The Flash did it. After foreshadowing her death all season and doing everything possible to prevent it, Iris Ann West still died … at least that’s what the show wants viewers to think. “Infantino Street” ended with Barry cradling Iris’ lifeless body and every sign seemed to point to the show going through with this huge twist. There is enough evidence in the episode to suggest, though, that Iris didn’t actually die. Savitar never staked Iris but, in fact, he staked and killed H.R. Wells in disguise.
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For all its captions counting down and Iris bonding with her loved ones before her final moments, “Infantino Street” didn’t feel much like Iris’ swan song. Putting aside that there have been no interviews with cast or crew confirming Iris’ demise, the most that has been put out there is a cheeky tweet from Candice Patton with a horrified emoji. The Flash wasn’t really preparing audiences for Iris to die. This could be the point as her death was supposed to be horrifying and shocking. That notion holds a lot less water when you think about how The Flash was preparing us for H.R. to die all over “Infantino Street.”
H.R. was about to start a brand-new life with Tracy, giving him something to look forward to in the future. H.R. had a big emotional speech talking about his purpose and his final words to Cisco were a very ambiguous goodbye. H.R.’s arc in “Infantino Street” does feel like that of a man getting ready to sacrifice himself. This is not even to mention H.R.’s holographic disguise device made a big return in “Infantino Street.” In the episode it was established that the device not only can change the appearances of people’s faces but also their genders and voices. If there was ever a Chekhov’s Gun on The Flash that device has to be one.
The Flash seems to be setting up a twist where H.R. sacrificed himself in the place of Iris. Feeling guilty over revealing her location and being told by Cisco that his greatest strength is just “being there,” H.R. decided to be there when Savitar stabbed Iris. Using his device, H.R. disguised himself as Iris. When Barry watched Iris fall lifeless to the ground he wasn’t watching Iris die but H.R. instead.
The major sticking point with this theory is how H.R. made the switch happen. Iris was clearly taken by Savitar while H.R. was on another Earth. H.R. couldn’t have disguised himself as Iris before Iris was taken. It is possible that H.R. made the switch while Savitar was distracted with Barry and his Speed Force Bazooka. The more shocking, and therefore more likely twist, is that Savitar made the switcheroo happen himself.
In his conversation with Killer Frost, Savitar was clear about the fact that he didn’t want to kill Iris. Savitar has all the memories of falling in love with Iris just like Barry. Savitar wants to kill Iris so that one day, through convoluted time travel logic, he will be born. For that to happen Iris doesn’t necessarily need to die, Barry just needs think she is dead. Savitar is no stranger to trying to make deals with members of Team Flash. Savitar could have easily gone to H.R. knowing that he would feel guilty and give him away to make up for his mistake by disguising himself as Iris. In this way Savitar can make Barry’s life miserable but still protect Iris, who he does have affection for and maybe even outright loves.
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Savitar having the real Iris stashed somewhere makes far more sense than H.R. managing to switch with Iris at some point. If the switch were to happen that would require, at the very least, Iris to willingly let someone else die in her place, which is something she would never do. Savitar could be planning to run away with Iris and in some even more twisted logic, make her fall in love with him.
There is also the literal Chekhov’s Gun of “Infantino Street” to consider. Before she was kidnapped The Flash made a point of showing Iris reaching for a gun. If Savitar did kill real Iris, where was the gun in the whole ordeal? Granted, a handgun probably wouldn’t be much use against Savitar but to show Iris taking a gun and the gun never appearing feels highly suspicious. The fact of the matter is that Iris is still alive and she will be a big part of what takes Savitar out of the picture. This is only right as the character has been annoyingly put into the damsel in distress role for most of the season.
So what do you think of this theory? Is this how The Flash will save Iris West? Do you think Iris is really dead and will stay that way? Could H.R. have found a way to switch places with her? Do you think Savitar is behind the switch?
The Flash season 3 finale airs Tuesday, May 23 at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Flash Facebook page!
(Image courtesy of The CW)