ByS.C. O'Donnell, writer at
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S.C. O'Donnell

Spoilers for The Flash Season 3 Episode 20, titled 'I Know Who You Are' below.

The Flash Season 3 has introduced one of the most ruthless villains that Team Flash has ever faced, Savitar. The God of Speed terrorized Barry for most of Season 3, and has always been 10-steps ahead. Barry has done everything he can to stop the evil speedster, but so far, he has been beaten by Savitar time and again.

The only thing more menacing than himself was the mystery surrounding his identity. At the end of The Flash Season 3 Episode 20, titled ‘I Know Who You Are’, we finally learned who was hiding behind Savitar’s armor, and it was none other than a future version of Barry Allen — which raised more questions than it answered.

The main question that keeps popping up all over social media, deals with the love of Barry’s life, Iris West. Fans can’t seem to wrap their head around the idea that any version of Barry would kill Iris West:

To better understand why any version of Barry would kill Iris, we first need to look at who this future version of is.

Barry Allen: The Future Flash

The Flash [Credit: The CW]
The Flash [Credit: The CW]

At the end of The Flash Season 3 Episode 20, we witness a future version of Barry Allen step out of Savitar’s suit, and he does not look good. The right side of Barry’s face is badly burned, along with extensive trauma to his right eye. This version of Allen doesn’t look much older than his future self, but it is hard to tell due to the scar tissue on his face.

Other than his physical appearance, most of what we know about Future Barry Allen comes from his monologues delivered earlier in the season. During The Flash Season 3 Episode 9 & 15, Savitar gave up a lot of information about himself and how he comes to be:

  • He thinks Barry is cruel and selfish
  • He was trapped in the Speed Force by Barry
  • Barry Allen took everything from him
  • He's a victim of circumstance
  • Barry Allen is present when Savitar is created
  • He created himself – meaning he decided to become Savitar
  • He's sorry that Iris has to die, but she has to live so he can live
  • He knows Team Flash intimately
  • He has already lived through what Past Barry is experiencing now

During The Flash Season 3 Episode 15, we learned that Savitar also covets what Barry has, and says that he deserves none of it – including Iris and being raised by Joe. Based on what we know about Savitar/Future Barry Allen; why would he kill Iris? All the clues have already been laid out in front of us, we just have to put them in the right order.

Why Would Future Barry Allen Kill Iris West?

For the sake of not going down a rabbit hole filled with alternate timelines or time remnants of Barry, let’s assume Savitar is a future version of our Barry Allen, just like Emo Barry from The Flash Season 2 Episode 20 — and he has already lived through the events we are seeing present day. We now have a Barry whose world is shattered after he witnesses Iris being murdered in front of him.

That grief is a lot to bear alone, but as we learned from Barry Allen's 2056 message to Rip Hunter on Legends of Tomorrow, all the changes Barry made to the timeline are compounded over time. In the future, Barry is already shattered from losing Iris, and things just keep getting worse until he reaches his breaking point.

Barry resents the choices he has made, and begins his decent into darkness. He tries to find a way to rid himself of all the pain and suffering he has endured (like we see in people who self-medicate), and he discovers that through the Speed Force, Barry can shed all his emotions by becoming the God of Speed.

Future Barry knows that the only way to free himself from the pain is to become Savitar, and he can only become Savitar by killing Iris. To Future Barry, Iris has been dead for many years. He has already seen it happen, and he thinks there is no way it can be prevented. Barry Allen has become a husk of the man he was, and having exhausted all other options, he surrenders to his fate.

At this point in time, Barry is no longer the person we knew in The Flash Seasons 1-3, instead he is someone else. Grief has driven him mad, and much like we saw with Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he must sever all emotional ties to be rid of his inner conflict. Barry’s self-fulfilling prophecy comes full circle, and he sheds his emotions to become Savitar.

When it comes down to it, Barry would kill Iris because he’s not Barry anymore. All his pain and suffering has turned him into Savitar, and he has set out on his path to continue the pain that was wrought by Barry Allen’s actions in the past. Future Barry may look like the Barry Allen we are accustomed to, but they are completely different entities.

Barry Allen still must figure out how to stop Savitar, and find a way to stop himself from heading down the dark path to becoming a monster – and save Iris’s life.

Make sure you see how everything plays out on The Flash Tuesdays 8PM/ET on The CW.


Do you think any version of Barry Allen would ever kill Iris?

(Poll Image Credit: The CW)


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