By BGN Guest Blogger Jahkotta Lewis
The finale of Season 3 of The Flash finally revealed the fate of Iris West and neatly tied up the season’s loose ends. Here’s what happened on the finale of The Flash!
So, the theories that were floating around the web about HR and Iris West proved to be true: he switched places with her using his face morphing technology. Iris West is alive and HR dies, though I’m quite confident that we’ll get another doppelganger of Harrison Wells in the near future. Still, HR will be missed and though he was a tinge bit irritating at times, he did bring a level of lightness to the show that was needed this season.
HR’s reasons for sacrificing himself are simple enough: he felt responsible for Iris’ capture last episode by Savitar. Knowing that he could never forgive himself for this, HR made the ultimate sacrifice, explaining to Barry that he didn’t want to be a coward. This admission revealed something about HR that I’ve suspected all season; he doesn’t feel like he carries his weight as a member of Team Flash. This explains his incessant happiness and quirkiness. He’s compensating for his feelings of inadequacy by being super “up” all of the time.
Personally, I think that Team Flash took HR’s death quite well, and Barry and Iris even share a moment of laughter after his funeral. Their laughter isn’t about his death, but it’s still weird. The rest of the episode focused on Team Flash stopping Savitar from rupturing the Speed Force. The evil speedster planned on spreading his consciousness throughout space and time because it’s the only way for him to survive since his “I’ma kill Iris West and become a speed god” plan didn’t work out. I don’t know why anyone would want such an existence (I believe Doctor Who did an episode on this and it didn’t look too fun), but O.K. I guess it’s better than Savitar’s fate, which is to disappear since HR’s death changed the future, meaning dear ole Savi was never created by future Barry.
Barry thinks that they can defeat Savitar with love (oh, cute! New Age Barry!). He invites the villain to Star Labs and offers to help him escape his erasure from the timeline. Barry explains to Savitar that destroying the Speed Force is not the answer and that if he’s willing to try, he could have a normal life. Savitar considers Barry’s offer and agrees to go back to Star Labs with him.
Now, I don’t know if I would feel as forgiving as Barry. I mean, Savitar did basically make Iris West’s life a living hell for most of the year. And he killed their friend HR. And he killed and manipulated other metahumans. And he has Cisco back at his lair working on the Speed Force Bazooka so that he can blow the smithereens out of the Speed Force. So, why would Barry think that they could change this villain into a regular dude? Why not just wait until Time literally caught up with him and erased him from history?
I think this is why when Savitar shows up to Star Labs with Barry, Joe West has the most appropriate reaction, which is basically “What the f@ck is he doing here?!” Somehow, Barry convinces Team Flash to give Savitar a chance, all except HR’s girlfriend, Dr. Brand. While the team considers what they can do to preserve Barry’s time remnant self, Iris West gets an up close and personal look at Savitar.
I’m not sure if Savitar hid from Iris the entire time she was held hostage in “Infantino Street,” but he must have because he acts self-consciously when unmasked in her presence. Iris, bless her soul, is kind to Savitar, even placing her hand on his scars in an act of forgiveness and empathy. He in turn literally melts in her hands, showing that he does have feelings for her. This entire interaction confused me because Savitar sure as hell had no problem brutally murdering HR’s Iris not two seconds earlier. Why show emotion now? Weird.
Of course, Barry’s plan doesn’t pan out because Savitar has no desire to play second fiddle to Barry and Iris’ relationship. Savitar reveals that he remembers everything the two share, every memory, likely every intimacy (eww!), even their engagement. So, he asks, what is he supposed to do in life as he watches Barry parade around with the woman that he loves? And just like that, Savitar is done with trying to redeem himself and returns to his lair to check on the progress of the Speed Force Bazooka that Cisco has been augmenting. Fortunately for Cisco, Gypsy rescues him before Savitar can murder him once he completes the task. I really hope Cisco and Gypsy have a relationship next season because their chemistry is off the charts!
Thank goodness for Cisco, man. I really don’t know where Team Flash would be without him. That Speed Force Bazooka he was tampering with for Savitar? Well, Cisco converted it into a Speed Force Skeleton key which released Jay Garrick from Speed Force Hell (I was wondering when the team would get him out of there) instead of destroying it. Savitar, who is in his chrome suit as this all plays out with Killer Frost by his side, gets phased out of his suit by Barry and is shot in the back and killed by Iris West.
Everything wrapped up so neatly during this portion of the episode that I should have known that it was too good to be true (more about this later). Jay Garrick is back, Wally still has his speed, Cisco and Gypsy have a connection, and Killer Frost has a soul after all (she attended HR’s funeral). Even Iris West is in high spirits and finally feels ready to move forward with planning her and Barry’s nuptials. In fact, the episode appeared like it was going to end on a high note with Barry and Iris all snuggled up on their couch when the true villain of the season makes its appearance: The Speed Force.
Man, the Speed Force is a straight up jerk. Like, for real though. It started zapping Central City with Speed Force lightning at the exact moment Iris and Barry finally found some bliss after all the trauma they went through this season. Dammit! Why?! Well, apparently, the Speed Force is angry that it doesn’t have anyone to occupy its Speed Force hell. The release of Jay Garrick triggered this imbalance, which means another speedster is required to take his place. This. Frakking. Sucks! Especially since our heroes are totally unprepared for this eventuality having just defeated their ultimate enemy, Savitar. The only solution is for Barry to give himself to the Speed Force.
Damn. Iris West didn’t die, but she doesn’t get the happy ending she deserved. After a season of psychological warfare (imagine knowing when and where you’re going to die), having to accept said eventual murder by the love of your life no less, then having to shoot a clone of your lover in the back, only to have your lover ripped away from you abruptly, possibly for an eternity by some whacky energy thingy… Yep, Iris is going to be messed up next time we see her.
I’m happy that Iris survived this season, but I’m sad that she didn’t get any reprieve from all the chaos that’s been her life of late. And Barry being taken from her by the Speed Force wearing his mom’s face (that’s super uncool by the way), I just felt bummed. What gave me some hope was that Wally West is going to be The Flash for a while and I’m sure Barry will be back at some point. I’m betting next season will focus on the Rebirth part of The Flash’s story. Until then, I’m going to spend the summer worrying about Iris West.
The Flash has been renewed for a fourth season on The CW.
Jahkotta Lewis is a professional archaeologist, an amateur astronomer, and an aspiring writer. When she is not documenting Pacific Island archaeology, she spends her days hiking through native forests, spelunking within the depths of an active volcano, and watching/reading all things fantasy and science fiction. Follow her on Twitter @jahkotta
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