This article contains spoilers from The Flash Season 3.
All season long, #TheFlash has teased us with the possibility of a major death at the end of Season 3. Despite the Scarlet Speedster's shocking trip to the future in the mid-season finale — which revealed that Savitar would kill Iris West on May 23rd, 2017 — the mystery surrounding who would die was very much alive and well.
However, that mystery came to an end in the season's penultimate episode when the world watched Savitar kill Iris all over again. And this time, there was no turning back for Barry Allen.
But the death of Iris West isn't just a defeat for Team Flash; it's a monumental turning point for the entire #Arrowverse. Her loss will affect every single character on The Flash, and thus, will have a major impact beyond it. With that in mind, let's take a look at what her loss means for the show, and how it will cope without her.
Who Is Barry Without His Lightning Rod?
Since The Flash began back in 2014, it was clear that Barry Allen and Iris West were destined to be together. Moreover, for fans of the comic books, this fact has been clear for a lot longer. Iris is the love of Barry Allen's life — simply put, she's the Lois Lane to his Superman, the Black Canary to his Green Arrow. And you don't mess with destiny like that. Just look at where it got #Arrow.
This season has been intent on driving home the point that Barry is a shell of himself without Iris. This recurring theme undoubtedly made a lot of "WestAllen" shippers incredibly happy, because it solidified their place as the show's ultimate couple. But unfortunately, now we've found ourselves in a position where we might actually see what Barry is like without Iris in his life.
All season long, Barry has found himself constantly wrestling with darkness. But after guidance from Iris, he ultimately always chose the light. That's what she has always been to him — a lightning rod to help protect him through the storms they face. What will become of him without her presence in his life?
Remember, a Barry without Iris is what birthed Savitar — could we see the same thing happen to our present-day Barry in the season finale?
Can 'The Flash' Survive Without Iris?
Iris West has been a mainstay on The Flash since the #TV series began in 2014. Since then, she has become an ace reporter, fallen in love with two heroes and unflinchingly stared evil in the face. She has won over fans with her strength, bravery and all-around badassery. Thus, her death was always going to be a shock.
However, even though we all saw her fate unfold once already, the thing that makes it sting just that little bit more is down to the fact that we all hoped Iris would ultimately survive. Despite the overall bleak tone of this season, we all knew that everything would be okay — because Team Flash would eventually overcome the odds and save our beloved Iris. But then, they didn't.
While her shocking death has indeed provided the show with an opportunity to produce some dramatic storylines, we have to wonder if it could really survive a venture down this dark route? Iris's death hasn't just made this incredibly grim season even gloomier, it's made us lose faith in our very own #superheroes.
The Flash and his team knew this death was coming, yet they were unable to stop it. After a season of failures, the show capped off the Savitar saga with the ultimate failure. While Arrow tended to focus on the darkness of crime-fueled cities, The Flash prided itself on its colorful adventures in which the Scarlet Speedster always succeeded and saved the day.
But Iris's death marks the end of that era. And it leaves us wondering: how do we ever believe in Team Flash again?
Will The Flash Fans Revolt Like Arrow Fans Did?
Furthermore, Iris West is a legendary comic book character — an incredible reporter and the wife of Barry Allen's Flash. The show had yet to focus on the heart of her journalism career and she never got to marry Barry. This will undoubtedly anger a lot of comic book fans — a fanbase that's among the most integral reasons for the show's popularity.
Remember, after Arrow did the same thing by killing off Black Canary, their ratings saw a major decline — so much so that the show had to bring actress Katie Cassidy back permanently as the Earth-2 version of the character.
Iris West was undoubtedly the heart and soul of The Flash. While Barry Allen put on his red mask and stopped the most evil metahumans imaginable, he could always run home to Iris, who would be there to ground him. While her shocking death broke our hearts — which says a lot considering that we knew it was coming — it raises questions about the show's future, relating to both the show in general and its storyline.
Her death may indeed provide the show with an opportunity to develop Barry Allen's character even further, but it leaves us wondering if they should even go there. In many ways, Season 3 has damaged the Flash himself, and it's hard to have faith in a superhero who keeps losing. And after suffering the biggest loss of all, we are left wondering: how will The Flash cope without Iris, and will the fans return to watch it?
How do you think The Flash will cope without Iris? Let us know in the comments below!