Spoiler Warning: If you haven’t watched “Infantino Street” yet, go no further. Also, if you watched the episode but don’t want to read a guess about how the finale might play out then stop before the “Theory” section.
In The Flash’s penultimate episode of Season 3, we finally reached the fateful moment that the entire season has been building up to: Iris’ death. The show has been dragged down by that singular focus for the back half of the season, as Team Flash continued to have increasingly bad ideas about how to save Iris from Savitar. As we recently learned, this is pretty much all Barry’s fault from messing with time and using time remnants, and future Team Flash evidently not accepting one of the surviving remnants who just wanted to live a nice, Barry Allen life. It’s a mess, but one thing “Infantino Street” got very right was that it actually allowed that terrible moment between Iris and Savitar to play out. I’m not saying that Iris should die, and I don’t think she actually does, but at least subverting the trope of a last-minute save was something unexpected for the series. Essentially: yes, Barry, there are consequences (something Flashpoint didn’t really teach him well enough).
That’s still a pretty harsh lesson to learn. Everything Team Flash did, including throwing that Philosopher’s Stone into the Speed Force, helped to empower Savitar. Ultimately it does all come down to Barry, but he (and the team) are still learning how to handle his powers and abilities, both in fighting evil metas and in the tantalizing reset that it seems to offer.
It’s also unfortunate because of the fact that the show has never done Iris any justice as a character. She had a fiancee — and he died to save everyone from Barry’s mistakes. She had a job — but that’s all fallen by the wayside as she stands around S.T.A.R. labs watching her friends come up with ways to save her, and yet, she’s almost never included in the conversation. The only request we get to see before her possible death is to eat caviar. Surely she had some other things she might have wanted to do?
All of this made Iris’ actual death far more devastating though, instead of less so, because the first time she really got to have a moment to herself on the show was through a recording she made for Barry if she died. It was pretty horrifying, and an emotional gut-punch to see Barry and the team fail at the one thing they have been working to prevent all season (even though they never did a very good job of it along the way).
However, as I said, I don’t think that Iris is really dead. We know that her death is the lynchpin of the Savitar loop. If that changes, then the timeline will change to destroy Savitar — or at least break the loop and allow Barry to take out this aberration version of himself. For Iris to really die … The Flash has been dark this season, but I really don’t think it’s that dark. That would propel the show into such a bleak place to start Season 4, and we’ve already seen how that pervasive darkness hurt this season. So if Iris survives, how? We saw Savitar kill her, and Barry hold her lifeless body.