We gave it a B+
After 19 episodes, The Flash has finally deigned to reveal Savitar’s identity. Did it come too late in the season to have much of an impact? Definitely yes. The writers drew out this mystery for far too long — to the point that I didn’t really care who it was under the mask because it wouldn’t matter that much. However, the meh-ness of the reveal, which we’ll talk about more later on, doesn’t detract from this episode, which is actually the strongest episode of this less-than-great season.
Written by Bronwen Clark and Joshua V. Gilbert, “I Know Who You Are” works in spite of everything that’s been off about this season. It’s powerful, poignant, and dark, but unlike previous episodes, it earns that darkness and doesn’t wallow in it. If you’ve been reading these recaps, you know I haven’t liked how the show has been handling Killer Frost this season, but based on this episode, it turns out that turning Caitlin evil and pitting her against Team Flash is exactly what I (and hopefully we) needed to start caring about this makeshift family again.
“I Know Who You Are” lets you know that Savitar’s identity will finally be revealed from the moment it begins, because it opens with Barry declaring, “I know who you are” to Savitar. And then the episode jumps back 16 hours, where we find Joe and Cecile returning home after their run. This couple is super cute. However, Joe ruins that cuteness when he fails to respond appropriately when Cecile let slip that she loves him. Thankfully, Joe is summoned to S.T.A.R. Labs and runs off before having to deal with that landmine.
In the wake of Barry’s trip to the future, Team Flash has decided they need to find Tracy Brand (Anne Dudek) and help her make Savitar’s prison four years earlier than she does. Barry, Cisco, and H.R. head to Central City University to see Tracy, who has just failed her dissertation because her theories about the Speed Force are far too advanced. Dudek is delightful in this role. Tracy is charming and quirky, and she’s getting ready to quit school when the boys show up to talk to her. But that will have to wait because Killer Frost, sporting a new costume like a badass, rudely interrupts their chat by trying to kill her. Cisco freezes in the moment, but Barry is quick enough to save everyone. It wasn’t until this episode that I realized how much I love how campy and over the top Danielle Panabaker is as Killer Frost.
Following that terrible first encounter, Team Flash tries a different approach and sends H.R. to talk to Tracy on his own. Let me confess that H.R. developing a crush on Tracy was one of my favorite parts of this episode. The humor and charm provided a nice counterbalance to the melodrama. With Cisco talking to him via an earpiece, H.R. pretends to be a genius who understands Tracy’s work. While that goes down, Barry talks to Joe about his relationship troubles — Joe enjoys the fact that Cecile is normal and ain’t about this superhero life — and Julian tries to talk to Cisco about the fact that he froze when Killer Frost showed up at the university.
Obviously, Killer Frost shows up at Jitters and tries to kill Tracy Brand again. Thankfully, the whole team is there to save her. Barry and Cisco spring into action — and by that I mean Barry chases after Killer Frost, who causes mayhem as she ice-surfs around Central City, while Cisco remains frozen in his metaphorical seat like a streetlight choking in the heat. I’m happy to say that the Flash-versus-Killer Frost fight here is the best battle of the season. It’s a thrilling emotional roller coaster. Because it’s Caitlin, it has stakes and feels immensely personal despite the fact that it’s just a flurry of CGI.
Eobard Thawne/Harrison Wells remains the show’s best villain because of how much his betrayal hurt the team, and us. Family is very important to Team Flash, so it makes sense that Cailtin finally going full villain would be incredibly powerful, too. Cisco fails to do his part, so Killer Frost manages to escape — but not before stabbing Barry in the leg once again.
After the battle, Team Flash returns to S.T.A.R. Labs and informs Tracy about her glorious future, which, as you’d expect, puts a lot of pressure on her, and she runs off. Let’s be honest: Telling Tracy about her future in this manner wasn’t Team Flash’s smartest move, especially given the fact that Present Tracy seems like she’s pretty far off from her Nobel Prize-winning destiny. A smitten H.R. runs after her to have “the pep-up chat,” but he loses her. After some future cyber stalking, H.R. finds Tracy contemplating, well, everything as she sits in front of a bust of Galileo in a Central City park.