Who Is Savitar On 'The Flash'? Alchemy Isn't The Threat Facing Barry This Season
The Flash has been moving at lightning speed this season. There are new bad guys, new powers for the good guys, and a whole lot of changing relationships. Season 3 has primarily centered around Barry Allen's decision to travel back in time and then return again, creating the Flashpoint timeline, which means that the universe we've come to know and love has been slightly altered. Unfortunately, this new altered universe is filled with plenty of evil for the Flash and his team to fight, including the season's main villain, Alchemy. However, it turns out the big bad was just a follower of an even bigger bad now facing The Flash, Savitar. Named after the Hindu "God of Motion," this villain may not actually be a God, but he sure is powerful and scary.
There are no moments of peace this season of The Flash. It seems like every time our gaggle of good guys is close to getting a leg up, a new villain enters the scene. Savitar, who was introduced in the Nov. 15 episode, "Shade," is fast, evil, and hellbent on breaking the Flash. Beyond that, he's been pretty mysterious on the CW series, though there are clues about Savitar in DC Comics. But the more I learn about Savitar, the more worried I become for Team Flash.
In the comics, Savitar was once just a man testing a supersonic jet when he got struck by lightning, giving him super speed and many other abilities tied to the Speed Force, such as phasing and quick healing. Even in the source material, Savitar's real identity isn't known, so The Flash could really take his story anywhere on the TV series.
Though there have been plenty of evil speedsters before on The Flash, Savitar is bringing it to the next level. Executive producer Todd Helbing told IGN about what sets Savitar apart from his predecessors:
"Savitar is more of a psychological villain in a weird way. I think the Hindu word for Savitar means God of Speed; he's all about speed. Everything about this guy is different. I can't go into super detail, but he's not like Zoom or Reverse-Flash."
I'm looking forward to seeing this psychological side, especially since so much of The Flash Season 3 has already focused so much on emotional torment. Barry is tormented by his decision to go back in time and the effects it had on the world and his friends. Cisco is tormented by the death of his brother. Joe West is tormented by the thought that a newly powered Wally could get hurt. Everyone is struggling with guilt, fear, and anguish, which is why a more psychologically threatening villain makes so much sense for this season in particular.
The Flash has faced off with Savitar once already, and he wouldn't have made it out alive if not for the help of Cisco and Caitlin. It will take a lot for Barry and his team to be ready to fight Savitar again, but that's what I love about The Flash. Even though it seems like the threat of evil is constant, there's always hope, humor, and teamwork. As long as they have all of that, Team Flash should be able to defeat Savitar.