The Flash: Savitar just made his identity pretty clear
I was prepared to write a very long article about the problem with a mystery villain. The thrust of the post was that a villain whose identity is a secret robs the audience of key storytelling elements that make a character compelling. It was basically a rant about how the third secret villain in a row is making the show kind of boring. But then it hit me.
I think I figured out who Savitar is.
With that realization, I have put together an explanation for the season that not only makes sense but turns Savitar into both an interesting and satisfying villain. So here are some of the things that led me to this conclusion, most of them coming from this week’s episode The Wrath of Savitar.
Savitar knows what Reverb said to Cisco.
So since Barry is the only person that was there when Reverb insulted Cisco, it has to be Barry. No one else should know that. Open and shut case. Future Barry is Savitar.
But if you need more proof than that, fine. Here is my larger theory: Iris’ death is the first step on the path to turning Barry into Savitar.
Flashpoint is heavily implied to be a part of Savitar’s creation
What if original timeline Iris lives but post-Flashpoint Iris died? The changed newspaper from the future lends credence to this idea.
Savitar says that he created himself, Barry has to see Iris die, and Barry was present at Savitar’s creation.
I am getting the feeling that Savitar “created” himself by killing Iris. Seeing Iris killed causes original Barry to lose it and start messing with time and the Speedforce. Before you know it crazy future Barry becomes Savitar!
Savitar says that he has always been Barry’s biggest enemy.
One constant throughout the show is that Barry’s self-doubt is usually the biggest barrier obstacle he has to overcome to gain speed. Every season, Barry freaks out because he isn’t safe enough and he isn’t going to be able to save the people that are in danger. This eventually ends with Barry believing in himself and becoming “fast enough”. It is not a stretch to assume that Savitar meant that Barry is his own biggest enemy.
Savitar constantly says “I am the Future, Flash”.
So some people are saying that this means that Savitar is saying that he is the future and he is directing that comment to Flash. I could be convinced, except he isn’t usually consistent with how he refers to Barry in a way that would back that claim. For instance, when Barry and the team channel Savitar through Julian, Savitar says “I am the Future Flash” and then starts the next sentence with “Barry”. If Savitar was just referring to Barry in both sentences, why wouldn’t he call him Barry or Flash consistently?
Here is where it gets so painfully obvious that you just assume the writers are messing with us. There is a character in the Flash mythology called “Future Flash”. Some fun Future Flash facts.
- Future Flash is a version of Barry overcome with grief over the death of a friend.
- At some point in the future, Future Flash attempts to fix everything with time travel.
- Future Flash goes crazy trying to right the wrongs of the past.
- Future Flash is a killer and regular Flash is not.
- Future Flash has a black suit with cracks that emit blue light.
Sound like anyone we know?
If you sub Iris out for Wally, it might as well be the same story. Now have the writers set something like this in place and pulled the rug out from under us before? Kind of. Eddie Thawne seemed like a red herring. Otherwise, Reverse Flash was who we thought it was and Zoom, via some confusing Earth-2 nonsense, was Hunter Zoloman. So maybe every character isn’t exactly who we expect them to be since they frequently lie, but every villain has the identity you would expect them to have.
Here’s where it gets tricky. I don’t love the whole “I am evil because I went crazy” explanation, so I came up with a more interesting one. I realize that this is where my theory goes off the rails, but I want to put it out there.
I think Savitar is actively trying to sabotage himself.
This gives Savitar motivation that isn’t stupid. He is (like every big bad thus far) forcing Barry to become faster. Savitar knows that he, FutureBarry/Savitar, is destined to kill Iris and drive RegularBarry/Flash crazy. The only way Savitar can stop Flash from turning crazy is by forcing Flash to become fast enough to defeat him. That way, Flash can break the time loop and Savitar ceases to exist.
Here is the kicker. I also think Savitar is the reason Flash got tossed into the future. We learned this week that Caitlin still had a small piece of the Philosopher’s stone and since the entire stone wasn’t sent to the Speedforce, Savitar can briefly come back to the present. I have a feeling Savitar knows that Flash needs to see Iris die to become motivated enough to train hard enough to stop Iris’ death. That means Savitar caught Flash in the Speedforce (something he could conceivably do) and tossed Flash into the future. Savitar wants to destroy himself and save Iris because he still has some humanity and still loves her.
Let me know what you think in the comments.