Wow — what a way to close out Season 3! Tonight “The Flash” delivered an emotional, intense, and unexpected season finale. Two major characters gave their lives to save Iris and Central City — two characters who will be missed tremendously if they aren’t somehow brought back next season. First, was H.R., who valiantly gave his life in exchange for Iris. His death was taken the hardest by Tracy, who had been falling in love with him since she joined Team Flash weeks ago. The second was Barry himself. This was the most surprising element of the episode because Barry is the heartbeat and lead of this show. While the writers of “The Flash” most likely have a plan to free Barry from the speedforce next season, that doesn’t take away from how pure and selfless Barry’s sacrifice was. After three seasons of Barry losing the people closest to him, he made the sacrifice play, which was a rare move to see on superhero television. Tonight’s episode saw the return of some familiar friends — Harry Wells, Gypsy, and Jay Garrick — who all came back at just the right times to help Team Flash. Caitlin also made an interesting decision tonight as her loyalties to both Savitar and Team Flash were tested. Each character’s decisions will have ramifications next season — hopefully Team Flash will be totally back together sooner rather than later.
The Sacrifice of H.R.
The episode, titled “Finish Line,” picked up right where last week left off, with Barry holding Iris in his arms. Savitar had disappeared after stabbing Iris, leaving the team shocked and horrified by her death. The joke was on Savitar here, as Iris’ transmographer turned off and revealed the face of H.R. Wells. That’s right, H.R. did the old face-swap on himself as Iris. The H.R. on the roof turned out to be Iris, whom H.R. had grabbed from Savitar’s lab just minutes earlier. H.R. said his goodbyes to Barry, left a parting word of encouragement for Cisco, and died. This marks the third Wells we’ve seen die on “The Flash,” the first being the real Harrison Wells from Earth-1, the second being Reverse Flash in disguise. With Iris safe, the future began to change, including the name under the headline from the 2024 newspaper. Yes, it went back to reading Iris West-Allen. We can all breathe a sigh of relief there.
The Death of Savitar
With Iris safe, a paradox was put into motion. Since Barry would no longer be driven into the dark over Iris’ death, he would never create time remnants, which means Savi-Barry would never be created. With mere hours to find a way to live, Savitar kidnapped Cisco and the speedforce bazooka. By threatening Caitlin’s life, Cisco agreed to help Savitar make modifications to the bazooka. With the bazooka in hand, Savitar would be able to splinter himself across all of time, thus achieving his god-like status. While Cisco was working on the modifications, Barry decided to approach Savi-Barry a little differently. Barry told Savitar that Team Flash could find a way to save him, that he wasn’t alone, and that he was still loved. For a glimmering moment, Savi-Barry was willing to go back to S.T.A.R. Labs and be embraced by the team. At one point Iris even touched his face, reminding him that she loved him once. That scene was incredibly powerful as if Iris was reaching out to touch a dangerous animal that had been wounded. She even touched his scar. Unfortunately, Savi-Barry didn’t believe in them anymore and he activated the bazooka anyway.
The Temptation of Killer Frost
Once Savitar had the bazooka he tried to kill Cisco. Thankfully Gypsy vibed in and rescued him. When Cisco explained what Savitar was up to, he took Team Flash to the park where Savitar was opening up the speedforce. An epic battle then ensued between Savitar, Caitlin, Cisco, Gypsy, and Barry. Then Jay Garrick joined the fight, who had been freed from the speedforce through the use of the bazooka. At this point, Savitar had nothing left to win. Barry phased Savi-Barry out of the Savitar suit and phased into it himself. He then beat Savi-Barry and destroyed the suit. Barry did exercise mercy on Savi-Barry, until Iris shot and killed him. Caitlin also exercised mercy, as did Cisco — the pair refused to kill one another, which means Killer Frost never became the killer. In fact, at one point she even fired ice shots at Savitar, which helped disable him. With Savitar dead, Cisco was able to present Caitlin with Julian’s anti-metahuman gene therapy serum. Interestingly, she declined to use it. She’s not Killer Frost, no, but she’s also not Caitlin Snow either, at least not right now. Could she become another cold-based hero, like Ice?
The Sacrifice of Barry Allen
The team them honored the death of their friend H.R. Wells. They buried him with a quote from Mark Twain and Iris told a beautiful story about John Lennon. H.R. was a delightful addition to this show and this season. His love for coffee and his enthusiasm for life will not be quickly forgotten. As for Tracy and Harry Wells, it looks like both will be staying on Team Flash next season. Tracy will likely be replacing Caitlin as the resident genius at S.T.A.R. Labs, which is both sorrowful and inspiring. Lastly, this wouldn’t be a superhero finale if the city wasn’t falling down, so the speedforce came to claim one more soul. With Jay Garrick released from the speedforce and Savitar gone, the speedforce needed a speedster within it to keep it stable. Not wanting anyone else to pay for his mistakes, Barry heroically made the choice to go in. Everyone was heartbroken, but Barry seemed somewhat euphoric about his decision. He told Joe that he was the most loved boy the world has ever known. He told Iris to keep running, just for him. There were callbacks to their song “Runnin’ Home to You” and to his race as a speedster. His own mother appeared out of the speedforce to say that Barry had reached his finish line. It is so rare for a hero to fall in a finale, and yet Barry did. When he went into the speedfoce the city stopped shaking and Central City was safe again. The episode concluded there.
So where does that leave the show for next season? We know “The Flash” is coming back because it got an early renewal and is already on The CW’s fall schedule. We also know that most of the main cast will be back, as many of them are already preparing to shoot the new season in Vancouver. What about Wells? Based on tonight’s episode, it looks like Tom Cavanagh will be playing Harry Wells (from Earth-2) next season. Does that mean Jesse Quick will move back to Earth-1 as well? As for the villain of Season 4, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg already confirmed that it won’t be a speedster. Devoe was mentioned tonight, a comic book villain who went by the name “The Thinker.” Could he be the main baddie next season? And what about Barry? If the speedforce needs a speedster, who could go in there? We can’t have a show without The Flash, hopefully, his return is solved in the Season 4 premiere. If it’s not, how long will Barry be trapped in there and will he be a different person when he comes out?
Starring Grant Gustin as the Scarlet Speedster, “The Flash” will return Tuesdays at 8 pm ET/PT this fall on The CW. The series also stars Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Keiynan Lonsdale and more.