In ‘The Flash’ season 3 finale recap, Iris’ fate is revealed while Barry and the rest of the team race to stop Savitar….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
The season three finale of ‘The Flash’ definitely pulled at the heart strings but not in the way it was first teased with the death of Iris West that’s been looming overhead for several months.
Last week it appeared Savitar finally brought his prophecy to reality when he ran his dagger through Iris West’s back as Barry Allen was just not fast enough to reach her in time.
The penultimate episode ended with Barry holding the woman he loves in his arms as she gasped her final breaths. Of course it turns out that wasn’t Iris at all but there was still a death in the family that rocked all of Team Flash.
Not only did one team member die, but in the end Barry Allen made the ultimate sacrifice to save the world after doing so much to tear it apart over the course of the past season.
Add to that, Killer Frost had an awakening but it didn’t end with a transformation back into Caitlin Snow.
There’s a lot to unpack for the finale as well as a teaser for what lies ahead in season four so with that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘The Flash’ titled ‘Finish Line’…
Death in the Family
Just seconds after Savitar stabbed Iris and she laid dying in Barry’s arms, H.R. arrives at the scene of the crime where he finds Joe sobbing on top of the building after watching his daughter die. Down on Infantino Street, Barry mourns the loss of the woman he loves when he hears a faint whisper from Iris’ lips saying ‘B.A.’. As a pair of drum sticks fall out of Iris’ pocket, Barry realizes that he’s not holding his future wife but instead a friend who sacrificed himself to save her.
Flashback to last week’s episode when we saw H.R. staring at that fragment from Savitar’s suit — the piece that is literally drawn to the rest of the whole — and that’s when he figured out a way to save Iris. He grabbed that piece of the suit and allowed it to take him to Savitar’s secret lair where he freed Iris from captivity. Sadly, the two of them weren’t able to escape before Savitar and Killer Frost caught up to them but H.R. had a back up plan in mind.
He used the transmogrifier from his Earth to change his face to Iris and then change Iris to look like H.R. In the guilt over accidentally telling Savitar where he could find Iris on Earth-2, H.R. felt like he needed to prove his worth to the team and save the day and this was the only way he knew how to do it.
So H.R. remained with Iris’ face until Savitar struck the final blow and killed him. As H.R. faded away he passed along a message for Barry to give to Cisco and the latest Wells expired from this world.
While Tracy was now devastated that H.R. was gone, Barry reunited with Iris as both of them had tears streaming down their faces after Savitar failed to follow through with his grim plans for the future.
Back at STAR Labs, Barry, Iris and Joe go into Thawne’s time chamber where they find the article from the future has been changed again. It now says written by Iris West-Allen as previously intended, which means Barry has finally stopped Savitar from killing the woman he loves. It also means that Savitar won’t force Barry to walk down a dark path after her death, which would then result in the “God of Speed” never being created in the first place.
The team celebrates knowing that eventually time will catch up to Savitar and it will erase him from existence but he’s still alive for now and can do some serious damage.
Once Savitar realizes through Barry Allen’s memories that Iris didn’t die, he knows his time in this plain of existence is limited, but he always had a back up plan. So he kidnaps Cisco as well as takes the Speed Force bazooka to prepare for his ascension to god-like status.
Savitar tells Cisco to reconfigure the Speed Force bazooka so it becomes an inter-dimensional splicer. His plan is to open a time portal into the Speed Force and then get blasted with the bazooka, which will fragment him into a billion pieces while simultaneously scattering his consciousness throughout the fabric of time itself. In other words, Savitar will always exist from the beginning of time until the end and at that point there’s no erasing him from existence.
Of course, Cisco resists and refuses to make the modifications but then Savitar reminds him how he’s kept Killer Frost on a short leash as his partner in crime this whole time. She serves many purposes but one of them could be a sacrificial lamb if Cisco refuses to do what he’s told. Cisco agrees and begins working on modifying the Speed Force bazooka for Savitar.
The History of Things to Come
After coming so close to watching Iris die, Barry is gaining new perspective on how he should fight and hopefully defeat Savitar. Rather than facing him with hate and vengeance in his heart, Barry takes Leonard Snart’s advice from last week and puts it into practical use. Snart told him that the Flash is a hero so always be that hero and use that power inside of him for good rather than evil. As much as Barry wants to kill the scarred up and vile time remnant version of himself, he realizes that’s not the way to save the world.
Instead, Barry plants a thought in his head of a location where he gets Savitar to meet him. The two over them talk about the past and the memories they both share, whether the future Barry wants to admit it or not. Barry offers to help Savitar change for the good and in exchange his team will help to figure out a way to keep him from being erased from the timeline.
Savitar agrees before returning to STAR Labs where he’s confronted by virtually everybody on the team who is seeking revenge against him for one reason or another. One person who doesn’t immediately turn against him is Iris because she sees in Savitar the face of the man she loves even if this version has traveled to the dark side and back again.
Barry knows the only way to save Savitar is to get Tracy Brand on board to figure out a way to stop the time paradox from erasing him from existence, but she’s in no mood to save the man who just killed her beloved H.R. So the team calls on Harry Wells from Earth-2 to talk to her and show her a familiar face while asking her once again to lend a helping hand.
Meanwhile, Savitar walks around STAR Labs for the first time in decades as he remembers things from his past. He spots one part of the lab where they built the cerebral inhibitor to battle against DeVoe — a reference previously mentioned this season about a villain from ‘The Flash’ comics named The Thinker, who’s real name is Clifford DeVoe. It’s possible DeVoe will play a major villainous role in season four.
