If we learned anything from season three of The Flash, it’s that all decisions have consequences. For every action there is a reaction. That lesson played out in various ways in the finale, “Finish Line,” and led to a bittersweet ending that solved the Savitar problem — but left so much in the balance.
[Editor's note: This post contains spoilers on The Flash season three finale, episode 23.]
HR sacrificed himself to save Iris
At the end of last week’s episode, Savitar very clearly killed Iris. But as some on the internet correctly theorized, it wasn’t Iris at all. It was HR who had disguised himself as Iris using the transmogrifier technology.
While Iris was being held captive by Savitar and Killer Frost, HR snuck in to their bad guy hideout. He freed Iris temporarily and then switched their appearances with the transmogrifier. Killer Frost caught them but let HR (really Iris) go. Savitar then killed “Iris,” but it was really HR.
HR’s death is tragic and hits Team Flash pretty hard. Iris sums HR’s legacy nicely at his funeral, “He wasn’t a genius and he didn’t have speed. But when we needed him the most, he was a hero.” Iris didn’t die, but someone had to in her place.
Saving Iris ultimately destroys Savitar
Because Iris didn’t die, Barry won’t go on to create the time remnants and therefore create Savitar. That means, in just a few hours after HR’s death, the time paradox will catch up and Savitar will cease to exist.
Savitar doesn’t go down without a fight, of course. He tries to get Cisco to turn the Speed Force Bazooka into a Speed Force Splicer so that he can scatter himself across time and become immortal. Cisco turns it into a Speed Force skeleton key instead and frees Jay Garrick from the speed force prison. This all culminates in an epic battle with Barry, Wally and Jay trying to stop Savitar, while Gypsy and Cisco battle Killer Frost.
In the end, Barry leaps into Savitar’s suit and destroys it from within. Barry then knocks Savitar out with a single punch, but as his back is turned, Savitar lunges at him. With a loud bang, Iris shoots Savitar in the back. Bleeding out on the ground, Savitar finally disintegrates into nothing.
How will Barry escape the Speed Force?
Iris is alive. Savitar is gone. The day is saved, right? Nope.
Unfortunately, Cisco’s decision to free Jay left a gaping hole in the speed force prison and the speed force is furious. The speed force explodes over Central City, unleashing earthquakes and lightning everywhere. The team realizes that someone needs to go into the prison to satisfy the speed force.
“All of this started with my mistake, with Flashpoint. This is my penance.” - Barry Allen
Barry volunteers himself knowing that this is the final price he has to pay for creating Flashpoint and messing up the timeline. Barry offers teary goodbyes to the gang and steps into the speed force accompanied by the ghost of his mother.
Will Barry escape? The show is called The Flash so chances are he won’t be trapped in the speed force for too long. It’s a hell of a cliffhanger though.
Has Caitlyn become Killer Frost for good? And who is DeVoe?
There are two other big threads to look out for in season four. One is Caitlyn’s descent into Killer Frost. At the end of the finale, she seems stuck between Caitlyn and Killer Frost. She didn’t drink the antidote Julian made that would cure her of her powers, and she admits to Cisco and Julian that she’s not sure who she is right now. She tells them she needs to figure it out.
In another bit of intriguing information, while at STAR Labs, Savitar recalls coming up with “the cerebral inhibitor to use against DeVoe.” Barry and Iris are confused and Savitar realizes that it hasn’t happened yet. As Nerdist reports, DeVoe may be Clifford DeVoe, a.k.a. the Thinker, from the DC Comics. We’ll all have to tune in this fall to find out.
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