By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Flash.
A Plot: Brand Recognition
We came into this episode expecting it to be all about Barry finding out the identity of Savitar and dealing with that, but that’s not what we got. Instead, this episode was about Barry finding and protecting Tracy Brand, the physicist who will one day discover the way to trap Savitar in the Speed Force. This was a fantastic episode and the cat-and-mouse game played between Team Flash and Killer Frost allowed the Savitar reveal to build more organically. Focusing this story on Brand also allowed the writers to show just how desperate Barry is. We all know by the now the danger of letting someone know too much about their future. Barry wouldn’t even initially tell Joe about Iris’ fate because of the danger of Joe doing irreparable harm to the future, but Barry didn’t have any time for that tonight. By their third meeting, Barry was telling Brand all about her work with the Speed Force and even how she would one day be awarded a Nobel Prize. There was no effort to hide his identity of him or his other compatriots. In a way, Barry is as desperate as the audience. We all want to know who Savitar is and we all feel he’s as impossible to defeat, just like how Barry feels. This week’s plotline hit that point home without smacking us in the face with it.
B Plot: Cisco’s Misgivings
No one should be surprised by this little development tonight. Before there was ever a Team Flash or a Vibe and Killer Frost, there was Team Cisco and Caitlin. Throughout the run of this series, I’ve found the relationship between Cisco and Caitlin to be the most moving, and yes I’m putting that above Barry and Iris. Every time one of them has a setback, you can see the pain in the other’s face. So it comes as no surprise that Cisco would be reluctant to fight Killer Frost. This was the most natural reaction the writers could have elicited from the character.
C Plot: Joe’s Dilemma
It’s a common trope in superhero stories that a character will always be put in danger because the hero’s identity was hidden from them. It’s always done under the guise of protecting the loved ones and it always leads to the loved ones being threatened by the villain. I’ll forgive the writers here for going with that basic plot element because they relegated it to the c-plot and supporting characters. The fact that it was Joe and Cecile actual made it a little surprising for me when that door was opened to reveal Killer Frost holding an ice knife to Cecile’s throat. Now I’m intrigued to see how the writers handle Team Flash potentially growing by one member.
There will be plenty of people complaining that they saw this reveal coming months ago but that didn’t lessen the impact for me. Count me as one of the people who bought into the “Future Flash/Future, Flash” theory. As much as I wanted it to be true, I didn’t think the writers would actually go there. In the end, I’m glad they did. I’ve discussed in past posts how I thought Barry really did a number on everyone around him when he created Flashpoint. Everyone’s life was changed and some were ruined. It’s fitting that, in the end, Barry created himself as his own worst enemy because we’ve known this whole season that no one can ruin Barry’s life quite like he can ruin it himself.
Thanks for reading!