really come to enjoy the multiple speedsters on this show but making Wally the sacrificial lamb and having his devil may care personality traits a major factor in his downfall is excellent plotting from the writers. Part of me is now convinced that Savitar is actually Wally West from another dimension or timeline. While the twist on Jay Garrick was one some fans did not appreciate, turning Wally West into a bad guy could be even more divisive. But, for a season that has been very uneven, it is nice to finally have something invested in what comes next.

EPISODE GRADE:

NEXT ON THE FLASH: "Into The Speed Force" airs March 14th - Desperate to stop Savitar and save his friends, Barry turns to the speed force for answers. H.R. gives Jesse some advice.

Source: JoBlo.com

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