The Flash: The Wrath of Savitar
March 8, 2017 4:54 AM - Season 3, Episode 15 - Subscribe

Wally has visions of Savitar while training with Barry, but he hides them from the team. Meanwhile, a dangerous secret threatens Barry and Iris' happiness.
posted by oh yeah! (13 comments total)
yeah wtf Barry, it'd be so easy to just say "hey, I wanna marry you, but I was going to wait and ask your dad and do it all proper in a few months, but I saw that you didn't have a ring in the future where you died, so I'm going to propose now instead of later." She'd still be mad that it's not pure love but at least she'd understand!

Also, whyyyyyyyy haven't they thought of "hey maybe let's all take a vacation during that month"?
posted by numaner at 10:48 AM on March 8, 2017

So, a common trope in superhero movies/comics is keeping things secret from people "to protect" them. This usually ends up being laughably wrongheaded; people can't protect themselves from dangers they don't know about, no entity (man, superhero, whatever) can be all places at all times so no protection is guaranteed, and anyway the bad guys are the ones who need to be kept in the dark - and they usually end up having more information than the hero's beloved.

Old, old, old, yet somehow evergreen.

I find myself wondering: what could possibly be driving this? Not the fictional characters' actions, those are clearly ridiculous, but the decisions by the creators to include this quasi-rationale.

At the same time, I've been reflecting on a tendency I've noticed in actual men I've known to keep their wives and children from worrying much. I speak from first-hand experience. It seems to be important to them, for some reason, that the vulnerable people around them live in blissful indifference to whatever threats exist. They seem to want to see the human equivalent of a sunning cat, sprawled without a care in the world, purring and happy; to feel that they are providing a stress-free environment where their charge is in a protected bubble.

I guess I'm wondering if this is something other people have noticed or experienced in real life, and if it might explain how the heck the writers of Arrow and The Flash keep bringing out this stupid mechanism over and over again. Does the secrecy thing make sense to them on some level as a protector...from stress? When there are evil guys out there plotting to hurt these superheroes, and the obvious way to do it is to target more vulnerable people, is this why it might seem more "protective" to keep this information secret?

Do you, dear readers, seek to protect your loved ones from .... stress?
posted by amtho at 12:30 PM on March 8, 2017

Maybe I'm just terrible at hiding things, but people closest to me can usually tell that something is on my mind, and eventually they either find out anyway or they pressure me into telling them. In most cases if it's something that directly affects them I found that I need to tell them asap so we can work at solving it together, but I'm not the best problem solver so I usually feel like I need help solving an issue anyway.
posted by numaner at 12:43 PM on March 8, 2017

Do you, dear readers, seek to protect your loved ones from .... stress?

Hell no. If I'm stressed/worried/anxious, everyone close to me is going to know. My parents were (are) the WORST about keeping stuff like that quiet and it drives me up the wall.

After all, the best way to get people to either leave me the hell alone so I can deal with shit or get them to help me with said shit is to FREAKING TELL THEM WHAT IS GOING ON.
posted by cooker girl at 1:22 PM on March 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

I wonder if it's a weird tendency of males? Maybe something of a bigger/stronger/protector impulse? I do feel like protecting those things that are smaller and physically weaker than myself (i.e. cats, small animals, children), and I guess I want them to be happy, so perhaps the impulse translates?
posted by amtho at 3:44 PM on March 8, 2017

"Who are you?"
"I am the future Flash"

They even had him say it twice.

I see where they're going with the arc now. Savitar is the Flash after he's learned to kill.
In the future The Flash loathes what he's become and casts himself into the Speedforce out of guilt.
The season will have to be resolved with Barry's suicide to kill his future self, then next season will begin with his Resurrection.
Time wraiths will be next season's issue, and that will tie in with this season's Thawne in LOT.
posted by FallowKing at 4:27 PM on March 8, 2017 [3 favorites]

Barry. Have Iris how to use a rocket launcher, and instead of giving her a ring, give her an ATOM suit. Maybe give Supergirl a call and have her there on the day it happens. Have some freeze-guns supplied to a waiting police force. Have a dozen Iris holograms projected around the area. Install guns on every roof. Have Cisco create a pseudo-science bomb that kills Savitar. Contact the LOT and borrow the spear of destiny. Pay a villain or two to work for you for a couple days.

