After months of dealing with the fallout from Flashpoint, tonight “The Flash” took a drastic turn and instead shifted focus to a harrowing prophecy and vision of the future. Throughout the episode, Barry dug deeper into the mythology of Savitar, he even called on Earth-3 Jay Garrick for help. It was revealed that Savitar was seeking revenge on Barry for something that a future version of Barry would do. While Savitar didn’t reveal more details, he essentially said that he was here in this time and on this Earth to ruin Barry’s life. This revelation also came with a dark prophecy: that someone would betray him, that someone would fall, and that someone would suffer a fate worse than death. If the prophecy wasn’t frightening enough, Barry also time jumped five months into the future, where he witnessed the death of his love, Iris West. While Jay Garrick promised Barry that his vision was only one possible outcome, it’s easy to see that when “The Flash” returns in January, it will be focused on preventing that future from ever happening.
Journey to Earth-3
The episode kicked off with a fun visit to Earth-3 where Jay was apprehending his old nemesis the Trickster. Their whole exchange was amazing because both Mark Hamill and John Wesley Shipp previously played both of these characters on the earlier series of “The Flash.” While on Earth-3 Barry was able to assist Jay in taking down the Trickster. He then invited Jay back to Earth-1 to ask him about Savitar. Jay was familiar with Savitar, naming him the first speedster, although he had never seen Savitar himself. Barry and Jay ended up fighting alongside one another when Savitar appeared, and together they were able to separate Alchemy from the Philosopher’s Stone.
Savitar & Alchemy
As Barry, Jay and the team were researching the Philosopher’s Stone they discovered that not-so-friendly metahuman expert, Julian Albert, had once financed an archaeological dig to find it. At first, Julian denied having any success in uncovering it, but a very Indiana Jones-esque flashback showed that Julian did indeed find the stone. Barry and Jay put in a plan to lure out both Savitar and Alchemy and together they were able to separate Alchemy from the stone. The second the stone was put back into it’s protective casing, Savitar disappeared. Somehow the stone not only gave metahumans their powers, but it also gave Savitar the ability to exist outside the speedforce. Alchemy was put into the pipeline and officially revealed to be Julian. Julian had no idea that Savitar was using him, and revealed that Savitar can create ghosts of someone’s past, to manipulate them.
Cisco & Dante
Savitar began to use his powers on Cisco, who started to see the ghost of his brother Dante. Dante’s death has taken a heavy toll on Cisco this season — his death is the main reason Cisco has been so hard on Barry lately. As Cisco was studying the stone, Dante appeared, telling Cisco that if he opened the box, they could be together. At first, Cisco was caught up in emotions of the moment and opened the box. Thankfully Caitlin was able to talk to him, to remind him that Dante was gone and that Savitar was manipulating him. Cisco closed the box and devised a way to control communications with Savitar through Julian. Julian agreed because he trusted The Flash, who revealed himself to be Barry. Speaking through Julian, Savitar declared that future Barry had thrown him into the oblivion of the speedforce and that he was back to enact his revenge. He also revealed that a betrayal, a fall, and a death was coming. Barry and Jay then resolved to throw the stone back into the speedforce, to rid themselves of Savitar once and for all.
Barry & Iris
Jay and Barry successfully threw Savitar and the stone into the speedforce, but the sheer amount of speed he and Jay created accidentally threw him five months into the future. In this possible future, Barry watched as Savitar killed Iris West. Jay pulled Barry back right as Savitar stabbed Iris. Barry freaked out and Jay had to calm him down and assure him that what he saw was only one possible version of the future. Jay had a great line about how time was as infinite as the multiverse, in that every decision someone makes creates a new variation in the timeline. This terrorizing vision of Barry’s possible future sent Barry into a tailspin, which led him to take a huge step in his relationship with Iris. At the West’s Christmas party, when everyone was celebrating, Barry whisked Iris away to see her present: a house. Iris was surprised but she also seemed really happy to take that step with Barry.
Snow on Christmas
In the midst of so many intense moments, the episode also had some lighthearted ones. Wally got his Kid Flash suit for Christmas, which was a precious moment, considering everyone was upset that HR was training him. Joe finally got to share a kiss with his sweetheart, Cecile, after they had a cute debate about whose family egg nog recipe was better. Caitlin and Cisco also shared a tender Christmas moment, as they thanked each other for always being supportive throughout the year. Caitlin even used her powers to make it snow, which was a perfect compliment to the carolers who stopped by the West Residence. HR got a little tipsy on the egg nog and the episode concluded with Barry and Iris celebrating in their new house. Overall this was a powerful episode, with both dramatic moments and sincere ones. The title — “The Present” — was a perfect homage to the classic story “A Christmas Carol,” as it featured ghosts from Christmas past, present, and future.
When the show returns on Tuesday, January 24, 2017, Barry will have just under four months to stop that terrible version of the future from happening. Can he stop it, or will everything he does from that point on actually take himto that moment? While it’s doubtful “The Flash” creators would ever kill off Iris West, it’s possible that Barry’s fear of losing her will actually be the catalyst that will bring them closer together.
Starring Grant Gustin as the Scarlet Speedster, “The Flash” airs Tuesdays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Keiynan Lonsdale and more.