The Flash shook up its season 3 storyline with the reveal that a Future Barry Allen is actually the villain Savitar. Ever since then, fan theory, preview trailers and showrunner interviews have all revolved around the notion of Barry doing battle with his future self; what that battle means for the characters and story arcs of the show; and the possible big twists we could see before we arrive at the season 3 finale.
That latter point is a big one, as The Flash's Savitar reveal hasn't been the grand-slam, fan-approved development that some showrunners may have hoped. The Flash season 3 has a big landing to stick, and as we prepare to get to know Evil Future Barry in the upcoming final arc of the season, we have some ideas of how the show can end the Savitar saga in a satisfying way.
Here are X Great Ways to End the The Flash's Savitar Saga.
The big problem that Barry and Team Flash now face is that many of the paths to defeating Savitar inevitably also lead Barry to becoming Savitar. That includes the prophesied moment that Savitar kills Iris, or any scenario in which Barry kills Savitar.
However, one way around that conundrum, would be for Barry to end the conflict altogether, by sacrificing himself, and taking Savitar's place, imprisoned in the Speed Force.
It would be classic Barry, if you think about it: brooding for an answer to an impossible problem, and deciding to sacrifice himself rather than let his friends and loved ones get hurt (or hurt again, if Iris has already died).
It would also be an emotional and thematic death-blow to Savitar: seeing a version of himself who could be so heroic and selfless would destroy the sadness, anger, and darkness that is Savitar's lifeblood. In a sense, Barry's compassion and sacrifice would kill the future in which he'd lost those crucial attributes.
The Once and New Future Flash
Our own Russ Burlingame has already broken down how a noteworthy DC Comics storyline featuring Savitar ("Dead Heat") also brought a new future Flash to the present: John Fox.
John Fox was a historian from the 27th Century who came back to the past to seek help from one of the many Flashes form the multiverse, gaining super speed in the process. When the Flash of that era, Wally West, became stranded in time, Fox came to the present to take up his mantle. Eventually he went back to the future, operating as one of Flashes protecting the multiverse.
This theory of a John Fox Flash appearing in the TV series could be adapted any number of ways: As a new speedster arriving to aid Barry and Team Flash; as a fill-in for Barry if he were unable to continue as The Flash; or as an alternate version of of a character we already know.
One great, unexpected, way for The Flash to end the Savitar saga would be to have it end exactly as predicted: With Iris being killed, and Barry being set on the path to becoming Savitar.
That Legends of Tomorrow warning from a Future Barry almost demands that something like this happen, as the message teased a dark imminent future, in which Barry (as Savitar?) is seemingly at the heart of a world-threatening plot:
"Sorry to contact you like this, Captain Hunter, but I can't risk putting any more lives in danger," Barry , from the year 2056, said. "And neither can you. Which is why you'll keep what I'm about to tell you a secret, even from the rest of your team. A war is coming Captain Hunter and at some point you are going to be called back to Central City to fight it. So you need to know that while you and your team have been in the temporal zone, I made a choice that affected the timeline. As you know, whenever you alter the past those changes affect the present and get compounded in the future. When you return, you will be in the new timeline I created where everyone's past and everyone's future has been affected. Including yours. When you come back, don't trust anything or anyone. Not even me."
That message could easily refer to Barry's selfish act of creating Flashpoint, which was the catalyst for letting Savitar out of his Speed Force prison. If Evil Barry succeeds in pushing heroic Barry down the path to becoming Savitar, then it would make sense that "Barry Allen" would become the Big Bad for the next phase of both The Flash and the larger Arrowverse. That might be a great way to re-establish Barry Allen as something more exciting than a meme punchline.
The Reverse Option
The recent Flash Season 3 Sizzle reel teased another possibility for Barry to defeat Savitar: getting help from his original nemesis, The Reverse-Flash.
If there is anyone who would be able to help Barry fix the Savitar conundrum, it's time-hopping fatalist, Eobard Thawne. The only problem is: Eobard went and got himself erased from existence in the season 2 finale of Legends of Tomorrow. However, time remnants of Eobard still exist (in order to preserve the timeline and avoid the contradictions his absence would cause); if Barry were to pluck one of those remnants from the past (or future) and recruit him to the fight, it could a potential way of defeating Savitar.
Even more interesting would be having Barry tweak fate by becoming the Reverse-Flash himself. It would still fulfill the destiny of Barry's darker self, but would be enough of a change to spare Irish, Caitlin, and the other members of Team Flash the pain that Savitar eventually brings to them.
...Best of all, it's a development that most Flash fans would never see coming!
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The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
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