Warning: This story continues major spoilers from Tuesday’s episode of The Flash. Read at your own risk!
Savitar’s existence was finally explained during Tuesday’s episode of The Flash — but it might be a bit confusing, so we’ve tried to break it down as best as possible.
Facing off with Barry (Grant Gustin) after last week’s reveal, Savitar (also Grant Gustin) details how he exists: In the wake of Iris’ (Candice Patton) death, Barry creates time remnants in order to stop Savitar. Future Cisco (Carlos Valdes) had previously mentioned that Savitar kills nearly all of them. The one that survives is the one that goes on to become Savitar. (If you’ll recall, Barry also created a time remnant last season to help stop Zoom, but the remnant perished saving the multi-verse.)
See, Barry, Cisco, Joe (Jesse L. Martin), and Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) go on to shun the time remnant because he’s not the real Barry Allen, but an aberration and a disposable hero. This version of Barry subsequently no longer wanted to feel the pain of being shunned, but to do so, he must become a god. In order to ascend, however, Savitar will need two things: Iris will need to die so that Barry is driven so far into the dark that he creates the time remnants to stop Savitar, thus creating Savitar.
Still following? So the other thing Savitar needs? Well, he declined to share that secret with Barry. But Cisco deduces that once Savitar is imprisoned in the Speed Force in the future, the time remnant goes crazy, goes back in time to become Savitar, creating the lie that he was the very first speedster and amassing his followers — he created a closed loop and endless cycle, which means Savitar will always exist, even if Barry were to, say, kill himself here and now.
But when Cisco wipes Barry’s memory in a bid to get a step ahead of Savitar, Wally loses his powers — if Savitar has no memories, he can’t set events in motion to give Wally his super speed. Team Flash is therefore forced to choose between restoring Barry’s memories, which would ostensibly lead to tragedy, or leave Central City without the protection of two speedsters. The choice is basically taken away when a villain sets fire to a building and they must return Barry’s memories to save countless lives — thus returning Savitar’s as well and giving Wally his powers back.
The problem now: In order to trap Savitar in the Speed Force with the speed bazooka creating by Tracy Brand (Anne Dudek), they need a massive amount of energy — energy that Barry knows exists to keep King Shark at bay. Hence turning to Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) in next week’s hour to steal it. Will they succeed and therefore prevent Savitar from killing Iris? We’ll find out when The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.