ByMichael Patterson, writer at
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Michael Patterson

This article contains major spoilers from The Flash Season 3, Episode 20 "I Know Who You Are."

After a full season of speculation, the mystery has finally been solved and Savitar's true identity has been revealed. Upon being reminded by Joe that nothing is more important than love, the shocking truth suddenly dawned on Barry, who wasted no time calling Savitar out. And in one goosebump-inducing moment, we finally learned that Savitar is none other than the Future Flash himself: Barry Allen.

As the evil, disfigured Barry from the future reminded his past self that he had been hinting at the truth all season, we were simply left wondering: what on earth happened to this Barry Allen? What could make the most kindhearted of the CW's become the vicious "God of Speed" known as Savitar? And perhaps more importantly, what could make him sink so low as to willingly kill the woman he once loved?

While some of us were floored by the reveal, others saw it coming. And the reason for that is down to the fact that there have previously been subtle allusions to the fact that the Flash might be the villain of this story. But do they explain why he turned evil?

With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the possible reasons as to why Barry became Savitar:

1. Did The Death Of A Loved One Push Him Too Far?

Even before Season 1, Barry Allen has been plagued with loss. His mother was killed by the Reverse-Flash when he was a child and his father was taken from him by Zoom last season. And it's safe to that all these losses took their toll on him — remember, the death of his father finally pushed him to travel back in time and create the Flashpoint timeline. However, he eventually realized how he damaged the timeline and reset it, resulting in the loss of his parents all over again.

Does the death of Iris push Barry too far? [Credit: The CW]
Does the death of Iris push Barry too far? [Credit: The CW]

Despite the trials, present-day Barry has soldiered on, doing his best to protect the residents of Central City. Thus, we have to wonder, did future Barry experience one more loss that simply pushed him too far? You have to imagine that all of that mourning would have a significant impact on him, and perhaps he just couldn't take it anymore. In the comics, the character of Future Flash ultimately snaps after the death of Wally West. Could Savitar's future on the show mirror this?

On that note, there's a strong possibility that the Iris from his timeline is no longer alive and this might explain why he has no issue killing the woman he once loved. Perhaps he lost Iris and saw becoming Savitar as his salvation. It's possible that once he obtained that kind of power, he may have saw his past self's love for Iris as a threat and wanted to ensure that she remained dead and took matters into his own hands.

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2. Did He Cross A Line In The Future?

All season long, Barry has found himself facing the possibility that he may be the villain of his own story. Ever since he discovered the side-effects to the current timeline after he Flashpoint, the once cheery superhero has been in a very dark place this season. Even the Reverse-Flash rebuked him for his actions and claimed that we was the villain. And due to all this, Barry has questioned everything he does.

Reverse-Flash calls Barry a villain. [Credit: The CW]
Reverse-Flash calls Barry a villain. [Credit: The CW]

Furthermore, he even toyed with crossing that line few superheroes should cross earlier this season when he considered killing Grodd. All of this has been done to make us question Barry's resolve as a hero and perhaps suggest that he may be a villain at heart.

Remember, Savitar once told Barry that he couldn't wait to kill him and that the only reason Savitar was keeping Barry alive was so Barry could witness him kill Iris. But we have to wonder if he could really kill his past self? After all, killing yourself in the past doesn't bode well for your future. Thus, it's possible that he was simply alluding to the possibility that Barry's actions this season will "kill" the Flash and be the birth of Savitar in the present day.

Will Savitar "kill" The Flash to ensure present Barry becomes the "God of Speed"? [Credit: The CW]
Will Savitar "kill" The Flash to ensure present Barry becomes the "God of Speed"? [Credit: The CW]

So with that in mind, we have to wonder if Future Flash ended up crossing that line and killing someone? Perhaps that was simply the final step after a long line of questionable decisions that led to him becoming the monstrous "God of Speed." And perhaps his past is the same present we are seeing unfold on screen with our present-day Barry Allen.

3. Too Much Speed Force

Being the fastest man alive, Barry Allen has the ability to harness the power of the Speed Force. As a result he is able to run faster than a speeding bullet and travel through time. It allows him to save people in the blink of an eye as well as alter the timeline — and nobody loves messing with the timeline quite like Barry Allen.

Since the show's first season, he has been traveling through time, both intentionally and inadvertently altering the timeline. But perhaps all that time harnessing the Speed Force had a significant impact on Barry.

Is Barry suffering from the effects of the Speed Force? [Credit: The CW]
Is Barry suffering from the effects of the Speed Force? [Credit: The CW]

While we can all assume that Future Flash is mentally scarred by something that his younger self did — hence his disdain for the show's current Barry Allen — we can all see clearly that he is definitely physically scarred. Remember, moving too fast can have adverse effects on people. (Just ask Trajectory, who got addicted to the speed drug Velocity-9 and disintegrated because she ran too fast.)

Thus, perhaps Savitar experienced both physical and mental trauma from his experiences with the Speed Force. And that might explain why he hates his past self so much. Perhaps he has arrived in the present to exact revenge on himself by taking away the one person he cares about the most: Iris West.

Did Savitar spend too much time in the Speed Force? [Credit: The CW]
Did Savitar spend too much time in the Speed Force? [Credit: The CW]

Barry Allen has always seen the good in the darkest of hearts. Thus, we have to wonder: what could have possibly happened to him to make him travel down such a dark path? While the show has certainly answered the long-awaited question about Savitar's identity, it has left us with so many more. And perhaps the most important one of all is: Why Barry, why?

What do you think forced Future Flash to become Savitar? Let us know in the comments below!


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