Spoilers for 3×22 “Infantino Street” and speculation for what will happen in the season 3 finale.
Iris’s death at the end of “Infantino Street” doesn’t have the weight a main character’s death should have. Part of the reason for that is we’ve already seen her die. I think the other part is, there’s still one more episode in season 3. We know Iris’s death isn’t the end.
Here’s what I think will happen in the season 3 finale.
One note before we begin: Since The Flash gets complicated with time traveling and multiple versions of the same character, for clarity, I’m going to use “Barry-1” for the Barry in the present time and “Savitar-1” for Bartholomew Allen (the time remnant that became Savitar as we know him in season 3). I’ll use “Barry-0” for Barry and “Savitar-0” for Savitar in the previous timeline—the one where Barry created multiple time remnants to fight Savitar and lost.
What comes after Iris’s death?
Savitar-1 says that he ascends when Barry-1 falls, and we’re led to believe that means losing Iris. But I think losing Iris is the second-to-last step—not the final one—and having Iris’s death in the second-to-last episode of season 3 seems to confirm that Savitar-1’s plan for pushing Barry-1 to become him isn’t finished yet.
Since Barry-1 didn’t create time remnants to fight Savitar-1 (as Barry-0 did), there’s no surviving time remnant to become Savitar-1, so who becomes Savitar-1 now? Unless…
Unless in the season finale, Barry-1 travels back in time to save Iris. They were so close to saving Iris that Barry-1 believes they just need one more shot. (This plays into Savitar-1’s plan. If Barry-1 goes back in time and creates a time remnant, then that remnant becomes Savitar-1. But more on that in a bit.)
So Barry-1 goes back in time and works with his past self (Barry-2) and Team Flash. They make better plans, save Iris, and defeat Savitar-1.
After Team Flash wins, who’s the time remnant?
It’s Barry-1, the one who traveled back in time to save Iris. Since he is successful, there’s no reason for Barry-2 to travel back in time. Barry-1 becomes the time remnant because his timeline ceases to exist. He’s the odd man out—can’t live Barry-2’s life; can’t have two identical Barry Allens and Flashes in Central City. Barry-1 doesn’t have a purpose anymore, and maybe he feels broken, since he still remembers the timeline where Iris died and what it was like to lose her. That’s a pretty good recipe for going dark side and becoming Savitar. Unless…
Unless Barry-2 can find a way to break the cycle. If he can find a way for Barry-1 to have his own life, then the time remnant never becomes Savitar-1. Maybe Barry-1 could go to another Earth and have a fresh start.
There’s just one loose end
Jay Garrick is still stuck in the Speed Force, and Barry-1 promised to free him.
I think after Barry-1 saves Iris and Team Flash is safe, he will volunteer to be trapped in the Speed Force so that Jay can be freed. It’s an interesting take on the hero’s self-sacrifice: Barry-1 willingly goes to a prison to atone for creating Flashpoint and its fallout. Barry-2 continues to be the Flash, and he gets a happy ending with Iris.
Want to see how my speculations turned out? Check out my post on the season 3 finale (spoilers included).