Note: This article contains spoilers of The Flash Season 3, Episode 20, titled "I Know Who You Are."
All season long, Barry Allen and Team Flash have found themselves in an impossible situation, unable to stop the "God of Speed" known as Savitar. The monstrous speedster from the future has always been one step ahead, and now we finally know why — he is the future Flash.
While we don't yet what could possibly make Barry stoop so low as to want to kill his one true love Iris and unleash his wrath on his former teammates, we do know that he is focusing all of his energy on destroying his past self. And that makes puts our present-day Barry at a stretegic disadvantage, because there is no way to outsmart someone who knows every move you're about to make.
However, now that the Flash knows who his enemy is, there is one way that that he could instantly destroy Savitar and end the reign of terror once and for all. But the only problem is that it comes at a very grave cost...
Will Barry Commit The Ultimate Sacrifice?
Few people know Barry as well as he knows himself. However, the only person who does know him better than that is his future self — because he has already lived that life and evolved since. Barry's present is Savitar's past, which means the futuristic speedster knows everything that the Flash is thinking, feeling and planning. So, how do you stop an enemy that knows you better than you know yourself?
They say you should know your enemy, and that's exactly what this season of The Flash has been all about, because nobody is more clued in than Savitar. However, he isn't the only one that knows something about his rival. In the latest episode, Barry figured out the villain's true identity. This information has potentially given the Scarlet Speedster a significant advantage in this fight.
Now that Barry knows he is destined to become Savitar, all he has to do is change the future — and nobody loves messing up timelines more than Barry Allen.
However, this is what Team Flash have spent the majority of the season trying to do. From Grodd's rampage through Central City to Caitlin's transformation into Killer Frost, the team have tried and failed to ultimately change things — because Savitar is always one step ahead. But this new information has given Barry alone one way to stop him: by taking his own life.
If Barry were to purposely allow himself to be killed, he would erase Savitar — and his future — from the timeline, ending the wrath of the "God of Speed." It would be quick and effective, but change things forever. But it raises the question: could he do it?
Barry Allen loves Iris West, and has spent all season trying to save her. If dying is the only way to save her, then he wouldn't hesitate. And remember, we know that a major character will die this season, and it doesn't get more major than the Flash himself.
Moreover, Season 3 is set to end on a major cliffhanger — perhaps Barry finally realizes the truth and leaves Central City without the Flash, and Iris without the love of her life.
Could 'The Flash' Survive Without Barry?
If this is indeed the major cliffhanger we have been warned about, then it raises some serious issues for the show's future. The Flash has been renewed for a fourth season and will return in October, but will Barry Allen return with it?
While there are a host of other #superheroes who could easily take up the mantle of The Flash on Earth-1 — from Kid-Flash Wally West to Jesse Quick or even Earth-3's Flash Jay Garrick, there is an abundance of speedsters to keep Central City safe. But could the show survive without Barry Allen?
The simple answer is: no. He may be flawed and irritate fans at times with his questionable antics, but Barry Allen is undoubtedly the heart and soul of The Flash and I have no doubt that if he does sacrifice himself to save Iris at the end of the season, he will return in Season 4. The only real question is: how?
Barry has been desperately searching for new ways to save Iris, and the discovery of Savitar's identity may have just given him a lifeline. The "God Of Speed" may have unwittingly revealed his only weakness by confirming his true identity, but it remains to be seen whether or not Barry will be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the woman he loves.
Do you think Barry will take his own life to erase Savitar from the timeline?