Barry takes a trip to the future in hopes of finding out who Savitar is in this episode of The Flash, but things are really, really bleak in 2024. (And that’s without taking into account that future headline from the Time Vault.) When he first gets there, he runs into a couple of old enemies and finds his future self not exactly helpful.
Meanwhile, in the present in “The Once and Future Flash,” Killer Frost is on the loose, and she doesn’t want to fight it. No one can get through to her, and by the time Barry gets through her ice and searches the building, she has left STAR Labs.
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In the Future, Barry Learns … He Needs to Save Iris to Save Himself from Emo Hair
While Barry’s busy figuring out when in the future he needs to go, Iris is looking through photos and thinking about her future (or possibly lack thereof) and her father. If things don’t go their way and Savitar kills her, she needs Barry to promise her that he’ll be there for her father. Though Barry refuses to entertain the thought of her dying, he does promise her that Joe will be okay.
Though Killer Frost is on the loose, Barry figures that it’s a good time to run to the future since he can just find his future self, find out who Savitar is and run back to the moment he left. With a little help from Wally, he does just that.
It’s February 3, 2024, when Barry runs through the portal, but he’s not there for long before he encounters Top and Mirror Master. The latter kicks him when he’s down, but Barry does manage to get away.
His first stop is the loft, which is a wreck. (I guess future-Barry is still paying rent?) That’s where 2024-Cisco finds him after seeing him fighting Top and Mirror Master in his OG 2017 suit. He realizes that Barry’s there about Savitar and gives him a quick update as he brings him to see himself at STAR Labs, which future-Barry shut down, like everything else. H.R. moved on to other things. Caitlin never stepped inside the building again after becoming Killer Frost. And future-Barry pushed everyone away because they were a constant reminder of what he lost, even though he wasn’t the only one to lose something.
Cisco leaves Barry to meet his future self on his own, and 2024-Barry (with his emo hair) realizes that this Barry is from before Iris dies. But he can’t save her, he warns, advising him to spend as much time with her as he can. He can’t even tell Barry who Savitar is because he doesn’t know.
Barry’s ready to just go home after that, even though Cisco wants him to stay and help since they don’t have a Flash anymore. But Barry can’t open a portal, so he is stuck in 2024 for the time being, so why not find out what else has changed?
Is Anyone Doing Even Marginally Okay in 2024?
Cisco no longer has his hands after his fight with Killer Frost. She froze his hands, and without his hands he doesn’t have his powers.
Julian has Killer Frost in a cell, and she can tell immediately that Barry’s from the past because she doesn’t see any hate in his eyes yet. When she became Killer Frost, Savitar appeared to her and showed her the way, and they made one hell of a team. He gave her the cure that Barry couldn’t: embracing who she really is. And, yes, she knows who Savitar is, but all she tells him is he’ll be “so surprised” when he finds out.
Wally’s catatonic and in a wheelchair after Iris’ murder sent him into a rage and he went after Savitar by himself one night. Joe found him the next day with his spine shattered, and no one knows what he saw that night, but this is how he’s been ever since.
Barry finds Joe at Iris’ grave, but he won’t even turn around to look at Barry. Joe’s doing his best, but Barry turned his back and ran from him. He wasn’t there for him like he promised Iris he would be.
Barry finds his future self in the Time Vault and confronts him about breaking his promise to Iris. He doesn’t care how broken he was. But 2024-Barry tells him he will. He tells Barry that he’ll go back and do everything he can think of to save her, including creating time remnants of himself that Savitar will kill and then, on May 23, Iris will die in his arms and her last breath will feel like an eternity and break him.
All he’ll have left is stopping Savitar, so he won’t be there for Joe, won’t be there when Caitlin becomes Killer Frost, won’t be there when Savitar destroys Wally, won’t be there for any of it. By the time he traps Savitar in the speed force forever, he’ll have already won because everything Barry has ever loved will be gone, including himself.
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Getting the Gang Back Together
Barry realizes that Cisco’s the reason he wasn’t able to return home because he wanted him to get the team back together and missed his friend. But even though he can leave, he doesn’t. He can’t go back to the present knowing that he left the future like it is, so he does get the team back together, picking up H.R. as he’s reading from one of his romance novels and thinking about a threesome with a couple of his fans, Julian from his lab and Joe from home.
Joe realizes why something felt weird in the cemetery once he sees 2017-Barry. Barry knows that the reason they haven’t been a team for a long time is because of him, but Iris’ death should’ve driven them closer together because this isn’t what she wanted, he tells them. And when the metahuman app alarm alerts them to Mirror Master and Top robbing a jewelry store, Barry’s on it — with some help from tech from Cisco and 2024-Barry suiting up and joining the fight.
It’s a good first step, future-Barry acknowledges after the criminals are locked up. He knows that Iris would’ve wanted them to stay a family and he’s just been letting Savitar win even after he’s gone. Joe’s left needing a bit of direction as to which Barry to hug first (2024), and H.R. offers the newly-reunited team free coffees.
While future-Barry doesn’t know who Savitar is, he does point 2017-Barry in the direction of physicist Tracy Brand, who made the speed force trap for him and gives him all her information in hopes that she can decipher it in the present.
Back to the Present
When Barry returns to the present (moments after he left), he makes sure to tell Joe that he loves him and he’ll be there for him, no matter what happens. He’s keeping that promise he made to Iris.
As for Killer Frost, she comes across Savitar in the woods. He’s been waiting for her and wants to offer her what she desires: salvation. He wants to make sure Caitlin never returns. When she wonders why she should trust him, he steps out of his suit and reveals who he is to her. After that, all she wants to know is what he needs her to do.
Do you think the team can save Caitlin? Who do you think Savitar is? Who had it the worst in the future? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
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(Image courtesy of The CW)