This week we’re introduced to Tracy Brand, the scientist who will eventually build the trap that keeps Savitar in the Speed Force. More than that, we finally learn the identity of The Flash‘s greatest enemy, Savitar. Big secrets in this episode, meet me after the super speed jump for my thoughts on “I Know Who You Are.”
The flash drive (pardon the pun) from the future Flash got from his future emo self last episode tells of a Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist named Tracy Brand (played by one of my favorite actresses Anne Dudek) who built the trap that keeps Savitar in the Speed Force. The problem is that she doesn’t build the trap until four years after Iris West dies. The thinking at Team Flash is to find her now, and bring her up to speed (again, sorry) in hopes of stopping Savitar in time.
When they find Tracy, she’s a grad student about to burn her work and enter the wonderful world of fast food. Yeah, it’s not a good time for her. It’s easy to see that her brilliant years are far in her future. Unfortunately, Killer Frost has been ordered to kill Tracy, and makes a few attempts throughout the episode. The first time we get a rather cool speed stunt from the Flash as he lights a flamethrower by the friction of snapping his fingers. More stuff like that is needed, maybe even Flash facts explained to Wally by Barry would rock.
Not only is Killer Frost is thrall to Savitar, but it seems that Caitlin is full on Killer Frost. Despite Savitar’s suspicions otherwise, I think Caitlin is gone. The character of Killer Frost was a star in this episode. First, she was dressed in her original costume from Firestorm #3 back in the 1970s, and looking sensational. She was also surfing through the streets of Central City on rolling sheets of ice like Marvel Comics’ Iceman in the Silver Age, a tactic which would not copied by DC’s cold-themed villains until much later, but it looked great.
Did Barry tell Team Flash everything, or anything, about his trip to the future? Cisco is hesitating against Killer Frost, and Julian is on to him. But to me, it seems like Cisco is bugged by more than fighting his best friend, or his own future vision of Vibe and Frost being arch-enemies – could he know she takes his hands? He says to Julian that his hands are powerful weapons, and the statement seems to be more than it might be on the surface.
There are two underlying subplots regarding romance in this episode. First there’s district attorney Cecile Horton who has been seeing Joe. After she dropped the L word and was threatened by Killer Frost, Joe finally tells her the big secret about his family, friends, and Flashes. One part of me is happy he came clean, and now everybody knows who is who, but there’s another part who foresees her job getting in the way of how Team Flash operates in the future. Either way though, good on Joe. Notably it happens offscreen – I would have been pleased if she already knew, but we didn’t see.
After being confronted by her possible future and feeling a bit like Sarah Conner, Tracy is reasonably freaked out. H.R., who seems to be sweet on her, pursues and pours on the charm, helped by Cisco and Julian pulling a Cyrano via earpiece. Of course she ran, that’s a hell of a weight to drop on someone’s shoulders. Luckily, between H.R.’s charm and his uncanny ability to put things in a more reasonable perspective so that others can solve problems, she’s won over. He even coins the name Speed Force for her.
I don’t know if one could really say I called it one hundred percent, but last time I made two guess as to the identity of Savitar, and one was right. We had seen one instance this episode where Killer Frost said what Barry was saying as he said it. I immediately assumed Savitar was feeding her lines just as H.R. had done with Tracy, but it turns out the villain knew what Barry would say… because he remembered saying it. Savitar is the future Flash, he’s told us that all along, and yes, I blame the folks in closed-captioning for putting the comma between ‘future’ and ‘Flash.’
One could assume, as I have, that Barry becomes Savitar to strike back at his past self for tampering with time and creating Flashpoint, the cause of all his troubles. But what would cause any version of Barry to kill Iris? That doesn’t make sense. There are other things to consider as well. How many Flashes were there when Barry’s mother dies? Does he return again? And why? And what does the message from the further future mean that was sent to the Legends of Tomorrow mean? He has tampered too much with time, trust no one?
With only a few more episodes left, I still suspect answers will be slow in coming. I am on the edge of my seat now however. How about you?
Next: “Cause and Effect!”