You've done nothing all season that would actually prevent or delay Iris's death.
posted by FallowKing at 4:58 PM on March 8, 2017 [2 favorites]

...or, building on just what tricks they've done previously, make a trap for Savitar and lure him into it. Also they could drain his speed force using some new invention, possibly from a distance or from a triggered location. Or, they could set up a tripwire somewhere and get him to chase Barry there.
posted by amtho at 5:40 PM on March 8, 2017

Am I the only person who was (internally) screaming at Barry as he stood there doing absolutely nothing while Wally was being pulled into the SpeedForce? Seriously, he's faster than Wally. He's been inside the SpeedForce. He should have made some effort to stop it from claiming Kid Flash. And it's not as if there is no precedent in the TV DC universe (see the Justice League cartoon) for Wally being pulled back from the SpeedForce by physical force. (Yes, I know that's not canon for this show, but I'm tired that acting like an incompetent idiot is canon for this show.)

I'll confess that I tend to try to solve or resolve situations on my own before involving others or causing them to worry, but at a certain point even I just have to throw up my hands and say, "guys, something bad is happening," and I think this is a lesson that has been taught so many times on this show, it should have been burned into the characters' brains by now.

I think FallowKing's theory is interesting and certainly worth some consideration. It's better than what my instincts were screaming (all this talk about fear and conquering fear would typically lead one to consider the inclusion of a Green Lantern in a DC property, but we know that Corps is off limits to the TV side of the equation, so I know my instincts are wrong).

I know that a lot actually happened in this episode, but it felt so much like filler (why didn't they try tracking Savatar the first time Julian was hooked up to the machine?) that it just seemed like a wasted episode. I'd almost swear the production team is afraid to reveal who Savitar is and show the final battle because they know we'll all be frustrated and/or disappointed with the results.
posted by sardonyx at 8:45 PM on March 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

I know that a lot actually happened in this episode, but it felt so much like filler

This was completely a filler episode, and it's because the writers are really phoning it in.

Every season, all we get is a new speedster who is faster than Barry, has a secret identity kept from the audience, and doesn't just murder Barry because reasons.

Savitar has finally plowed this into 'now the mystery speedster is so powerful that Barry can't have skirmishes with him at all,' leading to this ridiculous wheel spinning with seances and whatnot.

If not for a combination of Tom Cavanaugh's continued excellence and the sunk cost fallacy, I would've dropped this show mid-S2. (That said, HR's hilarious here, and the interplay between him and Cisco belongs on a better show.)
posted by mordax at 11:56 AM on March 9, 2017

Every season, all we get is a new speedster who is faster than Barry, has a secret identity kept from the audience, and doesn't just murder Barry because reasons.

This plot was amazing in season 1 thanks to Tom Cavanaugh. Zoom is season 2 was a little narratively weaker, but I went with it because even Barry realizes "I let it happen again" when Zoom/"Jay" tricks them all, but this idea is overplayed and unless there's some amazing twist coming at the end of season 3 that justifies repeating all of this stuff, it's definitely time to move on. I'd hoped the writers had learned they were caught in a loop when, after Flashpoint, The Rival showed up and I think it was Joe said "Aw, not another evil speedster."
posted by Servo5678 at 5:11 AM on March 10, 2017

they lampshaded themselves!

I'm with fallowking. it's future Barry. maybe that message he left for the LOT ties into it?
posted by numaner at 9:50 AM on March 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

This plot was amazing in season 1 thanks to Tom Cavanaugh.

This is part of the reason it hasn't really worked for me since then. S1 was pretty much the most perfect version of this formula that they could hope to pull off: Cavanaugh is fantastic. Thawne's plan made the most sense. Thawne's relationship with Barry was the most complicated and dramatically compelling. The method used to defeat Thawne was the best.

They already nailed this story, so further iterations annoy me.
posted by mordax at 3:26 PM on March 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

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