Flash: “The Wrath of Savitar”

flashseason3

Jim’s Thoughts

“The Wrath of Savitar” gave us something I’ve been calling for a while. We got some focus on Savitar. I wish the tension with Savitar wasn’t focused so thoroughly through his threat to Iris, but that’s unfortunately what we’ve got.

What’s also unfortunate was that the scenes we got with Savitar speaking through Julian were clearly meant to be creepier than they were. They seem to want to channel the buildup they had with Zoom and Thawne, and Savitar even makes reference to them, but at this point, we’ve seen nothing to indicate he’s earned that place on the show. In effect, it’s a lot of telling, but no showing. Savitar makes grandiose speeches about how big and bad he is, but talk is cheap. It takes money to buy whiskey.

We got some indication of Savitar’s identity this week. He dropped some hints, said he’s been there all along and all that, but the writers need to give us more than that. They’re milking tension they haven’t earned. Stop being coy, Flash writers, and just come out with it.

My biggest complaint with this show is the laziness of secrecy being milked for conflict. The show has always done it. Barry kept his secret from Iris well after it made no sense to do so. Cisco hid his powers from the group. Wells of Earth 2 hid his motivation regarding his daughter. Caitlin hid her powers from the group. This episode did all of that at once. Barry had an ulterior motive for proposing to Iris, which resulted in a “Don’t treat me like a helpless maiden” speech that seems hypocritical from a show that’s done exactly that all along. Wally hid the fact that he was having “visions” of Savitar from the group. Caitlin hid the fact that she kept a piece of the philosopher’s stone. It reminds me of that friend we’ve all had at some point, the one who only hangs out at seedy dive-bars and complains they can’t meet anyone decent to date, or the one who rarely leaves the couch, never eats a vegetable and complains about their cholesterol. We can feel empathy for them. We can care because we’re their friend, but at some point, you can’t help but be frustrated because they’re creating their own problems. That’s the essence of Flash for me right now.

This was a reasonably watchable episode, but my long-term concerns for the well-being of the show are only growing.

Kyle’s Take

Hey. I’ve been drinking V-8 and read a study that stated men who spend more time on the couch have higher libidos. You’ve got to rest up between nights spent at seedy dive-bars.

Speaking of which, I didn’t have to take a shower after watching “The Wrath of Savitar.” That’s something. I could finish the episode without taking a lengthy break, or multiple breaks, but I’ve lost interest in these characters. Flash has hit a wall it can’t phase through. Maybe it’s Savitar saying he’s Flash’s greatest enemy, even though he wouldn’t be in my top 10 Flash villains. Perhaps it’s Savitar saying someone on Flash’s team will betray him. Everyone’s hidden something from Barry and Barry’s withheld information from them, so anyone wanting to backstab Barry could be justified in doing so. It’s lazy. I don’t want to hear you say it. The only thing Savitar has shown is he’s the ugly step-child of Megatron and Starscream.

Iris as the helpless maiden is trite. Let’s face it, she is a damsel in distress. Please, Flash, shine a light on how little agency Iris has as a character. In fact, why don’t you do that for most of the female characters on the show? At least you didn’t air this episode on International Women’s Day. That’s another small mercy.

“The Wrath of Savitar” gave the Flash some focus heading into the season finale. I guess that had to happen at some point. But the aspects Flash focuses on I couldn’t care less about. Iris and Barry drama: Baris? I’ll pass on the Baris enema. A half-baked Jessie-Wally: Jelly? I like Jelly on toast and that story was toast as soon as it started. Savitar saying his speed force is much bigger than Barry, Zoom, and Thawne’s? There are ways to show that but Flash has chosen to have all four of them climb Central City’s highest building and drop trou. No arch-villain cares where they rank in a hero’s rogues’ gallery. Savitar is just sad.

My only hope is that Flash can lose the nonsense and keep its focus. I’m not sure that’ll happen.

Thanks for reading and happy International Women’s Day.

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