Katie Yu /The CW

Barry makes the ultimate sacrifice

The Flash

S3 E23
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TV Show
May 23, 2017 at 11:08 PM EDT

Over the course of The Flash‘s three seasons, we’ve seen Barry Allen’s teammates make the ultimate sacrifice to save the day: Eddie Thawne in the season 1 finale, Ronnie at the beginning of season 2, and Jay Garrick in season 3. Now, it’s finally time for Barry — who, let’s admit it, has screwed up royally — to be the hero he wants to be and to do what everyone else around him has been willing to do. In the emotional season 3 finale, Barry sacrifices himself to save his city and his loved ones; however, first, he needs to take care of Savitar.

“Finish Line” is honestly the best finale that the show could have made given this season’s missteps. (Note: Take the finale’s grade with a grain of salt because I’m definitely grading on a curve.) It’s a confident and at times clunky episode that manages to recapture some of the show’s heart right when it needs it the most.

The finale wastes very little time in revealing that Savitar, in fact, did not murder Iris. As Barry holds Iris’ body in his arms, H.R.’s drumsticks fall out of her pocket, and it’s revealed that Barry is actually holding H.R., who used his transmogrifier to take her place. As he explains with his dying breath, this was his way of making up for disclosing Iris’ location to Savitar in the last episode.

Given the focus on H.R.’s love life and his search for a purpose on Earth-1 in the past few episodes, H.R.’s death wasn’t necessarily surprising, but it did hit home. The show has done a pretty good job of making us care for this Wells doppelgänger, even if he was relatively useless. And to be fair, H.R. did serve a function on Team Flash, and on the show. His cheerleading often helped spark ideas, and, more importantly, he was a reliable source of comedic relief during this angsty-as-hell season.

With H.R.’s sacrifice, Team Flash believes the future has changed, and the future newspaper in the Chamber of Time Secrets that now bears Iris West-Allen’s byline quickly confirms that assumption. Saving Iris also means that Savitar should eventually cease to exist since it’s her death that leads Barry to create the time remnants, which he won’t do now that Iris is alive. However, Team Flash can’t just wait for the time paradox to erase Savitar for three reasons: First, that’ll take a few hours, and Savitar can get a lot done during that time. Second, Savitar stole the Speed Cannon, which he means he’s planning something else. And third, Savitar and Killer Frost kidnapped Cisco.

Savitar tells Killer Frost and Cisco that he kidnapped Cisco because he still intends on completing his apotheosis before the Time Paradox catches up to him. Savitar wants Cisco to modify the Speed Cannon so he can use it to fragment himself across time, basically turning him into a god. It’s a bloody ridiculous plan, but I love how wacky it sounds. (Also, Grant Gustin makes a very convincing villain, which isn’t entirely surprising given his role on Glee.) Cisco, though, is downright giddy knowing that his friends changed the future, and he refuses to do what Savitar demands. Well, that’s until Savitar threatens to kill Reverse Flash Killer Frost if Cisco doesn’t cooperate. The only reason Cisco agrees is because Savitar reveals that Julian and Caitlin’s mom developed a cure for her.
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After the success of Arrow, Barry Allen (a.k.a. The Flash) gets his own CW treatment in this comic-themed spin-off.
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