Fear is the driving force behind some key actions in this episode of The Flash, titled “The Wrath of Savitar.” Barry just wants to save Iris’ life, and to him that means changing the future and doing whatever it takes to make that happen. But that doesn’t mean he’s going to make the right decisions along the way.

Meanwhile, Wally’s scared he won’t be fast enough to save his sister — though he is in a test run with Barry and Jesse — and it just gets worse with his visions of the future. Also scared? Caitlin, of becoming Killer Frost, and that leads to her making a decision that she admits to the rest of the team.

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Julian’s Going to Wish He Hopped Another Flight at the Airport

Iris did say yes to Barry’s proposal, as they announce to the team. And while Joe is happy for them, he does pull Barry aside to ask why he didn’t ask his permission. It was spontaneous, Barry tells him. Jesse is too busy with Iris’ ring to join Barry and Wally in taking care of a huge fire, but they’re sidetracked on their way anyway when Savitar seemingly attacks Wally.

He wasn’t there, Barry insists, having only seen Wally being thrown around. It’s only in his head. Still, Barry’s upset that Wally kept this from the team because it’s Iris’ life on the line, and he decides that Wally can’t be there in case Savitar’s trying to spy on the team through him.

Since they know Savitar’s still trapped, there’s only one thing they can do: talk to him through Julian. Julian understandably is very much against this, refusing to be a personal walkie-talkie or human Ouija board. After Caitlin assures him that it won’t change how she sees him (and he kisses her), Julian agrees to the plan.

From Savitar’s perspective, Barry is the Big Bad. He’s cruel and he’s selfish, he says through Julian. Where is he trapped? The only place that could hold him, Savitar tells them, and it’s only his will that keeps him sane. When Barry asks why they’re enemies, Savitar says that only one of them could live, and he — not Thawne or Zoom — is his biggest foe. Barry took everything from him, and he’s only this way because of all of them. They’ll meet soon, and Barry will be there when Savitar creates himself and becomes who he is.

Barry boasts that he’s still trapped, that they got rid of the stone, but Savitar questions if they really did. He’s closer to his freedom than he’s ever been, he claims, and every move he makes brings him even closer. He just needs one more thing. And he’s sorry that Iris has to die, but it’s him or her, and they can’t change the future, even though Barry’s trying to. And as much as Barry has suffered, he’ll never get over this.

That chat leads them to wonder about the stone, so the team tracks down one of Savitar’s acolytes. Barry finds him with a box just like the other one (or is it the same one, thanks to the explosion that sent Barry to the future?), but it’s empty. There’s no stopping Savitar, he’s informed. He’s 10 steps ahead.

Wally’s slowing down, which H.R. attributes to fear. They both think that it would be easier if Wally knew how that night goes in the future, so they convince Cisco to vibe Wally there. That’s when Wally notices that Iris isn’t wearing a ring when she’s killed.

Wasn’t There Talk of No More Secrets?

Wally pretty much immediately confronts Barry about why he asked his sister to marry him, revealing that she wasn’t wearing a ring that night. He thought it might change the future if they were engaged, Iris realizes. He loves her, Barry insists, and that hasn’t and won’t change. He got caught up in the moment, he admits when she calls him out on not asking Joe for permission. That’s what she’s afraid of, she tells him.

Speaking of not telling people things, as Julian worries that he’s going to be the one to betray them per Savitar’s prophecy, Caitlin admits that she’s already betrayed everyone by keeping a piece of the stone. She didn’t think it would matter, she explains to the team, but she thought she could use it to get rid of her powers. (She hasn’t yet.)

They need to figure out where Savitar is, and that means using Julian again. This time, maybe they can track his location. Probably thinking about how fast it would take for a cab to take him back to the airport, Julian questions the real reason why Caitlin invited him on the team — was it just to be her personal metahuman specialist to find her a cure? — on his way downstairs to once again be their human walkie-talkie. Cisco does get a hit on a location, but it’s all of Central City, so he’s going to have to give it the metahuman try to narrow it down.

Meanwhile, Jesse checks on Wally, who admits that he’s worried Savitar has a hold on him because of how he got his powers. All he wants is to do some good, but now he’s the one responsible for saving Iris, and he doesn’t know if he’ll be fast enough. He’s not alone, his girlfriend assures him … as does his mother?! She’s so proud of him, she says, but he’ll never be fast enough. Wally realizes it’s Savitar messing with his head. And with the speed god taunting him that once he has the piece of the stone he and everyone he loves will perish, Wally becomes determined not to let that happen.

After getting some advice from Joe — Barry does love her, and that kind of love is rare and the one thing that should stay simple in their hectic lives, her father tells her — Iris calls Barry home. She’s not mad, she says, and she understands that he wants to keep her safe and getting engaged could change the future. However, she said yes to his proposal because she loves him more than anything and wants to be his wife. He asked out of fear, and now part of them will always be tainted. She doesn’t want to be someone he’s trying to save for the rest of eternity.

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Don’t Listen to That Voice in Your Head

It’s that “eternity” that gets Barry thinking. When Cisco tries to vibe Savitar’s location and thinks he’s just seeing him speed through a storm, Barry tells him he’s in the speed force. It’s why only speedsters can see him. Future-Barry trapped him there, and he can only break through for a few seconds at a time before he’s sucked back in. He can’t get out because he doesn’t have the whole stone. But that may change since Wally took the piece of the stone they had.

He’s just in his head, Wally protests as Savitar taunts him that he can’t run fast enough to get rid of the stone, to throw it into the speed force by himself, and he’ll get out and come for everyone he loves. No, he’s very real, Savitar says, and he knows the limits of his speed since he gave it to him. Wally sees that as his biggest mistake and manages to run fast enough to open the portal to the speed force and throw the stone in … only to begin getting sucked in himself.

It’s that massive power surge that allows the others to find his location, and Barry can only watch as Wally is pulled into the speed force and Savitar then climbs out. Just like the Greek myth of Atlas, who couldn’t put down the sky until someone took his place, someone needed to take his place in the speed force. When Barry created Flashpoint, he provided Savitar with the means for his return. He gave him the idea to turn Wally into Kid Flash, to make him fast enough to take his place in his prison, and Wally never saw that he was running right into his trap.

How does Barry get him out? Wally’s gone, Savitar informs him, suffering in an endless void for all eternity, another victim Barry failed to save. Barry doesn’t kill, he’s the good guy, he continues, and he has everything and deserves none of it. Barry tries to unmask him during their fight, but Savitar stabs him through the shoulder and leaves him to live long enough to see Iris die.

One will suffer a fate worse than death, Cisco remembers from the prophecy, as everyone faces the aftermath. Joe doesn’t blame Barry, but he can’t lose Wally. Before Iris follows her father, Barry notices that she’s not wearing the ring. Cisco does have Savitar’s blade to work with in hopes of getting them something. And Barry’s left to face the truth that his fear is the reason for all of this.

How long do you think it’ll take to save Wally from the speed force? Do you think that Wally made that future with Iris not wearing a ring a reality by telling her about it? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

The Flash season 3 airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Flash Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of The CW)