After waiting months to find out if Barry Allen could save Iris West from being murdered by Savitar, we finally have an answer for that long-standing dilemma. And while the conclusion wasn't that much of a surprise, what followed was definitely a twist none of us saw coming — or at least most of us didn't.
Warning: the following section contains spoilers for the Season 3 Finale of The Flash
During the first few minutes of the finale, we learn that H.R. disguised himself as Iris to take her place as Savitar's victim. In doing so, H.R. changed the future and ultimately defeated Savitar. It was Iris who shot Savitar but H.R.'s sacrifice truly won Team Flash the fight. Though, we need to point out H.R. wasn't the only casualty in the Season 3 Finale of #TheFlash.
The finale also depicted Barry Allen sacrificing himself as well. After Savitar was successfully erased, the Speed-Force prison was left empty. With the prison requiring another speedster to fill it, Barry Allen wound up being that speedster. As a result, the finale concluded with Barry trapping himself in the Speed-Force to save the rest of the world. But that probably won't be the last time we see Barry.
Presumably, Barry Allen will find a way to get out of the Speed-Force. We don't know exactly how he'll manage to accomplish said feat but it's fair to say a relatively easy solution will be worked out to have him return. That said, The Flash will have to keep moving forward despite Barry's absence from the series.
Until he does return, Team Flash and the rest of the Flash/Arrowverse will have to move forward without him. How that will play out is still to be determined but here are the three most logical directions The Flash go in now that Barry Allen is temporarily out of the picture:
1. Wally West Takes Barry's Place As The Flash
The most logical conclusion is Wally West taking over as the Flash. During Barry's last moments in the finale, his goodbye to Team Flash was accompanied by the passing of his mantle to Wally. In doing so, Wally has essentially become the new Flash of Central City. We also can't forget to mention that Barry himself endorsed Wally's promotion from Kid Flash to "the" Flash, which took place in the comics.
During the Crisis On Infinite Earths event, Barry Allen sacrificed himself to stop the Anti-Monitor's weapon. Barry's death was then followed by Wally West/Kid Flash taking up the Flash's mantle. Wally even began wearing Barry's Flash suit, to keep the public's hope in the Flash alive. Barry Allen did eventually return but it was 20 years later.
Now that we know Wally has taken on the Flash's mantle in the source material, it shouldn't be too much of a surprise to see something similar play out on The Flash television series. To be fair, Wally might not wear the Flash suit right away but there's a possibility he could be introduced next season as the new Flash regardless of the suit he wears.
2. Jay Garrick Takes The Flash's Place (Temporarily)
One of the more unlikely scenarios could depict Jay Garrick of Earth-3 sticking around to protect Earth-1 in Barry's absence. It was Garrick's release from the Speed Force prison that resulted in Barry being trapped there. Meaning it's possible Garrick feels responsible for Earth-1 's safety in light of Barry Allen taking his place in the Speed Force prison. If so, Jay Garrick will probably take the time to train Wally to be the sole hero of Central City. As well as potentially taking over the duties of the Flash, until Wally can stand on his own.
Aside from theories, Jay Garrick's comic history has seen him become mentor to young speedsters, meaning The Flash's version of Jay Garrick could play a similar role in the upcoming season. If anything, Garrick would probably train Wally West to take on the Flash name. That would also be quite beneficial to Wally as well. He has potential inside him, he just needs to fine tune his skills to make him as capable as Barry Allen.
3. Team Flash Keeps Fighting Crime Without Barry Allen
Another scenario that could play in Season 4 might depict Team Flash putting their skills together to compensate for the void left by Barry's departure. It's possible they'll keep fighting crime despite Barry being stuck in the Speed Force. If true, more members of Team Flash could become field operatives like Wally West.
When we account for Wally not being the most capable speedster, it seems like he'll need some help fighting crime. Wally always had Barry to rely on for backup but now that Barry is out of the picture, the rest of Team Flash will have to step up and support Wally in his place. If it does turn out the rest of the team is stepping up in light of Barry's departure, most of us assume Cisco will join Wally's crime fighting adventures. But Cisco isn't the only member of Team Flash who could become an active superhero.
There's a good chance Caitlyn will return to Team Flash as well. Her open-ended departure at the end of the finale left plenty of room for Caitlyn to return to Team Flash. Some fans could argue that Caitlyn leaving at the end proved she's still hesitant to go back. But after learning Barry sacrificed himself to save the world again, Caitlyn might have second thoughts. It's possible Caitlyn will feel somewhat responsible for Season 3's conclusion, leading up to her return to Team Flash. In which case, Wally would have another metahuman comrade to rely on in the field. Making it possible for Team Flash to keep fighting crime despite Barry's absence.
Will Barry Make A Surprise Return In The Season 4 Premiere?
Aside from those three scenarios playing out, Season 4 could in fact begin with Barry Allen being released from the Speed Force. No one actually expects Barry to remain within his prison for too long, which means he could make his way out in the Season 4 premiere. Although, we don't know anything about the next season so we can only theorize on how The Flash intends to keep going without Barry Allen in the picture.
How do you think The Flash will move forward now that Barry's gone? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
The Flash returns for its fourth season next year. Release date is still TBA.