By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Flash.
I guess my theory that Julian as Doctor Alchemy was low-hanging fruit was incredibly wrong. It seemed too obvious, but maybe that was the writers’ intent. If we all thought Julian was Alchemy right away, then perhaps we would all dismiss it. Because of this play by the writers’, this ended up being an incredible twist. We know for sure that Julian is Alchemy, but there’s still plenty to learn. For example, we don’t know how willing his participation is. Sure, he’s done Savitar’s bidding up until this point, but he was running away at the end of this episode. We also learned that he’s merely an acolyte of Savitar, so maybe he’s come to his senses and realized that bringing back an evil god of motion isn’t such a good idea? For now, we can all go back to rightfully hating another character that Tom Felton plays so well.
Savitar is an interesting character. In the comics, he’s a human who gets speed powers and adopts his name after the Hindu god of motion. In addition to having his own speed, he’s also able to steal the power of other speedsters. This may have been what was happening in the beginning of this episode when he was dimension-jumping around the city while grasping Barry. It also appears that the writers may have written Savitar to be an actual god-like being rather than a human speedster. If that’s the case, seeing Barry go up against the ruler of the Speed Force should be exciting.
Barry really took his hits in this episode. You have to feel for the guy. All he wanted to do was save his mom and right a terrible wrong that had been done to him and his family. He was willing to sacrifice everything, including his own powers, to make that happen. It just never occurred to him that it wasn’t only a self-sacrifice. Barry has hurt so many people this season, and that’s something that needed to be addressed more. He ruined Cisco’s life by costing him his own brother. He’s burdened Caitlin with the Killer Frost powers. He cost John Diggle a daughter. He somehow created Julian and turned him into an acolyte of Savitar. And these are just the people we know about. We can say with an almost absolute certainty that he’s affected the lives of countless people in ways they don’t even know. Barry is one of my favorite characters on television right now, but it was hard not to sympathize with Caitlin and Cisco tonight. Barry needs to figure out a way to fix this.
This was an amazing performance by Danielle Panabaker. She seemingly went full evil as Killer Frost, but she was just desperate to find Alchemy so her powers could be reversed. That’s not only understandable, it’s a great twist on a character who has traditionally been a supervillain. Having Caitlin go full Killer Frost would probably make for dramatic television, but the writers would be sacrificing a wonderful character. This way, we get to see what would happen if Caitlin ever completely loses it while still getting to keep the character around for the foreseeable future. As long as Julian is defeated, he can’t reveal the truth about Caitlin and her abilities to anyone, so here’s hoping Barry figures out this problem soon.
Thanks for reading!