The catastrophe of Barry’s time traveling shenanigans became even more tragic in The Flash‘s “Shade.” If you thought Alchemy was a formidable foe, he’s likely nothing compared to the God of Speed, Savitar. Central City has become a magnet for troublesome metahumans, and the problem getting worse by the moment.
In the best episode so far this season, the focus was primarily on the ramifications of obtaining metahuman powers and their potential villainous side effects. Wally struggled to overcome his desire for speed knowing the risk associated with obtaining it, while Caitlin grappled with her own potential transition into Killer Frost.
Meanwhile, Alchemy was still out there with Wally in his sights, and a new metahuman, Shade, showed up to create havoc around Central City. With Alchemy as the big bad (initially, at least), Shade paled in comparison. He introduced himself by breaking a guy’s neck and then attacking a crowd during a Movies in the Park event. Alone, he would have been one of the most underwhelming metahumans we’ve seen. Only Shade wasn’t alone. He was used as a piece in Alchemy’s yet-to-be figured out game as a distraction.
Earlier this season, Wally was annoying with his constant whining about wanting speed, especially when he stepped in front of a car in the hopes that his “talent” would awaken within him. Once the dreams started, Wally’s quest took a positive turn. Instead of focusing on the adrenaline rush aspect, Wally was driven by the desire to help people with speed.
While he certainly wanted it for personal reasons, he now had an altruistic aspect to his desire which made it more understandable to accept. Wally’s disagreement with Joe over his powers also moved from tiresome to transparent as well. Joe finally opened up about his own past and admitted it was Wally’s risk taking that he feared. Their interactions over this topic moved Joe and Wally’s relationship more clearly into one of a father-son which has been long awaited.
Truth telling was in full force regarding Caitlin’s secret, too. After initially lying to her, Cisco ended up revealing his vision of a Killer Frost-Vibe battle. And, he forced her into revealing her icy powers to the rest of the team. At this point, the knowledge of Cisco’s vision ended up helping Caitlin and the team, but it remains to be seen whether it will stay true. Next week’s “Killer Frost” doesn’t look very promising for Caitlin.
The only aspect of the hour that made me cringe was when Barry confessed to Caitlin that he was responsible for all the horrible events and changes occurring. What was the point? Did he expect her to forgive him? Instead, he set himself up as the scapegoat for all their ills. Rightfully, of course, but still unnecessary.
So let’s talk about that ending. What the heck happened?!? Wally has grown up a lot since joining Team Flash and proved his value by insisting on being used as bait for Alchemy. Then, he showed his strength by not taking Alchemy’s offer of speed and instead working to wipe out his greatest desire.
In the battle, Alchemy’s power orb continually knocked down The Flash, but he was ultimately taken out by Joe. It looked like a victory for Team Flash, but that wasn’t to be. Alchemy’s power fell from his hand and was left on the ground for Wally to take.
While Alchemy disappeared, a new speedster showed up to attack Team Flash and the SWAT team. Unfortunately, Alchemy wasn’t entirely gone and spoke to Wally through the orb to convince the youngest West to take his speed power. The result: a cocooned Wally! It doesn’t look good for him right now, but he’s not the only one in trouble.
The speedster isn’t just an ordinary speedster. He’s the God of Speed, Savitar! And, Savitar has Barry by the neck.
Review: ★★★★ Very good
— The question of what happened to Eobard Thawne in this new timeline after he left Barry on Joe’s doorstep has been answered. Thawne did take over Wells’ body and then confessed to killing Barry’s mother.
— Cisco: “Do you think everyone on Earth-19 is missing crayons in the box? Or just him?”
— Julian: “Huh? So, a Meta from Neverland made the trip to Central City.”
— A Facial Transmodification? Intriguing. A fun way to allow HR outside of Star Labs without getting arrested. The added retina modification for the team is a bit of a stretch, but it is a creative way to let Tom Cavanagh continue to portray HR everywhere.
— What was Iris thinking by letting Wally out of containment? Sigh. At least, she was able to protect him in the end. Nice punch!
— Of course Joe’s date gets interrupted. I guess it’s not just superheroes who can’t go on dates.
— Barry: “I just got tossed on my ass like a rag doll.” (Editor’s Note: Wouldn’t be the first time!)
— What happened to Julian? Why did he miss work? I hope this is a misdirect to lead people to think he’s Alchemy.
— Alchemy: “Over? You have no idea what’s about to begin.”
— “I am Savitar, the God of Speed”