The Flash's Big Cliffhanger Probably Doesn't Mean What We Think

Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen the latest episode of The Flash.

Last night's episode of The Flash was heart-wrenching. as fans watched in vain as Iris West once again died by the hands of Savitar, despite Barry and the team's best efforts to save her from her fate. While sad, I've been around way too many CW hero shows to believe Iris West is actually dead. In fact, there are a couple scenarios in which I think we can all plausibly see Barry's lifelong love still alive and kicking.

Let's first point to the fact that Savitar is a time remnant of Barry Allen, and it's always funny how Savitar is quick to talk about how he remembers and lived everything The Flash lived, except for when it's inconvenient for him. As evil as he may be, Savitar is still Barry Allen and at one time had a deep love for Iris West that we still see several years later in the future episode. Being trapped in the speed force with his worst memory could have driven him insane enough to want Present Barry to experience that same pain cycle, but it's just as likely Savitar could wish to save Iris for himself.

The Flash Barry And Iris The CW

(Image credit: Photo courtesy of The CW)

Really, Barry only needs to believe Savitar killed Iris for the creation of his God status to stand. As long as Present Barry thinks his fiancé is dead, Savitar's existence-timeline still holds true, with the real Iris perhaps trapped somewhere. The big hook for this speculation revolves around a scene in the sizzle reel for The Flash that showed Iris touching the face of Savitar Barry that I don't believe we've seen yet. Unless that scene was cut from the final episodes, who's to say Iris didn't sway Savitar with romance prior to the big deadly moment so that they two could work out a plan for her survival? We've seen speedsters fake-kill themselves or appear in two places at once, so could someone as powerful as Savitar fake Iris's death so they could live on together elsewhere in time?

There's also another big theory that Iris West used the face swapping technology with someone else, with the other person sacrificing themselves. The mostly likely candidate in that case is HR Wells, who possibly sacrificed himself as his biggest and final contribution to Team Flash. It's definitely a noble and amazing sacrifice, should The Flash team have written it that way, especially since it was his blabbermouth that Iris was found by Savitar on Earth-2.

It's a flawed theory, though, since Barry was seen with HR's body swapping tech when he posed as Lyla at ARGUS with Captain Cold, and even if there were two pieces of tech that allowed for this, Iris was already on Earth 2 with Joe and Wally before it was even confirmed the speed cannon was a feasible option. This also happened long before HR's moment of self-reflection in the lab, so I'm not putting too much stock into this theory. It is worth noting that his character is still missing from Infantino street, so where could he be, if not getting stabbed by Savitar?

In either of those cases, and plenty of other similarly bizarre guesses, there's more than enough evidence that characters rarely ever truly die in the Arrow-verse, which should give you enough pause to think things are not as they seem in The Flash. Will Iris West be discovered alive? If so, then who died? And whose death is yet to come? We might find out next week as The Flash airs its season finale at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 23rd, on The CW. Share your thoughts on Iris' fate while you browse our summer premiere guide for new shows and check up on your recently ended shows with our renewal guide to see their fate for next season.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.