NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “The Flash”, including the true identity of Savitar, are present in this review
It’s taken up to the fourth-last episode of Season Three, amazingly, but this week, The Flash is finally drawing back the veil on who Savitar truly is. “I Know Who You Are” saved this big reveal for the episode’s closing seconds, but the final result of the buildup is admittedly pretty good. It’s too bad however that much of the episode seems like it’s stalling and playing for time in the lead-up to this big reveal, as two core storylines don’t quite manage to keep the same brisk pace as the future story prospects surrounding who is truly beneath Savitar’s armour.
One of these core storylines involves Cecile telling Joe that she loves him, which has him freezing and running away. Joe having to face the true depth of his growing relationship with Cecile is a promising concept for sure, but this might have been the wrong episode to place this story in. Joe simply spends most of the episode avoiding Cecile, and agonizing over whether to tell her the secret of his double life as part of Team Flash. Frankly, this has become a pretty obvious superhero media cliche, even for a supporting character, so Joe’s anguish didn’t really service the episode very well.
Unfortunately, this storyline also came to a comparably frustrating head, as Joe tries to break up with Cecile, thinking that it will protect her from Team Flash’s enemies. That’s yet another superhero media cliche, and it’s even more tired! The break-up obviously doesn’t stick either, since Killer Frost simply comes by to snatch Cecile and force Joe and Team Flash into action, which means that Joe undoes the break-up immediately afterward, coming clean about all of his dealings with The Flash. This was really trite romantic drama, and it felt like it was only here so that it could lead into the big dramatic Savitar reveal at the end of the episode.
Fortunately, the Killer Frost arc at least went over better. Team Flash struggling with the idea of stopping their former teammate was great, especially as Cisco freezes more than once when encountering Killer Frost, finding himself unable to use his Vibe abilities to neutralize her. Surprisingly, it’s Julian that advocates more deadly force be used, and after an argument, Cisco admits that he doesn’t want to lose control of his powers and accidentally kill his best friend. This was a more legitimate dramatic storyline, since Cisco’s concerns are valid, and Julian being the one to remind Cisco that his powers come from a place of love, not hate, was a great way to bring these two closer together, since they’ve both lost someone very precious to them in the wake of Caitlin’s transformation.
The remaining storyline was put into place to introduce Tracy Brand, the scientist who eventually invents the technology with which Barry can trap Savitar in the future. Tracy is awkward, fast-talking and feels like she fits right in to the socially inept, yet attractive scientist stereotype that Felicity Smoak first pioneered in the early days of the DC Television Universe on Arrow. Considering Caitlin’s recent transformation into Killer Frost, and Jesse Quick’s temporary tenure protecting Earth-3 as a replacement Flash while Jay is in the Speed Force, it’s also easy to speculate that Tracy could serve as a replacement for Caitlin on Team Flash, possibly indicating that Caitlin will remain Killer Frost into next season. Julian does seem to develop a ‘cure’ for Caitlin, but there’s obviously no guarantee that it will work, especially since Julian is still trying to ‘cure’ Caitlin of her Killer Frost state in 2024, according to Barry’s trip to the future.
Tracy also seems to be being set up as a love interest for H.R., as H.R. becomes the one to keep her close by, as she becomes overwhelmed by having to be shown her own future. H.R. has done a solid job of proving himself as an idea man for S.T.A.R. Labs, and perhaps giving him a brainy love interest will be able to maximize his potential all the more in episodes to come. Tracy doesn’t exist in DC Comics lore, but for the first meeting, she’s not a bad character, with Anne Dudek playing her as a likable, brilliant goof, albeit one with some vulnerability, when she admits that she feels like a screw-up, and has no idea how to become the woman she’s meant to be. The mutual bonding over the idea of being a screw-up also gives H.R. a nice in when it comes to developing a relationship with her too. So far, she doesn’t seem like a bad addition to the show, even if the bulk of her personal development is likely being saved for next season.
This of course brings me to the big Savitar reveal at the end of the episode, and no, it’s not Julian, nor is it Wally, nor is it Jesse, nor is it H.R., disproving a lot of fan theories. Instead, Savitar is actually none other than Barry Allen himself, specifically, a crazed Barry from a potential future who is murdering Iris to preserve himself as the ultimate ‘God of Speed’, who lives only for power. This is a pretty good twist for people who didn’t predict it (and that’s probably not many, granted), even if it still feels like it’s too late in the season to finally unmask Savitar. Barry having to quite literally face himself as his ultimate foe should nonetheless make the rest of Season Three pretty exciting though, hopefully!
Despite the standout Killer Frost material and the pretty cool Savitar reveal though, it sucks that, “I Know Who You Are” feels like a bit of a disappointing episode of The Flash. It just had too much filler amidst the handful of interesting developments that it truly wanted to build towards, meaning that the show had to waste our time with story arcs like Joe’s romantic angst that obviously weren’t going to go anywhere, so that the end reveal of Savitar’s true identity would feel that much more dramatic. I suppose that at least is true, but with only three episodes left in a noticeably weaker season of The Flash, the show is going to have to work extra hard to make sure that Barry’s final battle against his ultimate foe at least closes out Season Three on a worthy high note.
- Standout Killer Frost storyline
- Tracy seems like a fairly likable addition
- End reveal of Savitar's identity is appropriately dramatic
- Joe's romantic drama is dull and cliched
- Tracy's addition and Savitar's reveal is coming too late in the season
- Most of the story is filler in the lead-in to Savitar's identity