Never in the history of the Multiverse have we wanted to travel back in time so badly, just to stop ourselves from watching the latest episode of The Flash. Sure, Season 3 has certainly had its ups and downs, but the reason why we want to erase the episode 'Infantino Street' from our memories is because it was just too much for our hearts to take. Sadly, Cisco's memory altering device is nowhere in sight this week, forcing us to instead deal with the emotional ramifications of that death.
Warning: Major spoilers for The Flash Season 3, Episode 22 to follow.
That's right — despite knowing for months that Iris was destined to die at the hands of Savitar, we never really believed that the show would go through with her demise. Scrolling online through the tears, we discovered that Candice Patton, the actress who plays Iris West, summed up the episode best in an eloquent reaction tweet.
However, don't throw on your speedster suit and run back in time to change the past just yet. As any fan of the Arrowverse knows, nothing is set in stone. From Lazarus Pits to multiple earths, the death of a character doesn't mean that they're gone from our screens for good. However, in the case of Iris West, some subtle clues hint that Barry's fiancé may have never died in the first place, suggesting that she is in fact alive and well. Screw you, #Savitar!
Could Iris West Still Be Alive On The Flash?
Well, the first clue that suggests Iris could have survived Savitar's attack comes from the fact that Candice Patton is set to appear in the Season 3 finale. Sure, the actress could simply be scheduled to return for some heartfelt flashback scenes or even perhaps in the form of an alternate Iris, but that's not all.
Throughout 'Infantino Street,' a number of clues begin to build that suggest another member of Team Flash may have sacrificed themselves instead, taking the blade that was meant for Iris. If that's true, then who did Savitar stab with his blade? Every member of Team Flash was accounted for in that final scene, right? RIGHT?
H.R. Wells Died To Save Iris
Hmmm, the current — and possibly our favorite — version of H.R. Wells is known for the occasional spot of trickery, but surely, not even he could pull off a stunt on that scale... Well, actually, there's a surprising amount of evidence which suggests that H.R. did in fact swap places with Iris, sacrificing himself so that she may live.
Let's break down the facts, S.T.A.R. Labs style:
- The face-changing device makes its return early on, reminding audiences that it exists while also proving that the invention can be used to impersonate the opposite gender.
- H.R. accidentally reveals the location of Iris to Savitar, ruining the plan to keep her safe.
- Following his mistake, H.R. laments to Cisco that his blunder will cost Iris her life. Wells then goes on to complain about how he has never contributed enough to the team.
- Cisco comforts Wells by explaining how he always shows up when he's needed. Satisfied by that, H.R. then says goodbye to Cisco in a strangely meaningful way, implying that he may be leaving for some time.
- Remember when Savitar told H.R. that he would be the coward who lives through their encounter? This, combined with the guilt that H.R. felt, could have prompted him to take drastic action.
Moving slightly out of the factual realm now, let's say that H.R. used the face-changing device to impersonate Iris. During the fight on Infantino Street, Wells then swaps places with Iris right after Savitar throws her aside to avoid Barry's Speed Bazooka. That might sound crazy, but when you take into account that H.R. was nowhere to be seen, the pieces start falling together. Back in the original visions and journeys that Barry took to the future, H.R. was there, so where is he now, in the present day version of events?
How Likely Is This Theory?
On the surface, this theory actually makes a surprising amount of sense. By sacrificing himself, H.R. will have finally found his purpose with the team, echoing Eddie's death in the Season 1 finale.
If that's true, then it's likely that Barry doesn't know that the swap has taken place. If he did, then Savitar would know too, and Iris' life would still be in danger. Tragically, The Flash needs to believe his fiance is dead in order for her to live. This would also explain why Joe didn't even try to shoot Savitar at the end. He saw the swap unfold from his vantage point up high and the reason why he's crying is because of the sacrifice that H.R. has made to save his daughter.
There's just one problem; H.R. appears in the trailer for the Season 3 finale, 'Finish Line'. Check it out below:
This raises two possibilities; Either, H.R. didn't sacrifice himself and Iris is really dead, or his inclusion in the promo is a red herring that could depict yet another version of Wells, or could even be part of a flashback sequence. You can't walk for three seconds in Central City without tripping over some alternate version of H.R., so this wouldn't be too out of character for the show.
If that's the case and Iris is well and truly dead, then we wouldn't be surprised if Barry goes back in time and changes the past once more. We wouldn't put it past him. After all, The Flash sure does love to f**k with the timeline, and you've got to hand it to Barry: He's nothing if he's not consistent.
Did H.R. Wells sacrifice himself to save Iris West?
(Poll Image Credit: The CW)