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The Flash - The Wrath of Savitar - Review: "Good ideas lost in bad character writing"

After seeing the reception of this week’s episode of The Flash, I entered with super low expectations. Like, really, if I didn’t watch it before it was because I could already feel it would be subpar. And yet, once more, I’m disappointed. 4th episode in a row I find underwhelming, and not because of what happened, but how it happened. Almost everyone was just so stupid! Mainly Wally, but just about everyone did stuff that is just out of character and that’s the worst sin a show can do, it’s why the episode fell flat when it had the potential to be memorable.

I try not to be overly negative in my reviews, but lately it’s hard. The Flash is disappointing me very much in this backhalf, to the point where I am having Arrow flashbacks: a slow start, followed up by a string of good episodes, only to comeback with two strong episodes and then drop the ball altogether. It’s happening at essentially the same pace. Is this what happens? Are CWDC shows doomed to lose their ground on the backhalf of season 3? If this continues I may not just drop The Flash, but Supergirl and Legends altogether, this is just so disappointing.

I’m sorry to be all doom and gloom, but it’s honestly very frustrating to watch a show with such a colorful and great cast be undermined by the horrible decisions the writing team has done, a writing team that has constantly shown that they can do better than this, and should write better than this. What is going on guys?

The episode kicked off ok, the race was cute and it was fun to see everyone’s reaction towards Wally being fast enough, while keeping me wondering what was up with this Savitar stuff. I didn’t have any problems until Joe told Barry that he should have asked for his permission to marry Iris: that was beyond ridiculous, an antiquated tradition more fitting to the 1920s and that doesn’t go with Joe’s characterization at all, it seemed to be there just to causa conflict for the sake of it. But ok, I took that out of character moment and moved along, a bit weirded out, but nothing too serious.

I was a bit reassured by Wally being honest with his Savitar’s visions, though it may have been just because Barry saw it, but at least everyone was on the same page… for the time being. And it was a really good scene when Julian became Savitar, I really liked how menacing he was. So far I was enjoying the episode just fine.

And then Wally vibed into the future and I ran into my first problem: he came back and told on Barry for proposing to Iris to change the future. That was so petty and stupid that it increased all my already existing problems with the character already and I sighed. Was that really necessary? Is Wally so stupid to jeopardize a change that could save his sister? Really, if there is any redeeming quality to what happened later on is that he disappears, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I’m also mad at Iris’ nonsense speech about love and fear: sorry to break it to you Iris, but when you love someone fear is part of the deal, you worry about their safety and do what you can to keep them safe, Flash or no Flash. Barry does love Iris and he has been wanting to marry her since the beginning of the show, so saving her was just a plus on something he would have done regardless. If Iris’ didn’t want to be with Flash because she doesn’t want she has to be protected, that’s on her, The Flash has to protect everyone, but I don’t like that she points it out on Barry as if she wouldn’t have done the same damn thing, because we know she would have.

It’s that kind of hypocritical attitude that got me while she was lecturing Barry about how the proposal should have been out of love and not fear. Would it have been preferable that he did it without being scared to death of the future? Sure, but we all fear for the safety of our loved ones, and I truly believe Barry did propose out of love, fear just being there, but it’s always going to be there, for any human being. So for me it was either: A) Bad writing. B) Iris’ putting her own issues on Barry. In either case, not a fan, but I do hope it’s B, because it can play out better.

Talking about stupidity Caitlin got saved by the fact that not throwing the last fragment of the stone in the speedforce kept Savitar from coming back thus far, but still, the fact that she would do something so monumentally stupid when she didn’t know that would be the result baffles me. The warning was clear: a death, a fate worse than death, a betrayal, and she decided to carry on part of that prophecy? I can’t, Caitlin is smarter than this, and as scared as she may be of Killer Frost, she had to realize this was too much, that the consequences were far worse and for all she knew she could end up as Killer Frost regardless.

What a mess. Everyone was so poorly written through this episode. And I need to know: how the f**** did Jessie not keep an eye on Wally while he stormed off to “get rid of Savitar”? I know he is supposed to be faster, but Barry was able to keep up with faster speedsters in the past long enough to know where they were headed. Instead, she just gave up and went to Starlabs? Instead of convincing Wally to not go through this alone? And Wally, haven’t you seen what keeping secrets do?

Urgh, I just can’t. It’s too much. Why? Just why do The Flash writers do this? Have they run out of ideas to build drama?

I must admit, it was cool seeing Wally getting sucked into the speedforce (god, I wish he would stay there for the rest of the show’s run) and Savitar coming out. To which, by the way, I was surprised to see Barry putting up a fight this time: it really seemed like they had matching speed and it makes me wonder why does he supposedly fails to save Iris in the future. I also wonder why Savitar is not just killing everyone already, does he have to wait until he is created or something? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t give the writers much credit at this point.

The scene with everyone realizing what happened to Wally was beautifully acted and it’s on that moment that I realize how much the writing so far is just underutilizing the potential of the whole cast. Everyone is so talented and yet the writers refuse to give them proper material. Why? WHY?!

I can’t, I simply can’t. I’m too disappointed in this missed potential to end a possitive note. The episode is not all awful, so it has that going for it, but I’m just so bummed by the way these characters are being written that I’m just… I’m just sad. The Flash can do much better, but it’s on its way to become Arrow, and I don’t want to go through the same thing again. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. If The Flash doesn’t rally by the end of the season, I’m done, done reviewing and watching. I just can’t stand watching so much potential being thrown to waste.

Grade: C-