Before the explosive finale of The Flash Season 3, Savitar had lived up to his moniker as the God of Speed, by being 10 steps ahead of Team Flash, and damn near invincible. Savitar only had one more task to complete before his “ascension”, and Team Flash had to find a new way to defeat Savitar.
Spoilers for The Flash Season 3 Episode 23, titled ‘Finish Line’ below.
The Flash Season 3 Episode 23, titled 'Finish Line', promised an epic battle between Savitar and Flash, but it didn't exactly play out like we expected. Fans have speculated about how the Savitar storyline would play out, but The Flash surprised us yet again, with Iris being the one who delivered the final blow to Savitar.
Before Savitar was defeated, ‘Finish Line’ answered all the major questions fans had going into the episode, and delivered some twists along the way. It also shed some light on one major plot hole caused by Savitar’s existence, and it paid off in a satisfying way.
The Black Flash Plot Hole
On Legends of Tomorrow Season 2, #ReverseFlash was being chased through time by an agent of the #SpeedForce. The creature, known as Black Flash, was sent by the Speed Force to erase Eobard Thawne from existence because he was a time aberration. In the Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 finale, Black Flash finally caught up with Thawne, and erased him from the timeline.
The Flash Season 3 Episode 21, titled 'I Know Who You Are', revealed that Savitar was a time remnant created by Barry in the future, and he eventually became the evil speedster. Once Savitar was revealed to be a time aberration, fans began to wonder: why isn’t Black Flash chasing down Savitar, like he did with Reverse-Flash?
The Return Of Black Flash
During The Flash Season 3 finale, #Savitar revealed that his final plan was to scatter himself through all of time using the Speed Force Bazooka. Savitar opened a portal to the Speed Force, and explained to Killer Frost that the Speed Force doesn't like it when you mess with time. A moment after that, Black Flash zoomed out of the portal, Killer Frost blasted Black Flash with the full force of her powers, and killed him with ease.
Since Iris didn’t die, Barry has no reason to create temporal duplicates in the future, and Savitar’s closed time loop was broken. With Savitar’s plan looming, the Speed Force finally released their agent, Black Flash, to dispose of the time aberration. Black Flash was destroyed, but why did the Speed Force wait until the finale to release him?
Why Did The Speed Force Wait Before It Released Black Flash?
The Flash has established that the Speed Force is sentient, and that Barry Allen is the first speedster. In an odd way, the Speed Force treats Barry Allen like its son, and just like a parent, the Speed Force wants Barry to clean up his own messes.
Barry created Flashpoint, which set in motion a series of events that would lead to Savitar’s existence. The Speed Force knew all about Savitar, but as we learned in The Flash Season 3 Episode 16, titled 'Into the Speed Force', the Speed Force was trying to teach Barry a lesson. The Speed Force didn’t send Black Flash to kill Savitar because he was Barry’s responsibility, and overcoming Savitar was part of Barry’s journey to becoming a hero.
Once Barry proved to the Speed Force he was the hero he was meant to be – by inspiring his team and taking responsibility for his actions – the Speed Force released the Black Flash to defeat Savitar – even though he failed.
The Speed Force’s relationship to Barry was on display at the end of 'Finish Line', when the Speed Force opened and welcomed Barry like a son. The Speed Force took the form of Nora Allen and told Team Flash that Barry’s time inside would not be hell like it was for Wally, and that is because Barry learned his lesson.
The Flash Season 3 finale ended with Barry going into the Speed Force as penance for all the damage he caused. Sure, Barry learned from his mistakes, but he still must pay the price for his actions. Barry’s time in the Speed Force will only make him a stronger hero, which will be important for his journey to becoming a legendary founder of the Justice League.
Make sure you catch the The Flash Season 3 on Netflix on May 31, 2017.
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