The Flash 3.15 Review – “The Wrath of Savitar”
The Wrath of Savitar is one of the season’s most important episodes. The story has been building to this moment since Barry trapped Savitar in the Speed Force back in “The Present.” Last week’s cliffhanger had Savitar seemingly return in the flesh to Wally. Today we learn just what exactly is going on. With an epic climax and some actual engaging drama, the episode is one of the season’s best.
The opening has Barry, Jesse, and Wally run around Central City in a training session. It’s fun seeing the three speedsters together, though the S.T.AR. Labs cutaways were mediocre thanks to H.R. Not to sound like a broken record, but H.R. is literally a filler character. He does nothing of importance other than be comic relief. It’s okay to be comic relief IF the character serves a purpose. For the first two seasons Cisco served as the show’s primary comic relief character. Unlike H.R., Cisco has always been a vital member of Team Flash. H.R. has contributed nothing.
Moving past that, the core of the story at first is Wally having to deal with Savitar messing with his mind. The writing does an excellent job making Savitar a truly manipulative villain. It’s later revealed that Savitar had planned Wally becoming Kid Flash. This was a great way to broaden the scope of Savitar’s villainy, and a good way to bring back the subject of Barry messing with the timeline. The final scene in the episode was perhaps the best in showcasing how genuinely guilty Barry is about Flashpoint. Back to Wally, it was interesting to see him play into Savitar’s hand in the climax. The build up from Wally’s “mom” appearing to the portal was excellent.
The episode goes heavy into character drama. For awhile it looked like the story was going to suffer from a lack of action, but the climax (we’ll get to that in a sec) easily fixes that would-be problem. The drama aspect is actually well done. First, we have the aftermath of Barry’s proposal to Iris. She said yes. The story decides around the middle act to throw a curveball however. After Wally getting Cisco to vibe him into the future the night Iris was killed, Wally comes away with information: Iris wasn’t engaged. This leads into a big thing with Barry having to basically admit that he asked Iris to marry him to change the future. At first it seems like this is just unnecessary drama, but later Iris has some well written dialogue with Barry about being his wife. Another important aspect of the story is Caitlin revealing she had kept part of the Philosopher’s Stone. It’s tough ground to tread for a heroic character like Caitlin, but the writing manages to pull off her character arc of being desperate to get rid of her Killer Frost persona.
Of course, the biggest thing is Savitar’s grand return. First, the buildup throughout the episode was excellent. A couple of the best scenes is when the team would get the villain to talk through Julian. The dialogue is excellent. The writing is really trying to push Savitar as Barry’s ultimate villain, above Zoom and even Reverse Flash. Thanks to this episode, the writing may have succeeded. The climax has Wally sucked into the Speed Force and Savitar arriving back in Central City. What follows is a great battle between him and Barry. The fight is fantastic, but it’s the dialogue that truly shines. The mystery of who Savitar could be grasps the viewer. The season looks to end on a high note.
Overall, “The Wrath of Savitar” is a great episode. The drama is engaging, and Savitar cements himself as perhaps Barry’s greatest antagonist yet. There’s an incredible amount of tension whenever Savitar would appear, whether it be in Wally’s head, talking to Julian, or actually appearing in the flesh in the climax. The Flash looks to have a great conclusion to its third season.