The Flash S03E20 “I Know Who You Are” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- Cecile uses the “L” word in casual conversation and it freaks Joe out. He’s not ready to move their relationship to the next level
- Julian gets the hump because every member of Team Flash isn’t looking for Caitlin 24/7. He and Cisco bicker irritatingly throughout the episode.
- Barry, HR and Cisco go to Central City University to find the physicist who will create Savitar’s prison – Tracy Brand.
- She turns out to be a scatterbrain who failed her dissertation and is getting ready to apply for a job at Big Belly Burger.
- Killer Frost comes to kill her, but Barry fights her off.
- Savitar tells Killer Frost she really needs to put more effort into the whole “killer” bit of her shtick.
- Team Flash takes Tracy back to STAR Labs and shows her what the future has in store for her – all kinds of scientific honours. She freaks out. Then HR charms her back on side. Then she freaks out again. So HR charms her back on side again. The she freaks out AGAIN and HR really turns the charm on… Was this episode under-running or something?
- Talking of under-running, there’s also another Flash vs Killer Frost action scene that could be happily edited out without making any difference to the plot. But we’re glad they didn’t because we get to see Killer Frost scooting about on her ice slides and it’s very pretty.
- Joe addresses his problem with Cecile by… dumping her. He thinks not getting her involved in his secret life is protecting her. But…
- …She instantly gets captured by Killer Frost, who holds her to ransom until she can be exchanged for Tracy.
- Team Flash and Tracy meet with Killer Frost for the exchange, but they have a plan…
- …Which Killer Frost immediately sees through. In fact, she says, Savitar has told her everything that will go down at this meeting and she can even predict what Barry is going to say. Barry starts thinking, “Hmmmmm…?”
- Except Savitar must be getting a bit forgetful in his old age, because ultimately Cisco – high on an unconvincing pep talk from Julian – does defeat Killer Frost. He takes a sample of her blood before Savitar appears and whisks her away. He clearly needs her for something, they surmise.
- Julian thinks the blood can be used to reverse engineer a cure for Caitlin.
- Joe decides to get back with Cecile and reveals everything about his secret life to her.
- Barry suddenly realises who Savitar must be. He runs off to challenge him. Savitar presumably knows where to be because he knows everything about Barry.
- And the reason for that is… he IS Barry.
So, Barry is Savitar. We wish we could be amazed but we guessed it weeks ago. Plus, a little bit of comics knowledge made it even more probable. Double plus, in the last few episodes, there haven’t been so much clues and HUGE NEON SIGNS giving it away. In fact, it was becoming so obvious we were kinda expecting a double bluff and for Cisco to step out of the suit (especially when Cisco seemed incapable of blasting Killer Frost earlier in the episode).
So the revelation that Savitar is future Barry isn’t quite the jawdropper it should be. Though we’d quite like to know about that scarring.
So, take that away and what has the episode got to offer? Well, there are a few entertaining elements. Killer Frost has never been so damned impressive and we get the see her ice slides for the first time. Tracy Brand is immense fun, as is the none-too-subtle way HR is flirting with her. And once again Jesse L Martin takes some dialogue that’s been crafted from pure cheese and manages to turn it into a really engaging storyline.
But, Lordy, this episode is full of filler. Basically all that happens is: 1) Team Flash makes contact with Tracy; 2) Team Flash gets a blood sample from Killer Frost; and 3) Barry guesses who Savitar is. Practically everything else is padding out the running time. Some of it entertains independent of the overall plot, but at other moments – especially the during the interminable squabbling between Cisco and Julian, and the third time HR has to talk Tracy around – you’re just screaming, “GET ON WITH IT!”
Even more bizarre, considering her death has been powering the arc plot for the second half of the season, is how little Iris has to do. Shouldn’t the show be trying to make us care about her fate a little bit more now it’s so imminent?
Hey, maybe the writers are double bluffing us. Maybe next week we’ll find out Future Barry is actually a holographic disguise for Future Iris?
- “You’re basically telling me I’m Sarah Connor in Terminator.”
“Well, uh, more like Miles Dyson.”
“Yeah, but good effort, though.” Best geeky reference in the show ever!
- Anne Dudek is all kinds of fun as Tracy Brand – what a refreshing change to have someone so adorably dorky as the brilliant female scientist.
- The Vibe vs Killer Frost fight produced some great comic booky imagery.
- The Killer Frost ice slides sequence was pretty damned amazing too.
- Joe thanking Cecile for not making a big deal about his wedding ring was very sweet.
- That’s some seriously spurious logic that leads HR to the statue of Galileo to find Tracy.
- At the big showdown at the end, we couldn’t help thinking, “What if somebody walking their dog ambles past?” It seemed a really odd location to choose.
- The “slow-mo” for the sequence in the grab above featured some terrible “actors acting slow-mo” acting.
- Most of the Julian and Cisco scenes felt really awkward and contrived; the actors tried valiantly to make them work but they didn’t ring true. There was a whiff of artificially-generated drama about them.
- Be honest, can you remember word-for-word what you said to somebody in conversation you had yesterday? Let alone years later. Savitar may be Barry but we’re not buying that he’s also developed a photographic memory.
And The Random:
- A 15 second pre-opening title sequence has to be some new kind of record, surely?
- Erm… who is Tracy cosplaying? Is it Emperor Palpetine?
- CC Jitters is taking the concept of iced coffee just a little too far…
Review by Dave Golder