‘The Flash’ season 3, episode 12 recap: Is Iris’ death a sure thing?


Is the future fixed? That’s the question The Flash continues to grapple with in the second half of season three. Iris’ upcoming death at the hands of Savitar is still a top priority for the team. And while Tuesday’s episode, titled “Untouchable,” flirts with changing the inevitable, we’re only getting closer to her demise. Changing the future seems to be harder than they thought.

Season three, episode 12 picks up right where last week left off. Barry has come to realize that he’ll need Wally to stop Savitar. Unfortunately, Wally’s training isn’t going that well. He can’t phase through walls or people like Barry can. 

Meanwhile, a new meta has come to town. His name is Clive Yorkin, and he can turn people and objects to ash with just a touch. He’s untouchable, get it? Yorkin is from the Flashpoint universe and is hunting down the police officers that nabbed him in that timeline. His first victim is a chef at Luigi’s, referencing one of the headlines from the future. He then kills a jazz musician. Both of the victims were cops in Flashpoint. His third target is Joe. In a dramatic scene, Yorkin storms the coffee shop, and it's revealed that he's also bulletproof. Great. Wally temporarily knocks him out, but Yorkin escapes.

The threat on Joe’s life leads Iris to come clean to her father about her possible demise. As with most secrets in The Flash, it was only a matter of time until the truth came out. Nothing stays a secret for very long on this show. Joe isn’t pleased when he hears that Iris is on a collision course with death, but he’s mostly mad at Barry for not telling him sooner. Side note: Jesse L. Martin sold the hell out of this scene.

Yorkin is still out there and turns up at Iris and Barry’s apartment. He’s come for Iris because she’s Joe’s daughter. Iris sends out a distress signal and Kid Flash shows up. Wally tries to save her, but he’s too late and too slow — Yorkin touches Iris.

We know Iris is not going to die in this episode, in this way, because the show keeps telling us Savitar kills her in the future. Iris herself even acknowledges this isn’t how she’s supposed to die, which leads to a greater point: as much as the team is trying to change the future, the showdown with Savitar is inevitable. It’s already been set up as the climax of the season. The future scene where Savitar at least tries to kill Iris is fixed because that’s where the writers and the plot are going. 

But for now, Iris appears to be dying. The team convinces Caitlyn to use her ice powers to temporarily stop the spreading disease. Cisco vibes to Flashpoint, which is apparently something he can do now, to find out who Yorkin’s fourth victim will be. Joe goes to find this fourth victim, a private eye he's worked with before, and they end up on a train. Yorkin destroys a bridge in the train’s path forcing Barry to phase the entire train through the cement and rubble to save everyone.

It’s up to Wally now to stop Yorkin. He’ll need to do the one thing he hasn’t been able to learn: phasing. Wally will have to phase through Yorkin and transfer some of his speedster blood into him to negate his degenerative powers. Inspired by Barry’s act of bravery on the train, he does it. With Yorkin neutralized, Julian and Caitlin are then able to create an antidote to save Iris.

The moral of the story? Everybody worked together to save Iris and stop Yorkin. Joe says this kind of teamwork will be necessary to take on Savitar, and they can’t keep secrets from each other. Pretty good dad advice, to be honest. 

Wally celebrates his victory by phasing again in the training room, but suddenly a portal opens behind him and Jessie runs out. Grodd has her Earth Two Harrison Wells in gorilla city. Another headline is about to come true as The Flash goes full Planet of the Apes.

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