Flash Season 3 Episode 23 recap: Has Barry Allen reached his finish line?

Spoilers for Flash Season 3, Episode 23.

Last time:

Barry worked with Captain Cold to steal an alien power source from ARGUS. The power source worked in the speed force bazooka, but because Savitar had the philosophers stone, it failed to trap him and Iris was killed. Or was she…?

Onto the recap:

H.R reveals himself:

As the team reel over Iris’s death, ‘H.R’ rushes up to Joe on the roof. As Barry holds Iris, H.R’s sticks fall to the floor, and H.R reveals himself in Barry’s arms: He switched places with Iris. Tracy rushes to his side, and the ‘H.R’ on the roof top becomes Iris.

H.R saves Iris:

s03e23 HR saves IRis 2.jpg

Iris tells Joe that H.R used Savitar’s armour to find and rescue her. As they escaped, Savitar’s blade arm reconnected with his armour, and Savitar sent Killer Frost after them. H.R switched his face with Iris’s so that she could escape.

Tracy says goodbye:

Tracy takes Barry’s place at H.R’s side. H.R tells her that she will be brilliant and he loves her. He gives Barry a whispered message for Cisco and tells him to stop Savitar. Iris runs over to Barry and they embrace. Joe tells them that Savitar has the speed force Bazooka.

Savitar spares Cisco:

As Frost is about to finish off Vibe, Savitar arrives and tells her that he needs Cisco alive to build something for him.

The future has changed:

Back at Star labs, Barry, Joe and Iris head to Eobard’s secret room, where they confirm that Iris’s name is back on the by-line of the future article.

Savitar remembers:

Savitar remembers that H.R took Iris’s place. He takes Cisco with him.

Team Flash discuss Savitar’s fate:

The team realise that Savitar will be erased from existence in a few hours, and he must have taken the speed force bazooka to try and avoid the time paradox that was created by Iris’s survival. Julian says he has created a cure for Caitlin. Wally tells them that Savitar has Cisco.

Savitar manipulates Cisco:

Savitar tells Cisco that if he does not alter the speed force bazooka to make an inter-dimensional quantum splicer, he will kill Caitlin: Which would be a shame as Julian has found a cure. Cisco agrees for Caitlin’s sake. He realises that Savitar let them build the bazooka so he could modify it to become fragmented throughout time and avoid a paradox. 

s03e23_Savitar manipulates Cisco 2

Barry and Iris talk:

Barry tells Iris that there is strength in anger, but he doesn’t think hurting Savitar is the way. Snart told Barry that the Flash should stay a hero, and Barry agrees. He says that he is going to do the last thing that Iris expects.

Barry meets with Savitar:

Barry meets with Savitar and offers to help him survive the paradox if he lets Cisco and Caitlin go. He tells Savitar that part of him knows what it’s like to have a family, and that Savitar can have that again if they stop hurting each other.

Savitar arrives with Barry at Star labs:

The team are shocked. Savitar says that if they help him, he will tell them where Cisco and Caitlin are. The team are appalled by Barry’s decision, but Iris approaches Savitar and says they will help him. Tracy is their best bet, but she refuses to help Savitar because he killed H.R.

Harry talks to Tracy:

Iris sends Harry to talk to Tracy and change her mind. Harry tells Tracy that the team H.R loved, sacrificed himself for, need her help, and that she should stay for his sake.

Barry, Savitar and Iris talk:

Savitar asks where he is meant to live when they save him. Barry says they will figure it out together. Savitar insists they won’t: He remembers asking Iris to marry him, yet Barry will spend the rest of his life with her, not him. Iris promises to be there for him and asks where Cisco and Caitlin are. Savitar says he will bring them home and speeds off.

Savitar betrays the team:

An alert sounds. Savitar has left the philosophers stone in the breach room, and it is releasing energy. Barry and Wally rush the team out just before Star labs blows up.

Gypsy saves Cisco:

Cisco tells Caitlin that Savitar will betray her once he has what he needs from her. Savitar arrives and tells Caitlin to kill Cisco. She shoots, but Gypsy saves him.

Cisco reveals Savitar’s plan:

Gypsy teleports Cisco to Barry’s flat, where the team are. Cisco is pleased to see them because Savitar told him they were dead. He tells the team what Savitar is up to.

Savitar opens a breach:

Black Flash appears. Savitar tells Frost that he brought her here to stop him: Speedsters can’t fight cold. Frost destroys Black Flash and shoots Savitar towards the portal with the bazooka.

s03e23_Savitar opens a breach

Savitar’s plan fails:

Team Flash arrive. Cisco explains that he modified the device to free Jay Garrick and stop Savitar’s plan. Wally, Barry and Jay chase Savitar through the forest, whilst Cisco and Gypsy fight Killer Frost. Frost is downed, but Cisco shows her mercy and gives her the cure.

