The Flash Season 3 Recap And Review – Episode 20: ‘I Know Who You Are’
Let’s just say it, The Flash took way too long to reveal Savitar’s true identity. In delaying the God of Speed’s identity, the creative staff sapped some much needed momentum from the story. So of course it makes sense that tonight’s episode “I Know Who You Are” would wait until the very last minute before giving us an answer that’s approximately two months late.
I know it sounds harsh; after all we were just delivered the identity of Savitar and the stakes were thoroughly raised. However, I really feel that this was a missed opportunity. Let’s but Savitar’s identity to the side for a moment and focus on what happened in the other 41 minutes of the episode leading up to this moment. Quite frankly, a lot of it was filler.
For instance, while the Caitlin moments were spot on, the majority of this episode didn’t feel focused on our newly minted Killer Frost and her diabolical master. Instead we had a lot of filler regarding new love interests, taking relationships to the next level and Cisco having a bit of an anxiety attack. This isn’t to say that these subplots weren’t engaging – they just felt misplaced.
Speaking of Killer Frost, I think it’s safe to say that the slow burn of Caitlin’s descent into villainy is the perfect counterpoint to Savitar’s secret identity. Whereas hint and conjecture was the name of the game when it came to our dark speedster Caitlin’s change was gradual and foreshadowed. It felt completely earned and when she finally went “White Witch”. The resulting betrayal landed massive emotional dividends and shows just how important Caitlin has become this season.
In fact, I’d say that if Captain Cold is permanently removed from the equation, she could easily fill in as the Rogues new leader. In fact, let’s make that happen. Killer Frost as the leader of the Rogues in Season 4. Just imagine a group of Rogues led by a former member of Team Flash who has borrowed her playbook from Marvel’s Iceman. Sliding around on an improbable ice slide, throwing frosty blasts and icicles at the scarlet speedster with Trickster, Mirror Master, Top and Weather Wizard securing the score. It’s a wonderful visual and would certainly break up the monotony of all speedsters all the time.
Killer Frost also capitalized on the one subplot that deserved some screen time this week: the bond between Caitlin and Team Flash, specifically Cisco. These characters are like family and to watch Cisco grapple with the fact that he may have to kill Caitlin was pitch perfect. There was some real pathos there between the two actors as they were put on opposite sides of the proverbial table. The result was a nuanced encounter that revealed that there might be a piece of Caitlin Snow buried deep inside the glacier that is Killer Frost, waiting to be thawed out.
That takes us to the other subplots this week. Namely the adorable (but completely out of place) bond between H.R. and scientist Tracy Brand. While it feels a little weird adding someone new to the fold this late in the season, Anne Dudek did an admirable job bringing some levity to the show as the bumbling scientist who learns how to trap Savitar.
In that same vein we have Joe and Cecile who decided to up their drama this week because…reasons? The long and the short is Joe’s angst over telling Cecile the truth about Barry and the rest of his extended family in Team Flash. Unfortunately all of this felt forced as Joe is literally the guy telling everyone else to “just be honest” with whomever their love interest is. To have Joe fall into this same trap feels like a plot line that can’t be described as anything else than filler. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all about romantic entanglements and emotional journeys, but sometimes people can just exist in a great place without it suffering the “CW effect”. Would it have been so bad to have this wait until next season before unsealing this can of worms? Probably not.
That brings us to the Savitar reveal. I admit, I have been yelling “it’s Barry” since the early episodes of the season. Turns out I was right. I know some of you might have been in the Wally camp, but Barry is the most plausible choice. It also saves us from two major things that have been bugging me this season. First: another speedster? Three speedster villains in a row was pushing it, and diffuses my second point. Second: how can Barry claim to be “the fastest man alive” if these other guys are always faster than him? Well…the label fits, albeit from a future point of view.
More to the point though, it makes Barry his own worse enemy and brings something back that I’ve been yelling since the very first episode this season: we’re not done with Flashpoint. I believe that the reveal of Savitar has ultimately shown Barry that he made some changes that cannot be fixed by “being faster” or “smarter.” In fact, I believe in an episode or two, we’re going to see Iris die. My prediction is that through a series of flashbacks we’re going to see Barry’s entire future unfold in front of him and he’s going realize that his greatest mistake was not stopping Savitar.
In fact he’ll realize that his tampering with the timeline and saving Nora Allen was his greatest folly. As I’ve said a dozen times this season, we have still not the Season One Finale scene from future Barry’s perspective. Through this, he’ll understand that he has to go back and make things right, one last time. I think this is the event that spurns that change. I think we’re about to close the loop on Barry’s time travel for the near future, and I think we’re about to experience a massive reset, that may change the entire board once again. I think that, if the writers pull this off, they will have taken a season that felt very hit or miss and made it something worthy of the name Flashpoint.
Now as we close in on the season finale, we need to just sit back and hope that there are no more drawn out moments only exhilarating stakes.