Anyways, Savitar wonders how he’ll fit into this world even if they do manage to save him. Iris promises to stand by his side and help him make that adjustment but first they have to find a way to keep him alive and that’s going to require more scientific minds than just Tracy Brand. She asks him to retrieve Caitlin and Cisco from his secret lair and Savitar agrees before running back to his hideout.
Sadly, Barry’s plan to save Savitar only gained him entrance to STAR Labs, which is all he really wanted in the first place. Savitar plants the Philosopher’s Stone inside the breach room where the weapon overloads and explodes but thankfully Barry and Wally get everyone to safety just in the nick of time.
Back at his lair, Savitar believes he’s slowed down Team Flash enough so he can enact his plan. Cisco has finished working on the Speed Force bazooka so he instructs Killer Frost to finish him once and for all. Just as she’s about to blast him, Gypsy shows up from out of nowhere and pulls Cisco through a portal that takes them back to Barry and Iris’ apartment. Gypsy felt that Cisco was in trouble so she vibed over from her Earth to save his life.
Cisco tells the team what Savitar has planned but time is running out to stop him.
Savitar prepares for his ascension as a god as he opens up a time portal into the Speed Force before telling Killer Frost what he needed her for in the first place. As soon as the Speed Force opens, the Black Flash emerges — the grim reaper for all speedsters — and he’s coming for Savitar. But the one thing not even death can out run is the cold and he uses Killer Frost’s powers to freeze and then shatter the Black Flash.
Goodbye Hunter Zoloman once and for all.
Once the Black Flash has been eliminated, Savitar stands in front of the time portal while Killer Frost blasts him with the bazooka but rather than his remnants being spread throughout the history of existence, the weapon does something else instead. Cisco modified the bazooka to blast into the Speed Force and open up the prison that’s inside — and it frees Jay Garrick to return to Earth-One so he can help battle Savitar.
At that moment the rest of Team Flash shows up for one last battle against Savitar.
Barry, Wally and Jay give chase to Savitar while Killer Frost goes up against Cisco and Gypsy. Savitar is able to slow down Wally and Jay but Barry is still coming after him while Cisco and Gypse get the better of Killer Frost.
Still, Cisco refuses to kill his friend no matter how much Caitlin has truly transformed into Killer Frost but Savitar has no such problem. He reappears and grabs Cisco before unleashing another of the daggers from his suit, but this time it’s Killer Frost who saves the day. She blasts Savitar and sends him flying.
Meanwhile, Barry shows up again for another round with Savitar but he’s still no match for the “God of Speed”. Savitar knows his time is running out so he promises to use his last few minutes on Earth to kill everyone the Flash has ever known or loved. As he turns to leave, Barry rises from the ground and runs towards Savitar before vibrating his entire body to take over the monstrous suit of armor.
Barry places himself into the Savitar suit while knocking out his future self. Just as Barry is about to kill the time remnant who has caused him so much pain, he stops himself from doing it. Instead, he knocks out Savitar and leaves him laying on the ground just waiting to vanish from existence.
Unfortunately, Savitar wakes up and makes one last run to kill Barry when a gunshot rings out. From behind, we see Iris holding the gun as she saves Barry’s life from his future doppelganger. Savitar falls to the ground and finally turns to ash as his entire existence is wiped from the timeline once and for all.
The Race is Over
The team says a final goodbye to H.R. Wells with Iris paying tribute to him for saving her life so bravely and without thought of sacrificing himself to do it. Wally thanks H.R. for believing in him when so many others didn’t. And finally, Barry passes along the message H.R. gave to him to pass along to Cisco after he expired.
“Tell Cisco, this took strength and he gave it to me”
Barry, Cisco and Julian then spot Killer Frost hanging out from behind a tree near the cemetery looking on at a distance for H.R.’s funeral. It turns out Julian was able to come up with a cure that would transform Killer Frost back to Caitlin once and for all while ridding her of the meta-human DNA but she politely declines. Killer Frost is gone but so is Caitlin Snow and she’s going on a journey to find out who she is now.
She asks the team to give her space while she figures it out.
Finally, Barry and Iris go home and begin to celebrate that they will have the chance to get married. All seems right with the world when a gigantic lightning storm appears in the sky above Central City. The lightning strikes down with such ferocious force that earthquakes are literally starting to tear the city apart.
Barry and Iris rush off to STAR Labs when Cisco finds the epicenter of this mighty storm but it’s not a breach or some new meta-human attacking Central City. Barry realizes that it’s the Speed Force imploding on itself because they took Jay Garrick from the prison that had been placed inside. Remember, the prison was erected in such a way that it always needed a resident speedster or the Speed Force itself would be ripped apart at the very fabric of the universe.
That means someone has to sacrifice themselves to go back into the Speed Force or watch the world get wiped away when the entire thing collapses. Barry knows what he has to do because this entire situation started when he decided to go back and alter the timeline, which created Flashpoint.
A vision of Barry’s mother emerges from the Speed Force to reclaim him while promising that he would suffer through the same torture as Savitar when he was trapped there for eternity.
“Barry isn’t going to hell but like all runners must eventually, he’s reached his finish line. His race is over.”
Barry says his goodbyes to Joe, Cisco, Julian and even asks Harry to stick around on this Earth to help the team in his absence. He passes along the mantle of the Flash to his brother Wally West before clutching Iris in his arms one last time. He tells her to go on living because that’s what he wants for her and then Barry Allen disappears into the Speed Force.
Barry Allen no longer has to run.
Of course there’s no way Barry Allen won’t be back for ‘The Flash’ season four but when will he reappear and what state will he be in? This ending could precipitate a time jump for the series next season once Barry finally escapes the Speed Force but it’s impossible to know where the rest of the people in his life will be when he returns.
‘The Flash’ season four will debut on the CW this Fall.