Savitar, the armor-encased god of speed, has been terrorizing Barry Allen on The Flash for almost a full season now, and Team Flash is racing to figure out how to stop him from killing Iris in the future. The gang — along with countless Arrowverse viewers at home — are also trying to figure out who Savitar is underneath all that glowing metal. It’s a maddening question, especially because given the way reality and time travel work on The Flash, it’s almost easier to ask who Savitar isn’t.

See, because of the way The Flash plays with time and space, there’s no guarantee that there’s only one version of any given character. In fact, chances are we’ve already encountered an evil, alternate, or future version of pretty much every member of the main cast.

It seems like Barry travels forward or backward in time pretty much every week, and if he’s not skipping to the past or future, then he’s probably visiting some alternate reality Earth or dreamscape. Or perhaps, he’s creating a whole new reality by mistake, a la Flashpoint. During most of these excursions, Barry runs into familiar-but-different faces. If there are a near-infinite number of alternate versions of every character, that means there’s also a near-infinite number of potential suspects.

Is Barry Allen Savitar?

There’s a reason why the leading fan theory about Savitar’s true identity posits that Barry Allen himself is under that armor. He does explicitly say “I am the future, Flash,” and while there’s an implied comma indicating that he’s talking to Barry, he could also just be stating the obvious. A future version of Barry turned into a killer in a 2014 comics arc, so it’s quite possible that something similar could happen to Barry in the future.

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Other popular possibilities include a future version of Wally West or H.R., the alternate version of Harrison Wells from Earth-19. In fact, none of the really popular fan theories don’t have some sort of alternate universe or timeline aspect to them. In all likelihood, unmasking Savitar isn’t going to be like the end of an episode of Scooby Doo, but a much more shocking and confusing twist.

Don't even get me started on the implications of the Speed Force.
Don't even get me started on the implications of the Speed Force.

Savitar is probably Barry, if we had to guess. The impact of such a reveal would line up with the hints the showrunners and actors have dropped over the past few weeks. Still, the very nature of The Flash makes trying to play detective difficult. It’s hard to make guesses when you technically can’t rule anybody out because there are literally countless other versions of them out there. And, none of these time-struck, Earth-whatever versions of well-known characters have an alibi, as far as we know.

Photos via Warner Bros. Television

James Grebey is a writer, reporter, and fairly decent cartoonist living in Brooklyn. He's written for SPIN Magazine, BuzzFeed, MAD Magazine, and more. He thinks Double Stuf Oreos are bad and he's ready to die on this hill. James is the weeknights editor at Inverse because content doesn't sleep.