It’s been 23 weeks since Barry first watched Savitar kill Iris in his time jump forward. 23 weeks for Team Flash to develop a plan, 23 weeks for Iris to come to terms with her possible death, 23 weeks for Savitar to grow confident in his uprising. While it was assumed that Savitar wouldn’t try to kill Iris until next week’s season finale, he actually captured her tonight and brought all of Barry’s most terrifying nightmares into reality. After weeks of building a speedforce canon and trap for Savitar, H.R. Wells, Tracy, and Team Flash had the chance to imprison Savitar. Iris herself had the chance to flee Central City somewhere Savitar could never find her -- sadly none of those plans worked out as well as they could have. One plan did work this week, Captain Cold and Barry’s A.R.G.U.S. heist, which made this episode quite enjoyable, despite its tragic ending. Considering Iris’ fate at the end of the episode, it will be fascinating to see how Barry copes next week. Savitar believes that Iris’ death will create him, but what if Barry makes a different choice next week? If Barry never creates speed remnants, will Savitar disappear from the universe entirely? All of these questions and more will be addressed next week, but first, let’s jump into this week’s episode, “Infantino Street.”
The best part of this episode was easily the return of Captain Cold. Cold started out as a Flash villain before he went gallivanting off with the Legends. Cold and Barry have had a witty, hero/villain banter between them for years and it was so refreshing to see them rekindle that this week. Barry retrieved Cold from the 1800s in Siberia, during one his missions with the Legends. This version of Captain Cold was pulled from a time before his death, although his final line of dialogue would suggest he was very close to making his legendary sacrifice soon ("no strings on me.") Barry recruited Cold because he needed to break into A.R.G.U.S. to steal a Dominator power source. At first, Barry asked Lyla if he could have it to save Iris. Lyla said no because she didn't trust Barry after all of his time jumping. Barry couldn't break into A.R.G.U.S. alone because the building was metahuman-proof. Together, Barry and Cold broke into A.R.G.U.S and cracked the nearly impossible safe protecting the device. Unfortunately, the device was also being guarded by King Shark. Barry was willing to kill King Shark until Cold came up with a plan to put him to sleep. With the Dominator device in hand, Barry and Cold almost made it out unscathed, until the door shut and trapped Cold inside.
Barry then had a dilemma: leave Cold to die to get to Iris faster or make sure Cold wasn't left behind. Cold knew the risks of the job, so he told Barry to be ruthless and leave him. Thankfully Cisco got the door open and Cold escaped. When Lyla caught up to them, she let Barry have the power source because she witnessed Barry's act of mercy in saving Cold. When Barry dropped Cold back off at the Waverider, Cold confirmed what we were all thinking: Barry brings out Cold's heroic side and Cold brings out Barry's criminal side. The two are each other's perfect foils, which is a shame that Cold is no longer a series regular on the show. Just before Cold left Barry, Cold encouraged Barry to lean into his good side, that Barry's goodness was his strength. This word of wisdom from Cold could be the key to Barry stopping Savitar; we'll have to see how that plays out.
Iris’ Last Day on Earth
Iris West is too precious for this world. At the beginning of the episode, she had Barry race out for caviar because what else would a girl want to eat on her last day on Earth? Cue the tissues here, because while Barry was fetching said Caviar, Iris was recording him a goodbye message -- a message that was revealed (in the final jarring moments of the episode) to be her wedding vows. HER WEDDING VOWS. Knowing full well that she could have died that day, she still chose to marry Barry. This opening set the tone for Iris' mood throughout the entire episode. She knew what could happen to her and she was prepared to handle it.
When Barry and Cold were off breaking into A.R.G.U.S., Wally raced Iris and Joe to Earth-2 to keep them safe. While waiting for a safe time to return, Iris and Joe reminisced about a time when Iris was old enough to sneak out of the house. Joe also confessed to using some of her savings to go on a "Blues Cruise." Their moments together were heartfelt and honest and very needed in an episode that would end up so grim. Joe even sang to Iris and they danced together in the S.T.A.R. Labs of Earth-2. Iris was safe until Savitar discovered her location and kidnapped her. Armed with the power source and the speedforce canon, Barry was ready to take Savitar down on Infantino Street. At first, the canon was working, but then Savitar revealed that he was immune to its effects. As Iris' vows played over Barry running in slow motion to save her, Savitar killed her. Barry's vision of the future came true and all hope was lost. The episode cut to black from there and next week's trailer (which is embedded below) gives us few clues to Iris' fate next week.
Team Flash will now have to deal with some serious repercussions. When Wally tried to take on Savitar he was badly wounded. His recovery will be key next week. When Cisco was meant to be helping Barry stop Savitar, he was fighting Killer Frost. The outcome of that fight will have to be revealed next week also. Can Caitlin be saved? Joe and Barry's emotions -- will Barry be able to fight Savitar knowing that Savitar won? Will Joe be well enough to help Team Flash implement another plan to stop Savitar? Wells' guilt -- when Savitar tricked him into revealing Iris' location H.R. was wracked with guilt. In an honest and emotional conversation with Cisco, H.R. admitted that he had no purpose on Team Flash. He knew that he was a positive motivator and that he made a damn fine cup of coffee, but otherwise he felt useless. There was a flash of him looking at a piece of Savitar's armor in that scene with Cisco that could be a clue for next week's takedown of Savitar. It also sounded like H.R. was saying goodbye, is he going to risk his own to life to take Savitar down next week?
Theory time: The Flash is all about time travel. Time travel is what got Barry into this mess in the first place, so could time travel be the key to reversing Iris' death? Or, is that line of thinking that causes Barry to create time remnants in the first place, thus creating Savitar and restarting the causality loop? It seems like in order for Barry to somehow change what Savitar did, he needs to do something unconventional, something different than he would normally do. Technically, Savitar lives inside of a causality loop. Iris' death inspires Barry to create remnants, one of which becomes Savitar, he gets trapped in the speed force, he gets freed, he kills Iris, the loop continues. Barry must figure out a way to stop the loop from repeating itself. It would seem that H.R. has an idea, something to do with Savitar's armor. Tracy likely has an idea, because she's a super genius, and Cisco and Barry probably have ideas too. Something the show could do, would be to borrow from a comic book storyline, 1979's Flash #279, where Iris was killed but then saved by someone from the future. In that comic book, which was drawn by Carmine Infantino (the street name where TV Iris was killed and the name of this episode -- a clue?) Iris' consciousness was saved and protected by a couple from the future. The show wouldn't have to save something as metaphysical as her consciousness but perhaps a future version of Barry could travel back in time and be working on something behind the scenes to save her. Better yet, perhaps future Iris is a speedster and Savitar killed one of her time remnants! While that's wishful thinking on my part, there is a version of Iris West from the comics, Wally's future daughter Iris West II, who does have speedster powers. That would be amazing to see onscreen, even in some small way.
Race to the Finish Line
Next week during The Flash's third season finale episode "Finish Line," Barry and the team will have to deal with the tragedy of losing Iris. Will Barry try to go back in time to save her? Will he race forward into the future again to find another solution? Will H.R. make the sacrifice play? Will Joe be O.K.? Hopefully, we get a speedforce miracle because Barry needs to say his vows, now that Iris has said hers.
SEASON FINALE – With nothing left to lose, Barry (Grant Gustin) takes on Savitar in an epic conclusion to season three. David McWhirter directed the episode written by Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing. Original airdate 5/23/2017.
Starring Grant Gustin as the Scarlet Speedster, “The Flash” airs Tuesdays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Keiynan Lonsdale and more.