The Flash Season 3 has come to an end. The finale starts with Iris lying dead in Barry’s arms. Except it’s not actually Iris. “She” has enough energy left to use HR’s facial transmogrification device revealing that Iris switched places with HR, who felt guilty over letting Savitar find her last episode. HR gives Barry one last message to give to Cisco before he dies and the team regroups at STAR Labs. Barry follows the advice given to him by Captain Cold in the last episode and decides to deal with this as a hero and not out of vengeance.
Barry travels to Savitar’s hideout where the latter is forcing Cisco to work on the Speed Force Bazooka to change it into a quantum splicer. Savitar’s plan is to have Killer Frost shoot him with the device after opening a portal in order to split his existence across all time, becoming a god. Barry tries to stop this and convinces Savitar to come back to STAR Labs and work together. However, after the cold response he gets from most of the team and the logical questions he has about how he would even fit into their lives, Savitar gives up and leaves. Gypsy saves Cisco from Savitar, Cisco saves Jay from the Speed Force, and they all team up to fight. Killer Frost regains her sanity and Iris shoots Savitar before he can stab Barry in the back. The episode ends with Barry taking Jay’s place in the Speed Force Prison once things start going awry in Central City.
There were a lot of cool moments in this episode. The acting was on point from everyone, especially when Savitar arrives at STAR Labs and when Flash enters the Speed Force. Everyone’s reactions to Savitar being there are perfectly in line with their character, especially Tracy’s after the death of HR. At the end, I even got a little teary-eyed when Barry was saying goodbye to everyone, especially to Joe.
The final fight was the highlight of the episode. Not only was it great to see everyone team up to fight Savitar and Killer Frost, there were a lot of awesome moments. Black Flash got a really quick cameo, Killer Frost regains her sanity in the best way possible by saving Cisco from Savitar, the speedster chase sequence was exhilarating, Flash phasing in and controlling Savitar’s suit is now my favorite scene in the show, and Iris killing Savitar is poetic and satisfying.
That being said, this is far from a perfect episode. All these awesome things did happen and I loved seeing them, but the circumstances in which they happened were lackluster to say the least. Black Flash’s cameo especially bugged me since it looks like he was killed off not even ten seconds into the scene. I loved the fight sequence between the Flashes and Savitar but it was missing Jesse Quick, who had absolutely no mention this episode. It was great to see Harry again but his role was diminished to pep talks which is sad considering how great his character is. Also, why did Barry have to be the one to enter the Speed Force? Both Wally and Jay have been established as characters who would gladly sacrifice themselves for such a situation and neither spoke up. Jay didn’t even speak let alone say bye to Barry or thank him for taking his place.
The biggest issue bogging down this episode was the Iris bait and switch. I’m sad to say the writers didn’t stick to their guns here. I think Iris is honestly the best character in the show which is something that is highlighted in this episode. She not only ends up being the one killing Savitar in some marvelously poetic justice, she also spends a good chunk of this episode trying to save him, showing how she’s an even better hero than the main character. All that being said, the writers chickened out of what could’ve been a huge and emotional move for the show.
I think this episode is a perfect allegory for the rest of The Flash Season 3: a lot of cool moments and elements but each of those was hampered down by questionable writing and plot decisions. I did enjoy these moments on the surface, but they felt shallow and cheap. Here’s hoping Season 4 picks up in quality.