Barry defeats Savitar:

Savitar threatens Cisco, but Frost blasts him and helps Cisco up. Barry charges Savitar, but he is thrown to the floor. Savitar says he will kill everyone Barry loves in his final moments. Barry phases into Savitar’s suit. He takes Savitar down, but refuses to kill him and breaks the suit.

Iris kills Savitar:

Barry tells Savitar that he will never let pain and darkness determine who he is. He punches Savitar and heads towards Caitlin and Cisco. Savitar gets back up and rushes for Barry, but he is taken down by a shot from behind. Iris shot him! Savitar vanishes.

H.R is buried:

Iris speaks at H.R’s funeral. She says that H.R was her hero. Cisco places H.R’s sticks on his grave. Barry tells Cisco that H.R said what he did took strength, and Cisco gave it to him.

Caitlin appears at the funeral:

Cisco spots Caitlin in the distance. When Barry, Cisco and Julian approach, she apologises, but refuses to come back to the team and gives the cure back to Julian. She says she’s not Caitlin any more, but she’s not Killer Frost either. She wants to figure out who she is on her own.

Barry and Iris return home:

Barry asks Iris if she is okay with what she did. Iris says that one day it will hit her: In the future, which she can now look forward to. She shows Barry save the date cards for the wedding. Barry speeds off to mail them and gives her ring back. They are interrupted by a lightning storm.

The speed force becomes unstable:

At Star labs, Jay explains that the speed force prison needs an occupant to remain stable, or the energy will keep bleeding into their world. Barry realises that the only way to keep the city safe is to give the speed force what it wants.

Barry tells the team he will sacrifice himself:

Barry tells Iris that if he doesn’t run into the trap, Central city, maybe even the world, will be destroyed. He tells Wally to take care of the city as the Flash and asks Harry to stick around to help. Iris protests that Barry can’t go: Wally and Jay said they were in hell.

Barry’s mother leads him away:

The speed force appears, in the form of Barry’s mother, and tells them that Barry isn’t going to hell, but his race is over. Iris protests, but Barry tells her that this is his penance for Flashpoint. Barry says goodbye to Cisco and Joe, and tells Iris to keep living her life, for him. When Barry leaves with his mother, he seems resigned, as if he knew it had to end this way all along.

s03e23_Barry sacrifices himself and pays for his mistakes


Barry will be back. The future article, written by Iris, has been consistent that Barry vanishes in a crisis in 2024. If he doesn’t, the whole time line will be ruined again, because that Barry is the one who chased Eobard to the night of Barry’s mother’s murder.

Barry will probably become one with the speed force and return stronger than ever: More like Barry from season 1, clever, self assured, and full of hope. I don’t think Barry’s return will come easy though, and I imagine that some time will pass, maybe off screen, whilst his team defend the city and figure out how to get him back with Tracy’s knowledge of the trap.

  • H.R’s death was tragic. It seemed like he was written in purely to take Iris’s place. Next season, will we get a new Wells, or will Harry stick around for the whole season?

  • Savitar wanted to exist in every hour, every minute: Just like the song Barry sang to Iris.

  • Snart influenced Barry not to kill Savitar, just like Barry influenced Snart to become a hero.

  • That explosion, those lightning bolts? They will make the news for sure. What was left of Star labs reputation is now trashed. 

  • Why didn’t Cisco modify the device to trap Savitar in Jay’s place? It’s as if the writers wanted to trap Barry at all costs! I’ll discuss that in my review of season 3.

  • Why does the speed force prison need an occupant? I’ll cover that in my review too.

  • How does Wally still have his powers now that Savitar is gone?

Next time:

As usual with Flash, we have a season cliffhanger. Coming up over summer:

  • Flash Season 3 Review.
  • Arrow Season 5 review.
  • Flash Season 4 speculation.
  • Arrow Season 6 speculation.
  • Flash vs Arrow: Which was better this season?
  • The Flash fan fiction: An attempt at a crossover, or an attempt at season 4.
  • Sunday scribbles: Heroes, villains and fantasy themed short stories.
  • Dragons: Reviews on TV, film, and books which contain dragons.
  • A vanilla Minecraft server, Dragonspire.uk

I’ll be back with recaps in October for season 4, but will Barry Allen be back? 🙂

s03e23_Goodbye Barry

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