In this week’s episode of The Flash, the Savitar storyline returns in full force. And honestly? It’s a pretty miserable affair. Revelations abound and secrets are brought into the light, proving that while the team can handle nearly any threat, the biggest opponent is themselves.

During my review of “Untouchable”a few episodes ago, I said that when the show makes a big deal of “no more secrets” between our cast, it means nothing as it’s played out again and again. And look, here we are, one month later, going through the exact same thing. Barry, Wally and Caitlin all hide or lie about something that is vital to either their personal lives, the team’s mission or both. And it seems wholly unnecessary and manufactured to both create tension and ease the path for Savitar’s escape.

The Big Bad keeps appearing to Wally this episode, though he hides this until the illusion seems strong enough to toss him around. Barry, less concerned about Wally’s understandable freak-out, chews his teammate out for keeping this secret. It’s in moments like these that our hero becomes truly unlikable. Barry acts like only he cares about Iris and understands the threat they’re facing. It is immensely childish behavior. And it gets even worse, since it’s revealed that Barry just asked Iris to marry him in the hopes of changing the future, as she isn’t wearing a ring when she’s killed. While I never felt the chemistry between Barry and Iris, at least their love for each other seemed pure. Now, as Iris herself says, Barry’s actions have tainted their relationship.

As if that wasn’t enough, several sessions with Savitar (speaking through Julian), lead to the discovery that Caitlin kept part of the Philosopher’s Stone ever since it was thrown into the Speed Force. She said she wanted to use it to get rid of her powers. This makes Julian highly suspicious of her motives for inviting him to the team and damages their blossoming romance. Savitar doesn’t need to do much to defeat Team Flash. They’re doing it to each other with stupid, stupid decisions week after week.

This all culminates in a rash, panicky move by Wally. After being taunted by Savitar in the guise of his mother, he steals Caitlin’s piece of the Philosopher’s Stone and throws it into the Speed Force. Of course, if he had stopped and talked to the team for a second, he’d learn what they figured out: Savitar is trapped in the Speed Force. He gave the key to the prisoner. So Savitar escapes, Wally gets sucked in and Barry gets stabbed in the chest. Go team.

I’ll say it again. Team Flash needs to learn from their mistakes. And by this, I mean the writers. Generating the same character conflicts with different details and no change is simply lazy storytelling. And as the Gorilla City two-parter proved, you don’t need to manufacture team conflict to write a good episode.

Assorted Thoughts:

– I agree with Cisco. H.R. needs to stop using the word “milking.”

– The writers seem to have forgotten that Jesse has speed powers, since she did almost nothing this episode.

– Is it me or is Savitar slower in the real world than in the Speed Force? Barry gets a few good punches in whereas in previous encounters, he could barely move before being pummeled.

– Next time, Barry runs into some familiar faces in the Speed Force.